From my outbox, lightly edited, plus some supplemental, inappropriate material…
I’ve been telling people that not all the heroes at Fukushima I were TEPCO employees (or JSDF soldiers or Tokyo Metropolitan firefighters for that matter) but were actually employees—possibly even temps—of “associate companies.” Well yesterday (24th), radioactive material was detected on three men working the site, of whom two were hospitalized for treatment. None of them showed any “external damage.” (Some of you will have read that they suffered “radiation burns.” No one has confirmed that, but Japanese media outlets explicitly mention that there was no “external damage.” For another MSM case of adding heaps of sizzle to an already pretty juicy steak, see this report. No, I’m not really following the foreign media; it’s all I can do to keep an eye on what the Japanese media is reporting. But it seems like there’s a lot of that going on. That makes it all the more important that the Japanese government (and TEPCO) get the information out there in English quickly and clearly—which I know for a fact that they are working very hard to do. Many of the people covering the case know nothing about nuclear power or have been flown in or in some cases both. But that’s the government’s problem, not theirs.) They’d been wearing ankle-high shoes in a space whose floor was drenched in water, while the other workers had knee-high rubber boots on. Am I surprised that the three had been dispatched by an “associate company”?
And now for the Twit of the Day:
Seiji Matsumoto, one of Naoto Kan’s former political aides is an assemblyman in the city of Musashino. Japanese netizens mopped the virtual floor with Matsumoto’s name because he had issued a flyer report where he noted that TEPCO’s Musashino office had notified him that the urban areas of Musashino, hospitals, and Group 1 areas would be excluded the like and that “Seiji Matsumoto’s requests have been answered.” Matsumoto denied any malicious intent and stated on his Twitter account yesterday that he is “sorry if part of the text has been the cause of misunderstanding.”
Yes, we Japanese have also mastered the art of apologizing for the stupidity of the offended. But that’s not end of it, because this story is going to be out there in cyberspace to be plucked till time and times are done, like Paris Hilton’s sex tapes and Sarah Ferguson’s toe-sucking rendezvous and…well you get the idea. So, are we all going to become more careful when we put stuff out there? Somehow, I don’t think so. Instead, we will become more shameless. It’ll be like, “Yeah, that’s me and my boy/girl friend at the time. Yeah, I’ve put on a little weight since them.” “Hey, but I was only fifteen then. Wanna see me now?” And he/she points you to his/her Facebook account, by which time Facebook has long since become a misnomer IMHO IMHO. And everyone will say whatever they think and won’t even stop to say they’re sorry you don’t get it and every conversation will be straight out of Overheard in New York.