Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 07:42 on 16-07-2018, Raymond H
"misused and bloated", eh? I think that just about sums it up perfectly. :) It's no coincidence my father retired from the military as the conflict in the Middle East became more drawn out and bureaucratic. Honestly though, looking at their site, about the only things I have experience with (libraries and teaching) require a proper license, which I don't have, so I think Camp Zama has few job opportunities for me at the moment.

I think you hit the nail on the head with HBG. His smugness sometimes irritates me, but then when I go back and think "Okay, but did you actually disagree with what he was saying?" I find the answer to be either "Not at all" or "Not really". I'm not a full-blown subscriber, but if he's gotten less smug, I may have to check his other videos out.

Oh no, do Barron's stories have dead dogs in them? God damn it man! I still remember Audition!

Oh. That...isn't quite the same kind of comfort I took from horror, but yeah, I smell what he's stepping in.

I...have never heard the word jingai until just now. Google and Urban Dictionary tell me it's mostly used to describe entirely nonhuman entities though.
The standard appropriate term is gaikokujin (外国人). Gaijin (外人)is, quite literally, a slur. What's funny is that, every time I've tried to explain the term gaijin to friends and family with no prior knowledge of anything Japanese, they always say "Oh, so it's like the word 'alien'." Which is...true, and fits better than any other word I can think of, and yet I don't know if I'd ever translate the term as that.
I personally though would say that gaijin is less offensive and more simply outdated. Also, it depends on the context. If I'm hanging out with other foreigners, we throw around the term all the time and nobody's feelings get hurt, but if an angry old man spat the word out at me it would sting. Keep in mind though, these are just my own feelings. As with any group of people, there's no real consensus on which words are appropriate and which ones aren't. As for other Asian immigrants, they tend to have a different set of slurs, as the sentiment against them has a different origin. The one I've heard the most is chosenjin (朝鮮人), but anything that makes fun of East Asian phonetics (like the English "Ching Chong") works. I guess, to make some broad, sweeping statements, really racist Japanese people think of other Asians as "Those filthy yellow monkeys that are fit only to lick our boots", while really racist Japanese people think of Whites as "Those fucking assholes who stopped us from subjugating those filthy yellow monkeys, who we're going to eventually overthrow but until then squeeze them for all their worth." Again, this is like, a cartoonish Klansman level generalization but those are the broad strokes of it. I think a more common racialist sentiment is "We should be on top, not second fiddle, but being second fiddle to the people that beat us in a war (America and the Allies) is better than being second fiddle to the people who we conquered and colonized (China and Korea)." Like, there is a power imbalance between Western countries and Japan, but the exact nuances of the relationship between them is more complicated than wicked imperialists and helpless victim. Also, perhaps the biggest thing to remember, interpersonal relations often don't match international relations. Loads of Japanese people may regard foreigners as big and scary and whatnot, but loads of them really don't give a shit either way.
I will say that the idea of African-Americans getting lumped together with other Americans here is sadly not true. Rather, when Black people here are discriminated against, it's the "Go back to your country mate!" type of discrimination, as opposed to the Dutchman Paradox type of racism most African-Americans face in America.
Perhaps the best way to put it is that, as a White man here, no matter how good my Japanese is, no matter how long I've lived here, no matter how many friends and family I make, there will always be people here who regard me as "other". And that's wrong. It was wrong when my ancestors were looked down on for being German, or Catholic, or Irish, it's wrong when immigrants and refugees are looked down on now for being Muslim or "illegal", and it's wrong when my students' parents are looked down on because they came here to work at factories or brothels just so they could give their children a better life.
I try not to get started on this topic, because ultimately I'm not the main demographic this problem affects, and I still have the option of going back to my "Old Country", even if I would never take it. But I know that if I ever marry a Japanese woman (which, considering the numbers, is pretty likely) and have kids, there's the question of what environment to raise them in, where will they be safest and most accepted? It's something I think everyone who chooses to make their lives in a different country thinks about, and while it isn't in my immediate future plans, I know it's something I'll have to deal with someday.
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at 06:34 on 16-07-2018, Ichneumon
Also, I thought jingai was the standard neutral term for “foreigner,” with gaijin being deeply offensive? Although I assume that’s your point here. And it’s not like you’re using it in the blatantly racist way such terms are wielded against Korean-Japanese folk and Chinese and Filipino immigrants, for instance.
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at 06:30 on 16-07-2018, Ichneumon
@Raymond H: I’m with Robinson when it comes to institutions like the military on an ideological level, I think, but by the same token I think that I would congratulate you should you attain the position, with reservations. Note that I say this as the proud grandson of an actual Naval spy during WWII, so to say I am conflicted on the military’s role in a civilised society is... well, plain facts. Militaries are useful in specific circumstances, but to call ours wildly misused and bloated would be beyond mild.

