Angry Little Tank

Rants, chants and cants....all written while wearing no pants!

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'd let Sheryl Crowe touch ME, and I'm GAY

At first I didn't think much of the news that broke Sunday afternoon that Laurie David and Sheryl Crowe caused a bit of a stir at the annual Correspondent's Dinner. For one thing, that dinner is only interesting if Colbert is nailing those jackasses to the wall. For another thing, I just assumed that Crowe and David used Rove as so much PR backdrop in order to promote their global warming awareness tour. Lord knows that jackass has chewed and spit out countless poor souls to further his twisted agenda, who cares if he comes off looking like even more of an evil bastard at some jerk off dinner to honor the steno pool that is our Washington press corp.

But Glenn Greenwald had more of a novel take. This whole incident kind of shines a light on the whole sorry bunch. Journalists dressing up in black tie to hobnob with the powerful and famous (Sanjaya was there?) to make themselves feel important. The fig leaf of journalistic integrity they meekly hold forth whenever called on how they get everything wrong wrong wrong suddenly just drops once a year and you see these people for who they are. Pathetic celebrity wanna-bes. Desperate to be close to people who have power, who have fame. To curry their favor and advocate for their wars.

Those who cross the line like Crowe and David are ridiculed. As Glenn says:

These journalists and political operatives excitedly invite Hollywood celebrities to their parties so they can feel celebrated and glamorous, and then spend the next day condescendingly mocking the celebrities they invited and spent all night eagerly fondling, all in order to feel superior and elevated above the muck ("ha, ha -- as though Sheryl Crow (whom we invited and chased around hoping to speak with) knows anything about global warming or other Important Political Things! Ha ha!").

I haven't forgotten about blogging the Middle East as I indicated in last week's post. I just got a new camcorder and went to the zoo to try it out. I'm now editing the whole thing with iMovie, which is probably the coolest thing (in a long line of things) that Mac users get that you PC users don't. I'll get on the Middle East in a bit.....don't want to OD on outrage or anything.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Guess we'll just have to do it ourselves

I was listening to Bob Edwards during the commute last week and heard Jim MacNeil (of MacNeil/Lehrer fame) talk about his upcoming series on PBS "Crossroads". I was mildly interested in the premise which is to basically try and unravel current US/Middle East relations with a series of two hours movies. I figured if anybody could try and tackle it in our impoverished news culture it would be PBS.

Then I heard they were devoting one two hour movie to Richard Perle. You know, its true. If there's one advocacy group whose perspective just hasn't been getting heard these past six years its been the neocons and Richard Perle. Those guys just NEVER seem to get what they want.

I also heard they were doing a profile on Irshad Manji. I'll always remember her as the obnoxious loudmouth who showed up on Bill Maher in early 2005 to declare that the "purple finger revolution" was going to radically alter the Middle East. Best of all - she did this while raising her index finger and slowly nodding her head up and down, not unlike some sort of retarded suburban housewife "testifying" at a Whitney Houston concert. Clearly war cheerleaders need yet another forum, we haven't heard nearly enough justifications for this ill fated endeavor from our current media outlets.

All I could do was sigh (yet again) and wonder what in the hell happened to intellectual rigor in this country (again).

Then I read this article at earlier this week. The author, Gary Kamiya, seems to share my frustration in how little intellectual curiosity the American media seems to possess in regard to our dangerously poor Middle East relations.

This paragraph really jumped out at me:

Here's what "Crossroads" should have included. First, it should have devoted one film to this war of ideas, giving each side its due. Then it should have commissioned another film offering a historical survey of the Middle East starting in 1798, when Napoleon invaded Egypt, and ending today. This film would have looked at French and British colonialism and its effects on the development of Arab democracies. It would have talked about the Sykes-Picot Agreement that betrayed Arab nationalist hopes after WWI, and Great Britain's imperialist misadventures in Iraq, which so closely resemble our own. The Palestinian naqba, or catastrophe, would be covered. The film would examine the U.S.-backed coup in 1953 that removed Iranian leader Muhammad Mossadegh. The Suez crisis, the failure of Arab nationalism, America's long proxy war with the USSR in the Middle East, the Six-Day War and 1973 October war, and U.S. hypocrisy in dealing with Saddam Hussein would all be discussed. The Algerian government's fateful decision in 1991 to suspend elections when it became clear Islamists were going to win -- a decision followed by an appalling civil war that killed 200,000 people -- would be covered. And it would have looked at Israel's 2006 war against Lebanon.
Half of these events (the Sykes-Picot Agreement?) I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of prior to reading this article. But that's no excuse for not learning about them now. Armed with Wikipedia and my dwindling spare time I hope to start covering these topics in the hopes of arriving at a better understanding of how we find ourselves in an intractable and unwinnable war.

If anybody has anything to add about any of these topics let me know and I'll post it. The idea would be to get some sort of real conversation going.

Because if you're waiting for the US media to provide you with any information aside from the identify of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daddy, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To paraphrase Robert Plant...

"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now...its just some sort of glowering bald douchebag"