What We Choose to Remember Isn’t Usually What We Should Remember
Another Memorial Day is upon us. If you happen to be somewhere nice enough to be outside, then you are most likely enjoying it. Others, those trapped inside, are either chatting on-line or watching a series “all day marathon” or one of the seemingly countless WWII movies which every other station saves for just such holidays. I used to enjoy watching them when I was a child and they were “new to me.” Many of those movies have “The Duke” staring in them, so you cannot be an American without liking them, but lately, I’ve begun wondering what they left out.
Recently, I finished watching “The Pacific”. I watched most of it with my father and was shocked at how much they left out. They didn’t leave it out, they left the explanation out. I had watched a lot of documentaries along with recent movies. Towards the end of the series, they simply show you the various atrocities without making any attempt to explain them. Quite frankly I was pissed off when I had to explain to my dad the reason for the bayonet charge by the Japanese at one point was the fact that they had no bullets left. They were ordered to die on that island or kill every American, but they were never re-supplied. The movie didn’t bother to drop in a single character, like a shiny new replacement soldier, whose sole purpose was to utter that information.
Another recent movie I’ve had the pleasure of seeing several times is “The Runaways”. This is a great flick. It covers a lot of the hardship these girls had to go through to become famous. They even cover a bit of Joan Jett’s solo rise at the end. What they left out, thankfully, was documented in the “Bad Reputation” video you can find on youtube: 27 different record companies turned down “I Love Rock & Roll” with various flavors of insults. Thankfully, 26+ million people thought it was worth buying. This is one of the better known Indie music success stories.
What we really need to remember about the Japanese soldiers on those islands is that their atrocities came from orders which did not allow for retreat or surrender and a re-supply situation which offered no other options.
What we need to remember about Joan Jett is the shit she had to go through in order to become the kind of success which could launch a massively successful Indie record label. Indeed, she was the first woman in rock to ever own her own record label. A label which recently passed the 25 th anniversary mark.