I just finished watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
First off... amazing movie. I love stories about World War II told not from the standard soldiers-at-war sort of point of view. Know what I mean? If you haven't seen it, see it.
In the simplest terms, an eight-year-old boy named Bruno moves with his family to the countryside outside Berlin during World War II when his father is promoted within the Nazi army. While there, Bruno gets bored and decides to explore the forest near his house and comes across an electrified fence. On the other side is an eight-year-old boy in "striped pajamas" and the two develop an unlikely friendship.
Truly heartbreaking considering that we, with the knowledge we have of history, know exactly what's bound to happen and, yet, we watch the story unroll before our eyes. Despite this knowledge, the movie still gripped me tightly and kept me enthralled.
This film is based on a book that the author claims is a work of fiction but is steeped in potential reality. I guess you could almost think of it as a sort of revisionist history. Not in the traditional definition of the term, but still.
However, watching a film like this gets you thinking. Did stories like this actually happen? How would we know? IMHO, it easily could have considering the naivete and feeling of personal indestructibility inherent in youth.
Another thing I wonder about is how a person, regardless of how well trained they are, can just sit back and let this sort of thing happen. How brainwashed and/or fucked in the head do you have to be to just accept that you are taking people to a gas chamber and killing them even though you know that they personally did nothing to you. It's sick. Also, if some people realized that what they were doing was wrong, did they jump ship and desert? You never really hear many stories of Nazi deserters. At least not that I've heard.
Lastly, should this war we're currently involved in ever actually end (and I somehow don't see that happening anytime soon, if ever completely), what parts of it will we look back on in the future as having truly been a mistake? And how will history books document this war? This is the first war the U.S. has been involved in during the age of the World Wide Web when we're able to see more than just our point of view of what's happening. I would argue that there's even more popular outcry against this war than there was against Vietnam, but we're just not blaming the troops (for the most part, that is) as happened in the 60s and 70s. Whose propaganda will win out?
I really need to shut off my brain during movies.
I'm not a Conan O'Brien fan. I never have been, in all honesty. His show just never appealed to me.
But I respect the hell out of him for the stand he's taking against NBC and their plan to move Leno back to late night and bump both Conan and Jimmy Fallon back later in the evening (actually the next morning in the eastern time zone).
Conan's statement about NBC's plan and his refusal to accept it is very elegant, well-written, and humorous. And he pulls no punches.
If NBC doesn't listen, they're only hurting themselves more. This letter is going to garner a lot of pro-Conan sympathy. Don't they understand that moving Jay Leno back to late night is not a good idea? Sure, anything is better than his primetime slot and he may gain back a little more viewership as a talk show instead of a variety show. But, for the most part, people are done with Leno.
Call that my humble opinion on the matter.