Friday, March 12, 2010


Poor Tom Hanks. He was purring along, sounding like a younger version of Hal Holbrook in Douglas Brinkley's positively reverent Time magazine cover story--the one where Brinkley calls Hanks "American history's highest-profile professor"--until the penultimate graph of the story, timed to tout HBO's new series, "The Pacific," which debuts Sunday night at 9 p.m. That's when disaster, of a kind, struck. After spending thousands of words paying tribute to the U.S. soldiers who fought in the Pacific theater ... Hanks suddenly veered off course, going from being a gauzy celebrator of the importance of studying history to an unruly political activist.

"Back in World War II," he told Brinkley, "we viewed the Japanese as 'yellow, slant-eyed dogs' that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what's going on today?" In a separate interview, Hanks referred to the war in the Pacific as one of "racism and terror."

-------- Another Hollywood history expert. I used to like Hanks until he made the awful Bonfire of the Vanities, after that it was years until I watched any of his films again. I have yet to make it through the bloody ocean of Saving Private Ryan or Forrest Gump. But it may be because we're not big fans of the last 30 years of television or film. I'd rather watch the black and white classics and catch all the sexual innuendo that I never noticed the first time around. I have never understood America's love affair of escape in movies and television; I irritate everyone as I will argue vehemently with the screen.

As I've blogged hundreds of times - all wars are about profit/power. Race and religion are secondary, although often used as justifiable cover, depending on the mentality of the sheople who fight them, and most of our forefathers of whatever class and creed, have known wars are fought for profit and power, which they usually shared in to some degree. Wars are rarely fought for self-defense. And yes, I've heard and read all the tinfoil about Pearl Harbor. The spin of whether the US powers that be knew the attack was coming and "let it happen" to the US provoking the attack - doesn't matter, fact is Japan attacked.

Hanks remarks seem to indicate he believes WWII and today the Middle East are fought for racial and cultural differences. If so, he is ignorant of history and/or has swallowed too much Hollywood activist crap. You know, as if he's saying: you low-browed ignorant American knotheads, your fathers and grandfathers weren't the "greatest generation," they just wanted to annihilate those yellow slant-eyed dogs because they were "different."

The US was so "racist" it shielded the defeated Japan from many war crime charges and kept Hirohito on the throne, rebuilt their economy, and negotiated fair reparations from Japan to China, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand. Pay no attention to the fact that Japan out slaughtered even the Nazis by about 4 million, used prisoners for medical experiments, buried POWs alive, and cannibilized others (Lt Gen. Yoshio Tachibana was convicted of murder and "prevention of honorable burial" because cannibalism was not covered under war crimes law).

"Certainly, we wanted to honor U.S. bravery in The Pacific," Hanks says. "But we also wanted to have people say, 'We didn't know our troops did that to Japanese people.' " He wants Americans to understand the glories — and the iniquities — of American history."

Crapactivists always begin sentences with "...certainly we wanted to honor US bravery... but" BUT, but not really, in between the emotional interviews with aging veterans and special effects reminiscent of Private Ryan, the real intent is to get you dumbed down boob-tube folks to wallow in flat screen heart-warming sadomasochism and think you've been educated on WWII in 10 cinematic episodes, a $200,000,000 tribute. The Pacific is not a documentary, it is entertainment, a drama based on some real life events/characters and a lot of poetic license, to make a profit. Brought to you by the same folks who did the 2001 Band of Brothers, the Pacific is sort of a Hollywood sequel.

I lost an uncle in WWII France. I had an uncle who spent months as a POW with a head wound in a German camp (at first he feared they would experiment on his head but they put a metal plate in). Another uncle (working as a civilian contractor in the Philippines) survived the Bataan death march and a year in a Japanese prison camp. We know atrocities by US troops happened, it goes on in all wars on all sides. But I also know US atrocities wouldn't compare to the horrors my uncle experienced and witnessed at the hands of the Japanese - the Japanese of WWII made the Vikings look amiable. Yes the US has committed gross injustice - do the wealthy in Russia, China, the Middle East use $200M to "educate" their citizens on their "iniquities"? A free library card would better serve you.

History is something a person should study from all sides and sources, but don't rely too much on propagandized violin versions from Hollywood or movie stars or script and screen writers with an agenda, especially Spielberg's orchestrated crescendos of emotional manipulation. The enfeebled media snobs can provoke anger, outrage, shame, pride or warm fuzzies, but they produce nothing objectively - war films have always been glorified melodrama or horrifying pornoviolence or a mix of both. Most likely Hanks opinion above was written for him for the sole sake of publicity; as The Pacific is rumored to be a $200M thud.

No comments:

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.