Tag Archives: 1946

RIP Kohei Yoshiyuki (1946 – 2022)

Kohei Yoshiyuki was a Japanese photographer known for his book The Park (1979, 2007) which shows people cruising for sex in Tokyo parks in the 1970s.

Leafing through ‘The Park’.

The book was hailed by Martin Parr as “a brilliant piece of social documentation, catching perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big, hard metropolis like Tokyo.”

Of all the deads I posted about since the death of Elza Soares, this one is the most interesting one. Erotomania is still my main affliction. Long live public sex and its voyeurs.

RIP Jean-Jacques Beineix (1946 – 2022)

Betty Blue (1986), landlord and clearing and lighting the beach house scene.

Jean-Jacques Beineix was a French film director best known for Betty Blue (1986).

There was something about this film, which I saw when I was 21, which I found very off-putting.

I can never forget when she smears that plate of spaghetti bolognese all over her face.

But the scene above, where she snubs the landlord and throws everything out of the caban by the sea, their beach house, is quite hilarious. Then she lights up the place, foreshadowing here coming madness.

Must see film when you are 21, totally optional afterwards.


RIP Carol Arthur (1935 – 2020)

Carol Arthur was an American actress and wife of Dom DeLuise (1933-2009). She played bit parts in the films of Mel Brooks. I think I was 12 years old when I insisted on seeing Brooks’s Silent Movie (1976).

Silent Movie. Smart slapstick. A film about film. What’s not to love?

In that film she played an “extremely pregnant woman”. Was it perhaps she who completely tilted Brooks’ sports car nose in the air due to a heavy weight in the back seat? I cannot remember.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Later I saw Brooks Blazing Saddles (1974), the Western parody with the many and loud farts around the campfire. Beans and cowboys, you know how that works out.

In Blazing Saddles, Carol plays a schoolteacher who first speaks very shyly at a city meeting, then is told that she speaks too quietly, and then she announces in a loud and not at all shy voice to the governor that he is the “leading asshole of the state”.

RIP Robert Fisk (1946 – 2020)

From Beirut to Bosnia

Robert Fisk was an English journalist, writer and Middle East correspondent for over forty years. He spoke Arabic and interviewed Osama bin Laden no less than three times.

His 1993 three-part documentary, From Beirut to Bosnia is fully available on YouTube. In it he tries to answer the question why Muslims hate the West so much. The words Israel and America are, of course, constantly mentioned. The documentary is somewhat in the style of “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (1990) by Bernard Lewis, but with more sympathy for the Muslims.

The documentary and that article are from before 9/11. The documentary marks the moment when suicide terrorism began on October 23, 1983, when a man carrying two tons of explosives drove into Beirut military barracks and blew two hundred American soldiers into the air. That was in response to the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

At seventeen minutes, Hassan Nasrallah, the man who then led the war against Israel for Hezbollah, whose organization is today referred to as terrorist, explains with a smile with which metaphor an average Westerner can best understand a suicide bomber and martyr:

“Imagine,” he says, “that you are in an extremely hot sauna, in a hammam, for a long time, you get very thirsty and tired and hot, you suffer from the effects of the high temperature, then you get exhausted. Someone tells you that when you open the door, you can go to a quiet comfortable room, where you can drink a nice cocktail, listen to beautiful classical music. Knowing this you will open that door without hesitation, knowing that what you leave behind not a high price to pay… and what awaits you is of much greater value. ”

As I was watching the documentary last night, the lack of meta-perspective bothered me. It all seemed as if Palestinians were beyond reproach and only Israel was to blame. took some thorough searching to find even one voice critical of the documentary.

I found one by a certain Joseph Unger or Ungar, who, writing for PRIMER, says:

“History is tailored, twisted, and selectively excised to support this condemnation of Israel. We see, for example, whole neighborhoods of destroyed buildings in Lebanon, and Robert Fisk, the narrator, states “IT all started with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.” There is no mention of the lengthy civil war between Muslims and Maronite Christians which decimated the countryside. No mention of the Syrian invasion. No mention of the PLO infiltration in 1969 which gradually overcame the Lebanese army and by 1975 had established “Fatahland,” a de facto state extending from West Beirut to the Israeli border. Lebanon had been raped and battered from within.”

Now I do realize that a reporter is not an historian, so maybe the lack of meta-perspective in Fisk is natural. I also suspect that the Unger/Ungar report is biased. But Iike biases from both sides.

RIP Robert Fisk.