Harris (HBG) can get just a wee bit smug and arrogant at times when discussing people who he often rightly thinks are morons and just being a bit high-handed and presumptive in general, but I think especially lately he’s really made an effort to cut back on it, to the point of actually dedicating a fair chunk of one of his videos to calling himself out on it, and I feel that it’s largely been a smashing success.

Barron apparently trained sled dogs in his youth, which in combination with his clear erudition, psychedelic sensibilities and obvious love of horror fiction as an art makes for a unique and striking reading experience. The man understands tough guy masculine identity intimately, and is critical of it without being totally unsympathetic, and it pairs well with the rancid, hallucinatory fleshiness of his particular mix of body horror and cosmicism.

Ligotti’s central thesis is that the truest appeal of horror is not a visceral thrill or sadism or whatever prurient assumptions disapproving folks may make, but empathy with the fears implicitly expressed in the creation of such a work. In reading fiction that frightens, one is not alone in the world. Horror is a way for the fearful to huddle against the encroaching dark.
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at 07:08 on 15-07-2018, Raymond H
Thanks. Just gotta keep moving forward...

A friend of mine in college who was thinking of joining made similar arguments, citing the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib whistleblowers. I see the logic, but I suppose if you believe - as I do - that organizations like the military are inherently imperialist and oppressive, whatever real good an ethical grunt can do is unlikely to outweigh the harmful effects of propping up and legitimating the organization as a whole. But I doubt either of us are likely to convince the other on this point.

Yes, I'd gathered as much, though I think we both have our reasons for why we feel the way we feel, and we should respect that. I should have made myself clearer though. Even if I don't get a job at Camp Zama, the high concentration of foreigners and Hafu children in the area indicates that landlords would be more tolerant of foreigner tenants than elsewhere, something that would be very valuable to me as I try to find my own place. Also though, student loans... paid in full... in two years' time, rather than ten or fifteen. You do not know the things I would do to get this monkey of debt off my back. And besides, I think any complaints one could have about my working an imperialist or neo-colonialist job would be just as applicable to teaching English as it would to being in the military. Sure, you could make a good case for it, but I'm doing what I can to stay in this country with the friends and family that I love.

Damn, man, you ever thought of doing your own prose writings - aside from little pop culture websites? Or maybe poetry? That's some damn good wordsmithing.

I self-published a novel back in 2016, and I'm three-fourths of the way finished with my next one, which I hope to publish via conventional means. I sent the self-published one to Arthur to review, and things just sort of snowballed from there. I don't know if you'd enjoy my novel though. As with most first novels, it's mostly just an amalgamation of stuff I was enthusiastic about, slapped together into a somewhat coherent story. There are definitely parts I'm still proud of having written, that I re-read and smile about, but there are also parts that I re-read and cringe over, even if I know I gave the themes and subject matter everything I had at the time.
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at 20:36 on 14-07-2018, Robinson L
I hear you, it's so, so difficult. You've got good reason to be scared. And I'm glad you're able to be so honest about it, both to yourself and here on the site. I only speak for myself, of course, but for my part, I'm happy for you to say whatever it is you need to. There's precious little we can do for you from so many miles away, but I suppose at least we can hear and affirm and express our compassion.

