Saturday, June 16, 2007

West Meets East: The Twain Have Met

Shibuya Station 7:45am

Two teenagers waiting for friends on their way to school.
Question of the day: Which one watches MTV?

Now, looking at the close up photo we can see it is interesting on several levels. We have two teen girls, junior or senior high school students approximately 15 or 16 years old, each waiting for their friends at Shibuya Station, Tokyo.

The one on the Left, we'll call Lefty is reading a book, the one on the Right, which we'll call Righty is emailing on her cell phone (or playing a game). Lefty's skirt is normal length, Righty's is, well, very short. Lefty is in proper school attire, white shirt, buttoned to top, school V-neck sweater. Righty is wearing a form-fitting Gap style white top, open at the collar with colored bra underneath visible (difficult to see in photo. Trust me, you can. It's pink. ;) . Righty has an ipod plugged into her brain, Lefty does not. Lefty has her schoolbag on her shoulder. Righty has, along w/ her school bag on the ground between her legs, a shopping bag from a fashionable cosmetics company with logo prominently displayed. Righty is wearing eye makeup. Lefty is not. And finally, Lefty, while reading her book, has a genuine smile on her face, showing quite clearly inquisitive joy. Righty, on the other hand, while using her cell phone, sports a jaded, sour expression. It is either a geniune emotion, or, as more likely, meant to be interpreted by onlookers as 'tough, cool, aloof'.

For those young men out there, we can assume which of these two young ladies you'd like to meet, and we don't blame you one bit. But for those who are concerned about larger issues, culture, society, media and its influences, as you young men will undoubtedly care about when you get older, how would you honestly feel if your daughter was the one on the right?

Or, put this way, which of these two is most likely to be seen on DVD, in an abortion clinic, or worse?

I took this photo at the train station in Shibuya at 7:45am. Shibuya is famous for it being the ultimate of youth hangouts. It is the center of fashionable shopping (so-called), millions of eateries and drinking places, most of which change names/styles on a monthly basis, tons of hair and 'make' salons open 'till 3am, some 24h, and love hotels in every theme imaginable just on every other corner. Plus, one can see "lady clinics" (venereal diseases treated, abortions performed) in abundance, porn business 'scoutmen' every few feet and the usual ineffective, corrupt, and useless police force, proven nightly as scoutmen solicit teen girls for various 'activities' right in front of the Koban police box.

Obi Wan's famous quote in Star Wars comes to mind: "Never before has there been a more wretched hive of scum and villiany"

The Jedi master had obviously never been to Shibuya. It makes Mos Eisley seem like a monastery by comparison.

*The title is a play on the famous quote by Rudyard Kipling, "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." Which illustrated the differences in Eastern and Western cultures and how, Kipling believed, they could never combine or come to full agreement. Oh, how wrong he was. 

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