September 1997

I used to have these really gnarly slippers I got at REI. I mean they were really gnarly. They were padded nylon with good cordura soles that took a lot of abuse. They came up way over your ankles and they were extremely warm. They were well constructed, lasted for years and were not overly expensive at the time for a well constructed garment.

Try to find something like that these days. We're headed for the age of a geeky little cup of coffee costing you $10 like it does in Tokyo. What is that?

Who asked for that? I didn't. Did you? But that's the way it's going. The companies we buy from have decided that it's cheaper to give you less and charge you more for it than it is to give you less and charge less for it.

And ya know what? Nobody knows.

Do you remember when McDonald's changed the size of their large drink cups? Didja notice? If ya did, did ya think maybe there was something wrong with you?

Our lives are our own. Yet we are constantly normed through our lives to conform to what is acceptable, "right", publicly tolerable and socially acceptable. To not conform is to invite notice, ridicule and social censure.
Is this where you are? Do you conform? Do you norm?

I do not. I am awake. Or at least as much as I can be. I choose which conventions I will accept and which I will not. I live shackled by a mind that chooses it's own path and must be controlled with medications or it will destroy me.

Through this experience I have seen what other shackles can be placed upon us. I have thought that seeing this way was madness. That it was a mental derangement induced my fatigue, depression and mania. It is not.

It is the insight gained from having lived far out of the "normal" world of our society for so long that I do not relate to it as a native would. I see it for what it is.

I do not mean to imply that all are asleep or that our society is a cold Orwellian place devoid of warmth. It isn't. What it is though is a trap for the unwary who do not think for themselves or do not think at all.

You might ask why then I entitled this piece "The World Is Turning Japanese".

You might ask that.

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