Hopefully, whatever comes through in the end will be whatever works the best for you.

At the same time though, they've helped me to understand the importance of moral grunts, especially in a military organization. The big people safe behind lines only see the big picture, think of big, sweeping, national interests and objectives. It's the grunts who have to do the dirty work, who die on the front lines and who live and work with the people they're assigned to "protect". Remember, Stanislav Petrov was only a Lieutenant-Colonel.

A friend of mine in college who was thinking of joining made similar arguments, citing the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib whistleblowers. I see the logic, but I suppose if you believe - as I do - that organizations like the military are inherently imperialist and oppressive, whatever real good an ethical grunt can do is unlikely to outweigh the harmful effects of propping up and legitimating the organization as a whole. But I doubt either of us are likely to convince the other on this point.

Things have worked out thus far, and I've lived a far more charmed and privileged life than many, but Christ if these transition periods aren't fucking terrifying.

Yeah, that was poor wording on my part, and I didn't mean to minimize how excruciating and scary your situation is.

Maybe I'm still just not getting it, but it sounded to me like you believe the options you're looking at - though all risky - will all get you closer to realizing your ambitions of translating and disseminating these stories which mean so much to you. Which, if so, is at least something to hold on to; I certainly hope that it is, anyway.

I would describe my life as falling ass-backwards into fame and fortune, through several hundred stories of plated glass.

Damn, man, you ever thought of doing your own prose writings - aside from little pop culture websites? Or maybe poetry? That's some damn good wordsmithing.


I've never read The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and going off the recommendation of two separate horror fans in Arthur's Lovecraft series, I wasn't planning to, either, so I can't comment on that.

Okay! That ought to address everything I ought to have addressed in the Playpen! I'll handle the comments section tomorrow, after I've gotten a decent night's sleep. Uggghhh...

Hey, like I said before, don't rush yourself on my account. Take however long you need.
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at 12:54 on 14-07-2018, Raymond H
Oh Jesus Christ. Four interviews in four days. I'm exhausted. But I'm still gonna give an update.

I feel like the Berlitz and AEON interviews went well enough, but I'm too scared and cautious to fully relax until at least one of them gives me a concrete job offer. Of the two, I think I would go with Berlitz. I'd be working in the Tokyo suburbs, so the same general area where my sihing and Italian friend live, and along the Odawara line, which is also where Camp Zama is located. And I'd be in my own apartment rather than company housing, which is both a good thing (can't be evicted if I leave the company) and a bad thing (way more expensive). I wasn't able to get into Zama (It turns out when Google says they're open seven days a week, they only mean the JSDF section. The US Army section is closed on weekends.), but I at least found where I can look for and apply to jobs online with them.

Though, as a staunch anti-imperialist, I hope I may be forgiven for rooting "Anything but the military."

