Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Proof Is In The

I remember some years back I heard a report released by a scientist suggesting that the electromagnetic radiation from devices such as cell phones and wireless connections could cause organic damage to the brain, leading to a decrease in concentration and an increase in aggressiveness. In short, it causes people to act less like human beings and more like animals. The report didn't get a whole lot of public acknowledgment (which doesn't really surprise me), though I remember it did give Rush Limbaugh something to guffaw at.

I also remember hearing a report from scientists saying that many of the plastics we use in everyday life, particularly polystyrene, contain chemicals that act as hormone emulators. In other words, heavy exposure to such plastics could literally turn boys into girls, and vice versa. Unlike the cell phone brain damage theory, this report got considerable public attention. In fact, it became the health scare du jour for a very brief period right around the turn of the century. As with most such things, however, it soon became forgotten, and polystyrene dishware is once again a common sight.

I really have to wonder if one or both of these theories might explain why, with each successive, new crop of 7th graders entering Ye Olde Academy, the boys keep getting wimpier and more childish while the girls keep getting more obnoxious and aggressive. The group we have right now seems almost the exact reverse of what was there ten years ago.

I don't know about you, but this is weird. It's bad enough that the 8th grade girls, whose homerooms are right outside the staff room, seem utterly incapable of saying anything to each other without shrieking it (and those are the SMART ones!), but when I see little, pint-sized girls, cute as a button and dainty-looking in their crisp, new uniforms, noisomely bad-mouthing their teachers and openly flouting the rules after less than a week at their new school, I tend to think something is wrong. Maybe Japan, and this "exclusive" school where I continue to work, have spoiled me, but this definitely calls for a reality check.

I don't even want to get into what some of the boys are like. Let's just say we may need genetic proof of both gender and species...

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  • Labels: brain damage, kids, school

    I don't know why, but this part of your post made me giggle.

    Sounds like Pink Floyd song titles.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 2:57 AM  

  • I am glad I am not a teacher these days. When I see students hanging about the streets, swearing and carrying on, I just wonder what it's like for teachers these days. Girls especially seemed to have changed. I am sure that we are making people sick with plastics, food additives, living in ciies.

    By Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog, at 5:59 AM  

  • {the boys keep getting wimpier and more childish while the girls keep getting more obnoxious and aggressive...}

    Perhaps Japanese society is in changing, the old-society in Japan focused on phallocracy, in addition, population in nowadays it seems more females than males, thus boys are being spoiled and girls need to be stronger. {View back of your kids.}

    Not only in Japan, I guessed most of the teenage girls are changing in some of cities. Too many peripheral things affected to them.

    By Anonymous D_C.L., at 4:40 PM  

  • I don't know about wimpier or obnoxious but local universities currently have more girls than boys.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 3:48 PM  

  • An interesting view into your student styles, MM. I guess I have this idea that Japanese girls were shy and giggly - at least all the students that I've met here (exchange students). So how you/the school handle out of control girls?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:51 PM  

  • did you say DRAIN BRAMMAGE?

    By Anonymous Dave, at 9:52 AM  

  • And what about all those hormones in chickens, seems half of them started as cockerels

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 7:47 PM  

  • I'd never be a teacher for so many reasons, though people have tried to suggest it.

    Also, whenever I pass these obnoxious, loud-mouthed, lewd kids in the street, I am glad I finished high school over a decade ago in the town that I did, where the dominant style was preppy and the kids addressed their elders with respect.

    Good point about women becoming pushy and men losing their spines. Thank you feminists. I know I am a woman, but the way so many of us march up the street these days like tough, heartless carbon copies of one another really annoys me. would probably annoy me more to go back 200 years seeing all the women mincing and simpering in order to catch a man...

    By Blogger Olivia, at 12:58 AM  

  • A chicken and the egg question: Which came first, the polystyrene dinner plate or the de-gendering of the 7th grader? Environmental poisoning or cultural apathy? They all seem enmeshed. Let Rush guffaw. He's been holding a cell phone too close to his brain for far too long. I'd venture to say his skull may actually be occupied by a cell phone. A very small one. With the battery just about out of juice.

    By Blogger San, at 6:09 AM  

  • Btw, have you read about the egg being cooked by two connected phones? It was believed to be a hoax. A friend did the experiment and found the egg indeed cooked. I wonder whether it'd do the same to the brain. hmm...

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 11:55 PM  

  • Snabudon
    Not surprising. An awful lot of kids seem to be saying, "We don't need no education..."

    It seems to be a common phenomenon all over the world, which is one of the reasons why I'm beginning to wonder. Is it simply the effect of the spread of Western culture, or is something else afoot (besides my feet)?

    Good point. Yes, it's very true.

    Really? That's interesting! It's not that way in Japan (yet), but I know some universities are threatening to make admission easier for boys and harder for girls for precisely the reasons I mention. Heck, even my school has teachers urging us to do the same (earning vociferous protests from me that got me applause at one point).

    Well, most Japanese girls used to be shy and giggly, and many still are. On the other hand, people are people, no matter where or when. Even ten years ago some Japanese girls had more aggressive personalities. It just seems that now they are close to if not the majority.


    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:45 PM  

  • Quasar9
    Very good point. There's also GM crops, etc.. That's one of the reasons I'm thankful my father-in-law is into organic farming.

    I wondered the same thing myself, m'lady (about you becoming a teacher).

    Ah, yes....feminism. You know, you hear a lot of the same thing here. They talk about "girl power" and say they dress like prostitutes to show their pride in their femininity! I mean, there's nothing at all wrong with pride and empowerment...unless the struggle to assert the self winds up destroying the self in favor of mindless conformity. That's exactly what I see happening. "I'll be assertive because everyone else is." THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!!!

    *chuckle* VERY well stated, particularly about Rush L.! I used to listen to his program regularly...until I realized I was either guffawing or sighing with disgust much more often than listening with interest.

    I'd heard about the egg cooked with cell phones things a number of times. (In fact, didn't you put a post about it on your site a few years ago?) A friend of yours actually did it? Wow...I thought it was probably a hoax, too. That's scary!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:53 PM  

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