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#15168194
I have put the Canadian "Icon" Jody Wilson-Raybould as my avatar


Who's public sacrifice was more powerful.... Jody Wilson-Raybould's or Yukio Mishima's?

Jody Wilson-Raybould was appointed Justics Minister and Attorney General in the Liberal party before she resigned over the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Prime Minister at the time had gone to her in private and asked her to ignore criminal charges brought against his 'friends'. She felt uncomfortable doing so, and informed the public of what was going on which led to her getting essentially thrown out of the liberal party(but re-elected by her constituency). Now she is an Independent MP that is still able to voice her opinion, but is probably viewed askance by most of the other MPs. (I actually find it surprising that Wilson-Raybould did this, because prior to the affair, whenever I saw her on CPAC I found her to be one of the speakers whose expression was most artificially constructed and evasive, uninspired really--- I guess she got sick of suppressing her true voice and couldn't take it any longer?)

Yukio Mishima was an literary artist who missed the good ol' days of Imperialistic rule-- which he considered to be far preferable to the corporate barony that was emerging and controlling the fate of his Nation. He trained himself plus a bunch of young men, in body and mind, and eventually went and stormed a military base and killed a figure, followed by ritualistic seppuku.

Jody Wilson-Raybould has been described by Native Americans sovereigntists as the perfect example of why the system will never have their interests at heart : "We elected a person to represent our belief systems, and look at what happened to her when she tried to stand up for truth. Can we really trust a system like that?"

Most Japanese individuals, when asked (by me: I always quiz Japanese tourists about him when I meet them) say that Yukio Mishima was "Very sad." "very unhappy." But the artistic sectors of the Westernized world praise his defiance as a monumental act.

Both gave up their power to make a public statement, and both, in return have gained both symbolic status and scrutiny. One did so non-violently, by speaking the truth, and one did so violently, by committing to an act.
Both sacrificed for "what was right" and both potentially had ulterior motives (Wilson-Raybould, to gain public trust, and Yukio Mishima to immortalize his artistic works)

Both symbolic acts had little impact on the system as a whole. Wilson-Raybould however presented clear evidence of something we already knew; the cronyism of the elite. Yukio Mishima was able to get his books a wider audience and have people contemplate his viewpoint.
Which of the two do you believe was the "better martyr"?
#15168235
No, I have read his entire Sea of Fertility series plus Sun and Steel(well I only read bits and pieces of this one), so I know why he did it; I was just offering that because when I present an argument I like to show multiple angles :p (so that in case people were reading this and asking themselves "Why do Japanese tourists define Yukio as a 'very sad' man?" they could better see what kind of things are said about him after the martyrdom, to detract power from its symbolism-- I know he was essentially tired with the ineffective nature of words, seeing how effete they were when it came to truly expressing an opinion)

But, I think what I am driving at in this thread is public acts of immolation, what the various means are and whether there is any efficacy to be seen from them.

I think the contrast that I am highlighting between Jody and Mishima is that it is far simpler to obscure the motives of an artist who has expressed many sanguine fantasies in the public realm and goes on to perform a sensational act of martyrdom, than it is to question the motives of a trusted public figure who performs a less-sensational act to immolate her position, yet gets re-elected even though she is now lying half-burnt on the floors of the House of Commons. But both of them did what they did to accentuate the corruption in the world that they noticed around them.
#15168245
froggo wrote:No, I have read his entire Sea of Fertility series plus Sun and Steel(well I only read bits and pieces of this one), so I know why he did it; I was just offering that because when I present an argument I like to show multiple angles :p (so that in case people were reading this and asking themselves "Why do Japanese tourists define Yukio as a 'very sad' man?" they could better see what kind of things are said about him after the martyrdom, to detract power from its symbolism-- I know he was essentially tired with the ineffective nature of words, seeing how effete they were when it came to truly expressing an opinion)

You should read The Temple of the Golden Pavilion - it's his masterpiece. And Mishima always struck me as an essentially over-sensitive soul who was trying too hard to be hyper-masculine. Basically, his grandmother and his father were at war within his psyche. His father won, of course.

But, I think what I am driving at in this thread is public acts of immolation, what the various means are and whether there is any efficacy to be seen from them.

Mishima is dead and Japan is still a crony-capitalist liberal democracy. And Jody destroyed her ministerial career and Canada is still a crony-capitalist liberal democracy. So no, I don't see much efficacy there.

I think the contrast that I am highlighting between Jody and Mishima is that it is far simpler to obscure the motives of an artist who has expressed many sanguine fantasies in the public realm and goes on to perform a sensational act of martyrdom, than it is to question the motives of a trusted public figure who performs a less-sensational act to immolate her position, yet gets re-elected even though she is now lying half-burnt on the floors of the House of Commons. But both of them did what they did to accentuate the corruption in the world that they noticed around them.

