| Feb 26, 2007

Eastwood didn't idealize Kuribayashi

NEW YORK — Isn’t the Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Clint Eastwood’s film “Letters From Iwo Jima” idealized? That was a question my poet friend Geoffrey O’Brien asked on New Year’s Eve. A dedicated student of film, O’Brien had remembered a poem about the general ...

| Sep 25, 2006

Supreme Court ruling doesn't hold water

NEW YORK — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia can’t be serious. In a recent decision he penned, he quoted “a famous exchange” in the 1942 movie “Casablanca” and a tale about “an Eastern guru” exclaiming, “Ah, after that it is turtles all the ...

Jun 26, 2006

South Korea and China also stir the pot

NEW YORK — A friend of mine in Tokyo has sent me two recent proposals to improve Japan’s relations with its neighbors. One, by the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, deals with China and is addressed to both the Japanese and Chinese governments; the ...

| May 29, 2006

Creeping back toward thought control

NEW YORK — Why are politicians so often regressive? Several years ago the Japanese government legally ritualized the singing of the national anthem and the raising of the flag. Now it is intent on changing a 60-year-old education law to codify patriotism. Like “love ...