Friday, November 27, 2015

The Prime Minister's New Plan, Sir

It is a rare foggy morning here, appropriate weather for the release of the interim plan for the "Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens" - the Abe government's grab bag of proposals to meet its New Three Arrows goals.

For those willing to rush in where angels fear to tread, here is the link to the Prime Minister's Residence proposal text. (Link)

Whether this text is the Request from the Liberal Democratic Party regarding an "Urgent Proposal for Realizing the Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens" (Link); the proposal from the Komeito on "Realizing a Society in which Every Single Person Can Shine and Play an Active Role"(Link); a conflation of the Request and the Proposal; or none of the above, I do not know.

The Kantei text seems to be a flash-translation with little-to-no input from any native speakers of English. The result is an excruciating to the point of being humorous ("Dream-Weaving Childcare"? Somebody call Gary Wright, he has a theme song to sell) read.

Of course, the clumsy English could be part of a Sirius Cybernetics strategy, where the superficial deficiencies of the language mask the deep and fundamental deficiencies in the thinking.

The busy might want to skip to the last page of the ostensibly brief (19 page) plan. Here on a single slide is the whole report, in what wags might call inimical Japanese Powerpoint style.

As for those who slog through the swamp of the text and peer into its forest of lofty notions and ambitious timetables, they might find themselves reprising in their heads the exchange between Colonel Kurtz and Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now:
Kurtz: Did they say why, Willard, why they want to terminate my command?

Willard: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.

Kurtz: It's no longer classified, is it? Did they tell you?

: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.

Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?

: I don't see any method at all, sir.

1 comment:

rontokyo said...

Just one man's opinion, but many times the meaning of your clever punchlines elude me. Not, however, this time. Spot on, sir!