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- Category: Polley, Sarah
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His heart's in the right place but he sounds like an idjit.
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SAT JAN 11, 2003 22:01:37 ET XXXXX
SEAN PENN: IRAQ NOT POLITICAL IS HUMAN!
ACTOR SEAN PENN BROKE HIS SILENCE ABOUT HIS RECENT FACT-FINDING TRIP
TO IRAQ IN A EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CNN SATURDAY NIGHT.
ON LARRY KING LIVE, PENN MADE A COMPELLING, FOCUSED CASE AGAINST THE
IRAQI WAR, ADVOCATING DIALOGUE BEFORE BOMBS.
JOINED IN PROGRESS...
PENN: ...IT IS, UM, IMPORTANT. I AM RESPONSIBLE. WENT TO LEARN. I
HAVE SEEN AND KNOW. YEAH, IT IS COMPLICATED. SURE, BAGHDAD. NO, MUCH
IS REPELLENT ABOUT IT. WE HAVE FAMILIES. BELONG IN BELLEVUE. THEY
DID. DISEASE. INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY. I DID NOT GO AS A JOURNALIST.
AFTER THE 1991 BOMBINGS, IT WAS SOLD TO THE PEOPLE. AND THE
STARVATION, I SAY THIS AS A FATHER OF CHILDREN. YES, I DO.
KING: DID YOUR WIFE WANT YOU TO?
PENN: THEY MAKE IT BUFFOONERY, WELL, IT IS A NERVE-WRACKING THING.
BUT I AM MORE SHY FROM THE SHAME I WILL FEEL. NO, THIS IS A
MISCONCEPTION OF THE CURRENT NARCISSISM OF THE MOTION PICTURE
INDUSTRY. MORE THAN TWENTY HOURS ON A PLANE. YOU START TO THINK. YOU
DO. IT IS NOT GOOD TO BE FAMOUS. WHEN I WANT TO GIGGLE, I TURN ON
BILL O'REILLY. ONCE EVERY 5 YEARS I HAVE SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. I AM
QUITE CRAZY ABOUT IT, BUT IT MAKES ME CRAZY. GULF WAR COST $82
KING: WOULD YOU GO TO NORTH KOREA?
PENN: IRAQ NOT POLITICAL IS HUMAN. I DONT SPEAK OUT MUCH, BUT I FEEL
IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK OUT AS MUCH AS I CAN. BAGHDAD.
CONSCIENCE, AND I DID FEEL, UM, COULD BE GREAT TO TRY TO, UM,
DIALOGUE. ARMS INSPECTORS. REALLY UNAMERICAN. MURDOCH. BECAUSE I AM A
FATHER. I'D LIKE TO WRITE MORE. NOT PROLIFIC TO WRITE SCRIPT. TO BE
DIRECTOR. YES, SURE. CHILDREN BOMBS IN CONSCIOUSNESS, CAN'T READ
ARABIC. THANK YOU, LARRY...
KING: GNARLY, DUDE.
'The Event' is being screened at the Sundance Film Festival starting
this Sunday night...
January 19....6:00 pm....Eccles Centre
January 20....9:00 am....Egyptian Theatre
January 20....7:00 pm....Sundance Screening Room
January 21....6:30 pm....Trolley Corners Theatre, SLC
All times are either Pacific or Mountain. Sooo...yeah. :D
Hmmmmmmm...In the first pic, Sarah looks like she's just been,
er...had a nice dream!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, maestroshelly98
> Both pictures on both pages are uploaded to the miscellaneous folder
> in the Photos section. :)
Thom Fitzgerald's "The Event"; A Gallows Humor AIDS Drama With Some
Monday January 20 4:40 PM ET
by Scott Foundas/indieWIRE
The first thing you see in Thom Fitzgerald's "The Event" is the
corpse of Matt Shapiro (Don McKellar) being zipped into a body bag
and carried away from his Chelsea apartment by a team of paramedics,
while Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" blasts on the
soundtrack. Which is more than a bit like that moment at the
beginning of Brad Silberling's "Moonlight Mile" where the family
piles in the car on their way to a funeral only to have Sly and the
Family Stone come screaming out of the radio. And your hopes are
momentarily lifted that "The Event" might turn out to be the kind of
acidly comic take on death and its aftermath that Silberling tried
for and only halfway achieved.
But unfortunately, "The Event" is not that movie -- not by a
longshot. Despite its fleeting attempts at a kind-of Lindsay Anderson-
esque gallows humor, this is an unrelentingly unpleasant, impossibly
maudlin melodrama, made not only as though the AIDS crisis had just
begun five minutes ago, but as though no film before had ever
addressed its devastating repercussions. It's a pedantic, preachy
work, of noble intent, but with little genuine feeling. And to boot,
it's one of the fuzziest, grungiest-looking of recent DV features.
The film's title refers to a "going away" party staged by the AIDS-
ravaged Matt as a last celebration with friends and family before his
planned suicide. And it is also the subject of an investigation by
the New York City justice department, where an upstart assistant
district attorney (a stunningly miscast Parker Posey) has reason to
believe that Matt's death was but one in a series of
suicides "assisted" by Matt's longtime partner (and AIDS hospice
worker) Brian (Brent Carver). So, Fitzgerald and his co-
screenwriters, Tim Marback and Steven Hillyer, proceed to tell two
crosscut narratives: the one depicting Matt and Brian in happier
days; the other comprised of a series of police-station
interrogations by which Posey and company attempt to squeeze "The
Truth" out of those who attended Matt's party.
