Monday, October 17, 2011

So, Rush Limbaugh Supports the Lord's Resistance Army

In a spectacular example of supreme dicketry, Rush Limbaugh openly criticized Obama's decision to send 100 troops to Uganda as support for the continued hunt for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Rush believes that the LRA are Christians fighting Muslims in Sudan, fighting to end the oppression of Ugandans and of gross violations of human rights - the LRA's "objectives", which naturally should be taken at face value. At the end of the transcript someone apparently informed Rush that the LRA is accused of "really bad stuff", such as child kidnapping, torture and murder, but all Rush knows is that "we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys -- and they claim to be Christians."

FYI, the official name of North Korea is the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, but that doesn't mean the country is democratic. Same goes for the Lord's Resistance Army, which has terrorized northern Uganda for over 20 years. Attacks there have diminished, but only because the LRA has moved to the CAR and eastern DRC, with massacres happening there despite the presence of the largest humanitarian force on the world (MONUC). I don't know yet how to feel about 100 US troops in Uganda to help the search for Kony - it hasn't worked before and is likely that Kony isn't in Uganda, where the majority view is he should be granted amnesty so the whole ordeal can be dealt with locally, without the ICC - but I do know how I feel about hateful ignorance.

Maybe try Google next time, Rush, before you shit out of your mouth again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ides of March - another Hollywood Masturbation Opus

Though I had seen no previews or read anything about the film, last night I watched The Ides of March based on the suggestion of a friend. I was told it was somehow about presidential elections or something and, after seeing it, the "or something" is the description which best fits. 

Time: Democratic Primaries in March (the ides of March, get it?)
Place: Ohio. 
Characters: 
George Clooney as Gov. Morris, the top contender for the ticket, a man with a vision he actually believes in and refuses to compromise on. "I said I wouldn't make compromises like that and I mean it!" 
 Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, Morris' press secretary, who despite being experienced with the campaign world ("I've been involved with more campaigns than people who are 40!") has swallowed Morris' Kool-Aid and isn't sure if Morris will win, but knows he has to win.
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Paul Zara, campaign manager, a man who smokes a lot and makes seemingly deep proclamation about life and politics.
Paul Giamatti as the campaign manager for "the other guy", who also makes deep proclamations - must be part of the job.
Marisa Tomei as Ida Horowitz, a sassy, cynical reporter for the Times (I assume New York?) who will do anything in order to get the big scoop. You know she is a seasoned reporter because of her large, dark-framed glasses and messy hair. Not a clich├ęd character at all!
Oops! Almost forgot Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Molly, an intern working Morris' campaign, who, much like her Showgirls namesake, gets fucked, literally and figuratively.

Let us begin at the beginning, where thirty minutes into the movie I had to ask myself, "What is the plot of this damn thing?" Up to that point the movie revolved around snappy "in-the-know" one-liners about Washington politics (I was almost convinced that K Street is the only street in DC) and a campaign wish-list spouted by Clooney, um, Gov. Morris: abolish the death penalty; mandatory youth service, which then pays for college; pro-choice; elimination of the internal combustion engine in ten years (yes, this was actually said!); no reliance on foreign oil; and pulling ours heads out the (Saudi Arabian) sand. What reality does this movie exist in? I have no idea, but it is not K Street. Nevertheless, I felt the movie was going the of that other Hollywood masturbation great, Lions for Lambs, which was, of course, a lecture by Robert Redford. A thin plot eventually unfolds: Meyers sleeps with Molly, finds out she is pregnant from a one-night stand with the illustrious governor; she gets an abortion; she kills herself. In the meantime, Meyers meets with the enemy (Giamatti) and is subsequently fired by Zara for this betrayal. Meyers then has to maneuver himself back into the campaign. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

From Which the Slumbering Beast Awakens

Hi there. I know it's been a while since I've posted and even longer since I've posted anything substantial, but it has been a weird time for me, not to mention the 2-month nap I took to escape the summer heat. It is still a weird time - the past five years have been a weird time - but with the cooler weather that has rolled in with October, at least my nap is over. What does that mean for you?

Remember those genocide posts I wrote a year ago or so? More of those are coming. Unfortunately, there is a ever-growing supply of examples from which to choose.

Have you ever thought about the phrase "30 is the new 20"? I have been dwelling on it for the past several months and the more I think about it, the more I hate it. The topic might extend to several posts - exciting!

And the regular banalities of my life, because what is the point of writing a blog if one the topics can't be you?

For now, here are some bits from the news:

*France refuses to extradite Agathe Habyrarimana to Rwanda. Rwandan authorities seem unsurprised, as am I: Habyarimana's regime had close ties with France.

*However, the ICTR continues to churn out convictions, this time to two former civil service ministers.

*China is duplicitous when it comes to Africa; here are some details.

*The ICC has given prosecutors the go-ahead to investigate post-election violence in Cote D'Ivoire.