Category Archives: In Character

Rin: Happy Halloween

Oh. Hello.

I think that all of you have had your share of candy. Even though you haven’t really done anything to earn it. Perhaps I should make your insides disappear, and put the candy back where it belongs?

October is a strange time on the streets. The plastic werewolves and the orange lights come out of hiding. They don’t scare me, though. It’s easy to send things like them into the sky, and watch them fall… fall to the ground and crash into scattered colors.

What’s really strange though is how people behave. I wonder if sugar makes people angry? A man with a hood walked up to me and pointed something at me and started screaming… screaming about a van. But I didn’t know what it was. So I took his hand away.

As I held his hand in my hands he began to cry, holding onto his wrist. And I laughed. He wanted me to fear him, but now he feared me. Was it because of what was in his hands?

I held “it” the way he did, and pointed it at him. Then he howled, and that hurt my ears. I clenched my fists, and suddenly there was red.  A bright and crimson red. And he stopped… crying. The way to make people be quiet… this is what I learned this Halloween.

~Rin

Kazuki Kamata: Hanayoridango

There’s a Japanese proverb that goes something along the lines of “花より団子” (hanayoridango), which roughly translates to “rice flour dumplings rather than flowers”. Sounds like a load of sexist nonsense, really, at least at first glance. If I went for the flowers and Natalie Bellangerd went for the dango, then pretty much anyone watching would think that they were hit on the head. Or maybe that I was hit on the head and that Natalie Bellangerd was having a bad day. You get the freaking picture. Perhaps the picture wouldn’t have been so clear if, hypothetically speaking, the dango were colored a scorching hot pink… anyway.

As it turns out, the saying has nothing to do with the gender of the preference. Rather, it has to do with the preference’s purpose or function. Looking at dango in a simpler light, it loses its purpose as a sweet treat and becomes regarded as an actual food item. Happy surprise and joy. But flowers? Pfft… still a buncha colored petals that aren’t attached to the ground anymore. At the end of the day, who gives a damn? The proverb thus, tells us that it is wiser to prefer substance over style; stuff that we can actually use, basically.

I’d also like to point out that neither dango nor flowers last a long time. Let’s say the saying instead were “玉葱より鶏” (tamanegiyoriniwatori), or “chicken rather than onion”. Yes, I know the pronunciation is a bigger “mouthful” (that deserved a rimshot)… but the idea here would be that you would only be able to eat the onion once, whereas the chicken could lay eggs, regardless of the fact that an onion is much easier to maintain and probably a lot nicer looking. Again, substance over style.

This is actually more interesting if you think about logic. “Style over substance” actually happens to be a logical fallacy. The idea is that in an actual argument, being pretty shouldn’t get you anywhere. For an example, let’s say I am at whatever faculty meeting and arguing for same-sex rights in the classroom. My argument is “psychological studies have shown that both genders are anatomically capable of acting independently, and therefore office hour meeting availability cannot be influenced by the gender of the attendee(s)” or insert other thought-provoking-nonsensical-I-don’t-care argument here. If the response was “yes, but your slideshow is hard to read because you used Sans Serif instead of Calibri”, then the judges have style over substance in mind, which, y’know, is bad. Attack my argument, morons, even if it is something I pulled out of my ass.

~Kazuki Kamata