Wednesday, May 18, 2005

IT'S OFFICIAL!

CNN.COM

CANNES, France (CNN) -- "Star Wars" director George Lucas says that although he wrote the original film during the Vietnam War, his six-part saga could apply to the war in Iraq.

''In terms of evil, one of the original concepts was how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship,'' Lucas told a news conference at Cannes, where his final episode had its world premiere.

''The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.

''On the personal level it was how does a good person turn into a bad person, and part of the observation of that is that most bad people think they are good people, they are doing it for the right reasons,'' he added.


George Lucas is a fucking twit!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sexual Predators Tonight!

Went to the local Stop and Shop to get my wife some Phish Food frozen yogurt, and came back to find her livid after watching Entertainment Tonight.

"At the risk of sounding like your father, maybe the world is going to hell," she says.

Now, my father is prone to depressive rants regarding the world going to hell in a hand basket, and my wife does not agree with his gloomy outlook (although she can see he his point about many issues). So, what got my wife to think we might be slouching toward Babylon?

Apparently, ET did a story on the upcoming wedding of Mary Kay LeTourneau to the boy she had slept with when he was 12. Here is a link to a text story, and a video clip.

You can read it all yourself here:

Mary Kay Letourneau Preps For Her Wedding

May 12, 2005

With the nuptials between ex-teacher MARY KAY LETOURNEAU and her former student VILI FUALAAU fast approaching, JANN CARL gets all of the wedding details -- from the cake to the theme!"


The theme bouncing between pedophilia and statutory rape.

"We start with a vision, we find pictures, we find out what's available," Mary Kay says about planning the big day.

When Mary gets a few more years on her hide, the vision Vili is going to have when she gets naked is going to have him picturing escape and seeing who else is available that is not his mother's age.

"The place, the theme, we know the feeling we want for people -- a real celebration and an intimate welcoming."

To facilitate this, the guests will be groped by the ushers as they enter, and the flower girl and ring boy have got quite a little surprise waiting for them when no one is paying attention.

Something important to both of them is keeping the family happy.

Since that is a completely fucking shot prospect, they will try to keep the family from killing themselves with alcohol poisoning at the reception.


"The feel of where family is, where everybody is going to be sitting and how the chairs are going to be arranged -- that's come together beautifully," she says.


Yes, they decided to sit everyone in separate rooms, to lessen the chance of a riot breaking out.

Making sure the location of the ceremony is special is also a top priority.

That it was not taking place in a jail or a country without an extradition treaty was a big get.

"It not being actually in a church or a chapel,...

As bursting into flames tends to ruin the ceremony for all involved.

"creating that sacred space is really important to him -- also to me."

Sacred in this case meaning somewhere where lightning is incapable of penetrating the roof.

And decisions are still being made about the ever-important cake! "I'm just happy that I found a picture that fits my own vision," she says of the confection. "It's so much easier to go to someone and say 'something just like this,' instead of having to describe it verbally."

I am getting a very, very disturbing images in my head of Mary Kay showing things to Vili, rather than having to "describe it verbally".

And although the music and decorations have been well thought out, it's their guests they care about the most.

They are hoping none of them are armed, or ratted them out by telling God where they were. You know, in case the roof is not entirely lightning proof.

"I want them to know that this is for them," Mary Kay says.

...Jammming both middle fingers up in the air and flicking her tongue suggestively...

"It's our day but it's for us to celebrate with them ... it'll represent us but I'm thinking of them, what will make them feel what we're feeling."

What feeling is that? An overwhelming urge to become a twisted, demented freakshow?

You know, I do consider myself to have a some strong libertarian leanings as a conservative, and I am uncomfortable with some social conservative prudishness. I think one should be careful about declaring the whole country/world lost because some people engage in behavior I dislike or disapprove of.

However, this ain't right.

The very fact that a show about ENTERTAINMENT has these two twisted freaks on at all is disturbing in and of itself. This is entertainment? I can see this story on INSIDE EDITION, where at least the salaciousness of it might be balanced by a disapproving tone at least. Notice anything about that story above? How about the fact that nowhere does it mention the sordid facts of the case. No mention of the fact that the blushing bride was in her thirties when she screwed a 12 YEAR OLD, and got herself impregnated TWICE by him. She is a pedophile and child rapist. Think I am over reacting? Imagine a 30 year old man fucking a 12 year old girl, creating two kids and then MARRYING her, and having ET get "all of the wedding details -- from the cake to the theme!"

