Replies to this essay
I would like to thank everyone who replied to my origional
article. I was very gratified with all of the replies. Below
you will find the replies received, followed by my commentary. I
have omitted people said about Pokos addresses and names to protect people who would otherwise
prefer to remain anonymous.
I want to warn my readers that the following text contains vulgarity
and profanity. I did not censor any of the replies that were posted
in response to my essay. I felt it was too important for people to
know the kinds of emotions Pokemon aroused.
One final note: I would like to apologize to Matthew for using
his e-mail address when I posted the URL for the essay to several Usenet
groups. As Matt noted on his homepage my Internet access has been
spotty at best, and I wanted to use an e-mail address I could be sure of.
First, a post from Matthew's Web Board:
December 21, 1999 at 07:21:04:
This is a joke, right?
PokeMon does indeed stand for Pocket Monsters in Japan, where it
originated. It is Japanese. Have you been there? I would say
that you haven't, simply because you missed so obvious a point.
The Japanese aren't out to get you. They don't care. They don't
care what you believe. They made a stupid cartoon for kids. Like
everything else, it eventually made it to America.
It is a stupid cartoon, and not satan.
To believe that some Japanese cartoonists would do research into
ancient roman/latin lingustics to come up with an cute name is
one of the funniest things I have ever heard. Why? To corrupt
Dude: There are more Japanese cartoons _not_ sent to America than
you have ever heard of. They don't market them toward
American kids. They don't even do them in english (the over-dubs
are done later). Here are a few examples:
The Power Rangers
Most arcade games debut in Japan. Very few Japanese arcade games
are violent, but those are the only ones that sell over here...
Get a clue.
According to large quantities of advertizing copy, Pokemon is short for Pocket Monster. The above poster's insistence that this is an accurate statement displays the degree to which our society is governed by the media. Most people's perceptions of the world are shaped by what they see on Television. It never occurs to someone that things might be more than they seem. The media has even managed to convince most people that trying to extend one's understanding beyond the "lowest common denominator" media images is a sign of mental and physical weakness.
The truth is, Pokemon originates from the name of the ancient god Pokos. Advertizers decided to claim otherwise, and made up the clever idea of "Pocket Monsters" to cover up the true origins of the game. Since "Pokemon" is itself a corruption of the origional name, it's even more likely that the work "pokemon" was crafted to be both a reference to an ancient diety, AND a clever product name.
In essence, "Pokemon" is both "Pocket Monsters" and Pokos."
I'm afraid the rest of the poster's comments are somewhat less worthy of reply. The Japanese people are not out to get American children. Japanese cartoonists are not out to get American children. I never claimed that the entire nation of Japan was involved in a complex conspiracy to overthrow Christianity. I'd thought my origional article had made it clear that Pokemon and the religion to which it is bound are the motives of a small minority. It is estimated that less than one tenth of one percent of Japanese citizens worship Pokos.
Pokemon was created by a small core of religions zealots in an attempt to bring glory to their beliefs.
I have friends who are cartoonists, and I I don't appreciate your claim that they would somehow be less likely to research a topic than anyone else. Japanese Anime is a complex art form, and while some of it is vulgar and carnal, there is a great deal of research and artistic genius involved in the better works. Please don't insult an entire art form in an attempt to support your claim that a cartoonist wouldn't bother to research a topic.
Also notice how the above poster keeps talking about the cartoon, even though my essay was about the card game, and the religion behind the Pokemon mythology. I couldn't care less about the cartoon. As far as I'm concerened it's just another piece of badly animated fluff that gives Anime a bad name. It rots children';s brains about as much as any other cartoon on telivision today, and claiming it damages children is like saying Superbook converted sinners to Christianity. My essay was about the dangers of the card game, not the cartoon.
Before I address the next comment, I would like to point out the above poster's tendancy to group the entire nation of Japan into a homogeneous mass, whose actions are, in his mind at least, undertaken with unanimous consent. Not all Germans during World War Two were Nazi's. Those responsible for Pokemon are a tiny, but vocal minority, muck like members of the National Organization for Women.