This is, of course, material that has already been examined
extensively (to say nothing of more deftly) in gay cinema,
particularly by Randal Kleiser's "It's My Party" (which hardly seemed
a major film at the time, but which grows larger in your mind while
watching "The Event"). But "The Event" plods along with all the faux-
earnestness of some of the first TV programs that addressed AIDS in
the 1980s -- nearly everyone in front of and behind the camera can't
stop reminding us what a terribly noble endeavor this is. The actors
(with the exception of McKellar, who fares surprisingly well given
his one-dimensional "I'm dying but I can still crack a joke about it"
character) stand around motionless, declaiming their lines in leaden
theatrical cadences, as if the import of the words was a heavy weight
around their necks. And you're never too far away from a "viral load"
poster on the wall, or some other bit of statistical info obtusely
worked into D'Arcy Poultney's production ! design.
Fitzgerald has said that this project was a long time in development,
and that's hardly difficult to believe. Save for the occasional
reference to contemporary politics and culture, the flashbacks to
Matt's life before and during his illness, though set in the late
1990s, could have taken place two decades ago. They're littered with
stereotypical encounters based on people's ignorance about the
disease, like when Matt's uncle comes over to the house and covers
his mouth so he won't "catch" AIDS. And from what moth-filled bureau
was unearthed the scene where Matt's mother (played by Olympia
Dukakis in the movie's only other full-bodied performance) breaks
bread with a black drag queen in a blonde wig?
"The Event" goes down with all the subtlety of a horse tranquilizer,
and with more false endings than there are pills in most AIDS
patients' daily drug cocktails. There are some authentically tender
and moving encounters here, particularly those between McKellar and
Dukakis. But any good will the movie builds up is completely
eradicated by the howlingly misconceived "investigation" sequences,
in which the DAs and cops (not a gay one among them, by the way) try
as hard as possible to be insensitive to Matt's plight.
Jan. 24, 2003. 05:48 AM
Group joins call for shelters
Community leaders ask city for 200 more beds Homeless man's death
found not to be caused by cold
T.O. Star STAFF REPORTER
Pressure mounted on Mayor Mel Lastman and Toronto City Council
yesterday to create more emergency shelter beds for homeless people —
on the same morning one homeless man died outside a hospital and
another narrowly escaped drowning in the Don River.
A group of community leaders has made public a letter to the mayor
dating back to Dec. 11, demanding 200 more emergency shelter beds and
setting yesterday as the deadline for an "adequate response." A
similar plea was made yesterday by 60 groups acting as the Toronto
Disaster Relief Committee.
"It seems an emergency is only declared when the temperature drops
to -15 degrees, as if winter is an annual surprise," says the letter.
Among its 16 signatories are John Andras, president of the Rotary
Club; Ken Dryden, president of the Toronto Maple Leafs; John Evans,
chairman of Torstar (which owns the Star); Anne Golden, president of
the Conference Board of Canada; Frances Lankin, president of the
United Way; Rabbi Dow Marmur of Holy Blossom Temple; former premier
Bob Rae; and actress Sarah Polley.
The group, represented by Charles Pascal of the Atkinson Charitable
Foundation, urged Lastman to arrange the use of an armoury or other
city building as an emergency shelter. "The immediate goal," the
letter said, "is to save lives this winter." It asked for a response
by yesterday, but none came.
An official in the mayor's office said yesterday Lastman wanted to
know more about the death near St. Michael's Hospital before replying
The unnamed man, a user of the Seaton House shelter, had been
hospitalized and diagnosed with a perforated bowel. He checked
himself out against medical advice and, within 10 minutes, collapsed
on a nearby sidewalk and died.
"It was not a death due to exposure," said Deputy Chief Coroner James
Another homeless man was recovering at St. Michael's last night after
being pulled from the Don River near the Keating Channel. Police said
he slipped down an embankment into the water early yesterday. A
passerby dialed 911. He was treated for mild hypothermia and will
Agencies have been warning about the likelihood of street deaths in
With files from Cal Millar
From THE GUARDIAN (published in the hometown of "Droopy Drawers"
In brief: Winterbottom's Afghan opus enters Berlin competition
Stafff and agencies
Thursday January 23, 2003
Michael Winterbottom's controversial In This World has been selected
for competition at next month's 53rd Berlin film festival. Shot on
digital video in war-torn Afghanistan last year, the film will
compete for the prestigious Golden Bear, which is presented on
February 16. Other films going for the top prize include Life Without
Me, starring Sarah Polley and Deborah Harry, Zhang Yimou's martial
arts thriller Hero, the acclaimed Chinese coal-mining drama Blind
Shaft and, most intriguingly, a Dutch musical entitled Yes Nurse, No
Nurse. Our money's on that one.
Which, by the way, is the 70th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt's
inauguration, that ol' communiss!
I hope someone can help me out, please? Can anyone send me these
Lonely Hearts (Bacheler Auction)
Christmas In June
A Fox Tale
Someone To Believe In
So Dear To My Heart
Please, I really want these and would really appericate it alot, please?
E-mail me at: kris216La@...
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Response promised to letter
by VANESSA LU
T.O. Star, CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF
The mayor's office plans to fully respond to a letter from 16
prominent residents calling for immediate action on homelessness,
including creating extra shelter beds.
"We intend to respond in a timely manner," Scot Magnish, spokesperson
for Mayor Mel Lastman, said yesterday, one day after the group
released copies of two letters urging quick action, including
possibly opening up armouries.
"Compassion, medical evidence, the moral and ethical codes of our
community, and regard for human dignity require that we must provide
shelter now," said a letter dated Dec. 11. In a second letter dated
Jan. 16, the authors said that if they did not receive an adequate
response by Thursday, they would release the letters publicly.
Magnish said the mayor's office receives 14,000 letters a year, some
"All of these letters are very important. It's not that the mayor's
office doesn't believe this issue is not important ... it is no more
or no less important than that of constituents or the Prime
Minister," Magnish said.
He added that Charles Pascal of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation,
who signed the letters, met with officials in the mayor's office in
Increased pressure comes as the city's extreme cold weather alert
enters its 10th day.