Our culture has now gone from the whole Paris Hilton celebrity whore spectacle and driven down several more layers of the abyss. From what my wife saw, they even went into details about her dress and it seemed to her that ET was paying for it.

Would ET be asking a male rapist about his tux before his nuptials?

That ET would even touch this story at all is sick, but to cover it as just another storybook wedding shows there is something to the social conservative agenda. I am not calling for legislation here, but how about a little friggin' condemnation?

Why The UN Needs John Bolton

From an official UN Press Release: (Hatip: Transatlantic Intelligencer)

"In other business, the Assembly adopted a resolution commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and declared 8 to 9 May as a time of remembrance and reconciliation and invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals to observe annually either one or both of those days in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to all who lost their lives in that War." - http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/ga10303.doc.htm

From an official UN Press Release after John Bolton is nominated:

- "In other business, the assembly revoked a resolution commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War which called for tribute to all who lost their lives in that War. That resolution was replaced by one sponsored by the American Ambassador John Bolton which contained a tribute to all those who had died defeating the fascist, imperial mass murdering Axis regimes and damned to hell the souls responsible for starting the war, operating concentration camps, conducting mass executions and other WWII atrocities.
- "Due to some subsequent confusion, the assembly next adopted a resolution, also sponsored by the American Ambassador, which officially defined "atrocity" as things like bayoneting babies and using poison gas to kill civilians, and not putting panties on people's heads and taking pictures.
- "After some further confusion on the part of some members of the Assembly, the American ambassador proposed another resolution which defined "fascist", "mass-execution", and "imperial" by reading them out of a dictionary.
- "This lead to a final resolution in which Mr. Bolton proposed that an official definition of "clueless assclown" be anyone who needs the definitions of "atrocity", "fascist", "mass-execution", and "imperial" read to them out of a dictionary. Mr. Bolton then threw his dictionary at the Ambassador of France, who attempted to debate the definition of 'assclown', knocking him out."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What's Ridley Thinking?

Beautiful Atrocities and 3 Martini have reviews of Kingdom of Heaven, a movie I was interested in and anticipating, that is until Little Green Footballs noted that CAIR gave its seal of approval to the film:

Beautiful Atrocities has a rundown on why a seal of approval from CAIR is a big warning sign. Read it before reading on.

Both are not impressed (particularly with Bloom as lead) but they also are disturbed. Both see an attempt to create a propaganda piece (my word) lambasting Christians, deifying Muslims and trying to cast negative aspersions on the Iraq war, and maybe the war on terror in general.

Scott is quoted as saying:

" 'I'm not fighting another holy war here, I am trying to get across the fact that not everybody in the West is a good guy, and not all Muslims are bad.
'The tragedy is that we still have a lack of understanding between us, and it is 900 years since the crusades.
'We have never truly resolved our differences.' "


Now, I am working without a net here, a little bit, because I have NOT seen the film, and I am going off the impressions of the others and several circumstantial facts. So, keep that in mind, and I will too.

What this reminds me of was when Troy came out, director Wolfgang Peterson tried to whip up some audience from the Farehnheit 9/11 crowd with claims that his film was a critical analogy to Bush and the war in Iraq:

" 'I couldn’t believe it. I thought, it’s as if nothing has changed in 3,000 years. People are still using deceit to engage in wars of vengeance.' While emphasizing that he 'did not make this film with the intention of making an anti-American statement,' Petersen told the press that the parallels between the Trojan and Iraq wars became more apparent on a daily basis during the filming. 'Just as King Agamemnon waged what was essentially a war of conquest on the ruse of trying to rescue the beautiful Helen from the hands of the Trojans, President George W. Bush concealed his true motives for the invasion of Iraq.' "

Oliver Stone would do so as well for Alexander, although he would later mollify or back off the statements.

‘I started this thing before all this nightmare came down, this morass,” Stone said of the Iraq war. “It’s ironic, and I think there is a coincidence that’s far beyond my understanding, but I would certainly not limit this to the current situation. This is an older situation, East vs. West. This is pre-Muslim, and there was always a conflict between Persian and Greek.
‘Alexander was beautiful because he saw beyond that conflict into a synthesis,” Stone added. ’“I’m not so sure our present administration does. It’s great that they say, ‘Democracy, blah, blah, blah,’ but you have to modify democracy to the local customs.’
‘Alexander brought the Hellenic way which is, let’s say, more freedom for the individual. He abided by the customs of, unlike our administration, of leaving the [opposing] armies intact and used the armies. He always needed more men.’
‘[Alexander] was always inclusive, and we were exactly the opposite when we went into Iraq. We were totally exclusive...You could argue the policy was malformed from the beginning, misintended.’ “


Just ignore the historical ignorance here, and examine how a film coming out for release is portrayed as some sort of useful allegory for modern times, one which does not portray the U.S. in a positive light.