December 21, 1999 at 11:16:40:
With reguards to your Pokémon article you have written (or is that someone else's, please confirm it.) I would like to see the
bibliography of all that information or mis-information that I have seen, since in my experience, Pokémon rather has been quite
more positive. Such as this is a friend of mine, which goes by the handle of "Xavier V Mewtwo" in one of the Pokémon newsgroups.
He was quite angry by your post (besides the usual crossposting and all.), bringing up the stock market and abuse of Christianity
to fit ones interests. I would tend to agree with Xavier there with much of his points. I've seen kids that knew nothing of the stock
market about a year ago, now telling ME what stocks to buy and sell. They know what seperates small-cap from big-cap stocks,
how the Federal Interest rates work, and even some know how to get into an IPO. Heck, I don't even know how to get to one. They
all can tell me that Pokémon has brought the investor into the world, as I believe that is quite positive. Some of these
to-be-investors are baptized Christians and have their own beliefs of who God is.
As for abuse of Christianity, I'm as well quite peeved at how it is used, as it is futily tried to point to the devil in a way. Hey, I can
link just about anything to the devil, so I know this is not new.
This "New World Order".. I believe will not last too long, due to the visions of Daniel in the book of Daniel, Chapter 2 (The whole
thing). The belief is that the nations of the world will NEVER unite as clay will not mix with iron, NEVER.
And to finally finish this saying, I can quote from a Christian rock group, Petra. "Why are you looking for the devil for, when you
ought' to be looking for the Lord?" You cannot force people to take your belief over others. Everyone has a personalized relationship
with God. No one's is the same.
(Unrelated information -- but I have to question this, since not many people WON'T ANSWER THIS.)
Being one of the few Seventh Day Adventists of the world, I'm still quite dumbfounded at why people go to church and have their day
of rest on Sunday instead of Saturday. ANY compitient person would say that the Seventh Day is Saturday, and yet, many believe
the Seventh Day is Sunday. Please explain.
First of all, I have no idea why this poster keeps mentioning the stock market. His insistence that Pokemon somehow encourages gambling in stock is a somewhat logical extension of Pokemon's general tendancy to encourage gambling. Of course there have not been any lawsuits about this! If you read my article you will find a link to one of the court cases that have been filed regarding Pokemon's addictive, gambling based obsession.
I will post my sources at a later date. Most of the materials I drew from are 300 plus year old illuminated manuscripts. I'm afraid you can't just go to your local library and check out a copy, but I have contacted the owners asking if there are any slides, reproductions or translations available for web publication.
I would like to ask the above poster a question. Why are your quoting Petra of all things? If you're going to toss out quotes please stick to the Bible, or someone like C. S. Lewis or Tolkin. If you must quote musical groups other than the Beatles or REM, please pick a group that has at lease a LITTLE talent.
Petra. What is the world coming to?
That said, I would like to thank you for that Daniel quote. I will take a closer look into the context of the passages.
Below is a post from Matthew's Guestbook:
Name - PAGAN Email - WICCA@PROUDTOBEPAGAN.COM
Date -- From - MAINE
MAN, LAY OFF THIS BIBLE-HUMPING THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PAGANISM
WE DON'T BUG YOU
SO LAY OFF
We are all given a choice of who to follow. It is by belief that following Christianity leads to Heaven, and all other paths lead to Hell. I must break ranks with my peers and say I'm confident that members of the Jewish Faith are going to Heaven as well. It's not a popular view, but I must stick by it.
That said, I would like to say that the only time I have any sort of a problem with Pagans is when they try and convert Christian children. To be fair, I understand why Pagans would be upset if someone started trying to evangelize their children!
Pokemon is an attempt on the part of a small clutch of wealthy zealots to undermine existing religious structures. That is why I have a problem with it.
By the way, the term is Bible Thumping. Please proofread your posts a little better! Children are reading this!
The message below was e-mailed to Matthew. It's more typical of the kind of replies my essay got. I'm including it here because it's the most mild example of the hate motivated messages that were sent.
Your Mother is the devil. You fucking church do gooders always have to find
something negative about any and everything new that comes out. *Get a
fucking life* You Inbred hicks.
I don't think I need to reply to this, except to point out that this is the kind of mentality that's fueling the Pokemon sales, and it's the kind of thinking that's typical of most the replies I've received. The words above are the typical Pokemon booster.
Sad, isn't it?