Sunday, 7 December 2008

Understanding Pearl Harbor

The Guardian descends into grotesque self-caricature.

Update, more at Harry’s Place, Pacific War, Americans to Blame.

And from Oliver Kamm, Misunderstanding Pearl Harbor.

Related, earlier at Harry’s Place, Why Read The Guardian?

EagleSpeak has a story of some little-remembered casualties of December 7th 1941, the crew of the merchant ship SS Cynthia Olson.

On the consequences of Pearl Harbor for a very particular group of Americans, see a recent post on Cartoon Brew, Japanese-American Animation Artists of the Golden Age, by Amid Amidi. An excerpt:
Another female Japanese artist of note, Gyo Fujikawa, who had worked at Disney in the early-1940s, managed to escape internment. This excerpt from her LA Times obituary explains why:

It was Disney who Fujikawa said changed the way she handled bigots during World War II. Unlike her parents and younger brother, she escaped internment because she was living in New York; only Japanese residing on the West Coast were sent to the camps. But Fujikawa traveled frequently, and when people became suspicious of her, she often told them she was really Anna May Wong, the Chinese American actress. According to her nephew, Fujikawa took secret delight in this masquerade.

But when she told Disney that she often lied about her heritage, he exploded. “Damn it! Why should you say that? You’re an American citizen,” he said.

“From that moment on,” Fujikawa recounted recently, “that’s exactly what I did tell them.” 
The rest of Amid’s well-researched post is here

1 comment:

Sarah Franco said...

has everyone gone crazy or what???

I really don't understand what is going on, there is a worrying increase in self-hate among people who live in democratic societies that is bothering me.

I think those people should try the experience of spending some time in non-democratic societies, living like the 'natives', I mean, counting the penny, walking miles to get water, having to bribe everyone to get basic care, standing in queues for days and days to get a visa to travel, etc, etc, etc.

recently I came across a discussion on facebook where a group of young americans were discussing politics as if the US was really putin's russia;

also on facebook, a similar discussion about france, where the young french were complaining of being opressed by the system...

today I read a text in a widely read blog in portugal where the prime-minister was portrayed as a new pinochet;

now this;

next step: "hitler wasn't really that bad"

what I mean is anti-system speech typical of the extremists is becoming more and more present within mainstream society.

this reminds me of the text by etienne de la boetie, on how the habit makes people forget what their sense of freedom. people got used to live in free democratic societies, they take it for granted, not as something that needs to be fed, nurtured, taken care of. instead what are they doing? engaging on a competition of stone throwing against democratic values.