In Europe

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The debate in the UK about the EU referendum has become increasingly nasty in recent weeks.

For the uninitiated, the EU referendum is a referendum where the people of the UK, a small island nation in northwest Europe, decide whether to remain part of the current multinational bloc of countries known as the European Union.

I’ve spoken to many people on this subject, those for and against, and in each case the reasons have been different. Even if the people were on the same side. In each case the person’s reasons seemed quite personal and emotional to me. Little regard seems to be being paid to the actual facts in this vote as each side grows increasingly more hostile. Reasoned voices seem to have fallen by the wayside and it has culminated with the recent murder of a politician by a domestic “nativist” terrorist.

When I look at the facts for myself I see a union that wishes to be a federation, that probably would function a lot better as one too. It would be forced to be more accountable to its citizens for a start. And it would have to simplify itself a lot as well, having lost the excuse of being the only thing of its kind in the world and thus needing to be really complicated. To be honest, I believe we will see a European Federation in my lifetime. It is almost an inevitability despite the wails of those who cling to their national boundaries which themselves are built on myths, lies half-truths and some vague notion of ‘race’, whatever that means. I fear that the old may try to take us backwards and hold us back simply to satisfy themselves. The boomers have had of doing that lately; tuition fees, zero hour contracts, removal of working protections, making us pay for their pensions. They’re robbing the young with impunity and they really don’t seem to realise that.

My whole perception is that for safety, we need to be together. Europe is young over all. Together we are strong. Together we are greater than apart. This is our future.

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Emotional Blogging

1296095521011I have had to think a lot about the future and the past recently. It is one of the great vices of humanity that we choose to focus on these things rather than the present and yet, without looking at them we cannot make truly informed choices about what to do in the present. It has been a difficult time for me recently. There has been a lot to do. I moved to Tokyo, got a job, it wasn’t the best thing in the world but it was enough for me. It seemed as though life would just carry on as normal, I would keep plodding away and never really get anywhere. Then whine about how I wasn’t getting anywhere. My new wife would believe in me for a time, then she would realise that I’m a fraud and that I wouldn’t be able to give her what she wants from her life. I’d end up like the dad from that song “Fast Car”.

But events seem to conspire and overtake me. Now I’ve booked a shot at the JLPT N1 exam, despite being woefully unprepared for it I’m going to try my hardest. I also have a new job. I was fired from the old one for reasons unknown and the very next day found a job that I thought would be ideal. It was all in Japanese but and I again thought I had no chance against the other candidates but surprisingly things turned out and I got the position. It’s not the best job in the world but it’s better than what I used to have.

I sometimes feel as if I’m a character in a novel. I know that I’m not the first person to think this however I can be pretty specific. I’m a character from one of Murakami Haruki’s earlier works. I’m not entirely sure which one but I suppose that doesn’t really matter much. Actually scrap that, I come from his short stories, which I have always liked better than his novels. Though that’s not to say his novels aren’t good, they’re just a different level of good to his short stories. Maybe even a different flavour of good. I’m not really sure how to put it into words. But his short stories just mesh better with me.

What I’ve been trying to say about myself in these words is that I’m not sure where I am. I guess this could be a “quarter-life crisis” or something but it doesn’t feel like that to me. It feels like I’m just floating in space, being pushed about by forces of gravity from larger stars and planets. I never seem to smash into them, just to be pushed by them. I love my wife and want the best for her, but I worry if I can be the one to give her what she needs. And then there is the question of what do I need? And I haven’t even addressed that within myself as yet. The new job, the Japanese test, keeping the money going. There are too many pieces at the moment and unfortunately I seem to have misplaced the box to this jigsaw. Still new pieces continue to arrive and others seem to be swept away. It’s like trying to build a puzzle on a beach with pieces made from sand.

But the shells are pretty, and the sun does shine.

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Hello

Hello everyone. My name is Dark Machine and this is my blog. I’m not really sure what I should type on here but I wanted to get started. Please be kind to me, or at least constructive.

Well…I wanted to share something with you all about me so here’s a nice picture that I found recently when I was going through my computer folders.

This is a picture I took on my first visit to Japan. Where I now live.

Osaki Station 2009 night.
Osaki Station 2009 night.

This was on the final night of my trip. I had visited this station so many times in my 7 days there. Always jammed full, always hurrying to get somewhere else. It was somehow nice just to come, stop and stare. I remember there were few sounds then, just the quiet of the night and the slight buzz of the lights and mosquitoes. It really was a magical time to be there. Maybe I’ll tell you all about what I did there later on. For now, I’ll sign off for dinner.