Monday, September 01, 2008

Is Aso Taro a gaffer?

With the resignation of Yasuo Fukuda it looks like Aso Taro could be the next PM of Japan. This is understandably news amongst key bloggers on Japan. One Free Korea gives a short and entertaining history of things Aso Taro has said in the past which have upset people. He refers to these as gaffes. I guess that is true but I think there is more to it than that. The offensive comments made by Aso Taro are social blunders. They do upset people and he is then pushed to make flimsy, insincere, "apologies". But can they still be called gaffes if we think that what he says is genuinely what he believes? They are not 'mistakes' or 'blunders' in that sense. He does mean those things. They are only miscalculations because he's too far removed to see or care about those who are offended by what he says. In one of the examples given by Joshua, he apologises for hurting the feelings of the Koreans but he doesn't apologise for what he said. If we think of a gaffe as a mis-interpretation or what is said/or bad wording on the part of the speaker at an inappropriate time, does Aso Taros words which are not mis-interpretations or bad wording but are spoken at inappropriate times (ie: anytime) still a gaffe?

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui