Screw John Hersey.
He actually covered (as a war correspondent, Hersey wasn’t a combatant) both theaters during World War II, yet his much lauded New Yorker article describing the aftermath of Little Boy on Hiroshima is steadily transforming the conflict’s concluding factor into a war crime against the victors.
When did commemorations for Hiroshima and Nagasaki become more noteworthy than Pearl Harbor remembrances? And why is this?
How have foreign revanchists and native revisionists alter just punishment into crimes perpetrated by the victims? Continue reading … But Necessary Nonetheless
Forsaking the East required me to pare possessions. Fortunately or unfortunately, I lack a lot of sentimental feeling so few precious heirlooms weighted my way West. Instead, I brought along plenty of memories. All of which bear greater substance than most of the dustcatchers dispersed or abandoned in Quarropas.
One item borne along means absolutely nothing to me. It had been father’s. Looking at it now foments all sorts of questions because having observed him the thing is inconsistent with who he was. Or at least the man he presented. Continue reading The Idol
Not all worthy films are recognized as such during their premiere issuances. The numbers are legion about movies taking decades before earning proper and due appreciation. This seemed particularly so for movies appearing just before the eruption of World War II.
Given the lingering trauma of the Great War and the Depression’s stubbornness it’s easy to imagine moviegoers everywhere were somewhat resistant to diversions which asked engagement rather than merely distracted.
Why bother thinking when charm was offered?
While Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, and How Green Was My Valley remain lush, intriguing, and heartwarming efforts, respectively, several of the also-rans to these prize winners appear even worthier of the laurels than upon those honored by that era’s sentiments.
One of the least considered of this imminent war period happens to be a favorite movie of mine. So much so it’s one of the few that I routinely watch annually. Not so much it’s become a ritual with a prescribed moment and place (nor incense, oils, and animal sacrifices), but often around this time of year it will occupy a spot on my movie rental queue. Continue reading Welcomed Indecency
This post follows She Humanized Him. Language and characteristics reflect the times, people and places.
The Second World War. I would’ve thought Jim Crow defined father. No, that he brushed off. Instead, Adolf Hitler yanked him and millions of others from preordained ruts in American life.
While father praised Roosevelt for his bravery, grit, willingness to experiment, his simple man’s outlook saw Hitler as a cauterizing savior who advanced American society.
Continue reading Wartime
With the increasingly maundering commemorations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki encroaching, it is once again time to loosen an unavoidable skunk upon the apologist/revisionist/revanchist picnic.
Pearl Harbor. Isn’t it strange reading that location in August?
No a-bombs apology from this corner. May one be an Arizona graduate who has attended mainland memorials consecrating that December 1941 day without agreeing why those detonations occurred 68 years ago this week?
Every American of the Boomer Generation (and our successors) alive today should be grateful for Harry Truman’s orders. But too many Americans are not. Seems the percentage rises as the age lowers, too. One or two more generations and might we become what George Santayana cautioned?
Continue reading Pebbles in the Pond
Watching John Boehner well up, I wonder what father would’ve thought of such displays. While it’s good the Speaker of the House is comfortable enough in himself to let tears roll at the drop of a charged moment, isn’t there something unnerving about the leader’s, uh, expressiveness? Continue reading Cool. Resolute. Polished.
We’re dumbing down Sherlock Holmes. If the recent Robert Downey, Jr., efforts making “Sherlocking” more accessible for the earbud/self-absorbed set weren’t puerile enough, BBC TV has gone whole-hog to render Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective and his associate Dr. John Watson relevant for 21st century viewers.
No need to wonder what Conan Doyle might’ve made of those revisions. He would’ve looked at them as if H.G. Wells had monkeyed with his template. On absinthe.
The Downey reboots were jarring. Are jarring. Will be jarring. Holmes as imagined by Sax Rohmer. Or H. Rider Haggard. Ripping yarns instead of Victorian Age mysteries. Holmes mirrored his time. Downey’s Holmes distorts it. Continue reading Not Your Father’s Blue Carbuncle
August 6th has become a date receiving outsized attention. Aesthetically that’s quite understandable. Hiroshima offers superior visuals to Pearl Harbor, a site whose tragedy lies beneath a placid surface.
Pearl Harbor simply offers serene contemplation across Hawaiian waves. Hiroshima city fathers have done an artful job of propagandizing their preservations. Japanese ruins deflect guilt from the past. What incited 1941 America is mostly out of sight underwater and left to explanation. Continue reading Before Hiroshima
(*Names changed to spare me yet trouble the wicked. This continues “Crazy Quilt.”)
The family line descends through the father.
*Blowhard, my boss and chief of *Mugwump, the family-held company for which I’ve toiled two dozen years, has rapidly deteriorated into decrepitude. A little under two years ago he was a sharp 80-year-old man. Today, enfeebled mentally and physically, he’s a ghostly figure peeking out from tired flesh.
He’s lost muscle mass. His acuity wanes more than waxes. Despite the obvious infirmities, no family member has yet summoned the compassion to tell him “enough.” Instead of compelling their father to see reason and retire, Blowhard’s surviving daughters *Loca and *Fea, whose management has sapped their patrimony, still let him commute to the office, and defer to him although his mind is shakier than theirs.
The Mugwumps are not a compassionate bunch. There’s plenty they aren’t and have never bothered being. The Turk needs to come around and collect all their playbooks. Continue reading Bad Biographies