something disappointing about it

I don’t understand this vaunting of the militaristic in 1Q84. Sure, for the first fifty pages every descriptor is militaristic—resulting in some ridiculous and misplaced comparisons between boring metro life and people starving and getting shot to death in a war—and carry more or less negative connotations. But this going on and on about what a badass Tamaru is—“He used to belong to a Self-Defense Force Ranger unit. Those people have it pounded into them to carry out whatever needs to be done to accomplish the mission, and to do it instantly, without the slightest hesitation.” Cripe, Murakami, are you writing some lame apocalyptic anime series here, where the brawny man of few words saves the day in an act of self sacrifice that only his harsh training could have prepared him to perform?

Ugh.

There’s something disappointing about a grown man still thinking toughness would have gotten him through anything. A lesson he should have learned and never did. It’s more disappointing than even his persistent dirty old man obsession with girl-on-girl sex. That, at least, is somewhat unavoidable. I’ve read Michel Houellebecq; I know that to some extent, it is and always will be about your dick. Fine. But there’s a difference between it being about the actual dick your biology gave you, and about the metaphysical dick with which you want to pound your manliness into everyone around you.

That, at least, you should have the self-awareness to outgrow.

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