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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Misdirected Attention

That's the problem with Hollywood. Ann Coulter puts her finger on it when she cracks:
I shall grant my awards based on the same criteria Hollywood studio executives now use to green-light movies: political correctness. Also, judging by most of the nominees this year, the awards committee prefers movies that are wildly unpopular with audiences.
They took the trouble to film The Interpreter on location at the U.N. in order to give it a stronger sense of reality, but then they concocted an imaginary African country to provide villians to bomb New York City. Hmmmm.

The Constant Gardener is about Big Government and Big Pharma conspiring to test drugs on unwitting poor Africans. Nice theory, except that in the real world they test openly. Oddly enough, while it tries hard to whip up fear and loathing toward the greedy bastards who, let's be honest, save more people than they kill, the film provides a brief glimpse into the hellhole otherwise known as Sudan, portraying the problems there as nothing more than random tribal violence. Of course the film makes no effort to describe the real human suffering and the real evil behind it. To do so would make a farce of the conspiracy bogeyman they'd like you to focus on instead.

Radio Blogger's transcript of an interview with Baroness Caroline Cox by Hugh Hewitt may give you some idea what's been going on in Sudan:
HH: Is it primarily Islamic on Christian violence? Or is it tribal?

CC: No, in Darfur, it's not Islamic on Christian. Most of the people in Darfur are themselves Muslims. It's racial. It's of the age old African-Arab conflict, and particularly Africans being trampled on by the Arabs, who on the whole, see themselves as superior, and are trying to take out the African culture, and/or to Arabize the African people.

HH: Now the Christian and Animus of the South have reached a peace, but you were telling me before we began the interview, that peace may be much more destructive of their well-being and faith than the war.

CC: Yes, indeed. The war, which was initiated by the national Islamic front regime in Khartoum in 1989, a jihad, they called it a military jihad, or Islamic holy war, claimed the lives of 2 million dead, and 4 million displaced before Darfur. And these were the battles that were raged right across Southern Sudan. The weapons of that jihad were two-fold and formiddable: military offenses against innocent civilians, manipulation of aid, so the regime would carry out brutal military offensives, aerial bombardment, ground attacks against civilians, and declare those areas as no-go's.
Hollywood isn't likely to make a film about Sudan. Or not one at least that makes any mention of Islam or jihad.

Last but not least we have a dollop of narcissism from poor put-upon George Clooney.

Clooney relishes 'traitor' attacks
From Agence France-Presse correspondents in London
February 25, 2006
Interviewed on BBC television's Newsnight about his latest films Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck Clooney said that not only did he accept the right to be attacked for his views but he even relished them.

Clooney, who has weathered attacks since opposing the 2003 Iraq invasion, said at one point that it was "frustrating" to be listed as a "traitor" on a set of playing cards, but he also accepted people's right to free speech.

He later admitted he relished the attacks.

"I think it's important to be on the right side of history," Clooney said.
He knows before it's written that he's on the right side of history. Maybe because he knows his posturing appeals to the academics who twisted the history of McCarthyism, and will twist today's.
Clooney has received critical acclaim for Syriana - about oil politics and Islamic extremism - and for Good Night, and Good Luck a reminder of the threat to civil liberties through a story about the anti-communist hysteria in the US of the 1950s.
Then as now we're to believe the "good guys" are the ones who do everything in their power to thwart the "bad guys" who want to seize absolute power under the guise of trying to defend us from an ideology whose evil is purely imaginary. 50 years ago it was Communism, today it's Islamism. Unfortunately for the commie sympathizers the Venona papers and other Soviet documents that have since come to light vindicate McCarthy. Some day the value of the NSA wiretaps and other politically incorrect efforts revealed and destroyed by the self-righteous protestor-patriots will come to light too.
Clooney has said the chilling effect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on US politics had inspired Syriana and its unflinching look at the ways extremism and political instability are fostered by the interests of big oil.
Chilling effect? 9/11 pulled some heads out of the sand and drove others deeper. It stimulated political debate, it didn't stifle it. And that's a good thing, unless you suspect you're actually on the wrong side of history.

