Friday, 8 January 2010

Personally, I like elephants.

A couple of days ago I started looking at Japanese design blogs. I figured, if I'm going to spend a portion of my day going goo goo eyed over pretty things, I might as well practice some Japanese while I'm at it. In particular, I am loving Creative Life.

Today I was avoiding writing an essay that my entire future depends on. I'm sure we've all done that. You get up in the morning, knowing that you have something life changing and important to do, so you immediately set to work avoiding it like the plague. Anyway, in the process of avoiding this essay, I decided to properly read Creative Life's latest blog entry. My jaw fell to the floor.

Why is the Japanese internet full of wonderful, nice people, while the English internet is infected with meanness?

He writes about the word, 'Trunk.' The story goes, when he was younger he went to an English language school in London for a while, and the many meanings of the word, 'Trunk,' really tickled him and that gave him the impetus to keep on studying English right up to, apparently, the present day. So he made a series of illustrations of the meanings of the word, 'Trunk.' They're really cute illustrations. It's a simple enough story. Right?

Read my bad translations of some of the comments his readers posted and see if you can believe that this was such a simple story:

"You kindly showed me something that will remain in my heart today.
Thankyou very much.
I'm cheering you on."

"It's such fun, to comprehend how deep life's phenomena are."

"They are such totally sweet pictures!
Like, the Elephant's trunk, awesome dude! You're the master!
Personally, I like elephants, so I was touched.

I have no idea how to respond to this. There's this part of me that is whispering in Japanese, "Ah! How inspiring this is! I also am cheering you on!" I wish I could live in such a happy world, where trunks inspire contemplation and excited whooping. But the sneering, cynical, miserly Brit in me won't have any of this.

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