I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Fist of Fury

tn_fistoffuryFIST OF FURY aka THE CHINESE CONNECTION is Bruce Lee vehicle #2. This one is a period piece with much higher production values than THE BIG BOSS. Bruce comes into town wearing a white suit (looking like today’s pretty boy Korean pop stars, to be honest) and discovers that his master has just died. Bruce is playing the fictional character Chen Zhen, student to the real historical figure of Huo Yuanjia, who has become fictionalized in movies and legends. (For one version of Huo Yuanjia’s life story see FEARLESS, where he’s played by Jet Li.)

It’s ironic that this story comes out of speculation over Huo Yuanjia’s death, because speculation about Bruce Lee’s own death would pretty much become its own subgenre. But that’s later.

mp_fistoffuryChen does not take the death well. At the funeral he throws himself into the grave, even though he’s getting the white suit muddy. Any time you have to get dragged away from a funeral because of your behavior it’s pretty embarrassing, believe me. You regret it later. But Chen doesn’t care, he just sits around brooding and refuses to speak or eat. If it was a different place and time I bet he would lock himself in his room and listen to The Cure.

It doesn’t help his mood when some pricks from a Japanese dojo show up and tease the master’s school with a gag gift sign that calls Chinese people “Sick Men of Asia.” See, this is during Japanese control of Shanghai, so there’s alot of tensions and mistreatment. So Chinese don’t take kindly to Japanese guys coming in saying they can fight better or giving them unsolicited signage or calling them sick men. Also, it is possible that something is lost in the translation of that sign. “Sick men”? I don’t know.

Whatever the deal is with “sick men,” it makes Chen fucking furious. You can see it, he has Face of Fury. But the master said not to go around starting shit. (Rule #1: Don’t go around starting shit.) So during the whole long confrontation Chen stands still lookin like steam’s gonna come out of his ears Yosemite Sam style, but he doesn’t fight.

Well, until a little later. Without telling anybody he’s gonna do it, Chen goes by himself to the dojo and returns the sign. They can’t believe the balls on this guy, but it’s a “you have dishonored me” type of not believing the balls, not a “I like you, you should come work for me” type. He claims to be the master’s worst student, then proceeds to kick the ass of every last motherfucker there, including the sensei. If there were people there fixing the thermostat or replacing the roof tiles he would’ve beat them up too. He debuts the nunchakus, which sound about as loud as a helicopter when he spins them. Then he makes a couple of those chumps literally eat the sign.

mp_fistoffuryB(It’s funny, Japanese people also liked to tell these legends of somebody going into a dojo and challenging and defeating all of them in one session. Sonny Chiba did it in one of those KARATE BULLFIGHTER movies, for example, and he was playing his real life karate master. But he was doing it more out of cockiness and not really in response to any signs or other gifts.)

So you see,  it really is a fist of fury. The guy needs to calm the fuck down. I mean okay, I can’t deny that it’s completely awesome that he was able to take on all of those guys. But it speaks of a serious anger management problem. All this over a mean sign? Well, I guess not exactly. ‘Cause he has a hunch – and he’s right – that these fuckos poisoned his master. In fact, back on home turf he overhears some traitors talking about poisoning the master. He should go to the police or at least tell the others. Instead he kills these two, hangs them in the street and leaves.

Now he’s a murderer, but even before that he had caused a huge mess. Beating up that entire dojo was pretty cool at the time, but they felt differently about it so they retaliated, wrecking Chen’s school, beating up his friends and threatening to get the school closed down if they don’t turn Chen over to the police.

The girl character finds him camping out at the master’s grave munching on some animal he apparently caught and fired up. But nobody else knows where he is. He’s in hiding. And he goes after the plotters CIA style, wearing disguises. He picks up one victim while disguised as a rickshaw driver (and lifts the entire rickshaw by the handles!), spies on the boss while pretending to be a nerdy telephone repair man, hides on the street wearing grey wig and mustache, reading a newspaper. The guy is serious. He’s the Punisher.

