Fast times in Asia-Pacific

Swine flu has swept into Fukuoka (brought by a foreigner, of course). Meanwhile, seismic shockwaves are echoing out of North Korea and the economy worldwide continues to crumble. The popularity of Japan's prime minister wanes endlessly, and the opposition leader, offering little reform in the first place, has fumbled, resigned, and been replaced by someone of equally unimpressive stuffing. By November a general election will be held, promising to replace one sack of bricks with another. (1)

As if scripted by this worldwide dark comedy, a 63 year old man in China approached a young chap contemplating suicide on a bridge. The old man shook his hand and gingerly pushed him over the edge, greeting the crowd of onlookers with a salute. These are fast times in Asia-Pacific.

(1)A quick survey of the Japanese around me yields little interest, let alone enthusiasm or unrest for the political stagnation. The PM is elected by officials elected by other officials who are, they themselves elected by local populations. Since the top of the government is several levels away from common control, people have no sense of control over what happens on a national level, and seem to care little about which laws are passed or the prospect of reform.


Anonymous said...

OMG, HERO!?!?!?!
(too bad there isn't bigger Caps)
Really, though!? I hope to never contemplate suicide in a place where someone else will make the decision for me. (and my advice to you- avoid bridges)
-Anna hj

Mike said...

Okay well I didn't give you the full story. First of all, the police had set up a safety net hours before the fall, and so the contemplator fell pathetically to safety. Furthermore, the bridge in question was the only one in town and everyone relied on it. the would-be jumper had shut it down all morning basically screwing over all commuters. I think the old man was right in saying that the kid was being selfish and grabbing for attention, depressed and suicidal though he may be.

That being said, it's not cool to mess with the depressed and suicidal like that. My comment "hero" was more to the effect of "this bloke sure saved the day in a rather elegant, if not brutish way, didn't he?"

James Smyth said...

Hahaha, that context completely changes the story!