RBC executive vice-president Charles Coffey, who signed the letters,
said he wants leaders to understand that citizens care about
homelessness. "Enough is enough, it's time to move on and deal with
it more aggressively."
Other signatories included John Andras, president-elect of the Rotary
Club; Maple Leafs president Ken Dryden; former premier Bob Rae; the
United Way's Frances Lankin; actor Sarah Polley; Avie Bennett,
chairman of First Plazas; Alan Broadbent, CEO of Avana Capital Corp.;
Dr. John Evans, chairman of Torstar (which owns the Star); Ursula
Franklin, a retired U of T professor; the Conference Board's Anne
Golden; Rabbi Dow Marmur of Holy Blossom Temple; Fraser Mustard of
the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; author Arlene Perly
Rae; and Jody Steinhauer of the Bargains Group.
Jury picks our Top 10 films
by PETER HOWELL
Canadian filmmakers are becoming more daring even as Canadian
filmgoers continue to choose traditional Hollywood fare, says Piers
Handling, the director of the Toronto International Film Festival.
In announcing Canada's Top Ten 2002, the festival's second annual
list of the best in Canadian cinema, Handling said yesterday there
continues to be a huge gap between what Canuck filmmakers make and
what Canuck audiences choose to see. Less than 3 per cent of the
national movie box office goes to Canadian films.
Canada's Top Ten list seeks to narrow the gap, Handling said in an
interview, by celebrating films that deserve an audience — even if
the audience hasn't yet heard of most of them.
"It's still a tough fight, but there's still the will there on the
part of a cadre of people — filmmakers, producers, actors, directors
and the media — to have distinctive Canadian voices in film,"
This year's list was compiled by a 10-member jury of filmmakers,
festival programmers, journalists (including the Star's Geoff Pevere)
and industry professionals. The results (with director's names) are
Ararat (Atom Egoyan, Toronto);
Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary (Guy Maddin, Winnipeg);
Flower And Garnet (Keith Behrman, Vancouver);
Gambling, Gods And LSD (Peter Mettler, Toronto);
Marion Bridge (Wiebke von Carolsfeld, Toronto);
Le Nèg' (Robert Morin, Montreal);
Océan (Catherine Martin, Montreal);
Spider (David Cronenberg, Toronto);
Tom (Mike Hoolboom, Toronto);
La Turbulence des fluides (Chaos And Desire) (Manon Briand,
Most of the films haven't had anything resembling a major release.
Many have yet to be screened in Toronto, let alone small centres. The
Top Ten doesn't include two rare Canadian box office successes from
last year, Men With Brooms and Bollywood/Hollywood. Nor does it have
most of the contenders for best motion picture at the Feb. 13 Genie
Awards, Canada's version of the Oscars — only Ararat is on both lists.
Most of the films on Canada's Top Ten don't hold to conventional
three-act narratives, and at least half of them — especially Spider,
Dracula, Tom, Océan and Gambling, Gods And LSD — are primarily visual
excursions, seducing the eye to better engage the mind. There isn't a
popcorn flick amongst the lot.
Canada's Top Ten isn't limited to arthouse films, Handling said, and
it isn't intended to be a slap against the Genies, which tend to
honour more mainstream movies. But the jury members are encouraged to
reflect the diversity of Canadian filmmakers, who are increasingly
willing to take risks and experiment.
Handling believes that Canadians want to see more Canadian films, but
they need encouragement and access. He's delighted by the success of
the festival's Film Circuit program, which takes quality Canadian,
independent and international films to smaller towns and cities
across the country that normally don't get anything more than
There are also signs of renewed interest in Canadian films in the big
cities. As part of the Top Ten endeavour, the festival is sponsoring
public panel discussions on film performance and editing tonight and
tomorrow at the Art Gallery of Ontario's Jackman Hall. Hosted by
filmmakers Don McKellar (tonight) and Bruce McDonald (tomorrow), both
events feature several of the Top Ten directors. The discussions are
at 6:30 p.m., but both events are nearly sold out — call (416) 968-
FILM for last-minute ticket availability.
Click on the photos to get the fuller sized pic.
The pics uploaded were already in the folder. Please, please, PLEASE
check the folders before uploading to see if they're already posted.
(It'll save on space for new, fresher pics. ;))
Meanwhile, today's IMDb featured movie in their daily newsletter is...
* * * * *
IMDb MOVIE OF THE DAY
A strange blend of modernized fairy tale, societal satire and
something like self-parody, Hal Hartley's No Such Thing is film of
contrasts and commentary. Initially, the film focuses on Beatrice
(Sarah Polley), a naïve young assistant/cubicle-dwelling Cinderella at
a TV network, contrasted with the Boss (Helen Mirren), the slick
network producer/evil stepmother. Beatrice asks if she might
investigate what happened to the network's camera crew that
disappeared on location in Iceland, since a member of the crew was her
fiancé. The Boss, completely oblivious to the loss of the crew, lets
her investigate what might make a sensational story if the rumor is
true - the crew was killed by a monster. Beatrice sets off on her
explorative journey, which is fraught with the fairy tale
mainstays-distractions and mortal danger-that end up setting her
right back on her original path but with friends to help her,
including the motherly Doctor Anna (Julie Christie) and isolated
townsfolk who lead her to the lair of the monster. One Beatrice
reaches the secluded Icelandic isle of the Monster (Robert John
Burke), the story becomes all his, as he spews forth his doctrine of
hatred for humans, allowing Hartley to comment plainly on the ills of
mankind. Made miserable because he is unable to die and escape man,
Beatrice agrees to help the Monster find the mad scientist who can
kill him, even though it involves the pair heading to New York. Not
surprisingly, they find that people there no longer fears monsters,
leaving the Monster a quickly discarded curiosity, but still a worthy
tool for Hartley's exploration of fame, compassion and the failures of
No Such Thing @ IMDb.com
No Such Thing @ Amazon.com
VHS - $29.98*
DVD - $22.49 (save 25%)*
Sorry...did you delete them, or do I need to go back and delete them?
