Saturday, May 24, 2003

Filtered through David Lynch

Patrick Cockburn comments on Bush’s statement this week that nearly half of Al Qaida’s top operatives have been captured or killed: “That is a curious conception of a terrorist organisation. It carries the implication al-Qa'ida is organised along the lines of the Pentagon or IBM and when the remaining 50 per cent of its senior officials are dead or imprisoned terrorism will automatically cease. Terrorists certainly do need co-ordination and money, but above all they require fanatical recruits willing to get killed. After the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there is no shortage of these across the Muslim world.”

I could have predicted this: SARS came from Chinese people eating animals they really shouldn’t have been eating. Cute animals.

The first attempt at elections in Iraq (in Umm Qasr) are so incompetently arranged that they have to be cancelled.

A cute comment about the Virginia anti-spam law: “The law also gives the state the right to seize the assets of these companies, which is how the governor explained all those boxes of Viagra that his secretary found in the filing cabinet.”

One casualty of the war on terror is location-shooting for a lot of Hollywood movies. Morocco is now a problem, affecting the next Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies and an atrocity I hadn’t heard about...Alexander the Great, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Sadly unaffected, a movie starring Mickey Rourke as Ernest Hemingway.

And as long as we’re talking films, that documentary about my relatives is featured in this week’s Sunday NY Times arts section (“Dateline filtered through David Lynch”) and the Village Voice. My mother mentioned today a cousin she had lost contact with, and had last heard of through her aunt who has since died. I commented that she had lost her last source of family gossip--except for the Village Voice.

The US is keeping 3,000 Iraqi prisoners from being visited by the Red Cross, in violation of international law. Hooded, shackled.

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