The tragedy which revealed even in death the mainstream media wants clickbait


I remember 2:46pm on March 11, 2011 like it was yesterday. On the 20th floor of my then company it was swaying like a palm tree in a hurricane. The building next door which was built in 1974 didn’t meet the latest earthquake codes and it oscillated in the reverse and I swore it was going to hit. For the life of me I wasn’t scared. The brain is spinning too fast to keep uP with data it’s never encountered before. Yet, I like many others, were lucky. 16,000 were wiped out by a tsunami and 370,000 homes destroyed. Then the nuke disaster that followed.

The sad part of the disaster was the reckless media eager for sensational click bait. Reporting empty supermarkets, panic and general mayhem. My experience was the opposite. It was orderly, polite, selfless and supermarkets were replenished almost immediately. My former company held drinks every night for clients who stayed in the thick of it while many competitors fled (some with proper business continuity plans) in fear of their lives. Even senior managers (known as fly-jin) paid a king’s ransom deserted their troops. It was a disgrace.

I said to family, friends and clients alike that the further you got from the reactor the more hysterical the reporting became. People wearing masks because of the hay fever season were reported as trying to filter out nuclear fallout. A plane was reported to have higher radiation levels than normal but when the payload was studied it was carrying x-ray equipment.  One journalist from the Daily Mail stumbled on the pub we hosted drinks at and wanted us to paint a picture of horror but we have him such  a bollocking that he was lucky to escape us. I said “why not report the truth? You might find your readers will discern from the rubbish they’re reading now which is causing many trying to cope more anguish.”

I can handle fake news when it comes to politics but when it comes to massive loss of life you’d hope humankind would take a rational approach to reporting the truth. Alas they can’t help being attention whores. I shall forever remain in awe of the truth and how proud I was of the Japanese ability to endure such pain in so orderly a fashion. That’s why I love this place for all of its foibles.

A happy tale(nt) among all the gloomy headlines


Amid all the gloom and doom in today’s headlines, it is sometimes nice to reflect on what goodness there is in the world especially those who are given an opportunity to shine against all of the self-entitled people that live among us. Gustavo Dudamel is a Venezuelan composer who brought together the undiscovered talents of kids from Venezuela’s least fortunate areas and through the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar made magic. What these kids, who in many cases hadn’t a lick of musical training, transformed into well – judge for yourselves. It is astonishing that in a world of virtue signaling, these kids took an opportunity through benevolent philanthropists and knocked it out of the park because they saw that persistence, hard work and fun can be turned into a talent rather than moaning for someone to feel sorry for them. Bravo. How could you not feel pride? Even if you aren’t a fan of classical music I won’t be the least bit surprised if you end up buying an album.