I guess I was just too overwhelmed by Our Sarah to think clearly.
--- In email@example.com, maestroshelly98
> The pics uploaded were already in the folder. Please, please, PLEASE
> check the folders before uploading to see if they're already posted.
> (It'll save on space for new, fresher pics. ;))
> Meanwhile, today's IMDb featured movie in their daily newsletter
Actually I left yours (except for the poster) and deleted the previous
ones (in case yours were a higher-res :)). All's well.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, jon_hopwood <no_reply@y...>
> Sorry...did you delete them, or do I need to go back and delete them?
> I guess I was just too overwhelmed by Our Sarah to think clearly.
What do you think of Peter O'Toole saying he won't come to pick up
his honorary Oscar until he's 80 (he's 70 now)> It's about time
someone kicked those clowns in the yarblockos (again -- it's been 30
--- In email@example.com, maestroshelly98
> Actually I left yours (except for the poster) and deleted the
> ones (in case yours were a higher-res :)). All's well.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, jon_hopwood
> > Sorry...did you delete them, or do I need to go back and delete
> > I guess I was just too overwhelmed by Our Sarah to think clearly.
Colin Powell was killed in a plane crash, and his body was badly
burned. The coroner at the Washington, D.C. morgue, a woman and a
Democratic appointee, asked George Bush and Dick Cheney to identify
the remains. First, Bush came into the morgue to examine the body.
The coroner pulled back the sheet and Bush said, "His face is too
badly burned, roll him over." The coroner was surprised by the
request, but complied. Bush said, "Nope, it's not him." When the
coroner asked Bush how he could be sure by looking at the corpse's
back, Bush just wrinkled his nose and walked out of the refrigerated
Next, Cheney came in. The coroner pulled back the sheet and Cheney
said, "His face is too badly burned, roll him over." The coroner
again complied. "Nope, it's not him," replied Cheney.
The coroner finally said, " I have to ask, why did you and President
Bush ask that the deceased be turned over?"
"Well," Cheney said, "Powell had -- " and at this, Cheney hesitated,
clearly embarassed. The coroner wasn't sure whether Cheney was shy,
or whether he was patronizing her because she was a woman.
"What?" the coroner asked.
"Powell had two -- anuses, Ma'am," Cheney finally blurted out.
The coroner looked very startled, and said, "I've never heard of
someone with a physical deformity like that. How did you know about
Cheney replied, "That's easy to explain: every time the president and
I walked into a room with him, everyone said 'Here comes Powell with
those two assholes.'"
Who do you think has taken more balls to the chin in a career? Recent
major league baseball Hall-of-Fame inductee Gary Carter, who had a
brilliant career as a catcher, primarily with the Montreal Expos and
the NY Mets, or Elton John?
Pete Townshend. But they was little ones.
--- In email@example.com, "Gabriel Oak
<mummingbirds@y...>" <mummingbirds@y...> wrote:
> Who do you think has taken more balls to the chin in a career?
Recent major league baseball Hall-of-Fame inductee Gary Carter, who
had a brilliant career as a catcher, primarily with the Montreal
Expos and the NY Mets, or Elton John?
Added a new pic from 'The Law of Enclosures' to its respective folder
in the Photos section. :)
Shelly how come your profile says you've been 21 for the last two
Because I didn't bother to change it when I turned 22, and I don't
turn 23 for another six months. ;)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "fruit_loops1979
<fruit_loops1979@y...>" <fruit_loops1979@y...> wrote:
> Shelly how come your profile says you've been 21 for the last two
> years??? ;-)
MIRROR (LONDON) Jan 29 2003
John Pilger: His most damning verdict on Tony Blair
William Russell, the great correspondent who reported the carnage of
imperial wars, may have first used the expression "blood on his
hands" to describe impeccable politicians who, at a safe distance,
order the mass killing of ordinary people.
In my experience "on his hands" applies especially to those modern
political leaders who have had no personal experience of war, like
George W Bush, who managed not to serve in Vietnam, and the effete
There is about them the essential cowardice of the man who causes
death and suffering not by his own hand but through a chain of
command that affirms his "authority".
In 1946 the judges at Nuremberg who tried the Nazi leaders for war
crimes left no doubt about what they regarded as the gravest crimes
The most serious was unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state that
offered no threat to one's homeland. Then there was the murder of
civilians, for which responsibility rested with the "highest
Blair is about to commit both these crimes, for which he is being
denied even the flimsiest United Nations cover now that the weapons
inspectors have found, as one put it, "zilch".
Like those in the dock at Nuremberg, he has no democratic cover.
Using the archaic "royal prerogative" he did not consult parliament
or the people when he dispatched 35,000 troops and ships and aircraft
to the Gulf; he consulted a foreign power, the Washington regime.
Unelected in 2000, the Washington regime of George W Bush is now
totalitarian, captured by a clique whose fanaticism and ambitions of
"endless war" and "full spectrum dominance" are a matter of record.
All the world knows their names: Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz,
Cheney and Perle, and Powell, the false liberal. Bush's State of the
Union speech last night was reminiscent of that other great moment in
1938 when Hitler called his generals together and told them: "I must
have war." He then had it.
To call Blair a mere "poodle" is to allow him distance from the
killing of innocent Iraqi men, women and children for which he will
He is the embodiment of the most dangerous appeasement humanity has
known since the 1930s. The current American elite is the Third Reich
of our times, although this distinction ought not to let us forget
that they have merely accelerated more than half a century of
unrelenting American state terrorism: from the atomic bombs dropped
cynically on Japan as a signal of their new power to the dozens of
countries invaded, directly or by proxy, to destroy democracy
wherever it collided with American "interests", such as a voracious
appetite for the world's resources, like oil.
