July, 2004, LOS ANGELES - My travel schedule in July had me covering about a quarter of this planet from Tokyo, Japan, to the east coast cities of Washington DC, New York, and Boston and finishing up the month at a Star Trek convention in a blazingly hot Las Vegas, Nevada.
The most personally affecting journey, however, was my first trip of the month during the Fourth of July weekend. On that holiday weekend when we Americans celebrate our liberty and freedom, I joined a pilgrimage to a former U.S. internment camp where my family and I, together with 18,000 other Japanese Americans, were imprisoned during World War II.
The camp is in northern California, almost at the Oregon border. It has an almost mockingly poetic name, Camp Tule Lake. It was there in a barbed wire camp built on a wind-swept dry lake bed that I spent two and a half years of my boyhood after a year and a half in another internment camp in Arkansas.
The pilgrimage was made up of bus caravans that came from Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley, California. We, from Los Angeles, joined the one from Sacramento. On the buses were survivors of the internment, most of them elderly now, young Japanese Americans intent on understanding the experience of their grandparents and parents, scholars of the internment, both white and Asian, a few filmmakers and one or two African Americans. It was a good spectrum of the nation on a journey back to a dark chapter of American history. This was my second pilgrimage to Tule Lake. Eight years ago, in 1996, I made my first journey back since our family was released from that camp exactly fifty years before. That pilgrimage was also on a Fourth of July weekend. The symbolism was irresistible.
The tar paper barracks that we lived in are all gone now - long removed or destroyed by time. With the guidance of an authority, I retraced a dirt road to an area where our barrack once must have been. I recognized the view of Abalone Mountain and Castle Rock from that barren site. This must have been where my home was, so long ago. The mountains were the only landmark I was able to remember. One of the few remaining structures from the camp was the concrete stockade, a jail within an internment camp. These pilgrimages back to a little remembered time in our history help enlarge my appreciation of the preciousness of our American liberty and my awareness of its fragility. They also deepen my understanding of the painful human price paid by such failures of our democracy.
The most poignant part of the pilgrimage was the memorial service held at the old cemetery site for those who died during their incarceration. Tribute was paid to those who passed in all 10 internment camps with candles lit by representatives from each of the camps. I was honored to represent Camp Rohwer in Arkansas, where my family and I were held before being brought to Camp Tule Lake. As we paid our respects to those who passed in these camps during World War II, my thoughts were also with those Arab Americans today who are being detained without the due process to which we are all entitled. I resolved as an American to work to ensure that the fundamental ideals of this nation shall prevail over today's challenges of terrorism.
The most joyous part of the pilgrimage was a cultural program held in the newly restored Art Deco movie theater in the nearby town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The performers were former internees and their descendants. The audience was made up of those on the pilgrimage and the people of the town of Klamath Falls. I served as the master of ceremony as well as a reader of a poem written by a former internee/poet. There were musical acts, dramatic readings, and dance performances. About a thousand people - former internees and those on the pilgrimage shared a happy evening of cultural performances with the town folks of a rural southern Oregon community. The applause after each act was loud and appreciative. It was, to me, the sweet sound of a healed nation and the true spirit of America.
The trip to Tokyo was to promote the fall release in Japan of the DVD version of the original Star Trek television series. The promotional campaign involved back-to-back series of print, television, and radio interviews culminating in a massive public event in a chamber hall of the central Tokyo Railway Station. Fans from throughout Japan gathered, many in Starfleet uniforms, others in USS Excelsior T-shirts, to celebrate a unique Star Trek event. The master of ceremonies was a hyper-animated Japanese comedian in Starfleet uniform accompanied by a bevy of lovely young girls dressed as Starfleet yeomen. The applause when I was introduced was thunderous. It was an extraordinary sensation to be talking in Japanese about a television series on which I had worked almost forty years ago in Hollywood to young fans in Japan, many of whom had not yet been born at the time.
The enthusiasm, the devotion, and the love I felt from them were as real and as palpable as that from fans in North America, South America or Europe. What made this so special was the fact that this event was in the country from which my grandparents came to America about one hundred years ago. Never in their wildest imagination could they have dreamed that their grandson would be so affectionately received as an actor in this, my ancestral land. What an amazing world we live in! And what an astonishing global phenomenon Star Trek has become.
