Archive for September, 2007

War is over…

It’s wholly depressing to realize that we live in a world where, for their own narrow interests and benefits, a select few cause and perpetuate the utter and absolute misery of millions, even billions.

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Nature Boy

noaman: there was a boy
noaman: a very strange enchanted boy
noaman: they say he wandered very far
noaman: very far
noaman: over land and sea
noaman: a little shy
noaman: and sad of eye
noaman: but very wise was he
noaman: and then one day, a magic day, he passed my way
noaman: and while we spoke of many things, fools and kings, this he said to me
noaman: the greatest thing you’ll ever learn
noaman: is just to love and be loved in return
Fathima: i hate kids like that

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Shoot ‘Em Up and the politics of indulging to abstain

Originally, I was intrigued by the subway ads. Clive Owen, “I’m a British nanny, and I’m dangerous,” and Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci too. Any film titled “Shoot ‘Em Up” with Owen and Giamatti in it had to have something different, perhaps even something intelligent about it. So on Saturday, Saqib and I went to see Shoot ‘Em Up.

The film dispenses with any pretensions to having a serious plot (it doesn’t have a plot, not really), and right from the get-go you realize that it’s actually a comedy starring guns. Clive Owen reprises his role from every other film he’s been in: a man reeling from deep personal tragedy protecting a baby or a woman, or both, from self-serving destructive and evil forces. I suppose the resemblance is intentional, his character even delivers a baby (as he did in Children of Men), but in the middle of a gunfight. The film is, really, just a series of gun battles, but very nicely choreographed gun battles without resorting to Matrix-type “bullet-time” gimmickry and going very light on computer-generated anything. It favours technique over content, and that technique is well worth watching.

But there is a plot, or something that resembles a plot — something about prominent representatives of the gun industry trying to cause the death of a pro-gun control senator poised to become the next president by killing the baby. (The president-to-be needs the bone marrow of this baby to cure his degenerative disease.) Ultimately, though, the senator teams up with the gun freaks to … I’m not sure why. And Mr. Smith (Owen) kills everyone, except the baby and Donna (Bellucci). That’s the entire plot. I haven’t ruined anything for you (if, indeed, you intend on watching this film) because you’d be watching it to see the asskickular action sequences.

But the film does have explicit moments of social commentary in it. Owen’s character constantly rails out against self-indulgent yuppies, against capitalism and the profit motive, and, yes, especially against guns. The film is very clear about this, guns are bad bad bad. Giamatti’s evil character states, at one point, that “guns don’t kill people, but they sure do help.” Yet, guns also happen to be directing everything in the film: teeming masses of men with guns getting picked off one after the other by Mr. Smith and his guns (or his carrots). We could, I suppose, dismiss this as hypocrisy. But couldn’t we also look at this piece — a film that celebrates guns and violence, yet condemns it — as reflective of the kinds of activism promoted by corporations and the like? That is, a kind of corporate-approved and corporate-directed activism that paradoxically (and, indeed, disingenuously) promotes indulgence as abstinence.

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Good Morning?

I’m like the fly Malcolm X
Buy any jeans necessary
Detroit Red cleaned up


It’s not even charmingly ironic or anything — it’s an awful track, with awful music and awful lyrics. Kanye West is ridiculously overrated.

But this track, apparently not on the album, is better by leaps and bounds. (Thanks, Ryan.)

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