James M. Scott W. W. Norton & Company

A brand new book, Rampage, details the absolutely barbaric behavior by the Japanese during the World War Two battles for control of the Philippines.  Don’t read it unless you have a strong stomach for barbarity against civilians. Which brings us to a couple questions. First of all,  how can a culture that is thousands of years old change so quickly? We’ve lived in Japan, and, even a generation ago, even their biggest cities like Tokyo were, and are, super safe. It’s impossible to imagine the white collared salarymen of Japan engaging in violence. Japan is now a country with a diminishing birthrate, in part because the people seem more interested in porn than actual sex.  Japanese men now seem most interested in getting drunk with their office workers, reading comic books, and maybe groping a woman on the subway. But just a few generations ago Japanese soldiers were barbaric, engaging in gruesome violence and rape. This occurred not just in the Philippines, but even more notably in the Rape of Nanking.  Have the Japanese people changed at some fundamental level as a result of their defeat in World War Two and the complete dismemberment of their society?  Or are all the changes a result of changed circumstance? Interesting questions explored in this book, but with more of a commercial angle. Secondly, there is an almost endless stream of American books and movies about the evils and barbarities of Nazism during World War Two, but far fewer about the equally savage activities of the Japanese. Why?

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Bob Seger Rock

This song embodies the spirit of youth at its best.

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Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly, Mauro Prosperi 

We’ve highlighted one of the excellent episodes of this series before. Today we’re recommending the whole series about athletes who have been defeated and profited in some way by that defeat by learning something about themselves by changing direction,

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Mario Mattei Netflix

For some rich men, just having an expensive race car isn't enough. They want to race it in real races, against pro drivers. And they pay for the privilege.

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Groom Media Quotes
Joseph Conrad
I don't like work... but I like what is in work -- the chance to find yourself. Your own reality -- for yourself, not for others -- which no other man can ever know. ,,

- Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924)
Polish-British writer

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Smart People - Stupid Quotes
Ric Ocasek

When people want to take a meeting with me, I always make it at Coffee Shop; they can’t hear anything I say because I talk so soft, and I can’t hear what they’re saying, so it’s always a big ball of confusion, and no one gets anything done, so I think that’s successful.

Ric Ocasek
So a successful meeting is when no one has any idea what is going on? Ocasek missed his true calling as a politician.

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NetFlix and the Strange World of Modern Media

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Rise of the rest

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