Naruto Vs. George Santayana

George Santayana is the one who wrote “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” But how do we best free ourselves from condemnation? The easy answer is, learn your history. Go to school and study the things your teacher tells you to. Still, another famous saying tells us that the winners write the history books. If the winners do something wrong, who will contradict their version of the past?

In the 1950’s, some movie makers had an idea. They named it Godzilla, a monster created by exposure to atomic radiation. Godzilla reminded Japan, and the US, of the devastation caused by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the botched test bombing of the Bikini Atoll.

Believe it. Pop culture is probably the most pervasive way to spread an idea.

Do you watch anime? If you haven’t been watching Naruto Shippuden, there’s an example of what I’m talking about after the jump. For those of you who want to don’t want spoilers, you can stop reading now.

Two characters debate whether super weapons, which create massive amounts of death and destruction, are legitimate ways to end wars. The good guy says that they should be forbidden, and the bad guy says that the war will only end when everyone has experienced enough pain to be afraid of it. Hmmm. I wonder where the writers stand on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and on nuclear proliferation.

You can watch the debate between Jiraiya and Pain on Hulu. It’s episode 130, starting at minute 16:55.


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