Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar Japan
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After her Uncle's suicide, Terese Svoboda investigates his stunning claim that MPs may have executed their own men during the occupation of Japan after World war II
[Our captain] commended us for being good soldiers and doing our job well and having a minimum of problems. Then he dropped a bomb. He said the prison was getting overcrowded, terribly overcrowded.
As a child Terese Svoboda thought of her uncle as Superman, with "Black Clark Kent glasses, grapefruit-sized biceps." At eighty, he could still boast a washboard stomach, but in March 2004, he became seriously depressed. Svoboda investigates his terrifying story of what happened during his time as an MP, interviewing dozens of elderly ex-GIs and visiting Japan to try to discover the truth.
In Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, winner of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, Svoboda offers a striking and carefully wrought personal account of an often painful search for information. She intersperses excerpts of her uncle's recordings and letters to his wife with her own research, and shows how the vagaries of military justice can allow the worst to happen and then be buried by time and protocol
finds the bull is into them again. He and his son use their pickups and three-wheelers to encourage the bull to move out of the field. It trots off without much trouble so he decides that is the end of it and fixes the fence even better than before. Next thing, he is out there aborting one of the heifers, actually working on one of them done by the bull, when along comes that bull again, charging right through the fence and jumping on them again. He gets so mad he hops into his pickup, drives
heave. “I gave it shots a couple of weeks ago,” Dad says. “I think it had some kind of bad flu.” “Mad cow?” I say. “Those are Canadian cows,” he says, not dropping a beat. “But did you know your aunt died of mad cow, and the woman your mother’s brother married after that? It was the meat in Hawaii.” He says Hawaii-ya, the way they do. Hawaiian meat, foreign enough. “I don’t know,” I say to him. “It sounds to me like he just had a really deep freezer.” Dad laughs. “Let’s go to lunch and
part of the Japanese medical establishment. Dr. Masaji Kitano, major general in charge of Unit 731, led Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, the Green Cross, which manufactured blood products that were found, in the mid-1980s, to have been infected with HIV. “The moral of the story is,” according to Sherman, “bury your bones deep.” Where would an executed GI lie buried in Japan? There is no Plot E, the cemetery in France where the military buried all who were executed in the European
family tragedy? “With black Clark Kent glasses, grapefruit-sized biceps, lots of brilliantined thick dark hair, and a solid jaw, six-four and as handsome as all get-out, he’s the perfect match for Kryptonite.” Black Glasses Like Clark Kent probes a mystery (from the Greek root “to close the mouth or eyes”) as �Sigmund Freud and Dashiell Hammett, Patricia Highsmith and D. W. Winnicott, would have calculated the notion. If the ego, superego, and id of traditional psychological case studies
Wikipedia. 12 Oct 2007.