That's fair, heheh. I come from a military family, but my father, grandfathers, and uncles have never tried to sugarcoat some of the more tyrannical acts of the US military. At the same time though, they've helped me to understand the importance of moral grunts, especially in a military organization. The big people safe behind lines only see the big picture, think of big, sweeping, national interests and objectives. It's the grunts who have to do the dirty work, who die on the front lines and who live and work with the people they're assigned to "protect". Remember, Stanislav Petrov was only a Lieutenant-Colonel. Also, even if I couldn't get into the camp, I saw the neighborhood around Zama, filled to the brim with fellow Gaijin and even more Hafu children. When I first got my ALT job with the company I'm with now, this old Kiwi who helped me get a phone told me "We've got to stick together." At the time, I thought it was just an average, feel-good koan. Now I know what he meant. I've tried my best since the day I first stepped off the plane to prove that I wasn't a stereotype, but like with a lot of stereotypes, many Gaijin are just the sort of rude, boorish sexpats and tourists you hear about all the time. The ALT and Eikaiwa systems know this, and are deliberately designed around 90% of their workforce leaving the country after two or three years. But for me, and the other foreigners who want to stay, that just makes things harder for us. I hope I get the job with Berlitz. Even if AEON has more benefits, and a rent cap of $550 a month (whew), it would still be a company apartment, and even if I left the company willingly, I'd have to go through this same uncertainty and homelessness all over again. I love my school. I love my students. I love my teachers. I love the obaa-chan and ojii-san at the local language learning center. I love the little old lady and her voyeuristic attitude towards my sex life. I love the little Pakistani boy, who's going to my school next year, and whose parents I'm good acquaintances with. I love the old Buddhist monk I meditated with, and the students I taught at the English camp, and all the people who were kind and understanding with me. God, I love this town so much! But I have to leave. I have to leave it all behind, because of this company, and this company apartment. I need MY own apartment, MY own spot to post my flag and call my own, MY own community and place to start my future, and I think I can find it around Zama, with Berlitz, and maybe, with the Camp. But it all hinges on Berlitz giving me a job, or at least AEON giving me a job around the same area, so that if I leave them, I won't have to go far. God, I'm so scared. I'm absolutely terrified, but I have to keep going! I have to keep trying, until I get to where I can finally rest. Sorry, that was long, and way more heartfelt than I expected.

Frankly, I'm a little bit envious that you a clear path in front of you for how to get there, even if means you have to do some stuff that feels kinda shitty on the way.

Clear? "Sigh", if only, my friend! My best-laid plans are almost always destroyed and altered at an annual rate. You'd think I'd learn by now, but no. I don't have a path, but I have a goal, and if one path closes, I do my best to find another one. I would describe my life as falling ass-backwards into fame and fortune, through several hundred stories of plated glass. Things have worked out thus far, and I've lived a far more charmed and privileged life than many, but Christ if these transition periods aren't fucking terrifying.

I was concerned at first when he appeared to give an uncritical endorsement of Shadow Over Insmouth without addressing the big honking racist elephant in the room, but boy howdy did he come back to that point later.

Heheh, guilty! I'll admit, I am one of those people who didn't get the anti-miscegenation angle to the story the first time around. Though in my defense, I don't think Polynesian immigration and intermarriage has ever been as widespread a phenomenon or concern in America as with Blacks or Chinese, especially not in New England, where non-Whites were so rare they didn't need to outlaw miscegenation. Also, fish-people making evil, half-fish-half-man babies is an idea which while, yes, there's certainly a possible racist interpretation/subtext to it, it's terrifying enough in its own right that I think it's easier to excise or diminish the Lovecraftian racism within (which is more than can be said with many of his other works). On the subject of H. Bomberguy, I will say that this is one of his less political videos. When he turns the tract on, it can get kind of...Michael Moorish? Like, I agree with most of what he's saying, and even when I don't agree I get where he's coming from, and yet at the same time I can't help thinking "God, what a smug, self-aggrandizing prick." Again, that's only when he goes full-tract-mode. I think that's kind of the problem with tracts in general. Either you agree with them but are annoyed by them or you don't agree with them and you're really put off by them. But yeah, H. Bomberguy's cool. You should check his other stuff out.

I don't think that Laird Barron has seen much play here but, setting aside the way that he uses archetypes of aggressive masculinity to show the malign indifference of the cosmos in his work, which is fascinating, his scariest work is legitimately horrific.

I've never heard of Laird Barron until now. I looked him up on Google. He looks just like the sort of person who would use archetypes of aggressive masculinity to show the malign indifference of the cosmos. I don't know anything else about him except that he grew up poor and he's from Alaska, and yet somehow that only makes him seem more like the sort of person who would use archetypes of aggressive masculinity to show the malign indifference of the cosmos. I hate to say it, but I still haven't gotten around to Burroughs, and I'm honestly not doing much reading these days, and what I do read is mostly limited to what I find on Project Gutenberg, but I will add Lord Baron to the list.