The trips to the East Coast cities were a combination of business and pleasure. Washington DC was for a meeting of a task force on which I have been asked to serve. New York is always my destination for great theater and excitement as well as the nerve center of work and business. After the business part of my mission was completed, it was theater every evening. The most impressive drama I caught was Arthur Miller's "After The Fall" starring Peter Krause from the television series, "Six Feet Under." Krause was fine but the most striking performance in the play was that of Carla Gugino in the role inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Her characterization of an insecure woman, initially charming and poignantly eager to please, who, with power, grows into a terrifying monster, was commanding.
The most stirring musical was award winning playwright, Tony Kushner's "Caroline, or Change." I'm amazed by this artist who blew me away with "Angels in America" and now transported me musically to his native Louisiana in the 50's with a heartrending story of the relationship of a black housekeeper and a young Jewish boy, the son of her employer. Tonya Pinkins' performance as Caroline was soulfully moving. Other shows I caught were "Wonderful Town," "Sly Fox" with Richard Dreyfus and gifted Rene' Auberjonois in a hilariously delightful characterization, and "Frogs," starring Nathan Lane. I always leave New York feeling so enriched.
Changing to my political hat, I flew to Boston for the Democratic National Convention. I was not a delegate this year, but I served as the master of ceremony for one of the after parties. I thought it was a terrific convention. The speeches were stirring, former President Bill Clinton was masterful, and Senator John Kerry gave the best speech I had heard him make. We need a strong leader who can truly lead in a complex and diverse world; one who can address the historic deficit that this nation has been plunged into and create genuine jobs for working Americans. As you might guess, I am a Democrat and I have great feelings in my bones that we will elect a new president in November - President John Kerry.
The final trip of the month was to Las Vegas and a Star Trek convention. How comfortable these conventions have become! After all the hurly burly of the many trips, even with a slight jet-lag fog, I can still function easily surrounded by understanding and loving fans. I can get the names of familiar faces mixed up and still get a forgiving hug. I can growl out that old coal miners' song, "Sixteen Tons" and still get standing ovations. What terrific people fans are! I love the fans and I love these conventions that are like massive family reunions. July was a full, hectic and enriching month and how wonderful it is to recover and relax with fans at a Star Trek convention.
Whether it's a minor inconveniences, people being unaware of their annoyances, or things that just don't make sense, it can stir up some pretty strong emotions.
Now, anger is a totally normal and healthy emotion, but sometimes a high level of anger doesn't seem warranted. However, when those minor inconveniences add up, suddenly we are on a rampage just looking to get mad at it every time it happens.
It could be from someone cutting you off in traffic or the sound of someone chewing. Regardless, it can cause some serious internal turmoil for some people.
Redditor BaconBear36 wanted to know:
"What is something that makes you unreasonably angry?"
Try not to get mad reading this.
Get out of the way!
"People who are walking out of a shop and then suddenly decide to stop smack bang right outside blocking the door."
"Just f*cking move to the f*cking side."
"Especially when there's like two or three people taking a whole sidewalk side by side. Sort of just waddling around without thinking that maaaaybe there's people behind them that want to get around.
A lot of people have some horrible spatial awareness. At least in NYC they get some minor sh*t for it usually. Because walking is a main form of traveling obviously."
"Riding the metro in DC was like this. Train pulls into station. Doors open. Bunch of folks need to get out before others can board. Those waiting to board stand right in front and make you squeeze past them to exit. Situation awareness duh. Step aside until all are off the train."
"Oh god the worst is when you're on a busy escalator and the person in front of you steps off and just stands there. Like HELLO I'm coming through and literally cannot stop. MOVE!"
"Recipes that start with an essay about the author."
"I don't need to know your f*cking life story, Jessica, I'm trying to figure out how to make fried chicken."
"I've been scrolling for 15 minutes, is there actually a recipe on this damn page?!"
"Force hyped youtubers who just screaming around for no reason."
"The kids watch these. And think that this level of overreaction is normal."
"That's the scary part about it. They'll replicate the behavior in public and eventually realize not everyone is shouting and screaming over every little thing."
"Banks. Why the f*ck would an institution that almost all people are required to use have shorter hours than an average job?"
"I'll add government facilities to that, DMV should be 24 hours."
"Loud chewing noises, especially if you're an open-mouthed chewer, double especially if you're also a lip smacker."
"I get so angry from the chewing sounds sometimes I just get up in the middle of a meal and leave."
"Sometimes I'm the only one eating the meal. Still happens."
This is actually a disorder called Misophonia.
Slow drivers at the front the line.
"People that move out of a lane so they can secure first place at a red light then drive like a f*cking funeral procession."