When you next hear Blair or Straw or Bush talk about "bringing
democracy to the people of Iraq", remember that it was the CIA that
installed the Ba'ath Party in Baghdad from which emerged Saddam
"That was my favourite coup," said the CIA man responsible. When you
next hear Blair and Bush talking about a "smoking gun" in Iraq, ask
why the US government last December confiscated the 12,000 pages of
Iraq's weapons declaration, saying they contained "sensitive
information" which needed "a little editing".
Sensitive indeed. The original Iraqi documents listed 150 American,
British and other foreign companies that supplied Iraq with its
nuclear, chemical and missile technology, many of them in illegal
transactions. In 2000 Peter Hain, then a Foreign Office Minister,
blocked a parliamentary request to publish the full list of
lawbreaking British companies. He has never explained why.
As a reporter of many wars I am constantly aware that words on the
page like these can seem almost abstract, part of a great chess game
unconnected to people's lives.
The most vivid images I carry make that connection. They are the end
result of orders given far away by the likes of Bush and Blair, who
never see, or would have the courage to see, the effect of their
actions on ordinary lives: the blood on their hands.
Let me give a couple of examples. Waves of B52 bombers will be used
in the attack on Iraq. In Vietnam, where more than a million people
were killed in the American invasion of the 1960s, I once watched
three ladders of bombs curve in the sky, falling from B52s flying in
formation, unseen above the clouds.
They dropped about 70 tons of explosives that day in what was known
as the "long box" pattern, the military term for carpet bombing.
Everything inside a "box" was presumed destroyed.
When I reached a village within the "box", the street had been
replaced by a crater.
I slipped on the severed shank of a buffalo and fell hard into a ditch
filled with pieces of limbs and the intact bodies of children thrown
into the air by the blast.
The children's skin had folded back, like parchment, revealing veins
and burnt flesh that seeped blood, while the eyes, intact, stared
straight ahead. A small leg had been so contorted by the blast that
the foot seemed to be growing from a shoulder. I vomited.
I am being purposely graphic. This is what I saw, and often; yet even
in that "media war" I never saw images of these grotesque sights on
television or in the pages of a newspaper.
I saw them only pinned on the wall of news agency offices in Saigon
as a kind of freaks' gallery.
SOME years later I often came upon terribly deformed Vietnamese
children in villages where American aircraft had sprayed a herbicide
called Agent Orange.
It was banned in the United States, not surprisingly for it contained
Dioxin, the deadliest known poison.
This terrible chemical weapon, which the cliche-mongers would now
call a weapon of mass destruction, was dumped on almost half of South
Today, as the poison continues to move through water and soil and
food, children continue to be born without palates and chins and
scrotums or are stillborn. Many have leukaemia.
You never saw these children on the TV news then; they were too
hideous for their pictures, the evidence of a great crime, even to be
pinned up on a wall and they are old news now.
That is the true face of war. Will you be shown it by satellite when
Iraq is attacked? I doubt it.
I was starkly reminded of the children of Vietnam when I travelled in
Iraq two years ago. A paediatrician showed me hospital wards of
children similarly deformed: a phenomenon unheard of prior to the
Gulf war in 1991.
She kept a photo album of those who had died, their smiles undimmed on
grey little faces. Now and then she would turn away and wipe her eyes.
More than 300 tons of depleted uranium, another weapon of mass
destruction, were fired by American aircraft and tanks and possibly
by the British.
Many of the rounds were solid uranium which, inhaled or ingested,
causes cancer. In a country where dust carries everything, swirling
through markets and playgrounds, children are especially vulnerable.
For 12 years Iraq has been denied specialist equipment that would
allow its engineers to decontaminate its southern battlefields.
It has also been denied equipment and drugs that would identify and
treat the cancer which, it is estimated, will affect almost half the
in the south.
LAST November Jeremy Corbyn MP asked the Junior Defence Minister Adam
Ingram what stocks of weapons containing depleted uranium were held by
British forces operating in Iraq.
His robotic reply was: "I am withholding details in accordance with
Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government
Let us be clear about what the Bush-Blair attack will do to our fellow
human beings in a country already stricken by an embargo run by
America and Britain and aimed not at Saddam Hussein but at the
civilian population, who are denied even vaccines for the children.
Last week the Pentagon in Washington announced matter of factly that
it intended to shatter Iraq "physically, emotionally and
psychologically" by raining down on its people 800 cruise missiles in
This will be more than twice the number of missiles launched during
the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War.
A military strategist named Harlan Ullman told American
television: "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad. The sheer
size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated
The strategy is known as Shock and Awe and Ullman is apparently its
proud inventor. He said: "You have this simultaneous effect, rather
like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but
What will his "Hiroshima effect" actually do to a population of whom
almost half are children under the age of 14?
The answer is to be found in a "confidential" UN document, based on
World Health Organisation estimates, which says that "as many as
500,000 people could require treatment as a result of direct and
A Bush-Blair attack will destroy "a functioning primary health care
system" and deny clean water to 39 per cent of the population. There
is "likely [to be] an outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic
It is Washington's utter disregard for humanity, I believe, together
with Blair's lies that have turned most people in this country
against them, including people who have not protested before.
Last weekend Blair said there was no need for the UN weapons
inspectors to find a "smoking gun" for Iraq to be attacked.
Compare that with his reassurance in October 2001 that there would be
no "wider war" against Iraq unless there was "absolute evidence" of
Iraqi complicity in September 11. And there has been no evidence.