Thomas Ligotti's excellent "The Consolations of Horror"

I haven't read that before, and yet I am deeply surprised. I thought it was weird and unique that I took consolation from horror. There was just always something comforting, knowing that the worst that could happen to you in a horror movie was being killed or driven insane or ensnared by hellish forces. Monsters can only kill you. They can't hurt you like people can.

Okay! That ought to address everything I ought to have addressed in the Playpen! I'll handle the comments section tomorrow, after I've gotten a decent night's sleep. Uggghhh...
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at 05:06 on 13-07-2018, Ichneumon
Also I saw that HBG video not too long after it went up and I found it extremely resonant. The fact that he basically restates the thesis to Thomas Ligotti's excellent "The Consolations of Horror" doesn't hurt either.
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at 06:11 on 12-07-2018, Ichneumon
I don't think that Laird Barron has seen much play here but, setting aside the way that he uses archetypes of aggressive masculinity to show the malign indifference of the cosmos in his work, which is fascinating, his scariest work is legitimately horrific. I just finished "Procession of the Black Sloth" and hooooooly fuck. It's like the Lovecraftian spawn of Videodrome and Lost Highway with a heaping helping of Buddhist Hell imagery and it terrified me.
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at 22:00 on 10-07-2018, Robinson L
Congratulations, Raymond! It definitely sounds as though your prospects for staying look pretty good. (Though, as a staunch anti-imperialist, I hope I may be forgiven for rooting "Anything but the military.")


I had some thoughts on your earlier post, which a confluence of other commitments and a sprained wrist delayed my response.

I guess I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm saddened at the general state of things where not wanting to do something kinda shitty to pursue one's passions comes across as ungrateful and entitled. On the other, I'm glad you have something you care so deeply about; something which would make all the crap you'd have to go through worthwhile. Frankly, I'm a little bit envious that you a clear path in front of you for how to get there, even if means you have to do some stuff that feels kinda shitty on the way.


I checked out the video, and it was quite good. Very thoughtful and analytical, but also easily accessible - not as easy a balance as he makes it look. I was concerned at first when he appeared to give an uncritical endorsement of Shadow Over Insmouth without addressing the big honking racist elephant in the room, but boy howdy did he come back to that point later. Great stuff. I enjoyed getting his musings on how and why Lovecraft's writings can appeal so strongly to marginalized peoples even though despite being littered with socially reactionary opinions, descriptions, and themes.
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at 11:46 on 10-07-2018, Raymond H
Update:
It turns out the group interview with Berlitz is actually a personal interview, which is the last stage of the job process, and it turns out that my Skype Interview with AEON was successful enough to also warrant a personal interview on Saturday. I've also sent out applications to several ALT dispatch companies, two of which have bitten, and one of which I'm expecting/hoping to bite soon enough. Also, my blood pressure prevents me from enlisting in the military (I knew this when I first tried at 18, but I'd hoped that 5 years of healthy living and medication would have improved it enough for enlistment). However, Camp Zama is always hiring civilian positions. I may not be what they're looking for, but it would be great if I could help out some way. Even if I was simply sweeping floors there, I think it would still be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
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at 06:42 on 08-07-2018, Raymond H
So an update on things. The NOVA interview was a dud, as was the interview with the Tokyo brothel (though at least the latter was more cordial about it). The interview I had with AEON on Saturday went perfectly until the very end, when the interviewer found out I was not a member of the General Union and began to explain at length the value of being in such an organization and how I should sue my previous company (I'd never heard of the Union before then, this is not the worst thing an ALT company has done to me before, and even if I could take the company to court, I don't think that's anything more than a lot of wasted time, effort, and money that I could put forward to finding a new job). I have a group interview with Berlitz on Wednesday, which would be the second-to-last stage in the job process, and an international kindergarten is interested in hiring me, though we haven't yet found an appropriate time to meet.

Apart from that though, I realized this week what an ungrateful, spoiled, little shit I've been. Yes, any other ALT job I got would simply be a rebound relationship. But so fucking what? I would have had to say goodbye to all my students and my teachers sooner or later, even if I stayed at that school for many years. Avoiding any opportunities a dispatch company could bring me simply because "Oh, it won't be as awesome as it was before" is just an excuse, and an immature one at that.

