'Iwo Jima': another view 

David Koon’s review of director Clint Eastwood’s film, “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Jan. 22), was nearly as misleading as it was gushy.

The Japanese people have clearly decided for themselves to reconsider the sacrifices of their military in World War II. Particularly inasmuch as those were in the service of imperialism, it remains an open question whether this is a good thing or not; certainly, the people of China and Korea might have different perspectives.

It ought to be acknowledged, however, that Japanese filmmakers have led the way in raising these questions. In particular, in a controversial 2005 film concerning the sinking of the carrier Yamato in 1945; the film version of the story granted the Japanese servicemen who died on the ship’s last, suicide mission, a measure of humanity notoriously absent from all of the Hollywood depictions of WWII in the 60-plus years since.

In that regard, Eastwood’s film — styled as a generous attempt to recuperate the dignity of Japanese soldiers who fought in the war — is less a “masterful” stroke than yet another instance of U.S. media placing a mainstream face on already existing creative work (think Pat Boone covering Little Richard and Fats Domino in the 1950s).

If Eastwood really wanted to make a WWII film worthy of your reviewer’s lavish praise, he might instead explore the question of why atomic weapons were deemed appropriate to use against Japan (just weeks after the destruction of the Yamato ended all hope of repelling a U.S. invasion), but not against the Axis power responsible for perpetrating the Holocaust.

Of course that might involve some creativity and intellectual risk which, like cell phones and video games, apparently must also be imported from Asia.

Ain’t that a shame?

Richard DeLaurell

Little Rock

Change bulbs

Don’t make a special trip, but the next time you go shopping, please buy an energy saving compact fluorescent light bulb. Take it home and replace one incandescent light bulb. Do this every time you go shopping until all of the incandescent light bulbs in your home are gone. By using less energy, you will be helping the U.S. become totally energy independent. Haven’t we spent enough money and sacrificed enough lives trying to secure our access to foreign oil and natural gas? Your investment in energy saving light bulbs will also help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are heating up planet earth. Maybe you think replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (1) costs too much and (2) won’t make much difference. After all, global warming is well advanced and total energy independence seems impossible. First, the electricity you save by switching to compact fluorescents will pay for the bulbs. Second, like other energy star products, the widespread use of compact fluorescents will help us achieve energy independence.

Ruth Reynolds

Cherokee Village

So happy

I am so happy for Arkansas as we now have a new governor we can be proud of.

As I told your great newspaper in a letter some time ago, my son saves me your paper. He may mail several to me, bring them when he visits or I may pick them up when I visit him. I got a package in the mail today, all of it being Mike Beebe goodies.



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