Thursday, December 8, 2011

In a World of Lolcats and Bronies

   In discussion of "Confessions of a Mask" one particular theme continually comes to mind; the fact that the motivation behind K-chan's having to shelter his feelings and tendencies and hide them from the world is very much motivated by what the society he lives in considers normal. 

   It's also very easy to speculate a number of 'what if' scenarios with regards to that.  What if he had met someone with like tendencies and thoughts for instance.

   Well here's another, what if he lived today?  Japan today (at least the youth culture) is far more open to homosexuality.  Not to mention the new outlets by which he may choose to express himself, most notably the internet. 

   And what an outlet that is, I mean have you looked around on there of late?  The most immediate reaction aside (thank you Avenue Q) there exists on the web a world that is perfectly alright with twenty something straight males watching a show about prancing pink ponies who throw parties (try saying that ten times fast), a society that regularly uses the expressions 'guy crush' or would 'go gay for' without even so much a moment of hesitation pondering how they'll appear to their friends.  Granted there still is a good deal of homophobia out there, but generally and increasingly it is becoming fringe with its biggest proponents being labeled as out of touch, reactionary, and in some cases even just plain moronic (ala Rick Perry's new Iowa ad.)

   So really it does have to be wondered, would growing up in this new online world have led K-chan down a different path?


  1. That is exactly the thought I was having during our discussion. The society in which Kochan grew up in was very restrictive as far as sexuality was concerned. It was not a question of whether some was gay or not it was assumed that everyone was straight and gay was not something that anyone talked about or even mentioned. This puts him so far behind his mask that, like we discussed, he completely disassociates that part from himself. I definitely think that if he had grown up in today's society he would have found an outlet for his fantasies (however disturbing they are). With the various internet sites and groups out there he would have been able to both feel comfortable with his thoughts while at the same time keeping them secret, if he wanted to. In my women's study class we talked about how married men who are discovered to be pedophiles have wives who had absolutely no clue. These men were able to so cleverly hide their obsessions that the one's they were married to had no idea. While I am not saying it would totally work in Kochan's case, he would have a better chance at keeping up that facade of normalcy while being able to indulge his true self.

  2. I know that we all do like to believe that things really are better now, and they are to a certain extent. However, I could still see this book being written by someone who grows up in very homophobic family and community -- our narrator could easily believe he could overcome his sexual orientation through so-called "conversion" therapy.