It was with these two incidents in mind that I began to see the emergence of a pattern here. CAIR’s endorsement was a big clue to that, but also what occurred to me was how likely was it that politically Hollywood would make a film that was historically accurate film regarding Muslims and Islam in that period. That they would portray the Europeans negatively as needed (or primarily) I had no doubt, but the followers of Mohammed?

Still, I hoped against hope that maybe the movie would be a good one, either simply an action film that avoided lame or misguided lessons about current events, or would even show history in the proper context, even it was tinged with some PC elements.

The reason I thought I had hope was I recalled an interview Ridley Scott had done with CNN when Black Hawk Down was released in theaters. Although I have not found the transcript online yet, I remember clearly Scott called himself an interventionist, and part of the reason he did the film was because he supported the operation that led to the events in Somalia. I assumed that this meant Scott was several steps removed from typical La-La land groupthink, and had a both realist but compassionate philosophy.

I did find this in another article to support my recollection of his attitude then:

“As the film views the situation, the humanitarian intervention in Somalia was carried out with the best intentions. Scott and his producer, Jerry Bruckheimer -- responsible for Pearl Harbor, Top Gun, etc. -- set the matter up while in San Francisco to promote the picture.

" ‘In this instance,’ Scott explains, ‘there was no subtext, no value to grabbing a footprint in Somalia. There's no oil there as far as we know. We went in because of the misbehavior of [warlord Mohamed Farrah] Aidid. Aidid discovered that famine is a subtle form of genocide. There's no bang when you kill them that way. People just melt into the ground.’ "

So, Scott is clearly a person who backs military force for humanitarian reasons. It is there in black and white.

But, you say, he clearly gives the caveat that there was no subtext, no value in going to Somalia (of course, the U.S. would not consider human life to be valuable, right?). Okay, fine, but then you read the following exchange: (underlines mine)

" '[Mark] Bowden [author of Black Hawk Down], who has studied the battle of Mogadishu the most closely, reaches a somewhat different conclusion about the Somalian intervention: 'It's another lesson in the limits of what force accomplishes.'
'With respect to Mark,' Scott says testily, 'that statement is 20-20 hindsight. I still say if I see women and children there who are dying, we should go out there, because we're the only ones qualified to do it. There's merit to the ideal of an army as a peacekeeping force that comes in, camps out, and says, 'Don't do that or we'll slap your head.' Of course, you can just ignore genocide.'

'As we did in Rwanda,' Bruckheimer adds.
'And yet we ask, '[Is] there another way of stopping it? How? Sending in nuns?'' Scott says. "

Okay, so square these statements for me in regards to a viewing a difference with Iraq.

Women dying. Check.
Children dying. Check.
Men dying in even larger numbers. Added ‘bonus’ qualification. Check.
We are the only ones qualified (and one of the few willing to do it). Check.
We again lacked ninja nuns capable of stopping Saddam’s oppression without bloodshed. Check.

Gee, it seems to me we met Scott’s criteria, did we not?

Again, I am assuming a lot here in what Scott is thinking, but it seems to me, and my gut tells me, that Scott is another one of this Hollywood types who can’t even keep his own positions straight in general, or just when it comes to policies originating from George Bush.

In Somalia, where 10’s of thousands were dying, Scott thinks U.S. intervention was not only necessary, but even mandated by virtue of ability to do something. Sort of the Spiderman philosophy “With great power comes great responsibility”. But, in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands were murdered, with the prospect of more of the same in the future, and with a man believed to possess the will and means to cause more death and destruction, we overreacted. The problem is that we not understand Muslims or Islam or the Middle East and we are only there for the oil. I guess in Mr. Scott’s world, all a brutal dictator need do to prevent U.S. intervention is to declare they possess oil reserves and they will left unmolested.

One would wonder here whether is really in fact blinkered in his thinking, overwrought with dislike of Bush, or is making a cynical attempt to whip up an audience. Of course, the content of the film, as described because I admittedly have not seen, suggests any anti-Iraq war sentiment was pre-meditated.