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Given the Urgency of the Times we are in right now… you may ask do I have the time to be waxing lyrical?

The answer is… NO!!

Which is why I’m Tweeting away non-stop behind the scenes… Please follow me on @erp11

There was a very profound Tweet last night from Mark Willacy a highly esteemed ABC Australian Journalist.
“In central Tokyo where the Patriot interceptor missiles are only matched in beauty by the cherry blossoms” @markwillacy 

Please reflect on this Profound Juxtaposition… Whether or not you’ve ever seen the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, it should bring tears to your eyes…

That is, if you haven’t already been “Desensitized”.

So, from a comment I received on my previous blog by admitting that this indeed is a real issue… Today’s blog is about what is Desensitization? and How do we know it is happening to us? I will also give a personal account of Desensitization…

According to Discovery: “Desensitization is a process through which we expose ourselves to Stimuli multiple times and, as a result, experience less-intense responses. The Goal is to become comfortable with the stimuli so that you no longer have an extreme response to it.”

So let’s break this down to establish, what sort of over-exposure we have had since the “Cold War” until now for this to happen…

According to Wikipedia there are 112 movies relating to the “Cold War”.

It is but a distant or non-existent memory for most of us that in the early 1980s, the entire world was so paranoid about the prospects of Nuclear War that Filmmakers constantly rehashed this Theme to create Movies about the impending Nuclear War… These Movies would vividly depict what would happen to the Civilian Population followed by the Survivors’ during its Aftermath.  It brought home to us that Armageddon was just around the corner… Not to mention all those youngsters growing up with MAD Comics…

Fast-forward to 2012, and those who speak of the Evidence unfolding true to Biblical Prophecy (see Matthew 24) are labeled ‘doomsayers’, ‘religious crackpots’, lunatic ‘preppers’ and so on…

How could this be?

I will recount a Personal Experience of Cultural Desensitization that I believe perfectly parallels this Issue…
(Note Disclaimer: by no means do I intend to trivialize it)

I was about 14 years old when I tasted Sushi for the first time in my life…and I can remember being flatly underwhelmed by the experience.  The Raw Fish, Sweetened Vinegar Rice and Seaweed were all so foreign to me…my palate just wasn’t accustomed to it. At University I would try it again at all the events as part of the Japanese Society… then after graduating and living in Japan I encountered the most Bizarre Culinary experience in my life.

Together with my British mate and his Japanese girlfriend (let’s call her Keiko-san) we were at a Japanese ‘Izakeya’ and being Adventurous upon Recommendation from beautiful Keiko-san we choose a Rare Sashimi Delicacy.  Sashimi is generally Raw Fish sliced fresh and served with Soy Sauce and Wasabi, but this was a Small Fish about 25cm long, sliced in half down the middle (innards removed) and Skewered Alive…

Needless to say it is still moving when it arrives on the table, and that is how it’s expected to be eaten! 

I recall helplessly trying to capture the ‘Kodak moment’ on Camera, and couldn’t do it Justice…but anyway, my initial reaction was…

“OK, it’s still moving, this is a little Grotesque but I’ll give it a try… Can’t be too different to the taste of the Raw Fish in Sushi (which by this stage I had grown to absolutely love!), and its all part of the Exotic Cultural Experience, right?”

By the end of the meal we joked that it was to be the most Memorable we’d ever had in Japan…

A Decade passes in my life from that experience, and I’m asked to Research ‘Crazy Legislations we have in Australia’ for one of those Typically Quirky Japanese Variety TV Programs…
(I won’t go into the whole list of the absurd notions I had to research…save that for another post perhaps) but the one that totally intrigued me was: ‘Odorigui’ (踊り食い)

These characters in Japanese represent VT: “dance” and  VT: “eat” and correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I’m aware there is no direct translation into English but combined literally it means: ‘eating what’s dancing’.

Now remembering I’d personally tried ‘Odorigui’ (踊り食い) by this stage in my life, so I had become so Culturally Desensitized, I actually found it incredulous that we could possibly have a law against it in Australia…

Well, I was floored to find out not just the existence of the Legislation (through the Department of Primary Industries in most all Australian States as part of Animal Rights Act), but the absolute Repulsion to the Practice of ‘Odorigui’ I encountered from 98% of Australian people I spoke to in order to Ascertain the Facts of the Legislation in each State/Territory – and they were not all Animal Liberationists I may add…the remaining 2% were ambivalent but not for it either!

So at this point I remember being so Bewildered that I had become Passively Neutral to the notion that Eating Live Animals is not the standard accepted Cultural Practice of the country from where I originated, not to mention it has been evidenced that Fish and Seafood have been proven to have ‘Pain Receptors’ meaning this Practice is actually extremely Inhumane…

Now these Concepts are something I never would have stopped to Contemplate if I didn’t have to Research the Topic for my Work as a Media Production Coordinator.

After much Reflection I realized this Personal Neutrality was inevitable due to embracing and accepting the Culture I immersed myself into…meanwhile the argument against Eating Live Animals goes all the way back to the book of Genesis and probably earlier (“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it”)…

So, let me ask you…
Do you think you’re Immune to Desensitization?

And, if not, what is it you have become Desensitized to with the Saturation by the Mass Media, Pop Culture etc. upon our Core Values in order to Dictate our “Social Norms” today?

Until my next Blog…Thank you for Reading, Please Comment, Follow/Tweet me on @erp11 and Subscribe for Updates…

Sources/Relevant Links:

https://twitter.com/#!/markwillacy/status/189544325170987009/photo/1

http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/what-is-desensitization

http://listverse.com/2008/12/04/top-15-best-nuclear-war-movies/

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=KJV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvTZsD987U&feature=related