Friday, December 16, 2005

This Is A Genius Photo Op

The only thing keeping John 'Sta-Puft' McCain from sidling right out of the frame is W's iron oh-christ-please-don't-let-me-drown-in-my-own-political-sewage grip on the tender flesh of his triceps.

Note how his eyes are glued to the exit stage right, whither he will bolt like a jackrabbit the instant the shutter clicks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

And Exhibit C

Three days running now, the BBC News site is providing us with All The News That's Fit To Promote Israel. Yesterday I noted their unbecoming credulity in the matter of Shaul Mofaz's defection to Kadima, and that party's establishment 'in order to give [Sharon] more room for manoeuvre in seeking a peace deal with the Palestinians.'

Today, it's clear that we were both right. Mofaz and his satanic master are in fact after 'more room', just not exactly for peace-seeking purposes.

Note please caption to accompanying photo: 'Settlement construction is trying to meet Israel's "natural growth"'. Are the Beeb's captions written by the Israeli Public Relations Ministry?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beeb In Disgraceful Bias Shock

The BBC News site has just gotten worse and worse on Palestine. They don't even bother to mum objectivity anymore.

Exhibit A:
In this piece yesterday on Henchman Supreme Shaul Mofaz's defection to Sharon's new Kadima party after a failed bid to take over leadership of Likud (silly Shaul--once a sidekick, always a sidekick), we are blandly informed that
The prime minister set up the centrist Kadima party in order to give himself more room for manoeuvre in seeking a peace deal with the Palestinians.
As if they had fact-checked it with his prefrontal cortex and it was a matter of empirical record.

Exhibit B:
Today's reporting on the shooting death of a 22-year-old Palestinian stone-thrower during a raid on Nablus. The curious formulation is made
Israeli forces entered the city at dawn and were attacked by youths throwing stones and, later, by gunmen.
'Entered the city' and 'were attacked'? What exactly were the IDF doing there, if not attacking? Did they enter the city at dawn to do some shopping? Seeing as they were acknowledgedly there conducting a raid, surely the Palestinians were less attacking and more defending?

The article is, naturally without the slightest bias, accompanied by this photo of some Palestinian youth Lurking In Ambush around a corner with a big gun, and a caption that reads, 'Palestinians have attacked Israeli forces during raids in the West Bank'.

Again, I am confused. Since when is defending one's home against incursion by an armed force 'attacking'? I mean, I suppose you could say that if you come at me with a fist to the face and I hit you back to stop you hitting me again, then you have attacked me and I have technically 'attacked you back'. But after all in the bountiful fecundity of English vocabulary we do have a whole word for that 'attack your attacker back' concept: defense. (Or in English English vocabulary, defence.)

No, the only way the BBC's formulation makes sense is if it's based on the assumption that the inhabitants of Nablus had the raid coming to them. The Beeb volunteers that '[t]here have been several raids in the West Bank since an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed five Israelis in Netanya earlier this month'. OK, so a suicide bomber kills five Israelis, thus it is now time for the rest of the Palestinian population to sit quietly and take their collective punishment. If they dare to defend themselves, they are 'attackers'. Fucking disgraceful.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Outpost Alert

I posted a thing about the NHS over at the Tomb, for all you completists out there who can't bear the thought of missing a jot or tittle of the BionOc oeuvre.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Because Here's The Thing

Just to expand a bit, because the more I think the madder I get. Spielberg's fucking hi-tech arts-n-crafts project is profoundly despicable on several axes, the most egregious of which is the fact that it presents a willfully, monstrously false and ahistorical notion of what it is to be a child under occupation.

Can he possibly believe that he's going to penetrate to the True Universal Heart of Palestinian childhood, to a land where we're really all alike, playing with whatever toys we can find or make, creating innocent lighthearted make-believes in the soft-focus landscape of youth? FUCK YOU. The world inhabited by Palestinian children is nothing to do with the experience of Israeli children, or American or any other children who don't live in shattered ghettos under siege, surrounded by the daily, absolutely real threat of vicious violence and death at the hands of their occupiers.
Early in the fighting, Palestinian children watched countless reruns of news footage that captured the death of Mohammed al-Durra, 12, even as his father used his own body to try to shield the boy from a barrage of bullets. "In their games, children identify with the martyr," says Dr. Eyyad Sarraj, a psychiatrist who heads the Gaza Community Mental Health Program. Psychologically, he says, "they have left their fathers for the martyrs." A cult of death has appropriated a Palestinian generation, but a deep fear underlies it. Today, according to Sarraj, 35% of Palestinian children under the age of 15 wet their beds, up from 7% before the intifadeh. Sarraj estimates that 30% of children suffer from post-traumatic stress.
This from fucking Time Magazine, hardly a bastion of pro-Palestinian progressivism, as evident from the use of the execrable phrase 'cult of death', than which I can think of no more alienizing, teratifying rubric. The article's rubbish, but even it can't skirt the screaming obviousness of the fact that there is no such thing as 'being a Palestinian child' outside the brutalizing context of the Occupation.