There’s a famous scene where he wants to go into a park but a guard stops him and points to a sign that says “NO CHINESE OR DOGS.” But then he lets a dog in! It’s the dog part of the policy that they’re lenient about sometimes, not the human part. And this story takes place way before THE BIG BOSS, so it’s not reparations for Bruce kicking a dog in that one. Bruce disagrees with the policy so he jumps up, kicks the sign off the wall, then kicks it again in mid-air and smashes it. When he lands he’s crowded by a mob of admirers.

That seems like a good scene of a guy standing up for his people, but I wonder if it was actually kind of corny in the context of the time and place? That Shanghai shit happened a long time ago, maybe it was dumb for them to be obsessing over these anti-Japanese themes? That’s why I kind of like THE BIG BOSS better. Its class themes are more timeless and universal than this pro-Chinese jingoistic stuff.

Also, come to think of it, this is the second offensive sign that he has defeated in this movie. This is really a movie about Bruce Lee vs. Signs.

We know from FEARLESS that Huo Yuanjia was a Chinese hero because he competed against fighters of other nationalities and defeated them. One of the famous opponents was a Russian wrestler, although in real life he only challenged Huo Yuanjia for publicity, did not fight him and actually apologized. Still, Bruce follows in that tradition and fights a Russian named Petrov. He fights him while Petrov is wearing a bow tie so it’s pretty cool that he defeats him by punching him in the neck. Using that thing as a bullseye.

“Who says knight errantry is dead?” That’s the translation of the lyrics in a song that plays at the end. Chen gets revenge for the master and is sure to take the fall for it so the whole school doesn’t have to suffer. When the cops show up there’s dead bodies all over the place. Chen gives himself up, probly figuring he will get to do a sequel along the lines of THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK. But when he comes out of the building there’s a line of soldiers waiting for him with guns, so he gets the Face of Fury again and jumps toward them, freeze framing in a permanent pre-death kick.

This is a real good movie, but this character is a nut. I wish he could’ve kept his cool. He only briefly practices his master’s non-violent beliefs, and has to make a show of not enjoying it, like a kid pouting his way through church. Then he’s all about getting in fights. I mean he literally must fight over a hundred people in this movie. He murders three of them and hangs them from lamp posts like they hung up those sharks they caught in JAWS. His actions cause the deaths of many of his friends and colleagues as well as massive property damage and potential legal troubles for the school for years to come. I mean, maybe there was a better way to handle all this, is what I’m suggesting. No offense, Bruce.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 23rd, 2010 at 2:07 pm and is filed under Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

47 Responses to “Fist of Fury”

  1. “maybe it was dumb for them to be obsessing over these anti-Japanese themes?”

    Vern, Imperial Japanese* for Chinese movies is like the Nazis in our American movies…..they’re easy-to-hate villains you can deploy and slaughter without anyone seriously complaining.

    *=For that matter, Beijing has really stroked that shit in recent decades to the point I wonder if now most Chinese hate Japan much more than the WW2 generation, you know the ones who got bombed, shot, robbed, raped, all that. And well Japan’s cultural refusal to even seriously acknowledge those WW2 bad things doesn’t help anybody.

  2. Actually, considering what Japan did to the Chinese, and considering the way Japanese culture still depicts that period of their history, I actually think that movies like Fist of Fury are a little too nice to the Japanese.

    For some reason, though, it’s that “sick men of Asia” thing that really got China pissed off. It’s mentioned in some other kung fu movies, too. The Honor of Dong Feng Xe is the one that springs to mind, but that’s probably just because it’s the last one I saw.

  3. Wasn’t it “Weak Men of Asia”, like in Fearless? Speaking of which, it’s funny Jet Li played Huo in that, but also his student in FIST OF LEGEND, the remake of Fist of Fury.

  4. Eddie Lummox – Like I said, its easy villain bait.

  5. One Guy From Andromeda

    April 23rd, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    “I mean, maybe there was a better way to handle all this.” The joy i derive out of these reviews is immeasurable, Vern. I generally don’t like Kung Fu movies, I know i’m a heathen, but that’s the way it is. Everything between the fights bores me to tears usually, but just watching the fights alone makes me miss context at least a little. I think most of the story of this movie sounds way more entertaining when described in a sentence (like “spies on the boss while pretending to be a nerdy telephone repair man”) then when i have to watch it on screen, waiting out the awkwardness.

