Saturday, April 22, 2017

KOTSUAGE, my story about grief in 2 cultures, for ENDPAIN


KOTSUAGE, by Roland Kelts
Photos by Yuki Iwanami

The doctor's pencil drawing reminded me of one of those Etch A Sketch toys from the 70s. Its gray lines were asymmetrical and squiggly or squared off like sidewalk curbs. Other times they looped from what I guessed were the body’s nether regions back up to the heart.

He held the sheet of paper to the window’s hazy light. “It’s really just plumbing,” he said.

He was the handsome younger surgeon, swarthy and Mediterranean-looking, and what he was showing us, my younger sister and me, was a solution to the problems they’d found in our father’s chest. Until our meeting that morning, the problem had been singular: an ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm, a swelling of his heart’s central artery that could be life-threatening if untreated.

But when they injected dye into his chest to get a clearer sense of the problem, the problem became plural. The procedure was called a cardiac catheterization, and it transformed his arteries into a multi-colored subway map, where you could see the blood routes that were slowed or nearly blocked.

Monday, April 10, 2017

On Hollywood "whitewashing," Scarlett Johansson & "Ghost in the Shell"

My interview with NPR's Eric Molinksy on Hollywood "whitewashing" in casting Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the live-action adaptation of "Ghost in the Shell." (NB: Her mother will be Japanese, Kaori Momoi.) For Eric's podcast, "Imaginary Worlds."