So, there's this Right-Wing Nationalist speaker truck, which drives around town every so often when ever it's owner or owners feel their patriotic pride raging within their loins. Usually this truck drives by my house every so often with enough infrequency to not really garner much of my attention except for raising my curiosity as to who does such a thing on their day off? Do these patriots have jobs? Today however was a special day, because said owner/driver decided to swing by my place 5 times in row, while blaring Naziesque music and ranting something indistinguishable through broken-up Cold War Era speakers from on top of the truck. Somehow this isn't illegal. I would have called the cops if I thought I could express the situation well enough in Japanese. It would have been a struggle as well and hours of my time filling out paperwork. (I once spent about 20 minutes signing papers for a wallet I found and brought into a police station) Amazingly no one else seemed to have called the authorities. Perhaps they thought they were Yakuza linked? I've hear stories of the Yakuza sending these folks out to harass businesses. From what I guessed this must have been the reason for this mans never ending tour of my block.
By the sixth round of this Japanese-Patriotic-Hard-On Truck going down my street, I had to go to work. This time the truck stopped in front of a business two doors down from me. “Middle-aged Hitler Man”, that's what we're going to call the man driving the truck from now on. MAHM for short. He actually looked nothing like Hitler. MAHM, parked his speaker truck in the middle of my street, blocking traffic and yelling expletives towards the business he parked in front of. I had to go that way and seeing how he was blocking my path, I decided to walk with my bike straight towards MAHM. MAHM was too busy braiding the business to notice me until I reached just in front of the truck. Now, usually I blow kisses at these passing vehicles while on my bike, but in this circumstance I thought I would tone it down a bit. I calmly raised my finger to my mouth in a gentle quiet sign directed his way. I wasn't acting hostel in anyway. In fact, I may have had a smile on my face. This made veins rage across MAHM's forehead. I walked just past his drivers-side window (there was no where else to walk). He quickly opened the window and screamed who the hell knows what. He was pissed. I think he almost tried to climb out the window to perhaps fight me. I'm not sure. Really this man wasn't in top physical condition, perhaps from too many hours behind the wheel. Maybe this is where his anger and rage stem from? Who knows. I know aging is a bummer.
MAHM gives up the attacking plan and gets back on the loud speaker. I couldn't make out much of what he said because, my Japanese really isn't where it should be, and hell, the Cold War Era speakers were distorting so badly and was almost jealous I couldn't run my guitar through them. What I did pick up, was I'm a damn “Gaijin” and I should leave Japan. Gaijin means “outsider” or foreigner, but I feel outsider is a better translation, which believe me, I realize this everyday, I don't look like you. In fact for a white male to have this feeling is pretty rare and I see it as only forcing me to learn more compassion everyday. This is the closest I'll every get to feeling like an immigrant or minority in my country. Now, usually most people here are pretty damn cool with me. And curious. Some people even look up to me more than I deserve. So MAHM is a rarity. But, he exists.
As I walked away, I saw some redeeming things. Lots of people where watching at our little interaction. One older gentleman was trying not to laugh. Two ladies at a nearby crosswalk had absolute disgust across their face from MAHM's hateful words. So, it seems his kind may die out someday, because most people probably don't share his views. This made things feel right. But, a little later I started feeling sad for MAHM because his hatred and energy are so misguided and wrong. This man wants me and all “outsiders” out of Japan. To return Japan to it's once gold-age of isolationism. That worked out well the last time didn't it? The truly sad thing is MAHM doesn't even know me. I actually make this country and city far better. I spend money here, I pay taxes, I bring art and music, I usually do nice things for people, and most of all I teach your children a second language. Try to at least. Not to mention the fact that last week U.S. troops based here basically backed-up Japanese policy on disputed islands with China and vowed it's alliance with Japan. Good luck with China and North Korea or even South Korea with out our friendship. Pride in where you come from and who you are is just fine. When it reaches levels to sheer Nationalistic irrationally, it's dangerous. I hope MAHM would take me up on an extended offer to share a beer with me and allow me to play some sick bad-ass riff through his mobile sound rig. I'm waiting.
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