The Null Device
In Japan, Christmas is associated with romance, and regarded as a Valentines'-style event for couples. Which, of course, doesn't play well with bitter singletons, and so, there is a group of lonely single men, calling itself Kakumeiteki Hi-mote Domei (“Revolutionary Losers’ League”), which protests against Christmas, and as such, seeks to strike a blow against romance-capitalism itself:
“In this world, money is extracted from people in love, and happy people support capitalism,” the group’s leader, who goes by the moniker “MarkWater,” told AFP. “Christmas is the most symbolic event for this.” He added: “Unpopular men, who don’t have a girlfriend or are not married, are overly discriminated. We want to break this barrier.”The group, unsurprisingly, also condemns Valentine's Day (which it calls a “blood-soaked conspiracy” of “oppressive chocolate capitalists”). Its ideology is vaguely Marxist (or perhaps pseudo-Marxist, appearing to be somewhat light on the cultish jargon and references to historical materialism and the works of German philosophers that proper Marxists might adorn their communiqués with), having been founded by a young man who, after having been dumped, found solace in a copy of the Communist Manifesto.
It's interesting to contrast the Revolutionary Losers' League with their American equivalents (which one may be tempted to dub the Reactionary Losers' League). In both cases, there are young men who are not getting the attention from women they feel entitled to, and they consider as a socially-ordained baseline for not being a loser. In America and the West, they blame feminism and “Cultural Marxism” (a buzzword unrelated to the Frankfurt School of Marxist philosophy, but instead meaning anything a self-identified conservative finds objectionable, from feminism to Beatlemania to brown people not knowing their place) for having brainwashed women out of their natural subservience to alpha-males; the ideology of this movement varies from the rugged-loner libertarianism one could absorb from reading a lot of Robert Heinlein to actual neoreactionary ideology, calling for a rolling back of the Enlightenment and a settling of scores, to psychotic argumentation in favour of rape and murder on principle. In Japan, it seems, they blame capitalism, and embrace actual Marxism (to each according to his sexual and romantic needs, I guess). I wonder how much of this is due to Japanese culture being more collectivist, perhaps due to the Confucian influence, and/or to Western gender roles and capitalism being seen as having been introduced by Commodore Perry and/or General MacArthur. In either case, the pattern seems to go:
Problem (a) ⇒ Cause (b) ⇒ Reaction (c)The problem, in both cases, is the same: “Women Don't Dig Me, So I'm A Loser”. The main difference is the inferred cause of this: in America, feminism, liberalism or “Cultural Marxism”, and in Japan, capitalism. The Reaction is, in either case, to embrace the opposite of (b) and hold on.
The Revolutionary Losers' League could also be seen as a romantic equivalent of the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv, a West German Marxist group from the 1970s, comprised of mental patients and psychiatrists. Both groups take an issue seen as an individual failing (in the SPK's case, mental illness; in the Revolutionary Losers' League's, romantic rejection) and exonerate the individual, instead placing the blame squarely on capitalism.