I didn't pack up my life and move to a country where I only barely spoke the language just to have an interesting gap year or have sex with "exotic" women (although, erm, not that I'd say no to the latter). I came here because it was stories and media from Japan that first made me realize that the world is so much bigger and grander than I ever first imagined. I came here because for all those stories that are available in English, they're only the smallest fraction of what Japan has to offer. I came here because those stories deserve to be told to a wider audience, and told by someone who cares. And if making my way towards that dream of mine means working at a shitty school with shitty co-workers, well who cares? Even hell is what you make of it, and if it means I get to stay in this country, I'm more than willing to carve my own little warren in hell. And if all else fails, and I still don't have a job when my visa expires in August, the US Army is always in need of a few good men, especially now, in such trying times as these. And with my experience and degree in Japanese Studies I could surely find some way to make myself useful (plus, I'd be able to pay off my student debt in 2 years, as opposed to 10 or 15).

At the end of the day, I have to let go of all my reservations, and give this job search my all. No matter what job I work, it's one step closer to my dream, and that's what I should focus on.

Also, on a lighter note, H. Bomberguy posted a video about Lovecraft, which I think everyone would enjoy. Seriously, Arthur, I'm surprised you and this Harris Bomber guy (heheh) haven't already teamed up to fight evil or something. You two seem like you'd get along swimmingly.
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at 05:30 on 04-07-2018, Robinson L
Oh dear, that really sucks. Sorry to hear they're putting you through all that.

They gave no official reason for this decision, and when I asked them for details, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the BoE's. Nothing to do with us." When I asked the BoE, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the company's. Nothing to do with us."

Classic bureaucratic run around. I guess some tactics never change no matter where you go. Extra dickish of them not to notify your school about it, especially after telling you they would.

I really love my school, and I really love teaching there. Because of that, I realize that any other ALT position I take would be a rebound relationship.

Huh, yeah. I think I get that. It's a big part of the reason I never finished my undergraduate studies.

Not sure what more I can say, other than to repeat my condolences, and my best wishes that one of your applications - maybe NOVA - will come through for you. Hang in there.
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at 08:49 on 03-07-2018, Raymond H
Thank you all. The most frustrating thing in all this though is that it seems to be completely unrelated to the fight I had with the other ALT. Yes, even though I was very hurt and angry at the time, it was wrong of me to splash water in his face. But afterwards we reconciled and made up, and made it clear to the Board of Education and our company that this was an isolated incident and it would not hinder our working relationship. Even so, I was told by my company that I had to leave, and that they couldn't transfer me to another town because nobody wanted me. They gave no official reason for this decision, and when I asked them for details, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the BoE's. Nothing to do with us." When I asked the BoE, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the company's. Nothing to do with us." Either way, someone upstairs apparently wants me gone, and wants me gone really badly, as there have been, in the past, ALTs who showed up to work intoxicated and who sexually harassed teachers and/or students (I teach middle school, by the way), and instead of firing them, the company simply didn't renew their contract. Also I have $600 monthly student loan payments that I have to make. Oh, also, my school was never notified about any of this. My company said they would call my school, they never did. I have had to personally tell everyone, and they don't understand why I am being fired either. I really love my school, and I really love teaching there. Because of that, I realize that any other ALT position I take would be a rebound relationship. Also, the entire month of August is summer vacation here, and if I want to make my loan payments, I need to start properly working in August. So I've applied to several eikaiwa, and already have an interview with NOVA (which is not ideal, but at least it's something). Overall, I am in a much better position now than I was this same month last year, as I'm not homeless and have enough money to return home, should it come to that. But I'm feeling really angry and hurt, especially because my predecessor also left during the middle of the year, in a violent blaze of glory, and I worked so hard those first few months to prove to everyone that I wasn't a flake and I wouldn't abandon or harass them, and now I have to leave them. The weirdest thing? I wish I could be angrier at this, but the fact is, this is not the worst thing that has happened to me, and knowing that, I can't even muster up enough bitterness and bile, even though my students and fellow teachers are completely worth it. They're good kids, and good teachers. They deserve a good ALT, and they don't deserve to be jerked around by an ALT company or the BoE! Damn it...
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at 22:30 on 02-07-2018, Robinson L
So glad to hear you escaped the worst potential consequences, Raymond. Best of luck finding a replacement job.