"WHY BRO?!?! That spot is for movers and shakers!!"
"Seriously. Duck into the next lane at the last second, and when the light turns green, theirs so slow that the cars that were behind them in the next lane are passing them... ugh. Just get off my road."
"Yeah, when someone cuts in front of me, I'm thinking, 'You better be moving.' And then they don't..."
"Similar to this: people who sit there and pressure the light, constantly rolling forward little by little and going way over the line, only to drive like a grandma when it actually does turn green. Bro are you in a hurry or not, you can't be both!!"
People assuming you're shy.
"When people tell me I'm shy or quiet. No. I'm simply uncomfortable. I can be very loud and extroverted in a comfortable environment surrounded by people I'm comfortable with, but that's obviously not what I'm doing right now if I'm shy and quiet."
"Agreed, especially when they're like 'omg I didn't know you could talk!' It's not like I tell them 'wow you are so loud maybe if you shut up for one second I might say something.'"
"Going outside and seeing other people who are also outside."
"WHO ARE ALL THESE F*CKING PEOPLE?!?!?!"
"When you go out in public and the public be there."
It seems like people are the problem in every scenario here.
Reading these can really make your heart rate go up. Hopefully the people who do some of these things will take a hint and be a little less irritating to the rest of us.
As long as we're not acting on that anger, no harm done.
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Dating can be one heck of a fiasco, especially these days, in the time of COVID. Everybody is looking for something different and nobody seems to be on the same page.
Now there are two sides to every story but today we wanna here from the men out there. Everybody has a breaking point when the red flags finally add up to trouble. And y'all know what to do when trouble comes calling?
Redditor u/JaJaLoHa wanted the gents out there to share with us about their love lines in the sand, by asking:
Men, what are some deal breakers for a potential relationship?
Compromise is important in a relationship. Everybody has to do it. But there are just some traits or actions that a big no-go when it comes to compromise. And you shouldn't feel bad about it.
SorrySorry I Love Lucy GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Not being able to apologize. Everybody makes mistakes, doesn't matter. Own up to it and I respect you even more. Seek excuses? Bye!"
"No accountability. In fact, having absolutely no sense of accountability for their actions. Believe me it is more common than you think."
"My ex was just like this- I found myself apologizing for her mistakes, and she expected me to grovel when I made any minor error. And the gaslighting, mind games and guilt trips... holy crap. When I called her out, I was "lecturing her." I thank my lucky stars that I had the sense to get out when I did."
"Complaining about everything."
"My ex too. It was unbelievably draining. I could handle it most of the time, but the worst was when in a situation where everyone is miserable (e.g. getting stuck outside in the rain). It's like, hey, everyone here is having a bad time right now, but by complaining constantly you're just dumping more misery on top of it for everyone."
"Kind of a subset of this for me is being a picky eater. I dated a girls for over two years who ate nothing but macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. Never freaking again. I've broken it off with two otherwise very nice and attractive girls over this. I'm not spending my life restricted to restaurants that sell chicken tenders and having to grocery shop for two different dinners every single night."
- username deleted
Fibs...Lying Simon Rex GIF by Simon Rex / Dirt NastyGiphy
"Lying, saying stuff about you behind your back, being mean to people for no reason, being fake."
Ladies, ladies, ladies... listen up. Now don't think men aren't just as culpable.
Failedfail black and white GIFGiphy
"No "test" behaviour. Be straightforward or I'll assume you're likely to instigate dumb crap drama. Honesty for honesty."
"Doesn't let you have time to yourself/ heir entire life revolves around you to the point that they suffocate you."
"To add on - if a partner is controlling of your relationships with friends and family, and generally won't let you exist as your own person, "red flag" is understating it. You should be able to at least occasionally do things without your partner."
"You should be able to have private spaces and private thoughts. You should be able to maintain existing relationships and create new ones. I dated someone once who was insistent as to how I slept, and didn't like it if I tried to get into a more comfortable position. Surprise surprise, also came with a side of emotional abuse and manipulation."
"Zero effort put into simple maintenance actions. Simply picking up after yourself is deferred repeatedly when it can be done and over in ten seconds. Inflexible mind, or unwilling to learn new things or see other perspectives. Seeing the fault in others, but inability to perceive such in themselves."
"If they are terrible with finances."