Blair's deceptions are too numerous to list here. He has lied about
the nature and effect of the embargo on Iraq by covering up the fact
that Washington, with Britain's support, is withholding more than
$5billion worth of humanitarian supplies approved by the Security
He has lied about Iraq buying aluminium tubes, which he told
Parliament were "needed to enrich uranium". The International Atomic
Energy Agency has denied this outright.
He has lied about an Iraqi "threat", which he discovered only
following September 11 2001 when Bush made Iraq a gratuitous target
of his "war on terror". Blair's "Iraq dossier" has been mocked by
human rights groups.
However, what is wonderful is that across the world the sheer force of
public opinion isolates Bush and Blair and their lemming, John Howard
So few people believe them and support them that The Guardian this
week went in search of the few who do - "the hawks". The paper
published a list of celebrity warmongers, some apparently shy at
describing their contortion of intellect and morality. It is a small
IN CONTRAST the majority of people in the West, including the United
States, are now against this gruesome adventure and the numbers grow
It is time MPs joined their constituents and reclaimed the true
authority of parliament. MPs like Tam Dalyell, Alice Mahon, Jeremy
Corbyn and George Galloway have stood alone for too long on this
issue and there have been too many sham debates manipulated by
If, as Galloway says, a majority of Labour backbenchers are against an
attack, let them speak up now.
Blair's figleaf of a "coalition" is very important to Bush and only
the moral power of the British people can bring the troops home
without them firing a shot.
The consequences of not speaking out go well beyond an attack on Iraq.
Washington will effectively take over the Middle East, ensuring an
age of terrorism other than their own.
The next American attack is likely to be Iran - the Israelis want
this - and their aircraft are already in place in Turkey. Then it may
be China's turn.
"Endless war" is Vice-President Cheney's contribution to our
Bush has said he will use nuclear weapons "if necessary". On March 26
last Geoffrey Hoon said that other countries "can be absolutely
confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our
Such madness is the true enemy. What's more, it is right here at home
and you, the British people, can stop it.
On Saturday, February 15, a great demonstration against an attack on
Iraq will be held in London.
Contact the Stop the War Coalition
Thanks for the quick response.
I see that pic is from when they are in the waterpark. Don't you have
any of the, ahem, "naughty" scenes from the park, or when Sarah and
her beau are washing up in the tub?
--- In email@example.com, maestroshelly98
> Because I didn't bother to change it when I turned 22, and I don't
> turn 23 for another six months. ;)
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "fruit_loops1979
> <fruit_loops1979@y...>" <fruit_loops1979@y...> wrote:
> > Shelly how come your profile says you've been 21 for the last two
> > years??? ;-)
John Pilger has been anti-American for as long as I've been reading
him (since my university days, beginning in 1989, when he wrote for
THE NEW STATESMAN & SOCIETY). He called Clinton a bloody imperialist
coward for the eight years he was in office. It's like a tape loop
manipulated by a rap master.
The war against movie critics
So the editor of Variety thinks film criticism is pointless elitism.
Does he speak for the moviegoing public -- or the Hollywood studio
execs and corporate media bigshots who'd like to ditch the critics?
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Charles Taylor
Jan. 13, 2003 | Sometimes I think the day-to-day lives of most
movie critics could be summed up by a line Amy Madigan speaks
in "Streets of Fire": "Everywhere I go, there's always an asshole."
The winner of that distinction this week is Peter Bart, editor in
chief of Daily Variety, who, in the Jan. 6 edition of that Hollywood
trade publication, published a remarkably misinformed little screed
targeted at film critics. Regarding the year-end 10-best lists that
most critics have just published, Bart asks, "How could anyone
conjure up such a mixed bag of cinematic effluvia?" He goes on to
identify three schools of critics.
First, there's the "pop culture is yucky" school, meaning critics who
reflexively reject any movie that has found mass acceptance. Most
critics file their reviews before movies open and therefore don't
know whether a film will be commercially successful or not, a detail
Bart neglects to address. Second is the "obscurantist" school,
critics who protect their air of authority by only praising obscure
movies no one else has seen. Third, there's the "I admit to brain
damage school." Apparently this is the category I fall into, since I
fit Bart's criterion for brain damage: I praised Brian De
Palma's "Femme Fatale." But since Bart admitted that the Guy
Ritchie/Madonna "Swept Away" would have been on his own 10-best list,
I don't think I'll be getting that CAT scan anytime soon.
The categories may be new but the arguments are the same tired
horseshit dragged out every time some blowhard feels the need to
condemn movie critics. Big bad Bart huffs and he puffs, but he can't
come up with anything more original than the idea that critics are
elitist by nature, snobs who can't stomach anything popular, who will
only praise the most esoteric, unheard-of movies, and who bear such a
heavy workload that their judgments cannot be trusted.
It's the second school, the "obscurantists," who particularly get
under Bart's skin. Two of the New York Times' movie critics, Elvis
Mitchell and Dave Kehr, come in for his special ire for
including "Warm Water Under a Red Bridge" (Mitchell and Kehr)
and "Morvern Callar" (Mitchell) on their 10-best list. These choices,
obscurities according to Bart, are a defense against a "civilian"
challenging their opinion. "There's no way to contradict a critic if
his favorites were shown only at the Ouagadougou Film Festival." Bart
doesn't bother to mention that Mitchell, Kehr and their Times
colleagues A.O. Scott and Stephen Holden also list such "outré"
choices as "Chicago," "Catch Me If You Can," "About
Schmidt," "Adaptation" and "Gangs of New York." (In the interest of
full disclosure, I should say that I know all four of these critics,
and Mitchell and Scott are good friends.) But facts, as we shall see,
are inconvenient things to Peter Bart.
The best way to judge the alleged obscurity of both "Warm Water Under
a Red Bridge" and "Morvern Callar" is to simply list the facts. In
2001, "Warm Water" played at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the
Toronto, New York, Chicago, and Palm Springs film festivals.
