Prosthetics maker Shintaro Hayashi noticed a change in the clientele at his Tokyo-based company, Aiwa Gishi, about a decade ago. In Japan, a stunted pinkie signifies membership in the yakuza, or Japanese mafia. In a ritual known as “yubitsume,” yakuza members are required to chop off their own digits to atone for serious offenses. The left pinkie is usually the first to go, though repeated offenses call for further severing. As a result, those who get out, have a hard time finding work because of the stigma attached to those missing fingers. That’s where Hayashi comes in.The doctor molds silicone prosthetic pinkies, made to seamlessly mask the amputation. Priced at nearly $3,000 each, the fingers are carefully painted, to match the exact skin color of the client. Former yakuza members, who make up 5% of Hayashi’s business, often keep several sets of fingers for different seasons – the light skinned version for winter, and a tanned look for summer.
"What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading its genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease and backwardness."
— Gbemisola Olujobi, Nigerian journalist (Via the December 2007 issue of Ebony magazine) (via the-cat-inside)
And let’s talk about the fact that Joseph Gordon Levitt himself said the point of the movie is not so you’d feel bad for him and fall in love with him, it’s so you’d realize how selfish some people are. Actual quote from him from an interview: The (500) Days of Summer attitude of ‘He wants you so bad’ seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones but I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is.” "He develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies. He thinks she’ll give his life meaning because he doesn’t care about much else going on in his life. A lot of boys and girls think their lives will have meaning if they find a partner who wants nothing else in life but them. That’s not healthy. That’s falling in love with the idea of a person, not the actual person."