  6. Damn it Vern, you are reviewing one of the standout movies of the greatest martial-arts star ever, and you can’t give it a bigger recommendation than you gave to “The Big Boss”? Since the films are all but identical in terms of story (if not theme and setting) I would be yelling “THIS is how you damn well do it” to the heavens if it wasn’t for one small thing: I’ve seen “Enter the Dragon”, which is even better than this one.

  7. “This time you’re eating paper. Next time… It’s gonna be glass!”

  8. Paul – well what can you do, I like THE BIG BOSS better. I’m not gonna lie about it. I’m not a good liar. People would figure me out.

    This is definitely a slicker movie, and it has bigger fights with more people involved. But I think there’s more charm in THE BIG BOSS. Where in this one is there anything half as badass as the part where he eats the chips? And I happen to enjoy goofy touches like the dogthrowing and the cartoon outline hole in the wall. And I can get behind his character more in THE BIG BOSS. He’s a flawed individual, but not a complete psychopath.

    Both are great though.

  9. That sign says 东亚病夫 which translates quite literally ‘Asia sick man’, don’t know why its so offensive, its a phrase which only appears in Kung fu movies, its not a popular insult.
    The Japanese are are not just stock movie enemy, they are the national enemy as perpetrated by the government through all media (film, newspapers, tv) for the last 50 years. Its biasically a (remarkably effective) device to stop people questioning the actions of their own government.

  10. “Its biasically a (remarkably effective) device to stop people questioning the actions of their own government.”

    Maxiao – Tanks running over protestors also help too.

  11. That’s what I was getting at. It’s kind of like all the movies we had in the ’80s with evil Russians. As an outsider you just kind of go with it, but if you stop to think about it it’s like, “Damn, these guys wasted alot of time hating Japanese people.”

  12. yeah, but i don’t think it would be considered cheesy or dated by most chinese people (most chinese people, feel free to disagree with me). as someone who lives in japan, i can tell you that the animosity and bitter feelings between the chinese and japanese is continuing today and even, as someone pointed out above, has flamed up in recent years over certain issues, including the japanese governments continued approval of a high school history textbook that glosses over their WWII atrocities and a recent japanese PM’s insistence on visiting a shrine in tokyo that honors the war dead, including some class a war criminals. however, the chinese are definitely way more passionate about it on the whole. when i visited beijing and i told some college students (girls) that i met that i lived in japan, one of them practically spat on the ground and pronounced the name “japan” with such sneering vitriol. when i took a cab to go see the great wall, the cab driver was super friendly and chatty, but as soon as i mentioned that i lived in japan, he fell totally silent for the rest of the 2 hour drive (btw, i am american and do not look remotely japanese or asian). in japan, overall the attitude is more one of embarrassment and befuddlement, though mixed with a definite stubbornness. there are of course certain elements of japanese society that are vehemently and racistly anti-chinese (right-wingers), but they are not representative of the whole. i think the chinese have obvious reason to feel resentful to the japanese, and japan could do a much better job of taking responsibility (though in their defense they have certainly officially apologized many times), but the chinese government has also obviously stoked these bitter sentiments using blatant propagandistic techniques.

    kung fu movies are good though.

    i don’t think japanese people would think too much when they saw the way the japanese were portrayed in this movie. it would be like germans watching RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

  13. I’ll say it again, though: I don’t really think it was a waste of time. When Japanese culture still views the WWII-era policy of institutionalized rape (“comfort women”) as something fun and harmless, and a recent Japanese prestige film insisted that accusing Japan of war crimes is the most evil and sadistic thing that you could possibly do, my honest opinion is everybody needs to spend more time hating Japanese people.

    At least Germany acknowledges that the Nazis were wrong.

  14. I take way too long to post. Other people are always popping up while I’m typing and addressing exactly the same thing I was about to bring up.