So Spielberg wants to show these traumatized, utterly hope-extinguished children videos of the daily lives of Israeli kids, enjoying plentiful food and running water, living in intact houses, interacting with parents who have jobs and lives, able to walk the streets without fearing harassment or worse from soldiers or settlers, having somewhere to walk to. What exactly is meant to come of that? Is that going to make Palestinian children less likely to want to kill Israeli children?

And for that matter, what does Spielberg think will come out of the Palestinian videos? What happens when, as will without fail happen, some of those videos document the IDF shooting the young directors' playmates for throwing stones? Will he decry those children as unnatural, unchildlike, political? Will he allow those videos to be shown to the Israeli participants? Or will he deem them, (unlike the footage of Mohammed al-Durra's death), too traumatic for children's eyes?

The conception of childhood that Spielberg is promulgating is not only sickeningly sentimental and factually wrong, it's an active, filthy lie that seeks to paper over and deny the deliberate, root-and-branch destruction of yet a third generation of Palestinians by the Zionist project.


Know who needs a beating? Steven Spielberg, that's who. Not a critical drubbing, not a stern verbal dressing-down, not an open letter in the New York Times, a real, honest to god, within-millimeters-of-his-life thrashing. It won't teach him a damn thing, but it'll make me feel a whole lot better.

Spielberg, or as I prefer to call him Official Schmaltzographer of the Zionist Project, has Broken the Wall of Secrecy surrounding his unspeakably hateful-looking new film 'Munich', trailers for which have been souring my evening television enjoyment for a week. Responding to Israeli and Palestinian concerns about their respective portrayals in the closely-guarded film, Spielberg has stepped forward to pour oil upon the waters, magisterially informing Time Magazine that
the film is a "prayer for peace", and that the biggest enemy in the region is not the Palestinians or the Israelis but the intransigence that exists between the two sides.
Ahahahaha! See what he did there? Guns don't kill people, intransigence kills people.

But His Mawkness wasn't finished. That pearl of perspicacity was merely a lagniappe, an amuse-bouche to prepare our palates for the big revelation, to wit Spielberg's new project 'aimed at tackling that lack of understanding':
"What I'm doing is buying 250 video cameras and players and dividing them up, giving 125 of them to Palestinian children, 125 to Israeli kids, so they can make movies about their own lives," he said. "Not dramas, just little documentaries about who they are and what they believe in, who their parents are, where they go to school, what they have to eat, what movies they watch, what CDs they listen to - and then exchange the videos.

"That's the kind of thing that can be effective, I think, in simply making people understand that there aren't that many differences that divide Israelis from Palestinians - not as human beings, anyway."
What is it about filmmakers and messianism? Your average dentist doesn't believe that the salvation of humanity lies in collaborative bridgework. The American Carpenters' Association isn't organizing a Let's Nail Peace Now cabinet-making exchange. Even people like Médécins Sans Frontieres generally confine themselves to quietly going about the business of healing the sick and wounded, rather than, say, sponsoring International Sick-Ins where the aforementioned can learn to Share Each Other's Pain.

But find me a single fucking filmmaker who doesn't believe, loudly and without irony, that we really could all get along, if only people would make more films.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Casting Perfidy Strikes Home

Can somebody please tell me whose genius idea it was to stick Mr. Fucking Big in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, not even to speak of Annabella Sciorra? And not just to wedge them in, but to give them their own whole episodes, completely Vincent-free? They have their own set of Vincentless credits, people! That's not right.

Does Big have Magic Powers of Perpathy? Does he have special histrionic hand gestures and opaque fits of emotional vapors? No he does not. Does he have a tiny, creepingly endearing partner who follows him around like a small phlegmatic dog, gamely interpreting his delphic pronouncements? Again, I must report No. He's got nothing, nothing but La Sciorra kitted out improbably polyglot, presumably so somebody in the partnership would have an actual skill. He's just a big dippy garden-variety cop who doesn't belong on the same soundstage as the Vincent, let alone muscling in on his credits.

Why would you do that? Why?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Not Another One

Is there some explicit clause in the neoliberal plan for world domination that calls for incinerating the poor? I dunno about you, this shit's starting to look suspicious to me.

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