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End Of Scene Blog Entries
SATURDAY, DEC 7, 2013
Ken makes a scene about why he wrote LIFE ON PAPER
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[EXCERPTED REVIEW] Broadway World makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[REVIEW] The Houston Press makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
SUNDAY, FEB 3, 2013
Ken makes a scene about an upcoming reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre
FRIDAY, FEB 1, 2013
Ken makes a scene about joining Season Two of House Of Cards
SATURDAY, DEC 8, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a letter from Liz Engelman
THURSDAY, DEC 6, 2012
Ken makes a scene about "Red State Blue State" on This American Life
MONDAY, NOV 5, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a stage adaptation of Warrior Class for the BBC.
TUESDAY, OCT 16, 2012
Ken makes a scene about participating in Baltimore Center Stage's MY AMERICA PROJECT, directed by Hal Hartley
SUNDAY, JUL 29, 2012
Errol Louis makes a scene about Warrior Class on NY1's INSIDE CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY, JUL 25, 2012
Head critic for NYTimes makes a scene about Warrior Class on WQXR's Around Broadway.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The New York Times makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The Daily News makes a scene about Warrior Class
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: Variety makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JAN 24, 2012
Ken makes a scene about The Montgomery New's Review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, JAN 19, 2012
Ken makes a scene about STAGE Magazine's review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, DEC 1, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a remarkable piece of writing about the American theatre
TUESDAY, NOV 22, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a character's stage transformation
MONDAY, NOV 21, 2011
Ken makes a scene about WARRIOR CLASS online
TUESDAY, SEP 27, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Asian American Performers Action Committee
MONDAY, SEP 26, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the fast work of SCR's casting department
FRIDAY, SEP 16, 2011
Ken makes a scene about Anne Garcia-Romero's post about LoNyLa
WEDNESDAY, JUL 6, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage's $150,000 grant to FALLOW
SUNDAY, JUN 19, 2011
A letter from Kaitlin Hopkins - Head of the Musical Theatre Program at Texas State
TUESDAY, FEB 15, 2011
Ken makes a scene about science plays.
WEDNESDAY, DEC 22, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Intelligence-Slave making the Houston Chronicles Top Theater Shows of 2010 list
TUESDAY, OCT 19, 2010
Ken makes a scene about intra out-group persecution.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about why theater is not a humanity.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Athol Fugard's criticism about the failure of modern dramatists
MONDAY, JUL 26, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the diverse audience of Queens Theater in the Park
SUNDAY, JUN 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the Jewish Herald-Voice's profile of INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE
WEDNESDAY, JUN 2, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Lee Williams's review of Intelligence-Slave in the Houston Press
TUESDAY, JUN 1, 2010
Ken makes a scene about his Intelligence-Slave interview with culturemap.com
SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Everett Evans's review in the Houston Chronicle
TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
Ken makes a scene about sharing a collective spirituality in the theater
SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2010
Ken makes a scene about seeing the bird through the feathers
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about tech, letting go of the play and making discoveries in production
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Press
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Chronicle
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene for the Alley Theatre's Mark Bly
WEDNESDAY, APR 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about being playwright 151 in Adam Szymkowicz's blog.
THURSDAY, APR 8, 2010
Ken makes a scene about changing the name of his play.
THURSDAY, MAR 18, 2010
Ken makes a scene about pundits and why Tom Hanks is "injecting" racism into World War II.
TUESDAY, MAR 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about writing "winning" dialogue.
MONDAY, MAR 15, 2010
Ken makes a scene about agents and the ecology of show business.
SATURDAY, MAR 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the beauty of the theater actor
THURSDAY, DEC 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about non-English language productions
TUESDAY, NOV 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about reviewing business books for theater artists
WEDNESDAY, NOV 4, 2009
Ken makes a scene about THE BIG REWRITE!
TUESDAY, OCT 27, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the discovery of an algorithm for happiness (7ZJJBYD9U6PX)
THURSDAY, OCT 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Holocaust fiction as a literary genre
TUESDAY, OCT 13, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Asians who don't go to the theater.
MONDAY, OCT 5, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the challenge of bravery in the theater.
MONDAY, SEP 28, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the death of Tragedy and Comedy.
TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Dave Matthews's statement that racism is "everywhere" in America.
WEDNESDAY, SEP 16, 2009
Ken makes a scene about why playwrights need websites.
End of Scene Blog

