I was just reading my current book, “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin, when a sudden thought in my mind caused me to get my phone and google something. I do not remember what it was but yes, this is usually how I like to spend my free time (until I get motivated to write something on my blog, that is).
It brought me to Paris Syndrome, which I have heard of before but never really thought about that well. Oh yeah, of course, Paris is just so different from what Japanese people imagine it to be that when they get there, they are shocked. But wait, they get shocked up to the point that they hallucinate, feel depersonalization, derealization and anxiety? About 20 people per year? Can that still be brushed off as a little thing or are we finally starting to realize that Japanese media and society is creating a huge, and I mean really HUGE, bubble around its people, so crazy huge that once you get out of it, you realize that you have been eating the lies that they have been telling you?
|What have you been sold lately? Any new lies you did not want to hear? Banksy makes remarks on our modern society.|
Man, Paris Syndrome must be something Neo has experienced when he came out of the Matrix, only it was more like, Dude, machines are ruling our planet and you have been living in a lie-Syndrome. The same way you could say Paris Syndrome is actually Japan is not the center of the earth-Syndrome. Or what Japanese media says especially about foreign countries is not true and has nothing to do with the truth of other countries, but more so with the dogma of Japan and its identity-Syndrome. Or wait, Japan is not the only country with four seasons-Syndrome. Or wait, wait, Japanese society is not unique and once you get out of it you have the chance to realize who you really are and find your own identitiy-Syndrome.
Okay, enough truth bombs. I think I said everything I wanted to say with those newly named syndromes.
Though we do of course by the media of our own country experience a slightly different real world when we visit another country, I believe Paris Syndrome really hits the bullseye for the Japanese society: complete distorted view on France, and several, if not all other countries, in the media. Because Japan is the best anyway. Why wouldn’t you want to live in Japan? Oh right, because as a foreigner with a brain, you might get a mental breakdown including psychiatric symptoms like depersonalization, derealization and anxiety. While as a Japanese with a brain you might experience that very same thing ‘backwards’ when you visit another country and are not willing to lie to yourself (as I know some people actively, in and outside of Japan, practice DoubleThink and DoubleSpeak).
But come on now, seriously, why would you not want to live in Japan? Or Paris, for that matter.