Hello! I am an English teacher living in Tokyo and found myself dabbling around
your "notes." I really enjoyed reading your thoughts (esp. on Schopenhauer) and
would like to encourage you to expand. And it is in the supportive, lively spirit of
academic debate and the enriching pursuit of knowledge that I want to offer a little
criticism to be read, scoffed at or downright rejected- just enjoy the ride!
My small, proverbial bone to pick: as an American (by name only- I too have
repudiated the place, hence my ex-pat status) I find your "observations" of America to
be incredibly shallow, stereotypical, and lacking in any practical application...I kept
imagining a group of Londoners in some corner pub slapping each other on the back
and making witty jokes about America as a social crutch to impress "some birds"
sitting next to them. (Why no equally critical, debasing "England" section?)
The point I want to make is this: I know EXCEEDINGLY little of the Western
philosophers, so I was intrigued by your Web site analysis. A problem arises in my
mind, however, when I read your America section (as concept that I know intimately).
The question becomes, if I found your descriptions of America to be sentimentalized
and without intellectual enrichment, should I not take ALL your sections to be the
same? I should hope not. Had I been a professor of philosophy, would my opinion of
your analysis be equally tainted? Just something to think about...
Thanks for taking the time to read this and despite my tone I THOROUGHLY
ENJOYED your page. America does "suck," to put in bluntly, but I think it is time
Europeans moved on to new topics. I do not hate Europe nor Japan nor Cuba, and by
gawd I do not wish to be lumped together with "cowboys" and xenophobic, money
hungry capitalists with nasty mean streaks...I am a Buddhist living in a Buddhist
country and am totally imperfect, and, if indeed I am without any redeeming qualities
(which I am often accused of) I would prefer to follow Kierkegaard's lead and take all
the resposibility for my quirks squarely on my shoulders, as an individual- and not
blame America ("the ethical") for my eccentric nature and beliefs!
Still, thanks for the good read. A real challenge and I do wish you luck in getting
published. (As for me, I'll stick with ol' Lao Tzu and the Japanese zen monk Dogen for
advice). Sincerely, Joe "the bloody yank" in Tokyo
Of course you must be right. I suspected something of the sort and I am
grateful for you pointing it out. I shall delete the links. I'll put
your message on the page.