You’re thinking this is going to be one of those creepier posts about “stalking” Japanese people. Not so. It’s far worse than that.
A good friend of mine, let’s call her Amy, has a stalker. Pretty girl problems, but problems nonetheless 1. He got a hold of her phone number through unofficial means, and sends her all kinds of text messages…from the heart. Texts filled with gems like “I’m sorry; I love you; I HATE YOU!! I STILL LOVE THEE!”
Yeah. “Thee”. I know, right?!
What amuses me about these texts isn’t that they’re crazy, but that they reflect the unvarnished content of what I believe to be most people’s thoughts. Or maybe just mine. Chaotic, nonsensical, unprintable. It reminds me of how children and uninhibited adults react to the excitement of, say, Christmas day: they squeal and pirouette and blurt out high-pitched exclamations filled with nonsense words and a capella percussion.
↑ That’s an impression of my little cousin when she was 7.
In a way, and you’ll have to excuse me for comparing a comedic genius to a common stalker, it’s the same thing that makes Dave Chappelle’s humor so brilliant: he verbalizes the unverbalizable; he says the unsayable, whether it was the obliviously self-loathing hate group leader guy, or the ethnically stereotypical pixies in the men’s urinals. That sounds redundant.
Stalkers, like Dave Chappelle, are shocking, in large part, not because of what they say, but for the fact that they said it. Not because of what they think, but for the fact that they actually went out and said it. Not for having considered the action, but for having taken it. Like a James Bond villain once quipped (and I paraphrase): “the difference between genius and insanity is success“.
Immersion is a crazy idea. But I don’t think it’s an idea that few people have had; I think many people have had the idea, but only a relative few have been mad enough, Glaswegian-accented enough — Spartan enough — to try it. Turn all your TV and movies and music and computing devices and websites Japanese? It’s kind of insane in its brutally straightforward logic: all Japanese people (and non-Japanese people) who are good at Japanese have been and remain exposed to Japanese; I want to be good at Japanese; I will expose myself to Japanese to the same extent as them.
But it works and then people think you’re a genius and accuse you of having a genetic talent — a “gift”. From whom? We don’t know. And why do these gifts seem to have to be worked for? Conveniently, we don’t know.
Having crazy ideas won’t change your life. Trying even one of them will. Let a teeny tiny bit of that insanity out, like vanilla essence, just a drop, just enough to take you into so-called genius territory. And no more 😉 .
- PS: Happy ending — legal action has been taken ↩