"Money is cited in the top 3 reasons for divorce, always. And money affects every facet of life. My BIL married a gal who was always a next thing away from getting her financial sh*t together. Anyway, he's living with us now, after his 2-year marriage ended, because, it turns out, people who are bad with money and have no real interest in saving, likely will not change."
try to be fun...John C Mcginley Reaction GIFGiphy
"No sense of humor. Either a lack of sense of humor or incompatible sense of humor. I want to be able to laugh at the same stuff together."
It's not hard to be yourself in a relationship. In a potential love match, you should be as much yourself as possible. So stay honest and own up to your flaws and your partner will do the same. And if not, you can write a thread about the men.
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When we think of a bad@ss, several candidates come to mind.
"Who would you consider as the most badd@ss person in history?"
These heroes made their mark in history for their fearless humanitarian efforts.
The Resistance Leader
"Witold pilecki - A polish resistance fighter who voluntarily went to auschwitz to get intel on what was happening and then proceeded to escape, survived the war and was later executed by the USSR."
The Espionage Expert
"Nancy Wake. So skillled as she was, she was nicknamed 'The White Mouse' by the Gestapo due to her elusiveness in avoiding capture. Highly talented in espionage, she worked as a spy for the French Resistance and the Special Operations Executive to take down the Nazis. One of the more highly decorated women from WW2, yet not well known."
"Helge Meyer, also known as 'God's Rambo'. A danish special forces officer who bought a 1972 Camaro and turned it into an uparmored beast so he could deliver humanitarian aid in war torn Yugoslavia during the civil war and ethnic cleansing."
Seen As A Traitor
"Definitely Major Hugh Thompson. I'm sure there are people who have done similarly brave things, but not that I know about. In 1968, Thompson managed to stop the My Lai massacre almost single handedly. He arrived after many civilians had already been killed, and couldn't understand how they had died."
"After realising his fellow American soldiers were firing on unarmed civilians, he landed his helicopter between the Vietnamese and the soldiers. He then told the troops that if they continued to do what they were doing, he and his crew would open fire on them. After getting back to base, he filed a complaint about what he had witnessed. His complaint was covered up, and he was shunned as a traitor. It wasn't until 1998 that the army acknowledged he did the right thing."
"It's common to be brave in war when you know that you'll be lauded as a hero - it's another thing entirely to do it knowing you'll be seen as a traitor. He turned against his troops and country to protect innocent lives, despite what it would cost him, and I think that's about as brave as you can get."
The Brave WWII Combat Medic
"Desmond Doss. An army medic in WWII who was constantly belittled and abused by his battalion and superiors for refusing to use a weapon as it went against his beliefs. Then, when he landed in Okinawa and more than half of his battalion were shredded by Japanese machine gun fire, Desmond Doss crawled through the dirt over the course of several days to as many of his injured allies as he could and dragged them all the way back to the 40ft cliff they had scaled up from, then lowered them to safety. Some of these injured men were lying 15ft from the enemy machine gun itself, and all the while Doss wore his medic helmet, which stood out like a giant bullseye on a battlefield where the Japanese soldiers were ordered to kill doctors first to crush morale. In the end he had saved the lives of 75 men, and survived with an arm fracture from a sniper round and several pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body from when he tried to kick a grenade away from him and his men. He is the only soldier without a gun to be awarded the Medal of Honor."
"The Québécois Rambo"
"Canadian Rambo AKA Leo Major. Dude liberated an entire town in the Netherlands by himself while injured in WW2."
These fierce warriors had their backs up against the wall but proved to be unstoppable.
Was Awarded The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
"Dipprasad Pun the Gurkha who took out 15-30 Taliban singlehandedly when surrounded."
Fought Without Hands
"Galvarino. He was a fierce Mapuche warrior that had both of his hands chopped off as punishment when captured by the Spanish during the Arauco war. Rather than slaughter Galvarino, the Spanish sent him back to the Mapuche to send a message, but instead of causing the Mapuche to surrender, it had the opposite effect. Galvarino decided to have two knives lashed to the stumps where his hands used to be. He learned to fight without hands while using the knives as weapons. Less than a month later, Galvarino fought with the Mapuche against the Spanish again. Around 3,000 Mapuche warriors engaged 1,500 of the Spanish on Nov. 30, 1557. at the Battle of Millarapue. Although they didn't win, Galvarino killed several of the Spanish before the army of 3,000 were all killed."
These bada**es did anything it took to survive.