  15. Eddie Lennox – Yeah Japan now is like what Germany was in the 50s/60s, alternating between outright ignoring, brushing it under the rug or washing it over with bleach. But they got out of that nonsense by the 1970s and they’ve subsequently recovered in foreign relations to their neighbors and the continent. Also it helped when the regional dictators also fell, which hasn’t happened in that part of Asia yet.

    “it would be like germans watching RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.”

    Yeah I always thought that is kinda weird, and then I read a poll done by a German magazine some years back, and RAIDERS was voted among the greatest movies ever made. And well yeah, it is.

    Just…I remember reading once about how WHERE EAGLES DARE is not exactly popular in the Rhineland because Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood basically machine gun down thousands of Germans because hey, all those Krauts had to be Nazis too right?

    Fair enough to a degree I suppose. But then the same could be said of Indy Jones rubbing out those Germans in the trucks and island. So…I don’t get it?

  16. ” It’s kind of like all the movies we had in the ’80s with evil Russians.”

    Vern – And yet as even you noted once, Hollywood continued that into even the 1990s, mostly because we Americans didn’t yet have a new numero uno dependable bad guys. From GOLDENEYE to THE PEACEMAKER* to THE SAINT and that Charlie Sheen skydiving actioneer TERMINAL VELOCITY to…fuck, Mr. Majestyk can help me with the rest in that department.

    And hey, after EASTERN PROMISES now we can have the Russians again. Just instead of the KGB or ex-KGB or whatever, its the mafia. Because the Italians are out of business, Triads are too played out, and well the Yakuza are just too exotic. I mean after BLACK RAIN, THE YAKUZA, and KILL BILL…what else can be done in Hollywood with the Yakuza?

    *=That one was so dull, it should have been retitled THE PACEMAKER.

  17. Good review, Vern. Fist of Fury was the Holy Grail for me back in the early ’90s, before the internet. Thanks to the BBFC (British censorship board), the film was banned from certification due to the board’s draconian stance on use of nunchucku (and shuriken for that matter – ninja movies ended up being rather lacking once they’d been mangled through the certification system). When I finally got to see it I was kind of shocked at how violent the character of Chen Zhen was. Not many kung fu heroes actually resort to murder!

  18. RRA, I appreciate your vote of confidence. I will add AIR FORCE ONE and XXX to the list of 90s and 00s movies featuring ex-commie Russian aggressors.

  19. Don’t forget Goldeneye. They spent 10 years trying to figure out how to keep Bond relevant after the Cold War ended, so they decided the best way to do that would be to restart it.

  20. Holy shit RRA, I totally forgot that Terminal Velocity existed! I remember that it was a pretty big (or at least heavily advertised) movie when it came out (over here) and I even liked it when I saw it on TV – but I was 14 back then, so I got no idea if it is really any good.

  21. One Guy From Andromeda

    April 24th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Eddie Lumox: “everybody needs to spend more time hating Japanese people” I think that’s exactly the kind of generalizing mindset that leads to what makes you hate the Japanese in the first place.

  22. CJ/RRA – don’t forget Fair Game, starring Cindy Crawford and Billy Baldwin, with Steven Berkoff playing another “ex-KGB” villain…

  23. RRA – I’m sure there are even more evil Russian bad guys out there.

    But “The Peacemaker”? Boring? I was laughing my head off at most of it, particularly the part where George’s last instruction to his troops before the black-ops mission that’s supposed to secure a nuclear bomb is something along the lines of: “Remember: whatever happens, you mustn’t kill any civillians!” Dreamworks’ first movie, and also a throwback to a simpler time where supposedly “morally complex” films could include lines like that without any hint of irony.

    And while the Russians have always been “fair game” (such an underrated movie btw) for Hollywood actioners, even up until a recent series of “24”, I’ve always had a soft spot for the classical British cad. Of course I’m biased, being British and all, but let’s be honest: while you may have watched “The Rocketeer” for the action scenes, classically-themed story, and Jennifer Connelly’s cleavage, you RE-watched it for Timothy Dalton’s scene-chewing performance as a suave, smirking Nazi.

