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?(View More...)
Sade Diamond Life
Are you a smooth operator? Not only is this a great song, but it speaks to a type of elegance that seems long gone. Sade Adu was one of the great beauties of her time, and her albums were international hits, but she didn’t seek publicity, and she only released an album when she felt like it – which wasn’t often.(View More...)
Ireneusz Dobrowolski Netflix
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It’s Gratitude week here at Attitude Media and today’s selection is a book by a naturally grumpy writer who decided to make an effort to really appreciate – and thank everyone involved in a little daily routine most of us enjoy – our morning coffee. Just about everything involves more work and thought than you might think, and that includes your morning coffee. The coffee itself travels around the world; the lid on your coffee cup is a stunningly complex invention. Thousands of people are involved in getting the simple cup of coffee to you. It’s not just coffee; we’ve already told you about the amount of work – and passion – involved in producing and selling workout pants. Or how about becoming a novelist? Anyone can use Amazon’s system to self-publish, and millions of books have been published this way. But if you read the Introduction to Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee you’ll get an appreciation of the price someone pays to express themselves.View all Books
Despite the rather lame narration by Tina Fey, this is a really entertaining movie – really great if you have kids and can watch it with them. The movie follows a large group of monkeys who live in the jungles of Sri Lanka. The videography following the monkeys in the jungle and in their urban exploits is amazing. It has it all; family battles for power, fights over scarce resources, land wars, love and affection, the perils of travel to unknown parts, defending the homeland.View all Movies
This TV series from Netflix is a perfect, and practical, way to get your new year off to a good start. Is your house a mess? Would you like to be more organized? Does all your stuff bring you joy? Or just get in the way? First of all, you need to understand that Marie Kindo is a superstar in Japan; just think about that; becoming a rock star based on coming up with a clever way to clean out your house. There are a lot of paths to fame and fortune, and this woman found such a path based on something as dull as cleaning up. It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty and charming; She’s also a bit of a nut – she talks to the clothes. But charming all the same. How big a star is she? Netflix paid her to do a Programme for Americans - and she doesn't speak English. The couple in the first episode is stressed out over the normal stuff that stresses people out; working, raising kids, trying to have a life. This is a loving couple, just trying to make their life less chaotic. Follow the path to joy and sanity.View all Television
Sometimes the most fascinating content on the web is a simple list because it describes such a fundamental thing, like where people choose to live. Did you know that one of out every 3 Americans lives in one of 4 states? (California, Texas, Florida, and New York) Yet those states have a total of 8 US senators, the same as the four smallest states, which have combined less than one percent of the US population. This represents a fundamental flaw in a representative democracy. Why do people move? Warm weather, job opportunity, and taxes all seem to be major factors. Of the 4 largest states, 3 are warm weather, while all 4 of the least populated states are wicked cold (North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming). But the fastest population growth last year was in…wait for it….Idaho. Not exactly fun in the sun. Most of the states that lost population last year are either very cold or very poor (Mississippi). But people also left Hawaii. And California showed very low growth. At some point, housing costs start to inhibit population growth. So Californians head to Arizona; high job growth and lower housing costs in a saner environment.View all Web