Thursday, December 18, 2003


1. I promised a review of HBO's Angels In America, but it was just so awful I couldn't finish watching it. I switched to the "Dinosaur Planet" show on Discovery, finding the performances of the dinosaurs subtle and understated by comparison.

Watching AiA, I was reminded of that line from Love Actually that everyone quotes about the last moments of the 9/11 victims on the phones with their spouses being moments of love rather than anger and vengeance. I thought of it because apparently Tony Kushner thinks that terminal AIDS patients are different: All they can seem to talk about with their dying breaths is how much they hate Republicans.

Six hours of effected, stilted, devoid-of-wit dialogue and political preaching was too much for me.

2. It's a trend I've noticed lately, here on display in a recent Doonesbury strip:

And then four days later, after the Saddam capture, we heard, from a senior Dean advisor, "The man was found hiding in a hole. He was hardly a threat to the people of Chicago."

The form is to ridicule the Iraq war by pointing out how absurd the idea is that places in the "heartland" could be threatened by Saddam. Two observations about it:

a. It's revealing that the places mentioned are very far away from the port cities that would be the most likely targets of WMDs. To me, if someone insists that the idea of Chicago, IL, and Yankton, SD being threatened by Saddam is laughable, it begs the question of whether New York City or Washington might really have been in danger from him.

b. The point of view also requires that there be no relationship between Saddam's Iraq and the Al-Qaeda terrorists, who have demonstrably killed Americans from all over the country (the 9/11 victims were residents of 33 different states, including Kansas, Wisconsin, and Illinois). In fact, we are seeing more evidence of such connections all the time.
Much more evidence.

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