On Thursday thousands of people gathered in Tokyo to protest the government’s new “official secrets law”. This law will broaden what the government can deem “secret” and therefore will make it illegal for the press to investigate anything that is considered secret. For example, this could prevent incidents such as the Fukushima nuclear crisis from being reported. One critic said, “if this law comes to pass, our constitution is nothing more than a scrap of paper.” The consequence for breaking this law is jail time for up to 5 years. Critics are also saying that the law is too vague and will be extremely difficult to know what falls under the umbrella of this law.

 

 

Takenaka, Kiyoshi. “Thousands protest against tough new official secrets law.” Japan Today, November 22, 2013. Accessed November 21, 2013.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/thousands-protest-against-tough-new-official-secrets-law

When talking about immigrants coming to America and having to adjust to American culture, I immediately thought of one of my favorite movies “Friendship!”. The film is about two young Eastern German men who decide to travel to America in 1989 right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their parents think they are crazy traveling to “the west” but they do so anyway. The two start their journey in New York and essentially hitchhike their way across America to San Francisco. During their journey they are fully immersed in many forms of American culture in various regions of the US. They have to overcome language barriers and cultural barriers. The movie is a comedy, however, I find the view of America from a European perspective to be very interesting.

Friendship! (Germany, 2010) - Trailer with English Subtitles. Directed by Markus Goller. Performed by Matthias Schweighöfer and Friedrich Mücke. YouTube. October 29, 2009. Accessed October 10, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYIQcIyOxAo.

I find the concepts of stereotyping to be really interesting. Although often fallible, every culture has them. Stereotypes about a culture can be formed from something as minor as foods or even the way a celebrity acts. I found this video of “how France is viewed from abroad”. It pokes fun at inaccuracies of the stereotypical view of the French culture such as everyone only wearing stripes and berets, drinking only red wine and champagne, listening to accordion music all the time, etc.   

Cliche ! English Version. YouTube. September 20, 2010. Accessed September 20, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERD2TnMNH98.