CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Week In Review: Carmaheaven to Futo-baru


(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on July 20, 2011.)


This past week was full of newsworthy events and happenings. Projected Carmageddon never materialized as Angelenos avoided the Westside. I call the unexpected result Carmaheaven.

More newsworthy is the ongoing Rupert Murdoch media brouhaha in England that threatens to reach across the Atlantic to our shores.England remained the focal point as the Harry Potter blockbuster series comes to a conclusion.

The Casey Anthony trial mesmerized the nation while succeeding in bringing out the worst in America’s media.

The debt ceiling stalemate is indeed becoming stale, while locally the national JACL convention held in Los Angeles didn’t get an inch of pre-convention coverage in the Rafu Shimpo! And, oh yeah, there was a soccer match.

I don’t know about you people, but I’ve traversed the Santa Monica-405-Wilshire corridor all too often during this past year and a half; an Eastsider being reminded of the nights when tailed by Bev Hills gendarmes protecting their precious area from undesirable outsiders. To find out the Mulholland bridge project could have been solved quicker and cheaper had it not been for “Westside protectionist” interests is enough to make CR2S boycott the area and refuse to wear a Dolce and Gabbana timepiece. (Notwithstanding the fact I don’t have one.)

To cap the whole caper, from a cynic’s point of view, is the hundreds of thousands of dollars purportedly “saved” by the city and bonus loot given to the Anaheim contractor. Question: Who set the timetable and gratuity figures for beating the deadline?

The Anthony trial is another discouraging example of the public’s insatiable appetite for the sensational if salacious is not available.  How to explain complete, total cable television coverage with a talking head as becoming both judge and jury?  Newsprint wasn’t much of an improvement. Commentary on Marc Anthony and J-Lo can wait.

As far as good ol’ Harry Potter is concerned, CR2S is embarrassed and chagrined. Although the current offering is #8, I admit to have viewed nary a one. Further confessing, drat it, not having read any of author J.K. Rowling’s works. Does that make me ineligible to be an Anglophile? Or, lord knows, a Hogwart?

I was once identified by a long-time activist as anti-JACL. It was pointed out a while back that during my newspaper days, I refrained from becoming a member of any Japanese American organization, better to report fairly. CR2S played a role in organizing Southern California Nisei Golf Association (SCNGA), publicized the launch of the fledgling East West Players, was invited to become a charter Japanese American Optimist Club member, never became a member of Westside Democratic Club or JA Republicans or, alas, Nisei Trojans. So there are examples of non-membership galore, not just JACL, if anyone cares.

I would be remiss if not raising an eyebrow when the prestigious civil rights organization meets in Los Angeles, has no pre-convention publicity or announcement of agenda and slated activities. Can’t help but wonder how many attended and what was discussed other than the status of the controversial “ Power of Words” pamphlet. Compiled last year, it supposedly settled the argument of “American concentration camp” versus “relocation center” appellations as far as the JACL was concerned. The Anti-Defamation League is reported to have lobbied against the concentration camp usage, which is now JACL’s official position.

All CR2S can say is:  How far the great have fallen. [Maybe with a question mark.]

Which serves as a perfect segue for another reminder aimed at Unit 1 squatters of Poston Relocation Center: Its last (and final) camp reunion will be held at Laughlin, Nev., Oct. 7-8-9. I’m told there have been a pleasant number of “newbies” already signed up but the “oldies” are, as usual, slow in making a reservation. Late deciders are reminded it’s already almost August and there is a 09/01/11 deadline to meet. A call to Haru, (310) 327-2596, will take care of all your concerns. [Or e-mail CR2S.]

A humungous schedule of events/program is being arranged by Colleen Hayashi and Susan Komatsuka-Rodriguez. You’ll not regret attending, CR2S guarantees. Maybe there’ll be a cane, walker and wheelchair competition. As well as a bouffant contest. Hubba-Hubba!

Homare Sawa displaces Abby Wambach. Who would have believed? Japan topping United States, Sweden, Germany and France? No way.The USA triumphed in every aspect of the finals except the all-important penalty kick phase. If they played another game, the U.S. would win.  Two more, three more times. However these magical moments are orchestrated — or pre-ordained — Sunday’s soccer match was marvelous.

I would venture to guess a large number of JAs, male as well as female, tuned to their television sets Sunday. And probably had  difficulty, at times, understanding field strategy and useless arms. It was 3 to 1 to put an emphatic end to the unthinkable 2-2 deadlock. CR2S has no idea where team Shiroki Serena plays or what Homare means in Japanese. Maybe “Miracle.”


W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.





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