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...)
Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly, Mauro Prosperi
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.
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This story is so wild you'll think it's fiction, but it's based on the diaries of a Jew living in Russia in the early years of the 20th century. While just about everyone seems to think they are the victims of injustice these days, the people who have truly suffered, just about everywhere and at all times, are the Jews. And to read about this man's experience will remind you that, really, you don't have problems. But he writes with a sense of humor, not a sense of suffering. Not only is the story amazing, but so is the way this book was created, starting with Maratech's diaries, and continuing with his family over the next two generations. Not only was his survival an amazing feat, but the publication of this book was an amazing feat. Make sure you read the epilogue.View all Books
America is, and always has been, about aspiration. Starting with nothing and achieving what seemed impossible. The specific aspirations change, but the idea doesn't. In this case, a young man living in a group house has a dream to become a producer of electronic music. A well done and entertaining flick with some big name young actors.View all Movies
If you listen to rap - and we hope you don't - you'll notice that the overriding theme is basically "How great I am! No one thought I would be anything, but now I'm just so great". Halsey has a different approach; She's telling you you'll be disappointed if you actually meet her, even if you're a big fan. More importantly, the song is captivating.View all Music
Big Tech and Big Media have long had a world view that "the world", or the part that mattered, is really New York and San Francisco. Our study contains a joke made by a journalist that pretty well makes this point. Now some big-time tech investors are trying to expand tech to the rest of America to bridge the great digital divide.View all Television
Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.View all Quotes