The Land of the Rising Sun is also the land of the sexless, the childless and the lonely geriatrics.
All I can say is: skip every part of the culture except for martial arts and sushi, baby.
It's so yummy and reasonably priced!
Just forget everything else.
I mean it's one thing to have a few crazy cat ladies in any given neighbourhood. But it's another thing entirely to have an entire cat cafe scene for lonely elderly people who just want a few desperate moments with something warm and living and breathing-even if it's just feline.
As an official Mark Steyn Fan Girl/Steyn Frau, I have to admit that Steyn never depresses me. I can usually pick up the subtle blessings encoded even within the dreadful, and his wry joie du vivre, for me anyway just jumps off the pages, even within the most horribly depressing essay topics.
But this mongo, killer, zonga observation FREAKED ME OUT.
It's about Japan in particular in this essay, but it's about a general trend in Western society nowadays. Steyn nails it:
It's a flight from human intimacy.
That could have been the title of the essay, there is so much in that little sentence that it should definitely be expanded upon further in another piece (in my questionably humble opinion).
That is what we are fighting for, and fighting about. Those of us on Team Life want more human contact, more human experience, more joys, more human laughter. We are willing to bear the tears, the bad days, the challenges because we know life-life is worth it. We live in the circle of life, we celebrate the four seasons and that there is a time for everything. We don't run from that.
We are not throwing in the towel and conceding to Team Death.
Judeo-Christian traditions remind us all the time of the holiness of human life and experience, of human contact and human foibles. The retreat from humanity, from contact, from marriage and child bearing and child rearing is a victory for Team Death.
I've been noticing lately that Pope Francis has been doing this a lot, and publicly and I find it absolutely delightful. Embracing the disabled, kissing the disfigured. Were that Chief Rabbis of Israel and other Jewish "leaders" would start to do the same, so publicly and speak to the masses so boldly about the preciousness of even the most fragile lives among us.
The people who flee from human contact and human intimacy are many in number, but we cannot let them triumph.
A few months ago, I heard or read an interview with Daniel Craig and he was asked if he had a social media presence.
He said he does not have a Facebook presence, nor does he want one because he doesn't want to ever be the guy writing on Facebook about having a pint at the pub, he wants just to be the guy at the pub having a pint with his friends.
I was heartbroken when he expressed admiration for Obama, but he gets super awesome points for being hot, and for playing Jewish fighters on film. But that observation-be the person, not the social media presence absolves him of even the sin of Obama worship in my books (with the caveat that I would enjoy seeing him play more hot, Jewish warriors in the future).
But really this is not a Daniel Craig thing, or a Steyn thing (OK, clearly I have a soft spot for philosemitic gentiles with British accents).
It's a human thing. It's a life lovers' thing.
We need only reject the flight from human intimacy.
Cling to humans, to the little babies, our grown children, to family and friends.
Cleave to them, and to the sanctity of human life, and we win.