Is Pat Robertson moe?
Is Kafuka Fuura moe?
On the surface, these are unrelated questions. And yet, there are more similarities between the two than may be apparent at first glance.
Sayonara Zetsubo-Sensei functions on many levels, including metahumor and social commentary as well as obvious, sheer absurdity. When we encounter a character like Kafuka with a persistent trait, we may be tempted to attribute some greater design, to look at reality for examples of hidden meaning.
Independently of this, we might note a bizarre, even perverse tendency to attribute natural disasters to the angry hand of a disenfranchised God. Not only laypersons, but clergy have insisted that disease, famine, floods, and other natural disasters are admonishments from heaven. It happens in the Catholic Church; it happens in the Anglican Church; it happens in the various independent Protestant denominations. Nowhere was this more powerfully illustrated than in the moments following Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.
They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another.
Why, one asks, does this happen? It happens because the sheer cruelty of such a disaster, the sheer terror of the fact that the world can abruptly turn lethal, triggers cognitive dissonance. Surely, if God loves us, and if we haven’t done anything to deserve this, then it can’t happen, and yet it has happened. This apparent contradiction must be resolved somehow.
For some, it is easier to believe that the fault comes in the assumption, “people don’t deserve this.” By assuming that a cruel disaster is a supernatural act of justice, this conflict is resolved: God is in control of everything, and those who were made to suffer deserved to suffer. This denies the existence of meaningless tragedies at the cost of rendering one permanently incapable of empathizing with the victims of those tragedies. It is not the path taken by most people, or by most Christians, but it is a path taken by a vocal few.
I would never say that this is God’s judgment on New Orleans or any other place.
Kafuka, like Pat Robertson, rebels against what she cannot accept – in her case, the undesirable extraordinary – by coming up with a completely different story of events. This comes at the small cost of rendering her wildly out of touch with reality. She is a literary example that illustrates the absurdity of extreme denials.
How could there be such a thing as a hikikomori, which I’ve only ever heard about on TV, in our class? No way! She must be a zashiki warashi!
– Kafuka Fuura
Let us not fall into this trap. Haiti has been hurt. She needs help, not fanciful stories of her people dealing with the devil. It is funny when Kafuka Fuura spins her tales, but it’s not so funny when a former Presidential candidate who beat George H.W. Bush in some states starts spinning these tales.
Yaoi Press has a manga charity auction to benefit victims of the recent Haitian earthquake.