[R-G] Re: Yoshie's post on Geoffrey White's essay
quibuyen at optusnet.com.au
Tue Jun 1 07:42:49 MDT 2004
What exactly is the point of Geoffrey White? In his Japan Focus essay, White
keeps reifying the "nation" and keeps using "we" as if everybody shares the
images that he conjures. A careful reading of his repeatitive and
tendentious essay shows that such images have been promoted by the
mainstream media (NBC, USA Today, Time magazine, Honolulu Advertiser) and
certain members of the ruling elite (senators, congressmen). Although White
cites Chomsky, he writes as if he has never read Manufacturing Consent and
seems unmindful of the role of the mainstream media--especially broadcast
media--in constructing and propagating images to promote the interests and
agenda of Empire. White also appears to be oblivious to the numerous
websites that have been questioning the media-propagated official version
and images of 9/11, such as 911truth.org and the septembereleven visibility
project. White offers no critical insight about American public culture. He
could have pursued the issue of why the image of Hiroshima/Nagasaki--was
suppressed in the public discourse regarding 9/11. Instead, all that White
does is to describe how the mainstream media and opinion makers/politicians
have influenced that public discourse. But we--including the Japanese--know
this already. So, what exactly is the point of Yoshie in posting his message
re. White's essay?
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 16:14:30 -0400
> From: Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu>
> Subject: [R-G] Stealing Images of the "Good Fight"
> To: rad-green at lists.econ.utah.edu
> Message-ID: <email@example.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
> Geoffrey M. White, professor of anthropology at the University of
> Hawai'i and senior fellow at the East-West Center, writes that "the
> 'new' American patriotism being produced in the post-9-11 era
> frequently invokes earlier forms of patriotism, especially in images
> of World War II, the 'good war'" ("Pearl Harbor and September 11: War
> Memory and American Patriotism in the 9-11 Era," Japan Focus). As
> White notes, "Pearl Harbor quickly became a reference point for
> American interpretations of September 11" ("Pearl Harbor and
> September 11: War Memory and American Patriotism in the 9-11 Era").
> Beyond explicit references to Pearl Harbor, the verbal and visual
> rhetoric of American political discourse became full of allusions to
> World War II: "the term 'infamy' or 'day of infamy' also appeared in
> many accounts, redeploying the phrase first used by Franklin
> Roosevelt in his declaration of war speech the day after Pearl Harbor
> (when his reference was actually 'date that will live in infamy'),"
> says White, using as illustration the Time magazine's special issue
> on the September 11th attacks . . . .
> It is not the right-wing politicians and corporate media alone that
> have tried to mobilize Americans by exploiting the images of the
> "good fight." Some liberals and leftists, too, have resorted to a
> misleading analogy to seduce activists for the agenda of electing
> John Kerry. What they seek to appropriate, however, is not the images
> of Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima but the rhetoric of the Popular Front.
> Take, for instance, a liberal blogger Billmon's Whisky Bar. Near the
> top right corner of the front page of the Whisky Bar, you can see a
> reproduction of a poster from the Spanish Civil War, below which
> Billmon's caption reads: "Stop Bush" -- "Support The Popular Front."
> . . .
> It is the bipartisan consensus responsible for the birth and growth
> of the prison empire, as well as the bipartisan consensus for liberal
> imperialism, that the stolen images of the "good fight" -- the
> Popular Front on the left, Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima on the right --
> are meant to conceal.
> The full posting at
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