  24. Paul – OK you got us there on THE ROCKETEER. Roses are red, sky is blue, Dalton is awesome.

    But yeah you British are the perfect movie foil because let’s admit it, it doesn’t take much for most people around the globe to despise the total shit out of a limey villain. Either from past imperial triumphs or the fact that you guys just with slight ease can be total stuck-up snobbish wankers even while reading the Nutritional Guide.

    Chinese, Indians, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis, Australians, French, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Caribbean, Afghanistan, Iran all probably have had British creeps to deal with by the local good ole boy hero in their movies.

    Well except Afghanistan, but as soon as their industry does come around they’ll do it too.

  25. Just wanna jump in and say that as a german i dont really mind the Indiana Jones Nazis as villains. They always seem so comicly evil and with their uniforms they just make some great Movievillains. Its not like anyone here still identifys himself with Nazis.

    On another note, i was once working on a video installation for a chinese museum. It was about some uprising of chinese people against the chinese goverment historicly, but for the museum they changed it to an uprising against japan. Really strange

  26. Wait, in what universe is Fair Game underrated? I can get behind saying Terminal Velocity is underrated because it is. I can get behind The Peacemaker as being underrated. I think I give Peacemaker a slight pass is because instead of using a one-liner, Clooney just walks up to the car that crashed and shoots them and walks away. Nothing more badass than that.

    Vern, if you haven’t, can you review Fair Game, Terminal Velocity and The Peacemaker so we can have the definitive word on those films?

  27. Lawrence – I was being seriously sarcastic with the “under-rated” comment. It’s a terrible flick; but I would argue that it’s also enjoyable if you’re in the right frame of mind. It’s just on the right side of “so bad it’s good”, as opposed to “so bad it’s unwatchable” IMO. I can quite understand others disagreeing with that assessment though.

    Also I quite liked “Terminal Velocity” AND “The Peacemaker”, but I think TV is by far the better film of the two.

    Might also have mentioned “Air Force One”‘s vigilante president and the interventionist theme in my examples of morally naive recent action movies there. “Mission Impossible 3” (which is a better film than “The Peacemaker” or “Air Force One” but still barely scrapes to adequate) had an interventionist character, but he was the villain. I don’t know if you could get away with having a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster with an interventionist as your lead protagonist nowadays, although it’d be interesting if someone tried. Very often the right-leaning action films are a lot more watchable than the left – nothing to do with politics, it’s just a trend that seems to crop up from time to time. Look at the original “Dirty Harry” for example.

  28. Yeah, Terminal Velocity rocks pretty hard. James Gandolfini as en ex-KGB? Lol. In a weird way it works though. I think a lot of Charlie Sheen’s 90’s films are pretty underrated actually.

  29. Jet Li remade this as Fist Of Legend. It’s my favorite Jet Li movie.

  30. ThomasCrown442 – Yup. The ARRIVAL, for instance. Pretty solid little sci-fi action picture if you ask me. I also like him in MAJOR LEAGUE and, uh, what else? hmm, that’s about it, I think. He’s one of those guys, you’re like, why is this guy still a celebrity?

  31. Okay. This might sound stupid. There is a movie, I always thought it was this one, where some Asian kung-fu dudes, I think Japanese, stumble upon another kung-fu dude, I think Chinese (I could have these reversed) and the Chinese dude has his shirt off.

    And the camera zooms in.

    On his nipples.

    And the other dudes are like, “Oh no! You’re Chinese!”

    Because of his nipples.

    What the fuck, man? I always thought it was in The Chinese Connection, but it seems like the kind of detail someone would’ve brought up by now.

    Does anyone have the slightest clue what I’m talking about?

    Is there some kind of Asian congenital nipple thing I don’t know about?

  32. Darryll – Because his TWO & HALF MEN was one of the biggest comedy hits on network TV, if not #1. And Sheen is currently the highest paid network TV star per episode if I’m not mistaken.

