The Life of Erin

Married life, home projects, music, travel, movies, politics, random stuff I think of on a daily basis

Yakuza and Human Rights May 15, 2008

Today is “Bloggers Unite Day” and in going with the theme of blogging on a human rights issue, I chose to post about the yakuza in Japan and an article I recently read. I’m stealing the article from my friend Miki (she posted on Facebook yesterday) about a gaijin (foreigner) writing about the Japanese Mafia (yakuza). It was so incredibly disturbing that it almost seems made up, but unfortunately I think it is very real. You can read the article here.

It brought back memories of a film I saw at a film festival in Tokyo call Dead or Alive. The first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe how absurd it was, and actually got a kick out of it. A few years later, I watched it with Matt and the two of us were disgusted.

Anyway–I love Japan and I loved living there and visiting, but I also think it’s important to know “what else” goes on below the surface and to expose the terrible acts against Children’s Rights.

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The Rainbow Connection November 21, 2007

It seems like lately you can’t mention anything about rainbows or rainbow colors without someone making a gay comment.  Do you remember the Rainbow Connection?  Somewhere Over the Rainbow?  Now, these references certainly had their undertones, but there was once a time when rainbows simply meant that the sun had come out during the rain to form a miracle of nature. 

Yesterday I made some rainbow earrings because I thought they looked pretty.  Matt asked if it was going to be my Gay Pride piece of jewelry for the Craft Fair I am selling in and I honestly hadn’t thought about it like that, although it would be cool to create a line of rainbow jewelry that contributes to AIDs awareness or some other kind of charity of the sort.

At what point did rainbow=gay pride?  I think it’s wonderful that the gay community has such a recognizable symbol these days, but what if they don’t want to constantly be identified as such whenever a rainbow flag or sign of any type pops up just because it’s “pretty?”

This article got me thinking even more about the symbolism of the rainbow in the gay community and other symbols people use to express themselves.

Whose right is it to determine what each “symbol” stands for?  Is it up to the individual or the community?  Certain symbols mean entirely different things in different cultures around the world that cause misunderstanding and conflict, so how is the United States supposed to unite when people can’t tolerate their neighbors’ choices of expression?

It’s 3 am and I have insomnia so I’m sorry if this post came off as a rambling idiocy.  Let me know your thoughts on this matter, or if you just think I’m an idiot. 

(P.S. The article I linked to is my Bizarre News Wednesday story.)