An Impressive Resume
"Peter Freuchen. He was a Danish explorer, journalist, author and anthropologist. He is widely known for his exploration of the arctic circle and discovery of vast areas of Greenland. He was an indigenous rights activist, having married an Inuit woman. He escaped a death warrant issued by the Third Reich for punching Nazis. Received an academy award for the best motion picture in 1933. Won the $64,000 question as a contestant on the game show. He wrestled a polar bear and won. And as if this all wasn't enough, he escaped a near-death encounter in a blizzard by fashioning a spade out of his own frozen feces."
Plane Crash Survivor
"That teenage girl that was the sole survivor of a plane crash and made her way through the Amazon…. She's definitely up there!"
I would personally add Bruce Lee to the list.
I grew up Japanese-American, but I was often made fun of for my "slanted eyes" and was called "Chink" – an incredibly racist slur referring to people of Chinese descent – even though I'm not Chinese.
Being called Bruce Lee was a common occurrence throughout grade school, and because of the context under which I was being ridiculed, I loathed being associated with the martial arts legend and cultural icon.
But I should have embraced it because he was the epitome of a bad@ss.
The guy who inspired the Tekken character, Marshall Law, was a physical marvel – one who was capable of doing one-handed, two-fingered pushups and playing ping pong with nunchucks. He was also a cha-cha champion.
When it came to teaching, he was one of the pioneers in establishing inclusivity in martial arts and taught students from all walks of life.
Believe it or not, nowadays I am ashamed to admit I was once a fan of Game of Thrones. Has there ever been any show that slipped as quickly from pop culture relevance as that one? Don't get me started on that final season... I have no desire to sit through the whole damn thing again now that I know how it ends.
It turns out I'm not the only person with shame––or love for a good guilty pleasure, for that matter. We heard all about them after Redditor metals02 asked the online community,
"What's something that you're ashamed to admit you like?"
"Depending on who is asking, Magic the Gathering. It seems like when talking to other people in my demographic I am only supposed to talk about investing and whisky but I want to talk about a child's trading card game."
This was pretty popular growing up. It wasn't my thing, but I admired the level of expertise the other kids developed. Watching them play was like seeing people speak a different language.
"I read at least..."
"Fanfiction. I read at least half an hour's worth a day but often more. I can crush a 100k word fic in a day, easy. It's replaced books for me, which makes it awkward when I say I love to read and can't name a whole lot of books. It's just comforting - I know what I'm getting into and it's usually worth my time to me. It's so disappointing buying a book based on a tiny blurb and then not getting into it. The embarrassment comes mostly from the fact that most people assume it's just all erotica. While I don't mind reading sex scenes, I tend to skim them sometimes, and I'm way more into the build-up and the plot. It's not something I'm getting off to at all."
High school me read some for the hell of it. Some of my friends, though? They were obsessed. They'd read fanfiction on the computers during school hours.
"I've been judged..."
"I'm a guy that loves Sailor Moon. I've been judged and labeled weird by other women for liking it so I keep it to myself in real life."
Own it! Live your Tuxedo Mask fantasy!
"I'm not thrilled..."
"I'm not thrilled to tell people how much I like Barry Manilow. But it reminds me of being young, happy and with my mom."
"There is a negative stigma..."
"I love the band Fall Out Boy.
They were my muse in 2007.
But every time I mention them, even to fans of pop-punk music, I feel like I need to apologize for liking Fall Out Boy. There is a negative stigma about the band that is super undeserved."
They're definitely one of those bands with a high nostalgia factor. They've definitely grown on more people after the fact.
"A cold cut-up hot dog as a snack. At work I eat it out of a Ziploc bag from inside my lunch bag so no one sees."
I find this revolting, but thank you for living up to the theme of this article. I can see why you're ashamed. Well done.
"The Twilight Saga. The story is cringe, sure, but the soundtrack is so good. The books were what I binge-read during summer vacation in high school. They just put up the movies on Netflix, and you bet your butt I watched them like I was a teenager again."
What's wrong with letting people like what they like, right? Enjoy it! You're not harming anyone. Critics can be so melodramatic.
"As a kid..."
As a kid, I was bullied for liking it. To this day (even though it's more acceptable now), no one besides my significant other knows I watch it."
"I like having..."
"I like having a lack of freedom. I like decisions being made for me. I like having fewer options."
"Fills the void..."
Fills the void that Vine left behind and there is actually some interesting and funny content once you get past the cringe and dances."
I am still not over the person who eats a cold hot dog. Still not entirely convinced that they've actually tasted the damn thing. If they had, they wouldn't have admitted to this! The nausea is real!
Have some guilty pleasures of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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