Which is still present. Narcissistic self-immolation is probably not the best way of creating a better world for future generations.
#15168246
If there's no power in what they do, than why do people begin to idolize these figures?
And if we are made aware of issues by various means, these being one of those means, is that not preferable to us not being made aware of them at all, or being in a position where we cannot draw awareness to them? Although I suppose you are right, there are positive ways of getting a message across, like "writing books or having a media following" (effete, in Mishimas view)... but when the event is above the mundane and rises into the realm of the Spectacular, it gives it a deeper resonance among the event's audience.
#15168251
froggo wrote:If there's no power in what they do, than why do people begin to idolize these figures?
And if we are made aware of issues by various means, these being one of those means, is that not preferable to us not being made aware of them at all, or being in a position where we cannot draw awareness to them? Although I suppose you are right, there are positive ways of getting a message across, like "writing books or having a media following" (effete, in Mishimas view)... but when the event is above the mundane and rises into the realm of the Spectacular, it gives it a deeper resonance among the event's audience.

It's still narcissistic. It becomes about that individual, rather than about the cause they espouse. And Mishima was clearly trying too hard to be as masculine as possible; in effect, he brutalised himself, in life as well as in death, just as his father had brutalised him as a child.
#15168260
I'm a little confused here Potemkin

you scoffed earlier here;
Potemkin wrote:So you think Yukio Mishima did it just as a publicity stunt to sell more books? Lol.


But now you are saying it was a highly narcissistic action. Don't you know that in all artists, the legacy of a name is how their narcissism finds validation, so if it was to promote his name, it simultaneously would be 'to sell more books.' or as I had said in the OP, 'to immortalize his artistic works'

But all in all, I think we can agree that martyrdom is foolish and ineffective; what perplexes me is why something 'foolish' and 'ineffective' seems to hold a power over the mind. Jody Wilson-Raybould is seen as a brave courageous figure in the eyes of many First Nations people in Canada, Yukio Mishima is known as one of the artists most powerfully committed to his artistry; he sought for a synthesis between The Mind(Art) and the Body(World). Tibetan monks, hundreds who have burnt themselves in protest are sad poetic sages, who have transformed their lives and become spirited winds, flying across the lands and murmuring into the ears of multitudes, singing peaceful war-crys away beyond the sea.
#15168275
froggo wrote:I'm a little confused here Potemkin

But now you are saying it was a highly narcissistic action. Don't you know that in all artists, the legacy of a name is how their narcissism finds validation, so if it was to promote his name, it simultaneously would be 'to sell more books.' or as I had said in the OP, 'to immortalize his artistic works'

It was not just a publicity stunt. He genuinely believed in the rightness of what he did. But it was still a deeply narcissistic act. In fact, almost everything Mishima ever did in his life was deeply narcissistic. That was just his personality.

But all in all, I think we can agree that martyrdom is foolish and ineffective; what perplexes me is why something 'foolish' and 'ineffective' seems to hold a power over the mind. Jody Wilson-Raybould is seen as a brave courageous figure in the eyes of many First Nations people in Canada, Yukio Mishima is known as one of the artists most powerfully committed to his artistry; he sought for a synthesis between The Mind(Art) and the Body(World).

At the cost of destroying his body. To act in the world is to destroy, if only to destroy all of the alternative paths which could have been taken. And of all the causes to die for - a benighted Emperor-worshipping Japanese imperialism. Couldn't he have chosen something a bit more... enlightened? :eh:

Tibetan monks, hundreds who have burnt themselves in protest are sad poetic sages, who have transformed their lives and become spirited winds, flying across the lands and murmuring into the ears of multitudes, singing peaceful war-crys away beyond the sea.

Uh, no, actually; they're just dead. :eh:
#15168315
The purpose of this thread is not to investigate the motivation behind why someone would choose to martyr themselves, because there are so many different reasons (some people, ex. certain islamic fundamentalists are brainwashed to martyr themselves, or people who want to 'cost corporations money, the only thing they understand' and blow up trucks and effect the bottom-line in exchange for a prison term, etc.), the purpose is to wonder about what an individual sacrificing their power/life/whatever means to the observer.
I think we are focussing a little too heavily on Mr. Mishima and I should briefly turn our attentions back to Jody Wilson-Raybould for a moment
Now I know you Marxists (I think that's what you are if I'm not mistaken; I'm not using it as a pejorative :excited: ) are usually of the opinion that if it is not working towards the swift dissolution of capitalism, or in some way heralding the revolution, then it has no meaning whatsoever.
But to ordinary inquisitive citizens such as myself, who are happy to wait for capitalism to implode on itself, a story such as Jody Wilson-Raybould's has meaning as well as merit. How often do you hear of a woman who rose through the ranks to become Attorney General of Canada (I should stress a First Nations woman, considering Canada's frail relationship due to the appalling history with first nations people), lose her position because the Prime Minister asked her clandestinely to use that position for the favour of his family's friends? Occurrences like this are very rare and they do (as exhibited by her re-election as an Independent) resonate with the hoi polloi. In some ways, her courage to "be what she was elected to be" ie, honest and working for the interest of the people, is a testament to the ideals that these governmental institutions claim to hold in esteem. She is an example of what the people should presume they are electing; an honest official. And for being that, she was tossed aside as a piece of trash. I know it is easy for us to sit here and cynically call her tactless; but a part of me wants to believe that it is examples like these which can pave the way for a general standard of integrity.