Theatrically, it played in -- brace yourself -- New York (including
Long Island); Hartford, Conn.; Boston; the San Francisco Bay Area;
Houston; Durham, N.C.; Honolulu; Los Angeles (and surrounding
suburbs); Cleveland -- hey, Pete! Just give a shout anytime we're in
the neighborhood of Ouagadougou! -- San Diego; Minneapolis; Laramie,
Wyo.; Las Vegas; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Wilmington, Del.;
Rochester, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio;
Indianapolis; Juneau, Alaska; Scranton, Pa.; Milwaukee; Fort
Lauderdale, Fla.; New Orleans -- embarrassing, ain't it? -- Bismarck,
N.D.; Miami; Burlington, Vt.; Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Des Moines; and
So much for only critics being able to see it.
In addition, the film's director, Shohei Imamura, has, in the course
of a long career, been nominated five times for the Palme d'Or at the
Cannes Film Festival and won twice. Bart doesn't bother to mention
this -- if he's even aware of it -- since Imamura's acclaim and
stature would be at cross purposes to his argument.
As for "Morvern Callar," the film opened a few weeks ago in selected
cities and will be opening across the country in the coming weeks. It
didn't make it to Ouagadougou (isn't he the kid in "About Schmidt"?)
but, in 2002, it was in the Director's Fortnight in the Cannes Film
Festival, where it was awarded the prize for best film, and it played
the Chicago, Toronto, Telluride, Edinburgh, San Sebastian and Mill
Valley film festivals. The "obscure" star of this "obscure" film,
Samantha Morton, was nominated for an Oscar for Woody Allen's "Sweet
and Lowdown" and co-starred last year in Steven Spielberg's "Minority
Report." And the next project for director Lynne Ramsay is adapting
that "obscure" little novel "The Lovely Bones."
How did Bart miss all this? Especially since Variety covers film
festivals and reviews every movie that opens in the U.S. Are we to
assume that the editor in chief is simply unaware of the contents of
his own publication?
The real answer, I think, and the real subtext of his article, is
that if a movie isn't released by a major studio, if it's foreign or
independent, it isn't worth your time. Insisting that it is proves
you're an elitist snob. If Samantha Morton stars in a movie by Allen
or Spielberg, it shows up on Bart's radar. If she stars in a movie by
Lynne Ramsay, it's obscure and elitist.
It seems that the one thing Bart cannot tolerate is a diversity of
opinion. Quoting Newsday critic John Anderson's contention that the
diversity of movies given awards by critics' groups has blunted
critics' impact on the Oscar race (which never amounted to much),
Bart suggests that critics prove their unreliability by offering
different opinions on which movie is the best of the year. It doesn't
occur to him that a moviegoer might see that diversity of opinion as
offering an array of movies to check out. When you consider the
movies that have won the recent round of critics awards -- "Chicago"
from the Dallas-Fort Worth critics and the New York Online Film
Critics; "About Schmidt" from the Los Angeles critics; "The Pianist"
from the National Society of Film Critics and the critics in Los
Angeles and Boston; "Far From Heaven" from the New York critics -- it
simply blows away Bart's argument about critics championing movies no
one else has heard of.
At this point, it might be useful to consider just who Peter Bart is.
Before becoming editor in chief of Variety, Bart was a production
executive at MGM and Paramount. His own contributions to the art of
movies include producing "Revenge of the Nerds II" and the Rob Lowe
hockey drama "Youngblood." It may be more pertinent to his arguments
to note that he also appeared as himself in the 1998 movie "Junket
Clearly, this is a man who has never left the mind-set of studio
executive behind. And he is precisely the wrong man to attempt to
address the question he does, "What purpose do critics serve?"
Bart's search for the answer is comical. To find out what purpose
critics serve he turns to "three top studio ad execs" -- which is
like asking the Detroit automakers what purpose consumer product
safety groups serve. After talking to these pundits, Bart comes back
with the answer that critical quotes in advertisements are little
more than "felicitous decoration." Oh, really? Is that why Sony
invented a movie critic to provide blurbs for "The Patriot"? Is that
why it was once common practice for studio publicity departments to
concoct quotes that they would then attempt to get real critics to
put their names to? Is that why every holiday movie ad is top-heavy
with critical quotes?
Were this the Warren Report we could simply dismiss Bart as the Lone
Ignoramus. But the significance of his blast is more insidious than
that. Given his attitude toward movies that fall outside the
mainstream, it's no surprise that Bart dismisses the "traditional
defense" of critics as writers who help readers discover overlooked
movies. (There is no such thing as an overlooked movie in Peter
Bart's mind-set -- just ones we've all heard about and deservedly
obscure ones.) It's not surprising that this former studio exec
doesn't mention one of the most important functions of movie critics.
In a culture increasingly dominated by promotion, where "making of"
TV specials are little more than commercials for an upcoming release,
and where Sunday supplement interviews are advance publicity for a
star's new movie, critics are the only thing that stand between
moviegoers' wallets and the studio publicity departments with their
kazillion-dollar ad budgets.
By taking the line that critics serve no purpose Bart is --
intentionally or not -- doing the bidding of the studios, which,
while maintaining a blasé public attitude toward critics, would love
to be rid of them. What industry chief doesn't dream about being able
to market his product in an atmosphere where the public has no
information save that provided by the manufacturer? That's why,
whether you like us or hate us, agree with us or think we're full of
bull, you as consumers need movie critics. When the editor in chief
of the publication known as "the Bible of showbiz" takes this public
stand against critics, it's a fair bet that Hollywood is no longer
feeling shy about making its true feelings about movie critics known.
