By ELLEN ENDO
“It’s important for married couples to communicate. I knew a man once who didn’t speak to his wife for six months. He didn’t want to interrupt her.”
—Victor Borge (1909-2000)
Danish American musician and humorist
After being callously shut down by the FBI in 1942, The Rafu Shimpo was re-established in 1946 under the leadership of publisher Akira Komai, whose father H. Toyosaku Komai was still imprisoned in Santa Fe, New Mexico along with other Issei (immigrant) leaders wrongly thought to be a threat to national security.
Without the means to access national or international news services, The Rafu focused on local, bulletin board-type announcements, providing valuable information to returning Japanese Americans, most of who had lost homes and jobs during the three and a half years of confinement.
At the time and for a couple of decades thereafter, The Rafu could be described as a “refrigerator newspaper,” one that carries the stories that people often attach to their refrigerator with a magnet. Weddings, births, Boy Scout news, and (ah, yes) sports — everything from baseball to bowling — were published daily. No longer was there a need for paranoid FBI agents to scrutinize the pages. Rafu was also devoid of those scary manifestations of a fertile mind — opinions.
All of that has changed, and today, in my (yes) opinion, this is truly a community newspaper, perhaps one of the few remaining in any community and one of the best. Where else would you find opinions as varied as those of its columnists? Or read about sweeping immigration reform and a gathering of JA singles on the same page?
Canadian teacher and writer Laurence J. Peter once said, “If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.” Like them or not, here are my opinions on a few people who have been in the news recently:
Manti Te’o — The Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman trophy contender was the victim of an Internet hoax, wherein his “girlfriend,” turned out to be love-struck male admirer Roniah Tuiasosopo. As a sympathetic mother of four, two of whom are around the same age as the 22-year-old footballer, I say, “Dude! What is wrong with you?!!” That’s all I have to say. Glad I got that off my chest.
David Letterman offered consoling words: “I feel bad for the kid, because when I was in college, stuff like that would happen. I would meet a lot of women, and they would give me imaginary phone numbers. And then one time, it was really sad. A beautiful woman actually faked her death to get out of going to the prom with me.”
Ann Curry — CNN is revamping its programming and reportedly interested in adding Curry to its lineup, but NBC, the network that ignobly removed her from the “Today Show” last summer, refuses to let her out of her contract. And, NBC has banned her from doing live interviews just in case, in a moment of weakness, she’s too honest. NBC just can’t get it right. Is this a new form of discrimination against those of mixed ancestry, hapas — or ha-prejudice? Apparently, “NBC” stands for “NoBodyCares.”
Meanwhile, “Today Show” ratings failed to improve despite removal of Curry, who was unofficially blamed for the morning show’s faltering popularity. “Good Morning America” beat the “Today Show” for the first time in 15 years.
Fans, still bristling over her public removal last year, recently launched a “Free Ann Curry” campaign. Even “Today Show” host Matt Lauer, who was prominent in calling for Curry’s demotion, is urging his NBC bosses to release her. For my part, I have switched to ABC in solidarity.
Lance Armstrong — The deposed Tour de France champion finally admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he has been taking performance-enhancing drugs most of his career. To this nationally televised revelation, the sports world responded, “Duh!” According to Jay Leno, Armstrong said that he felt “a great weight had been lifted — a huge, oversized weight that he never could have lifted naturally.”
After watching Oprah’s interview with Armstrong (of course, that was after 20 minutes of trying to find OWN on my TV set), I have concluded that the only sensible thing to do is appoint Oprah to the United States Supreme Court. It may be the only way to get professional athletes to come clean about drug use.
Kevin Tsujihara — Naming of Tsujihara as chief executive officer of studio giant Warner Brothers Entertainment is sending reverberations of Nikkei pride throughout the community. I have no doubt that he is deserving, qualified, and ready to be enthroned. But I do have one question: How long will it take his industry colleagues to learn how to correctly pronounce his name? After all, what is the correct way to pronounce K-E-V-I-N?
I offer in evidence the fact that George Takei has been in the public eye since he was cast as Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek” over 45 years ago, and people are still mispronouncing his last name as “tek-high.”
For now, Tsujihara can go simply by his new moniker, “The Big Boss.” Congratulations!
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“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’”
—Charlie Brown, character created by Charles Schulz (1922-2000)
Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Rafu Shimpo or its management. Comments and/or inquiries should be directed to [email protected]