*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

But you don't do yoga...

Sigh...  This is not about being objectified, women ('it's not about you'/don't be narcissistic).  Try reading the whole thing before raising your hackles.  Please note I do speak to the poor foot men put forward, too. They do not, on the other hand, go out often in what amounts to naught but undergarments over their asses: 'leggings'.  Let me add, most asses of both genders in North America are terrible.  Please do not flaunt a poor asset: it is both vulgar and misguided.  There is also this: "If you own your weight and fitness, from excellent to poor, I have no quarrel with you, but how many of you are there without denial in Canada, really?"

But you don't do yoga... or walk much, Toronto.  I was home this summer from Japan.  This will get metaphorical...

Oh, narcissism.  You may 'feel comfortable with your body', but I don't.  I don't even when svelte girls wear 'leggings', which would mean the rare Torontonian; instead of looking away in dismay, I need to look away not to be leering old man.  Japanese women would not go out in 'leggings' (though the 'men' might...) even though they have this figure.  You don't.
I have more 'pot' than I should, and white hairy legs, and a sad upper body, but do I stroll down the street in baggy shorts and a 'wife beater'?  No, that's what all the other middle aged men wear downtown in Toronto.  Rest of N. America, too.

Here's something: put some thought into what you look like, and where you're going to wear it.  Sure, you have 'the right' to wear anything: even go topless in Canada.  (Please God don't!  The only females in Toronto coltish enough to pull that off are underage).  Having 'the right' doesn't mean that it makes any damn sense.  Your mother loves you, and you are daddy's precious snowflake.  Bully.  Stand in front of a mirror and pretend I am looking at you.  I am uncharmed by sloth.

Since I brought up your weight, Toronto (and Ontario, and Canada), no you are not 'big boned', have a 'slow metabolism', and the svelte Asians and Europeans who visit are not anorexic - they are in the middle of their own BMI.  You should try it!  If you own your weight and fitness, from excellent to poor, I have no quarrel with you, but how many of you are there without denial in Canada, really?

Denial is the defining feature of the modern North American psychology.  You've been taught that you are special and your opinions have value, and that's very sweet, but seems to me that someone forgot to teach you that the other side of that is to have empathy for others and their individuality.  I don't see much of that anymore.  Yes, it's your fault.

You need a crib sheet, Anglo North America:
- you drive like shit, though you do it every day
- this is because you're an asshole
- you look like shit, in body and too casual clothing
- you'd look better if you walked a bit
- you could unload that box in the suburbs you have no energy to enjoy
- if you only use half the rooms in the place, buy something with half the rooms twice as close to work...
- if all you do is drive, and never read, yes you are as dull as all your dullard peers
- TV rarely helps, and dramas should be only a guilty pleasure, and rarely shared
- it should not be normal for your pre-teen daughters to have cellulite on their thighs
- or your sons around their middle
- it should not be normal to buy candy and deserts in buckets, or drink HFCS
- you do not live in a democracy, or the greatest place on Earth: that would be somewhere in Northern Europe
- Gini coefficient

Specific to Southern Ontario:
- Toronto is not a 'world class city', because London, New York... the end
- immigrants do not make it so, because all cities have them
- besides, you moved out of downtown to get away from them, didn't you?
- transit, walking, bicycling and driving all suck, well done!
- you do not even know Toronto's singular charm (one) which is the tree canopy you are neglecting
- condos have never been a good investment, because by they time you knew they were it was over
- houses were for the 'boomers', but that party's over
- it's 'buy low, sell high', by the way...
- I am a 'loser' because I 'pay rent'
- but you pay rent on money (interest), property taxes, repairs and utilities, and lose the rent on money (interest/earnings) someone has to pay you if you invested your downpayment instead, or the money you pay each month towards interest before you get near to paying principle
- but your downpayment was only 5%, on the largest amount the bank would loan you over 30y, at historically low rates that must go up?
- good thing nobody ever gets sick, or loses their job in a recession...
- or housing market 'corrections' can be as high as 40%, making your house worth less than the mortgage you have on it...


  1. I'm sure the women of the world are taking notes to ensure we are dressing to please you. After all we exist just be looked at by men.

