I called Zoe the other day and after she lightly poked fun at me for something trivial I acted offended and became defensive, but also apologetic. Fast forward to a conversation with Emily Collins and I crack a joke that I think she takes offense to, cue groveling, backtracking and more groveling. She hadn't taken offense at all and then accused me of spending too much time on the Miyazaki JET listserve where people are overly worried about everything that isn't "love", "death" and "taxes". Similarly, Zoe told me that I'd been in Japan to long, and I had become unaccustomed to British humour.
There used to time when I had my priorities straight, I had a sense of humour, a sense of perspective and I wasn't offended at the drop of a hat. Are these overly sensitive Nihongo Nerds and Nippon Apologists rubbing off on me? For the sake of all that is good, I really hope not.
God forbid that I be sarcastic
I don't want to be the type of person that spits their dummy out when someone has the gaul to call them "duck" as an non-gendered term of endearment, or for similarly innocuous offenses. God forbid that I be sarcastic, and say something which isn't meant to be taken seriously (amongst friends who should know me well enough to realise).
I'm really looking forward to getting back to British Humour, there's something uniquely comforting in being amongst people who can laugh at themselves and laugh along with people laughing at them.
I've never heard apathy so condescendingly explained
Let's look at American JETs... god forbid you criticise their government, not even jokingly. They've all had it up to here with 'the hating' and it's 'really not their fault', boo hoo. Putting aside the fact that every American comedian or person with a soapbox makes a living from making fun of their own country... if you, as a non-Northern American try to have a conversation about your world, then be careful, because in JET land, feelings are easily hurt.
I've never met a race of more confused patriots. Patriotism is definitely in their blood, but it clashes with the almost Catholic portioned dose of shame they've inherited from years of questionable foreign policy. And ask any American JET about their foreign governments foreign policy and they all immediately get defensive, "It's not my fault! It's not my fault". Apparently, in the greatest democracy in the world, American citizens don't even have a choice in who they elect to presidency, unless they live in a 'swing state then there's no point in even voting... apparently, I've never heard apathy so condescendingly explained.
Honestly, I don't hate Americans, I'm not 'hating' on you. But please understand that people are going to have an opinion about things that are going on in their world, and they will often share them or want to discuss them with people they perceive as mature enough to field (often not even personal) criticism and discuss it. And not, conversely, go wide-eyed, start the bottom lip quivering and complain that the other countries aren't sharing their toys... you big baby!
Oh well... I guess that's the way it crumbles. Cookie-wise. Maybe after leaving Japan we will all have our sense of humour reinstated.