Today was kind of an odd Independence Day for me. For the first time in my life, I had no celebrations to attend, and I wasn’t sure how much I felt like celebrating anyway. Our country just seems incredibly screwed up right now, and the revelations that the government is constantly spying on us didn’t particularly surprise me, but they did make me pretty depressed. But I cheered up a bit when I found out that thousands of Americans all over the country gathered in cities today to protest the NSA’s abuses of power and to promote the 4th amendment. I wish I could have stood with them. I was listening to the Talking Heads’ “People Like Us” earlier today, and though they say that
“We don’t want freedom, we don’t want justice, we just want someone to love”
it doesn’t seem to be true. We DO want freedom, and we DO want justice, and most people probably also want someone to love. Happy Birthday, America.
So it turns out that Ichigo’s father was a member of the Shiba clan after all, which was apparently a popular fan theory, but I didn’t know that because I haven’t interacted with the fan community for some time. It was certainly my theory, put forward by me some years ago on a now defunct blog (convenient, isn’t it). I didn’t expect Ichigo to be part Quincy, though (side note–Zangetsu not being Zangetsu is dumb. I’m not going to go into it here, though). And about Uryu joining the Quincy–is he actually becoming evil, or is he just that dumb? I know he hates soul reapers, but think about it–he is actually destroying souls every time he kills a hollow.
The actions of the Soul Society are often morally dubious at best, but in this case (the destruction of souls by Quincies and the imbalance between the worlds that follows), it’s no wonder that the Soul Society issued a cease and desist to the Quincies, and took action when they didn’t comply. Was the situation so drastic that it warranted the entire destruction of the Quincies? I don’t know, since there is little background given–was it a war in which the Quincy were wiped out, or was it a covert operation of taking out the Quincies piecemeal? The author hasn’t told us, and the Soul Society would naturally write the history in a manner favorable to themselves. If the choice was really between destruction of one group (who would continue to cycle through reincarnation, because they were killed by Soul Reapers) and the possible destruction of these parallel or linked worlds (Earth, Soul Society, Hueco Mundo), then taking out the group, horrible as it is, is the more more utilitarian choice, no question. That is, if these worlds really work in the way which we have been told they do–perhaps it will be revealed to be otherwise, in which case I would a) be frustrated b) reevaluate the situation.
Finally, regarding the Vandenreich (a Quincy organization) and their motivations: what do they think will happen to the world if the afterlife is destroyed and they continue to destroy souls? Again, it is not only evil but deeply stupid. Then again, evil often is. So, while I don’t really like to take the side of the Soul Society, I feel that they are the saner and lesser of these particular two evils.
“Kyrie” is a song by the terribly named band Mr. Mister (seriously, what is up with that name?). The phrase Kyrie Eleison,which opens the song and is used throughout, comes from part of the Catholic mass, and means “Lord have mercy”. At first I wondered why they would choose to use this phrase in a pop-rock song. Perhaps they they just liked the way it sounded, or maybe it means more. The song is about life’s journey:
Down the road that I must travel
Through the darkness of the night
–and maybe that journey is made more easily with some mercy.