Tom Hanks Under Fire
Thursday, March 18, 2010
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Today the media is reporting that the actor Tom Hanks is coming under fire for suggesting, in promoting his new television series The Pacific, that there was a racial component to the way the American military engaged with the Japanese during World War II's Pacific Theater of Operations.

"'The Pacific' is coming out now," Hanks states in an interview with MSNBC, "where it represents a war that was of racism and terror. And where it seemed as though the only way to complete one of these battles on one of these small specks of rock in the middle of nowhere was to - I'm sorry - kill them all."

"Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as 'yellow, slant-eyed dogs' that believed in different gods," he told Time Magazine. "They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what's going on today?"

Hanks's comments have drawn the ire of the talking heads.

"Hanks' comments were sadly infantile pop philosophizing offered by, well, an ignoramus," wrote Victor Davis Hanson of Pajamas Media.

"Why [does] Hanks want to inject racism … where racism clearly does not exist?" said Bill O'Reilly.

Karl Rove said Hanks is "a wonderful actor, he's a superb director, he's a good storyteller, but he's a conventional Hollywood liberal…He receives his opinions in whatever they drink or smoke or eat out there in southern California in the acting community."

Now, I take issue myself with Hanks's contention that Americans and Japanese were trying to kill each other over differences in "way[s] of living." It seems clear to me that politics is what incites war, not spoons vs. chopsticks. I would find it irresponsible if Hanks were suggesting that racism was the primary reason why the Americans fought the Japanese during World War II. But, that is not Hank's contention. Hanks contends that in battle, the two sides engaged in a methodology of total annihilation that was inflamed by racism and culture clash. Seems pretty plausible to me. (It should also be noted that the methodology of total annihilation was also informed, as reported, by the refusal of the non-military Japanese citizenry to surrender.)

In light of the bitterly racist anti-Japanese propaganda (for examples click here, here and here) of the time and in light of the fact that Japanese American citizens were herded up and locked in concentration camps by the U.S. government, it would seem that anyone who thinks that it's "clear" that racism didn't exist in the manner the government conducted itself during World War II is either blind or foolish or has an agenda of perpetuating a culture of racism denial that I discussed in an earlier blog.

Furthermore, I think it's pretty irresponsible for Hanson to portray Hanks as an "ignoramus" and Rove to discredit Hanks's opinions by tying them to his profession. Hanks is clearly not an ignoramus. His last World War II series Band of Brothers was clearly well-researched and informed by extensive first-person accounting. He enlisted the help of World War II experts. There's nothing to lead me, the casual observer, to fear that Hanks has decided to change his process when it comes to The Pacific, launching into a massive, high-profile endeavor with a destructive ignorance to the facts. Artists collect data about the world the same way everyone else collects data about the world. We read, we observe, we talk to people who are more well-informed than we are. Actors, directors, dramaturgs, designers, writers – I know of no one in the dramatic arts who doesn't do an enormous amount of research before applying his or her craft. Why is that research discounted? It seems irresponsible for a pundit to discredit all this preparation when he doesn't agree with the conclusions it leads to.

Rove's comments are particularly interesting because they suggest an anti-theatrical prejudice which Jonas Barish contends has existed since the inception of theater. In the tradition of Plato, of Tertulian, Rove intimates that actors and theater folk are not to be trusted. They are storytellers. They are drinking and eating and smoking what no responsible citizen eats or drinks or smokes. They tell stories. They can't be trusted.

Is Karl Rove to be trusted? Before answering, eat a sandwich, drink a cola, smoke a ham and remember that you'd be the subject of a Philosopher King if Plato had his way.

end of scene
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