Monday, March 11, 2013

Soggy Start

Monday March 11, 12:09 pm

Well, pretty wet and gloomy out there, but at least it's warmer. However, the weather folks are saying that the minus temperatures are still gonna plague us later this week. The snow is melting, though, which is revealing a lot of stuff that the dogs left behind. There is also a dead raccoon nearby which the killer car driver deposited on the curb. I'm now considering calling Animal Services.

Not a great sports weekend for Canada or Toronto. The Leafs were squeaked out of a win by the Penguins on Saturday...the Buds did show heart but just couldn't beat Crosby or Malkin. And of course, there was that kerfuffle with Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic against Team Mexico; there has been some back-&-forth since then with the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista putting in his two nickels by scolding Canada for trying to run up the score. And then Canada had to go home with their tails between their legs after collapsing against the USA yesterday. However, Toronto FC did provide a glimmer of good news by winning its first game since last July.

Still waiting for my regular translation assignment from the company; apparently, things are a bit slow in Japan today. But today is the 2nd anniversary of the big Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami, so I'm sure people are being quite reflective. I'm finding the media coverage quite interesting depending on the country. Of course, NHK and probably the commercial networks in Japan have been providing very somber and wistful programs about 3/11, and NHK was visiting a lot of individuals in the affected areas to get their impressions and reminiscences, but very little has been shown about the progress of the cleanup. On the other hand, CNN and BBC have been focusing on that aspect of the disaster aftermath, and showing that after 2 years, not much has been done. It was the first time in several months that I've seen anything on the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster still in progress, and that was through BBC only. The reporter for the British network remarked that in a society where consensus-building is often still paramount, there has been little consensus built about how to fix something this enormous which would explain the delay. I think the Japanese media's take on it is that the ramifications will simply not go away for decades, so it's sho ga nai...let's work on the emotional healing and getting people to regain their energy and confidence to work around the difficulties while the upper echelons deal (or try to deal) with them directly. NHK's report did pick up on one angle and that was whether the memories of the disaster have started to fade; apparently, corporate and perhaps private contributions to the quake-affected areas have fallen by a huge margin, and the weekly protests in front of Parliament against nuclear power have also shrunk (although there was a huge parade in downtown Tokyo yesterday). I think the fading is a natural thing and is part of the healing process, but I was surprised at how quickly the fade has been in the country itself. But at the same time, the national TV network has been keeping up its end of the bargain by broadcasting a lot of programming on the situation over the months.