Crossing the Line – Men Behind the Sun

A film of questionable legality, “Men Behind the Sun” (or Hei tai yang 731) is a Hong Kong film produced in 1988 directed by Tun Fei Mou. It set out to chronicle the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War 2 and managed to infuriate everyone involved.
Tagline: Friendship is friendship; history is history

Synopsis: The Japanese army conquers China in the early stages of World War 2. Many elements of the Imperial Army view the Chinese as lower than humanity and thus useful only as a labor force or test subject. A number of young Japanese boys are sent to Unit 731, headed by Gen. Shiro Ishii. The camp is designed to test out a wide variety of chemical and biological warfare methods, with captured Chinese citizens as the guinea pigs. All manner of horrific experimentation follows, along with casual cruelty to people and animals alike for no real purpose. As the camp nears the cusp of developing a ceramic bomb capable of delivering plague fleas to the front, the US Army nears and the young Japanese soldiers grow increasingly disgusted by the work at the camp. All is not lost with the end of the war though, as the US Army is happy to take on Gen. Ishii and utilize his research for a brief period of the Korean War.

Interesting Fact: The autopsy footage is real, utilizing the body of recently deceased boy from a local hospital.

Objectionable material: Nudity, an actual autopsy, child murder, murder, mutilation, actual animal murder, a woman skinned alive, Asian people, Asian on Asian violence, animal on animal violence, a dismissive view of human life, racism, human target practice, anal explosion, crucifixion, vehicular manslaughter, rats on fire

Disturbing Quote: A small rat can beat a cat. Fleas and germs can defeat bombers and guns. This is… the basic theory behind Squadron 731. It is also my philosophy.

Oh god NSFW:
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Will he rest in peace?

Anyone willing to put money down on if the Batman rumors here are true?


The things I know could easily fit in a thimble…

Building on this post at Edge of the American West, and via Ezra Klein, the “long list” for the (very?) prestigious Booker Prize is up on the internets:

Aravind Adiga              The White Tiger
Gaynor Arnold             Girl in a Blue Dress
Sebastian Barry           The Secret Scripture
John Berger                 From A to X
Michelle de Kretser      The Lost Dog
Amitav Ghosh              Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant                 The Clothes on Their Backs
Mohammed Hanif         A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Philip Hensher             The Northern Clemency
Joseph O’Neill              Netherland
Salman Rushdie          The Enchantress of Florence
Tom Rob Smith            Child 44
Steve Toltz                   A Fraction of the Whole

It is awfully funny that I haven’t read any of the books on this list. Hell, except for the Rushdie book, I haven’t even heard of any of these books.

(Funnily [?] enough, I sold the one and only copy of the Rushdie book back when I worked at the book store)

I guess I can add modern American literature to one of the things I am (woefully?) ignorant of.


Come on, here we go…

Submitted without comment:

“I have not encountered a fist bump and would judge anyone who tried it as a total redneck,” says Dr. Grace Keenan, medical director of Nova Medical and Urgent Care Center in Ashburn, Va.

Clearly, Bush is now passing his terrorist values on to Americas children!

Clearly, Bush is now passing his terrorist values on to America's children!


I have more records than the KGB…

I believe that this is the craziest shit I have read in my life:

This is the story of two Marys. Both are in their early 60s, heavyset, with curly reddish hair. But for years they have worked on opposite ends of the same issues. Mary McFate is an advocate of environmental causes and a prominent activist within the gun control movement. For more than a decade, she volunteered for various gun violence prevention organizations, serving on the boards of anti-gun outfits, helping state groups coordinate their activities, lobbying in Washington for gun control legislation, and regularly attending strategy and organizing meetings.

Mary Lou Sapone, by contrast, is a self-described “research consultant,” who for decades has covertly infiltrated citizens groups for private security firms hired by corporations that are targeted by activist campaigns. For some time, Sapone also worked for the National Rifle Association.

But these two Marys share a lot in common—a Mother Jones investigation has found that McFate and Sapone are, in fact, the same person. And this discovery has caused the leaders of gun violence prevention organizations to conclude that for years they have been penetrated—at the highest levels—by the NRA or other pro-gun parties. “It raises the question,” says Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “of what did she find out and what did they want her to find out.”

During Sapone’s ascent through the ranks of the gun control movement, she worked for the NRA, according to a business associate. In a 2003 deposition, Tim Ward, who had been president of the Maryland-based security firm Beckett Brown International, said that the NRA had been “a client” of Sapone’s. (As a subcontractor for BBI, Sapone had planted an operative within an environmental group in Lake Charles, Louisiana.) According to Ward, at his request Sapone had introduced BBI to the NRA in early 1999. And that introduction quickly paid off. Billing records obtained by Mother Jones indicate that between May 1999 and April 2000, the NRA paid BBI nearly $80,000 for various services.

The NRA (and other gun advocates) have been spying, spying, on opposing interest groups. SPYING. Like  low-stakes James Bond shit. Like in the Cold War.

I mean really:

[A] typical BBI intelligence-gathering operation would entail: “We used informants that we would send to public rallies that these people were holding, public demonstrations. These informants developed relationships where they could pick up a phone up and call in to find out where the next event was, where it was going to be held…They are usually very eager to have somebody come and tote banners and scream and shout.”

The CIA could learn a thing or two from these people…

I have always found the NRA to be a despicable organization. But really. This takes the cake. The whole fucking cake.

UPDATE: The official response from the Brady Campaign:

Reading the story, one imagines a group of executives over at NRA headquarters huddled around a copy of The Art of War with a flashlight in a dark basement office, hatching a new cloak-and-dagger plot.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that some over there have too much money and no moral compass.

More here.


Not ready for prime time?

Submitted without comment:

Except to say, what the fuck? Seriously? Is this our discourse?

Paris Hilton?

More pure silliness here.


By Dumbledore’s purple suit!

New Potter trailer.

It looks like they’re going to be pretty faithful to the book.