A Good Yarn

Saturday, January 20, 2007

knitting doldrums

When I posted my BFF sock picture yesterday, I chose that pohot because I thought it showed the pattern and the colors pretty well. I'm actually pretty far along on the foot already:

However, I've realized that January is 3/4 done and I'm only 1/2 done with my red scarf, so I'm going to work exclusively on that so I can finish on time. I picked up a Chipotle gift card to go with it yesterday. I figure there must be Chipotles in most larger college towns, right? Anyway, here's the scarf as it stands now:

Technically it's not ribbing, but since you only do the cable cross every 5 rows, in reality, it is ribbing. Miles and miles of ribbing. I'm getting bored.

Last night I saw what was my favorite film of 2006:

All I can say is Wow! It was so powerful. I was just devastated at the end. I love Ken Watanabe and I'd really like to see him in more American movies. As you probably know, Letters is a film about the battle for Iwo Jima, told from the viewpoint of the Japanese. It's a companion piece to Eastwood's film released in the fall of 2006, Flags of our Fathers. Ken Watanabe plays the General leading the defense of Iwo Jima, a soldier who was trained in the U.S., but is loyal to his country and the Emporer. His ideas about strategy and fighting vs. dying with honor (i.e. suicide) are a little different than some of the men under his command. Also outstanding in the film are Kazunari Ninomiya who plays a foot soldier who is really a baker with a young wife and a baby he's never seen at home (it seems just like ordinary Americans were called upon to fight WWII, so too were ordinary Japanese) and Tsuyoshi Ihara as a former Olympian who cuts a dashing figure and fights alongside Watanabe's General, even though he knows the Japanese have already lost the war. The power of the film for me is that you identify with and care for these men greatly. But you know what they are fighting for and who they are fighting against, so you can't exactly root for them, either. It just shows the tragedy of war and the great push we all should make to find ways to avoid it.

I think whenever war films are made during a time of war, they are a comment on the current war. Both this film and the last one I saw, Days of Glory, I think do that. Letters really shows you that we are fooled by those in power into thinking about the enemy as different, crazed or weak or whatever will serve the purposes of getting men to fight. That's what the Japanese thought about the Americans and the Americans thought about the Japanese. But in reality, on both sides, it was just people. With mothers and families and pride in their country. Of course the same could be said of the Americans and the Iraqis today. Flags of our Fathers also explores this theme - how propoganda and images are used to sell an agenda. Letters also shows the Japanese stuck on this island, fighting without proper provisions or re-inforcements, without a real chance of actually winning the war. Does that sound familiar to anyone with a family member in Iraq?