UPDATE 4 March 2006: Charles Krauthammer had this to say about Syriana:
The political hero is the Arab prince who wants to end corruption, inequality and oppression in his country. As he tells his tribal elders, he intends to modernize his country by bringing the rule of law, market efficiency, women's rights and democracy.

What do you think happens to him? He, his beautiful wife and beautiful children are murdered, incinerated, by a remote-controlled missile, fired from CIA headquarters in Langley, no less -- at the very moment that (this passes for subtle cross-cutting film editing) his evil younger brother, the corrupt rival to the throne and puppet of the oil company, is being hailed at a suitably garish ``oilman of the year'' celebration populated by fat and ugly Americans.

What is grotesque about this moment of plot clarity is that the overwhelmingly obvious critique of actual U.S. policy in the real Middle East today is its excess of Wilsonian idealism in trying to find and promote -- against a tide of tyranny, intolerance and fanaticism -- local leaders like the Good Prince. Who in the greater Middle East is closest to "Syriana's'' modernizing, democratizing paragon? Without a doubt, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, a man of exemplary -- and quite nonfictional -- personal integrity, physical courage and democratic temperament. Hundreds of brave American (and allied NATO) soldiers have died protecting him and the democratic system they established to allow him to govern. On the very night the Oscars will be honoring "Syriana,'' American soldiers will be fighting, some perhaps dying, in defense of precisely the kind of tolerant, modernizing Muslim leader that "Syriana'' shows America slaughtering.

It gets worse. The most pernicious element in the movie is the character who is at the moral heart of the film: the physically beautiful, modest, caring, generous Pakistani who becomes a beautiful, modest, caring, generous ... suicide bomber.
And he concludes:
Most liberalism is angst- and guilt-ridden, seeing moral equivalence everywhere. "Syriana'' is of a different species entirely -- a pathological variety that burns with the certainty of its malign anti-Americanism. Osama bin Laden could not have scripted this film with more conviction.


Blogger flippityflopitty said...

Syriana: Missed it...your passionate critique may require me to spend $5 at blockbuster.

Constant Gardener - no mystery, nothing special, slow-moving, best-supporting actress? She must have been up against sofia coppola in the godfather III re-re-re-release. Big Pharm is an easy subject - they go to the 3rd world to do trials because FDA wont let them do it here - fact of life - does that make them morally evil, yep... does anyone do anything about it - pissin' in the wind.

Clooney really got under yer skin, eh? You are letting him relish. He's just a putz with a microphone. You sound like the south park episode when stan and kenny go to mel gibson for a refund after seeing Passion.

Of course he relishes the "traitor" attacks. As they say in Hollywood there's no such thing as bad publicity. Any publicity is good publicity.

McCarthyism. Vindication, eh? Tell that to all the innocent stooges who thought america was the land of free speech.

Isnt it interesting how Ann Coulter does a McCarthyism feel-good book prior to the NSA domestic spying furor. I guess she just has good timing.

I guess I have to spend $5 on Good Night & Good Luck, too. I will let George know who inspired my rental.

I heard that Ann's next book is going to be slavery in the US is a myth, propagated by Black america to influence stupid liberals.

3/16/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Domestic spying?

3/21/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

"Domestic" aka home.

You think people are making a production about this out of fear that foreigners are being surveilled? They want to know if US Citizens are being surveilled - and if so, what measures are in place to protect their rights.

How many times do you have to see the tape of Bush saying "wire taps require warrants" followed by 'bert's explanation why they dont need warrants splashed across the wireless celluloid.

I dont agree with Judge Napolitano too often but he's right on the money with this matter:
He was also in for Oreilly on the radio for several days and this was a hot topic.

3/25/2006 07:41:00 PM  

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