    That is until his latest run-in with the police, and that contract may go like a good portion of his career: Up in smoke.

    Speaking of Sheen, I wonder how much booze gulped and how many whores were fucked by the double dream team of Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland on that lame Three Muskateers picture.

  33. Alfonse G. – reminds me of the “my nipples look like milkduds!” line from Kung Pow: Enter The Fist

    also I’ve always found the rivalry between Japan and China weird, not that they don’t both have unique cultures or anything, but they’re both Asian! why can’t they get along?

  34. I totally just remembered what really bugged me about Fair Game and it’s because they have Selma Hayek in the film. This was around the time she started getting famous and in her brief scene she shows more charisma than Cindy Crawford shows in the entire film. If I were the producers, I would have done this major rewrite.

    Cindy Crawford has information on the Russians. She is targeted early in the movie. You think that she’s going to be the main star. However, the Russians end up killing her but not before the information gets passed onto Selma Hayek. The movie then becomes about Selma Hayek and William Baldwin instead. Trust me, it would have been a much more entertaining film.

  35. I watched Terminal Velocity back when it was first released on video; but also Drop Zone with Wesley Snipes. (Two action parachute movies, released about the same time.) I actually remember snatches of DZ, but not TV, and my impression was that DZ was a better film. Possibly due to the early Hans Zimmer soundtrack which was then sampled for years afterward as tempscore and trailer material, perhaps most famously for The Mask of Zorro–I was conflictedly disappointed when I realized the film’s music wasn’t the awesome stuff from the trailer but was instead one of the last great James Horner scores.

    Well, okay, maybe the most famous use of Drop Zone’s score was when elements of it were repurposed by a Zimmer associate for main cues in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. (Which clearly Zimmer was heavily involved with, since he felt like taking full credit for the scores on the two sequels. {wry g})

    Meanwhile: “Fist of Fury” or “Fist of Legend”–which would y’all say is a better film, and/or works better as a sequel (fictionalized or otherwise) to Li’s “Fearless”?

  36. We can’t underestimate the negative view chinese haveof the japanese even toda,y due to WWII. Let me remind you guys of this litle fact that the japanese killed 20 million chinese during WWII, and add to that about 10 million more from the time of the occupation years before WWII. And of those deaths, 2/3rd were civilians. Merely civilians who were caught at thw wrong time at the wrong place, and used to make example for the insurgents.

    You guys know why the communists wee so welcomed by the chinese population after WWII, and why they won the civial war agasint Chiang Kai-shek nationalist government? It was because the communists were the only ones that effectively fought agaisntthe japaneses during WWII. During WWII, all the material and armament help that the americans gave to Chiang Kai-shek was not used to fightthe japanese, he was saving them for later to fight the communists. The communist,s however, they used all the material help givne by the americans and they sacrificed their lives by the hundreds of thousands to fight the japanese. The Mao Zedong communist army was so effective in fighting the japanese, that they not only gained the trust and sympathy of the people,but they were alos a great help to the americans in the Pacific.

    It’s a popular notion that the americans fought the Pacific war with sheer balls and resolution, and they kciekd the asses of the Imperial Japanese army alone. In fac,t this is untrue. The japanese spent a small amount of their forces to protect the pacific island because most of the army was stuck in China fighting the communists. Japan had one million armed men stuck in China, and about 200 thousand men in Manchuria for fear of a communist inssurection similiar to the one in China. That troop comitment from Japan to China and Manchuria helped the americans in the Pacific only have to deal with a smaller fraction of the Japanese forces, and that meanas they had their job made easier then it would had been otherwise. If you guys consdier how hard it still was to fight and conquer the islands, imagine what would had been if there had been no communist in China fighting the japanese and diverting so much manpower and armament away from the Pacific. If there had been no resistance in China, Japan could had comited 10 times more men to the Pacific islands, meaning, it would had been impossible for the americans to do what they did.