p.s. I'm not saying that Mishima's motives aren't of interest. I actually do own a copy of Temple of The Golden Pavilion, so maybe when I'm done reading it I will make a thread about it in the Literature and Art Section and we can talk all about his distorted little mind there 8)
#15168495
Every act of martyrdom must be considered within its referential framework. An extreme willed action may not provide as strong of an impact as a subdued action that results from natural precipitated response. This leads one to wonder about spontaneity in political machinations contrasted to meticulous intent, or, will-to-power. To achieve the desired results is it more efficacious to plan it out thoroughly, or would one be better prepared to observe the framework and respond accordingly, or even, opportunistically?
#15169534
Potemkin wrote:And Jody destroyed her ministerial career and Canada is still a crony-capitalist liberal democracy. So no, I don't see much efficacy there.


I don't think it's fair to say that her leaving the Liberal Party when she realized it was just another racket to set up already wealthy people for more money (like the current Clinton-Foundation AIPAC Democrats in the US).... was an example of "self-immolation" though. She's still there.

In fact, the media splash surrounding her "coming of age" may have convinced a few people of just how corrupt and fake our "system" is. Though our coin-operated commercial media has a way of protecting capitalism's corruption and hiding it whenever it can.

What is a bit unbelievable is that Jody Wilson-Raybould took so long to realize that she was in a corrupt old-boys party that only "reaches out" to tokens for marketing purposes.

Perhaps she was "in" on the other scams she witnessed, but not the SNC-Lavalin racket.
#15169934
I suspect she won't be there much longer, to be honest. I was living in her voting district at the time of the last election, and it is quite an affluent area. I believe that people voted for her because they were sympathetic to her "coming of age" as you describe it, because her name was in the media, she had that power over the consciousness of the voters; but affluent people seem to feel immobilized if they come to realize that their elected member cannot really hold much sway in determining how the economy will function. I debated voting for her, but I chose to vote for the Green Party instead, just because I am more in-tune with their agenda. I suspect that the affluent people who elected her in the first place will soon go back to voting Liberal as they always had, especially since people seem to idolize Trudeau for not being one of those politicians that let their grannies and gramps die of COVID. Most people also got huge government support, monthly $2400 cheques if they were out of work temporarily, so I am certain the Liberals may have purchased life-long allies by that alone. (I think conservative leaders like trump, bolsonaro and boris johnston, have lost traction for conservative parties not only in their own countries, but across the globe, that now more people see the inhumanity a bit clearer)
As to further things you said, no crony could trust Jody now to maintain their unethical underpinings, so it is unlikely that she will be in on any secrets. There's nothing a criminal hates worse than a snitch.
I dont think there is anything wrong with a person witnessing corruption their whole life and then finally maturing to the point where they say "Actually, I don't like this." and doing something about it. It is much better than just feigning blindness until death. or worse, going along for the ride and filling your pockets with seeds of influence (seedy influence!)
#15170082
froggo wrote:As to further things you said, no crony could trust Jody now to maintain their unethical underpinings, so it is unlikely that she will be in on any secrets. There's nothing a criminal hates worse than a snitch.

What you describe is, a Liberal Party that mainly exists for racketeering purposes. The "gang" all work together and practice Omerta to make sure everyone can skim as much as possible from tax revenues.

This is also how politics works now in late capitalist countries, and it isn't sustainable. It's toxic.

I dont think there is anything wrong with a person witnessing corruption their whole life and then finally maturing to the point where they say "Actually, I don't like this."

But did she *have a clue* about political racketeering before she entred politics? If not, then you have to wonder just how much insight and personal knowledge our elected officials have across the board. Are they just well-gelled yes-men (and yes-women) for powerful crooks? If so, then we have bigger problems than "the inability to retain talent in government."

...and doing something about it. It is much better than just feigning blindness until death. or worse, going along for the ride and filling your pockets with seeds of influence (seedy influence!)

I agree. I admire what she has done in regards to exposing corruption. But one has to recognize the corruption of our entire society to understand the lack of public reaction to the burning of all our whistle-blowers.

People just want nice things, and to be as ignorant as they have to be to get 'em.

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