Dear Friends and Family,
The first Christmas cards have shown up in our mailbox, and since we have gone virtual the past few years, I’d better get on it to send you our yuletide e-letter of the year.
After having lived in California now for almost 15 years, I realize Xmas is usually RAIN, so I am typing this with rain hitting the windows and sandbags in front of our kitchen door (and that’s not because we think it’s decorative but because we have been getting some major and much-needed moisture).
Lots of changes in the Lake household: when Will took off for college to study engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, I left for Ireland with Amazon, not because I was afraid of the empty nest, or because my marriage was on the rocks, but because I needed to get out of Berkeley (see my pathetic blog entries on the subject matter which I have directed you to for this Xmas letter). Ireland was lovely, but Amazon was less so. So I came home to Jon’s warm embrace, and Caroline’s junior jitters. Am freelancing for Netflix and others and am making a new game plan— I have learned at 49 that life becomes too short to put up with well, read my blog, and the liberating thing about that is that at almost 50, I still don’t know what to do with my life.
Jon’s still with Forgerock, a Norwegian startup that’s doing well for the moment, so we keep our fingers crossed. Caroline’s year has been accents. Cockney, a Midwestern accent or Borat, she does them all and I just about lose it when she starts about Borat’s sister again. She writes comedy for the comedy group Goats of Denmark at Miramonte and when I asked her today for the gazillionth time what she wanted for Xmas this year, she texted back: “A dildo, the strap-on kind preferably.” Sadly, she has inherited my sense of humor.
Will’s back from Boston and after a successful semester and joining a frat, he’s happy to be home, catching up on most of his sleep, which means we hardly see him at all. He loves Boston and has finally stopped wearing flipflops because they don’t hold up in the snow.
I want to make a special pitch this Christmas for the movie Unbroken by Angelina Jolie which will be released in the US on Christmas Day. (This will be political and very un-Christmasy but I am following Jesus’s example in fighting against injustice here). The movie deals with an Olympic athlete who joins the army, gets captured by the Japanese, but survives (unbroken) in spite of torture and starvation by the Japanese during WWII. Japanese nationalists have since started a petition to ban the movie in Japan because they say the movie is based on “lies”. There is much, much evidence to the contrary (see my book Silenced Voices) but most Japanese schoolchildren do not know about the war crimes and atrocities that were committed in the name of their Emperor Hirohito. To deny this history is far from the Christmas spirit, so on behalf of The Indo Project, we drafted a counter petition to make sure the history of WWII gets a proper hearing, and in Japan especially. You can find that petition here: https://www.change.org/p/the-japanese-embassy-in-washington-d-c-stop-the-ban-on-angelina-jolie-s-movie-unbroken-in-japan
Please (please) consider signing it as this WWII history, which was, in terms of casualties, just as awful as the war in Europe, is in danger of being wiped off the map in Japan, especially with the new prime minister Abe who has openly denied some of the war crimes Japan committed.
Read the testimony of some of the people on the petition page: POW’s, internees— they survived like Louis Zamperini in Jolie’s movie but “unbroken”? Survivors of war deal with lots of trauma— a 99-year-old e-mailed me today to support the petition because of the nightmares that haunt him till this very day.
Most of us are all very blessed to live in peace, which we wish upon each other at Christmas, and well, we can only really live in a peaceful and better world if we take note of the mistakes we made in the past.
Once again, sorry this is political and not very a propos, but what WOULD Jesus do?
I think Jesus would sign that petition, so if you can do it for us, you give us a tremendous gift for the holidays and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
No obligation. Even if you don’t, I will still love you and send you another totally inappropriate Xmas letter next year.
Wishing you an unforgettable holiday season,
… although I should just sign this as Inez as I didn’t run any of this by my immediate family. I have done this before and I know I will burn in hell.