Great Summer Slumber

Gentle Readers,

I bid farewell to you for the next few months. Enjoy yourselves. Have wonderful summer vacations. Leave me comments with cheerful news.

CM will return on September the 12th, 2006.

A break of sorts. You can read my latest rant on Bernard Lewis here.


France was my pick for a while – for all the non-soccer reasons like diversity and for soccer reasons like Zidane. Pdcs penned a wonderful ballad to Zizou, even, to hype the finals.

And then. Watch the beginning closely and Materazzi‘s hand in particular.

Well, I am staying with Zidane. And, if there is any truth to this than I will be playing this for a while [via jkottke].

ps. Did you see the Soxfest? 19 freakin’ innings worth of baseball goodness? I even had a chant going [go, go, whitesox] in my living room.

That Torture Thing II

Last night, I happened to catch the beginning of a Law & Order episode [don’t ask me which variety but it starred Pvt. Pyle] which was set in the ‘tech’ world. The story, though, quickly moved beyond the use of a pringles can for wireless into torture at Gitmo and an army psychologist who decided to use the interrogation techniques on a psychotic kid in NYC. Here it was, on primetime tv, a discussion of reasons and after-effects of using torture with a doctor trying to reconcile some good out of what she practiced at Gitmo; a turbulent personality pushed over the edge by those same into murder; and a police department trying to figure out who to blame for all this.

Fast forward that same night, battling insomnia, I put in the recent movie release, The War Within. Torture again was the lynchpin that turned an ordinary Pakistani Hassan, depicted by Ayad Akhtar, into a suicide bomber. The movie opens with Hassan kidnapped off the streets of Paris by the Americans and renditioned over to the Pakistanis for years(?) of abuse and torture. His brother was killed in a riot against the Afghanistan war and the Pakistanis seem to think he had terror plans. They intend to burn those plans out of Hassan. It is in the cell that he discovers Islam … which is about all the exposition we have to this war within. Hassan becomes a suicide bomber because he is tortured. And off he goes to NYC and the Grand Central to take his revenge on the Americans. Why Hassan is not out to blow himself up inside Islamabad’s secretariat building is not addressed. It is the Pakistanis who kill his brother and Pakistanis who torture him. Why the USA? Hassan doesn’t say – neither does the film.

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