That's why, as moviegoers, you should feel nervous about Bart's
But if Bart is bringing New Year's cheer to the hearts of studio
execs, he is also speaking the thoughts of a good many newspaper and
magazine editors and publishers. In 1975, François Truffaut
wrote, "Every person on the editorial staff of a newspaper feels he
can question the opinion of the movie critic. The editor in chief,
who shows careful respect to his music critic, will casually stop the
movie critic in the corridor: 'Well, you really knocked Louis Malle's
last film. My wife doesn't agree with you at all; she loved it.'"
Nowadays you'd be lucky to find an editor who knows who Louis Malle
is. A critic is more likely to get called into his editor's office
because he didn't like "Men in Black II," as happened to a critic I
know. Or he's likely to be stopped by an editor who tells him that
his 11-year-old daughter thinks "The Sixth Sense" is the best movie
she's ever seen, as happened to another critic of my acquaintance.
These are rotten times to be a movie critic. In a bad economy, an
independent voice delivering judgments on a multibillion-dollar
industry that represents a tremendously lucrative source of ad
revenue is likely to be perceived as a detriment. It has become
increasingly common for critics to be pressured by their editors (who
themselves may be under pressure from the sales department) to change
their opinions. Pressure that no paper would think to bring to bear
on their Op-Ed writers is routinely applied to movie critics. This
has nothing to do with the quality of a critic's writing but solely
with the content of their opinions, the area where a critic is
supposed to be given free rein.
It risks the elitist label to say that critics should know more than
their readers about movies, but it's really just common sense. Don't
we expect a foreign correspondent to know more about the Middle East
or equatorial Africa than the readers do? Do we second-guess our
plumbers about our clogged drains, or our doctor about our clogged
arteries? But expertise in an area where everyone assumes they are an
expert is assumed to be snobbery. That proceeds from the assumption
that a critic is telling his or her readers how to think instead of
helping them to think for themselves -- whether or not a reader's
conclusions are in sync with the critic's.
So we have incidents, as happened a few years ago at a New York
paper, where an editor tried to pressure a critic to take the foreign
films off her year-end 10-best list because, he claimed, readers
would not have heard of them. And the assumption behind that is that
the only purpose of a critic is to tell people what they already
know. In any area of journalism, that spells death.
To Bart and to the people he is speaking for -- editors and
publishers as well as studio execs -- a world in which only highly
promoted movies would be covered and praised would be paradise.
In the current climate, where many local critics are being replaced
by syndicated writers (in effect standardizing opinion), where
critics are under pressure to praise the big movies, where so many
media outlets share the same parent company with Hollywood studios
and where conglomerates are trying to get the Federal Trade
Commission to relax its antitrust laws to make even bigger
conglomerates possible, I would propose that the truest measure of
any newspaper or magazine's commitment to the free exchange of ideas
and to journalistic ethics lies in the freedom it allows its movie
It may be that the only reason movie critics still exist at all in
many newspapers is that it allows the editors and publishers to cover
themselves with the fig leaf of journalistic ethics. In the back of
their minds they may well have entertained the thought of how many
people would be happy -- themselves, their advertising department,
the studios ready to spend those ad dollars -- if there were no
critics at all. The people who don't figure into that equation are
The most common type of letter my colleagues and I get from readers
is from someone who has seen a movie and come home to search out
reviews. Whether they agree with us or not, the fact that they want
to read criticism tells me that Peter Bart and his ilk are dead wrong
about the purpose critics serve. And the power to make sure that
outlets accord their critics editorial independence lies with you,
the reader. Let publishers and editors know that you value movie
critics, that you want critics to operate free of advertisers'
Bart ends his piece by saying, "I'm not a film critic. And I intend
to keep it that way." A statement of pride for him, it should come as
an enormous relief to everyone except studio execs. For critics and
moviegoers, being told that Peter Bart has no intention of becoming a
movie critic is like being told that Frank Abagnale isn't managing
your mutual funds. But the voices Bart speaks for are increasingly
influential in journalism, and should be revealed for what they are --
forces who want to do away with the only independent monitors of a
hugely profitable industry.
Some years ago, the dance critic Arlene Croce penned a line about the
relationship between critics and the people they write about. It can
also stand as the definitive summation of the relationship between
critics and their critics: We are frequently wrong about them. They
are always wrong about us.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
About the writer
Charles Taylor is a Salon contributing writer.
soshaughnessy13 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> John Pilger has been anti-American for as long as I've been reading
> him ... It's like a tape loop manipulated by a rap master.
Well sheeyit, you don't have to be an anti-American to realize that
American foreign policy is wacky.
Tape loop or not, if the man is essentially right, the man is
Its just a pity some writers don't realize when rhetoric and graphic
imagery is appropriate, when its not, and how to present it most
effectively when you should.
I'm no professional political analyst, and no journalist either- but
are we going to judge the message by the medium, or take hold of what
diamonds lie in them thar rocks like intelligent and thinking
Maybe I'm taking your remarks out of context, and frankly I don't
know you all that well, so don't take this like a slap in the face or
anything; I guess I'm responding more to an attitude I've seen
elsewhere online, and your response seemed like an echo of it.
I would if I had the movie. So far all the pics in the folder are
official ones. But once I get the movie, then we can have some
reeeeeaalll fuuunn. :)
--- In email@example.com, "fruit_loops1979
<fruit_loops1979@y...>" <fruit_loops1979@y...> wrote:
> Thanks for the quick response.
> I see that pic is from when they are in the waterpark. Don't you have
> any of the, ahem, "naughty" scenes from the park, or when Sarah and
> her beau are washing up in the tub?
I have a copy of the movie on tape. I'll send it to you once the
movie comes out on DVD and I buy it.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, maestroshelly98
> I would if I had the movie. So far all the pics in the folder are
> official ones. But once I get the movie, then we can have some
> reeeeeaalll fuuunn. :)
Just address an email to email@example.com
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