    1. I did foresee this response, and I am disappointed to have accurately predicted which gender it would come from. I also expected it to be from a North American Anglo, whether you are or not. Let me put it this way: I've met lots of women with more sense of humour than self-righteousness, while outside of, or from outside of, English North America. If you are not Canadian or American, do not let that attitude influence. It's not becoming.

      Please refer to what I wrote, not what you presume. I do speak to the poor foot men put forward too. They do not, on the other hand, go out often in what amounts to naught but undergarments over their asses: 'leggings'.

    2. I dunno if it's about being self-righteous. It's a personal choice. And the poor leggings - I think it's unfair to blame them. Btw heaps of Japanese women wear them, usually with a dress or tunic though, not as pants.

      I often have the opposite problem - I live in a low socio-economic area and get nasty looks & talked about because I get on the bus wearing a cute vintage dress instead of track pants and runners like most of the women around here. It's not like I'm going to dress like that to make them happy.

      The housing thing is interesting. We live in a big house in the 'burbs but it would be totally unaffordable to move in closer to the city. Would also love a smaller place but they don't build them small in the suburbs!

  2. Right on all accounts. Although I miss a bit of basic empathy for "the Western world" from someone who's seen through the surface of "Japan" and knows how bad things could be...but I think that's the point where we don't click ;-)
    I've lived in northern Europe for almost 35 years and it's not the greatest place on earth. Is it better than living in the US? Unless you're really rich, it probably is. Is it better than living in Japan? Sorry, I don't understand the question. Going back to northern Europe for two weeks after one year in Japan feels like parole from children's jail. But that's easy. Coming back and not knuckle-sandwiching staring grandpas the whole ride from Narita to T-Cat is hard.

    I've only been to the US once, and seen plenty of hot women that were waay hotter than the hottest women I've seen in Europe. Younger men have also better bodies, although the trend to guido-ism is a bit much. But on average, you are right. I would probably be called anorexic in the US, too.

    But it's so simple when you look from outside. It's the portion sizes: A standard lunch in the US would feed a Japanese family for three days, including Obaachan back in Yamagata. It's a vicious circle, because the bigger portions get, the bigger stomachs get, and if you want to ever go into the other direction, you're bound to feel hungry, which is too much for 90% of people.

    1. Portions, yes, but also the fact that eating what I only got as a weekly treat in childhood is now a three times a day occurrence. There is also total denial about what goes in the pie-hole: for example, a Starbucks atrocity is a dessert, NOT a beverage.

      Americans more attractive than Europeans? Well, to each their own, eh? More polished no doubt, though even this Canadian finds 'perfect' North American teeth rather creepy. I also expect you were downtown of a major city in the US.

  3. Been reading your blogs/epic rants for some time and wholly concur with this. I was also back to Canada this summer in numerous cities/provinces - but could only stand to last 3 days of the Toronto BS.
    Too bad for friends I didn't see because I'm in a constant rage within the GTA. Why did it seem so aggressively bad this year? Much worse than previous summers. (The city is a total mess, perhaps?)

    Found myself ripping apart a TTC 'employee' who said my 3 large luggage items could not be stacked on a *single* chair while I opted to stand in front of them. He then continued to defend the Yonge/Spadina line after I pointed out the total lack of luggage racks and the complete joke of a transit system.

    My question is why move back specifically there? Any other cities with job potential and reduced stupidity?

    1. Toronto (and the GTA) blows in all the ways both you and I have stated, and quite a few more. Where else to move? Not easy. Time travel to Toronto twenty years ago would be better.

  4. Well, I was in NYC so you are right that my sample group wasn't representative for the whole country. I agree that on average, US citizens might be less attractive than Europeans, but then again the spread in attractiveness between downtown Paris and the East German countryside is as big as it between Manhattan and Alabama.
    I am also sort of bothered by the tendency to dress to casually. Again, outside of certain quarters of the biggest cities, it's already as bad in Yurp as in the US. I used to be more bothered before I moved to Tokyo. I live near Ginza and see many dressed up women every day. Some of them are even elegant. But you know what - I still can't respect them for it. All I can think is they should be more worried about not electing the same thugs over and over again and fix their psychopathical society first, and if you have any energy left after that, it's ok to worry about appearances.
    People back in my country may dress like slobs and work hard to raise their BMIs to match the US, but I know that at least their basic attitude towards the powerful, towards hierarchies, and towards each other is sane, and I prefer that to the Japanese who mastered the art of concealing "a stink" like no others. One day the lid will come off :)

    1. Your criticism of Japanese complacency is fair; however, your faith in 'western' political self-awareness is too generous. You've heard of Manning and Snowden, and US domestic and foreign policy and the European client states (the Peru plane incident, and more), haven't you? We 'westerners' are cocktail-party radicals, only.

