Monday, December 19, 2005

Japanese War Crimes

This page (Japanese War Crimes) came after googling the remarks of a friend this morning.

We were talking about Memoirs of a Geisha. She said the Japanese were in an uproar because the producers used Chinese actors for the leads rather than Japanese, the ethnicity of the main characters. "It's about competition," I said, in some historic ignorance. "It's about centuries of war," says my friend.

Well how about photos of decapitated heads for a morning image to carry along with my morning coffee? No, it's not about my squeamishness. It is about my ignorance. But mostly it's about the fact that a human can become a brute. Is it a becoming or an eliciting? You cannot become what is not already a part of you. How many times has this sequence been analyzed? The Nanking Massacre brought it on. and then the Nazis. Is the mantle of humanity just too heavy and is it just too easy to be that soulless brute? Imagine yourself wielding a Japanese sword, disemboweling a baby. Imagine yourself one of a line of men raping a faceless woman. Is it easy? What mechanism releases one from humanity? How does it happen? And what happens after when the brutes no longer carry a gun and a flag? What memories do they carry?

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