As we hear the voice of the “real” Tokyo Rose, it does seems that her sometimes guttural, sometimes screechy, sometimes seductive tone emanates from the Japanese national spirit and no mere individual. Yanagi is almost certainly right that the authorities convicted the wrong Tokyo Rose, but the main point isn’t that, but rather that the spirit of Tokyo Rose was ethereal, ephemeral, and not subject to being captured, either by soldiers or even by memory. Except for recordings of her voice, she is absent.
Archive for February 2015
The legal question whether search engine links should be taken down under the European “right to be forgotten” should be determined by considerations of privacy, not considerations of “relevance” or “excess.”
And that, I think, is the not terribly secret, not terribly original explanation of Baltimore’s new “overnight” status as a theater town: it was the work of three generations at least: one to build the community theaters, one to build Center Stage, and one to build almost everything else upon that foundation. And if you were sleeping like Rip Van Winkle, you might have missed it.
There is much more to Ruined than Mama’s turn as a sort of Auntie Mame-of-the-Ituri-rainforest. It is also the unflinching story of how, in the words of Salima, men wage war “on [women’s] bodies.” Rape is not simply “what soldiers do,” to quote scholar Mary Louise Roberts’ recent book on the sexual behavior of World War II GIs in Normandy; particularly in contemporary warfare it is a form of combat, aimed at destroying societies. The scene in Act Two where Salima describes what happened to her is not only uncomfortable, it is a display of raw theatrical power and a tutorial about the mechanics of social destruction in the wake of rape.