    2. Those who call themselves "radicals" or even just "counter-culture" are strictly cocktail-party only, that's true. It's just a cool pose to kill time in Berlin until their 40s when they inherit Mom and Pop's cushy house and savings account back in scenic Bavaria.

      I wasn't talking about political awareness or activism, though, but about much more basic concepts that the majority people in this part of the world have yet to grasp. "Not everything they show on TV is true", for instance. Or "If you make any kind of statement, you should be able to answer a question about it and not just go, 'because I said so'". Or that racism is wrong.

      The one good thing I'll take home from Japan (only 4 months to go, yay!) is a newfound sympathy for my home country, and the Western world in general. I know much of it is broken, but put next to Japan, it's absolute immaculate and perfect.

    3. I do not discount what you say; however, be ready for disappointment when you return. Mine to Canada was profound, after being in Japan from 24 to 27 years. I do not know your age, but at the least how you have matured abroad (and we mature more, faster, abroad) will neither be matched by your home or your peers. Another thought, the virtues of 'western' respect for individuality and rationality are "More honoured in the breach than the observance" in both the meaning from 'Hamlet', and the meaning it has gained:
      - we do less harm when we do not use apply these virtues selectively and only to our own perceived advantage
      - we hardly ever respect individually or rationality, to be honest

    4. Oops, now I feel like a whining loser, because I was here for only two years (will leave after 2.5 years in total, declined an offer from my company to stay longer), and I can't imagine ever setting foot again on Japanese soil after my stay here finally ends.
      It took me about 6 months of living in Japan (I had visited a couple of times before) to go from 'they really do a lot of stuff right here' to 'it's a proto-fascist shithole that makes my skin crawl'. First I thought I was going through the typical phases of culture shock, but it's much more profound than that. I have absolute no sympathy for anything the Japanese believe in and how they never really got over the fact that it is thugs who shape this society. But enough of that.

      Me being a short-timer, I was never disappointed when going back home for vacation - as I said leaving Japan feel like parole from prison to me. I suppose many long-timers (not you) suffer from a form of Stockholm syndrome. Many long-time inmates of prisons dislike the free world as well - they prefer to stay in the small, regulated world where they know their way around. But that doesn't make prison in any way better than the outside world.

      And sure, in the West we only respect individuality and rationality up to a certain point - because it's an environment that isn't free of pressure to conform either. Yet, and I repeat myself, I feel that compared to the Japanese, we have very little to complain about our home countries. And don't we complain quite a bit about it? At least most of us don't take it lying down like the people here.

  5. I love this
    "- I am a 'loser' because I 'pay rent'
    - but you pay rent on money (interest), property taxes, repairs and utilities, and lose the rent on money (interest/earnings) someone has to pay you if you invested your downpayment instead, or the money you pay each month towards interest before you get near to paying principle"

    The older I get the more peers take the plunge and look down their noses at me while "plunging". I just wave and smile. The longest period of time I would have to struggle is 6 months right now. If I can't hack it in my rent controlled 2-bedroom apartment. I can leave, no questions asked, in 6 months. If I like where I live I can stay on with an option to even terminate my lease for less than what it costs to lose a house/file bankruptcy.

    But I'm the loser. <-- If I could convey sarcasm via text, that sentence drips with it. Head nod and blinky eyes to go with the sentence.

    1. It is amazing that people don't worry about being taken for fools by the housing mafia after a bubble every fifteen years are so, and one just a few years ago in your own country: 'there's a sucker born every minute'. We needn't join. However, I bet you were about as popular as I was in HS, having your own mind and all.