Saw King Kong on Friday. I must have been 9 or 10, maybe younger, when my father took me to see King Kong at the Doha Cinema. It is a particularly cherished memory because that was my first outing with my father and I felt…special. I remember little of King Kong since then, just that a giant python was ripped in two. About this version, I liked it a lot. Peter Jackson is the Cecil B. DeMille of the age of digital cinema. The only thing that gave me slight hesitation was the depiction of the natives. They were, um, a bit ‘exotic’ even though the movie itself has been de-racinated. In any case, go see it. The middle hour is jaw-dropping thrill with some brilliant PJ-moments of black humor. On an unrelated note, as I type this, The Chosen One is giving his fifth Iraq speech in three weeks. He is sitting behind his desk. I am getting serious Nixon vibes right now. Serious.
- There is now a parody of the American Jesus, a kind of Republican CEO who disapproves of taxes, and who has widened the needle’s eye so that camels and the wealthy pass readily into the Kingdom of Heaven. We have also an American holy spirit, the comforter of our burgeoning poor, who don’t bother to vote. The American trinity pragmatically is completed by an imperial warrior God, trampling with shock and awe. Harold Bloom in the Guardian on America, Whitman, Ahab, and Religion.
- How simplistic to blame our innate human aggression on religion. Robert Winston, also in the Guardian on America, Roth, and Religion.
- Joe Keohane in the Boston Globe tells us about the re-issued 1935 classic It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. You know, just to rub salt in our wounds.
- Robert Fox’s review essay in the TLS, about Iraq’s occupation 80 plus years ago and now, talks about the thing nearest to my heart: narratives. Must read.
- Chicago’s Bruce Cumings discusses what Orientalism and the Asiatic mode have to do with the academic takes on Kim Jong Il in the LRB.
- Will this get noticed by the cable news? or this?
- Finally, I second this recommendation and will stay away from this.