    The head of OSS even wrote that the most important ally that USa had in WWII was the communist chineses of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong himself was very friendly with USA, he had great hopes of continious friendly relationships with the USa afte the war, and that the USa would help brign down the tyranical regime of Chiang Kai-shek. But Mao and the communists were betrayed by the american embassador, who was a raging anti-communist and decided to saboutage the close relationships the the OSS had build during WWII, so tha he could support Chiang Kai-shek. The CIA itself admited that what the USa did to Mao was the biggest diplomatic blunder of the post-war.

  37. Asimov – You forgot to add that the other problem with the Nationalists was Kai-Shek scored domestic support by recruiting “Generals” who basically were the local warlords. Think Afghanistan of today, where they may on paper be part of the governmental regime, but in reality they do whatever the hell they want.

    You are onto something, especially since U.S. only committed 20% of its total war resources in the Pacific Theatre.

    Then again, we Americans tend to ignore such areas of the war, whether the Chinese Insurgents or the critical Soviet involvement in Eastern Europe.

    I really do hope Herzog gets to make that movie of his about Pavlov’s House.

  38. Very interesting conversation, guys. Good job. But it still doesn’t explain the thing about the nipples.

  39. Darryll – Are you a nipplephile?

  40. No, really. Someone help me with this nipple thing. If I can’t get answers here, then where?

  41. that’s all as may be, but it doesn’t really adequately explain why the chinese are STILL so vehemently anti-japanese TODAY. like i said before, yes, japan could do more to take responsibility for atrocities during the war (nanking being the most obvious example), but their seeming reluctance to do so isn’t based on a lack of guilt or feeling of wrongdoing; to understand why japan seems reluctant to re-write their history textbooks etc. requires a deep understanding of the complexities of japanese culture/society. i’m not saying it’s right, but i’m saying there has to be an understanding of the other culture on both sides. and, in the end, japan got the living shit bombed out of them, they lost the war, the emperor admitted he wasn’t divine, they apologized, they devoted themselves to the cause of peace, and now they are BFF’s with the USA, despite the USA and japan having both committed unimaginable atrocities against each other during the war (though obviously not anywhere near on the scale of what happened in china).

    in any case, it would be by far in the best interests of both countries if they could kiss and make up.

  42. That would be like America no longer making movies about Nazi’s. We would then not have Inglorious Basterds.

  43. Well, actually, we kissed and made up with Germany, too. And still make movies about Nazis. Best of both worlds!

    If we can do it, so could the Chinese. The problem is probably more cultural than that: we have a huge background of Christianity (still more-or-less in operation today) teaching us that we ought to have pity on our enemies, reconcile with them as soon as feasibly possible, and help them reconstruct; and reminding us that none of us are morally perfect yet all of us are brothers and sisters under a God Who sacrifices Himself for all our sakes (even when we’re the ones being unjust.) Forgive, or we will not be forgiven; have mercy, or no mercy will be shown to us (until we agree to show mercy). Etc.

    Now, obviously this ethos isn’t followed through perfectly (far from it; a good hundred examples easily spring to mind, one of which by the way was how we ended out World War I in regard to the Germans–which contributed heavily to World War II less than a generation later. A lesson we also took to heart.) But it’s still there in our training and background, even when we dispute with one another over details; and when we do something other than this ethos, at least we can be hoist on our own petard.

    Does Chinese culture (broadly speaking, keeping in mind it’s a bunch of semi-related cultures) have anything put that strongly in their overall background, which would encourage people (from the peasants up to the top leaders) to reconcile with those who treated them so unjustly once there’s a feasible opportunity to do so? (My impression is that there isn’t–not nearly so strongly put.)

  44. You are all making insightful and compelling points.

    And doing so anonymously on the internet.

    So gold stars all around.

    But are you fucking telling me no one in this goddamn discussion remembers the aforementioned nippleshot? It exists. There were corroborating witnesses.

    HELP ME, DAMN YOU!

  45. Alfonso, the nipple of a woman is where the baby drinks the milk that helps it grow up. That shot of the nipple is saying that Bruce Lee has grown up. Happy now? lol

  46. Are all of these articles written you or did you hire a writer?

  47. In soviet Russia, you not write articles; articles write you.

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