No need to apologize for having to take a step back, especially under these circumstances. I still have some responses to ongoing conversations percolating that I haven't gotten it together to type out and post yet - but when I do, please don't feel obligated to reply promptly, if at all. I fully support you taking however much space you need to find a situation which will allow you to stay in the country.
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at 22:14 on 01-07-2018, Alice
@Raymond H: sympathy and good luck in the job search!
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at 05:02 on 01-07-2018, Ichneumon
Oh dear. Good luck, Raymond. :<

And I meant "YES," as in, "ARTHUR SHOULD DEFINITELY READ 'VIY'."
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at 12:14 on 30-06-2018, Raymond H
Also, on a more serious note, while I won't be deported or charged with assault, I have been formally asked to resign by my company. I tendered my resignation yesterday, and have until the end of July to find another job. I have several drafts on standby in case of emergency, so I still hope to fulfill my two-per-month article quota here. However, I will probably not be very active in the Playpen or Comments section here for the next month, as I wish to devote most of my time in job-searching. I would like to sincerely apologize for any trouble or inconvenience this causes anyone.
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at 12:10 on 30-06-2018, Raymond H
Do you mean yes as in
Yes I rather wish that fat prick would meet with a grisly fate
Yes that's a rather apt summation of the plot
or
Yes I find that an amusing and entertaining thing to say?
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at 05:20 on 29-06-2018, Ichneumon
YES.
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at 12:01 on 28-06-2018, Raymond H
Here's another thought-dump on something I enjoyed but don't have enough to say about to warrant a full review:

Remember Greyfriars? Remember thinking "Enh, this is okay, but I wish Bunter would run afoul of dark and hellish forces beyond his feeble human comprehension and meet with a grisly and horrible fate?" Well if yes, then I highly recommend you read Viy by Nikolai Gogol.
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at 12:09 on 19-06-2018, Raymond H
Hey man, fandom! (shrugs)

Okay. Yeah, I mean, I always knew that your fursona was meant to be a refection of yourself, but I never really realized how personal and meaningful the decision process could be. It's almost like choosing a pen name, I guess.

The thing is, I feel like I'm actually quite vanilla. I just have no real filter, and see nothing wrong in discussing sex frankly, and somehow this has allowed me to make friends with some very sexually adventurous and out-there people.
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at 03:55 on 19-06-2018, Ichneumon
Oh man, that guy. Oh wow. It used to be you just had to watch out for the prudy homophobes and the folks in the uniforms were just pervy dorks. *long sigh*

Essentially, your fursona is... whatever you want it to be, really. It's an expression of oneself, whether idealised or warts and all or apartments from one's personality as a character - a personal mascot or totem, if you will. The relationship and depth of context will vary.

Oh, I can very much relate to that. Having friends who are as demented as you are is important.
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at 12:45 on 18-06-2018, Raymond H
Yes, yes, I know. It's the straight ones you've got to watch out for an all that. I'm well aware of the Furred Reich, as it were. [adjusts monocle]

You...have evidently given this a great deal of thought. I confess my conception of picking a fursona mostly consisted of "Well I like this animal, so what the hey?"

I don't know. One of the reasons we sort of hit it off in the first place was that we could always count on each other to not freak out whenever the other brought up some kinky topic, even if the other didn't appreciate or even enjoy said topic. So I think if I asked him about it he'd tell me flat-out his opinions. He just would never admit defeat if a stranger deliberately tried to shock him.
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at 04:37 on 18-06-2018, Ichneumon
Bat wings, rather. Phone typing is an adventure.
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