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88 posts from November 2007

Nov 30 2007
Peace Out Comments (0)

I'd like to be, but I'm not really a fan of Israel. Oddly, Ehud Olmert is the most recent person to succinctly spell out why, in spite of the positive feelings I have toward Jewish culture, I can't be rabidly pro-Israel. He warned that Israel's days would be numbered after a "South African-style struggle" if peace talks don't work out.

If Israel is South Africa in the '80s, does he expect America to root for the National Party or Nelson Mandela? Bad idea, that comparison, Mr. Olmert.

On the other hand, if I have favorable feelings toward Jewish culture but feel more ambivalent about Israel despite its obvious national-security and regional-ally benefits, it's the opposite with Muslim culture—which thanks to radical elements is so much more strongly defined by religious precepts I abhor. In that case, I'm not so sympathetic to the culture, unable to ignore its firmly anti-human rights basis (they want the nice teacher-lady not just jailed, not just lashed but killed for naming her teddy bear indiscreetly?) even though I am much more understanding of its objections to Israel.

BraintableI think this is indicative of one difference between liberals and conservatives:

Liberals are more fearful of "what is the right and fair thing to do?" in spite of our being (as a group) far less religious and therefore, in theory, less likely to fear divine judgment. This is how kindly, open-minded teachers venture into hostile countries like the Sudan, where their intentions to do right lead to blood-thirsty marches—turns out the awful stereotype of the African headhunter is true, it's just that he wants your head as a punishment and not for decoration.

Conservatives, perhaps because they are more likely to be governed by their religion and therefore feeling confident that anything done in support of their principles is excusable or can be divinely forgiven after the fact, are more driven by "what is best for me?" This is how idealistic, self-assured poly-sci warriors venture into hostile countries like Iraq, where their intentions to gain political leverage, valuable oil and security lead to never-ending wars and global calamities. Some heads roll in that case, too.

Either, if taken to their extreme, are bad ways to live. One risks being self-destructively helpess, the other risks being self-destructively harmful. I guess that's why candidates run so hard toward the middle, sometimes to the detriment of the public perception of their candor.

Also, I guess this is why the current Mideast peace talks are so crucial—if you can not get along, it becomes a game of "this town ain't big enough for the both of us." And then one of the parties leaves or is expelled. Or is done away with. And that takes us back to the reason for Israel's existence in the first place, and that kind of understanding of the cyclical nature of human interaction is sure to drive you to or away from religion, and toward the left or the right.

 
 
Going t.A.t.U. Far Comments (0)

It's Russia day! First Hugh now t.A.t.U.

In the same way t.A.t.U.'s previous, faux-lesbian incarnation was ridiculously obvious and yet hard to resist (the brill "All The Things She Said" was catchy enough to gain them airplay and notoriety in the U.S.A.), I find myself drawn into their new, blatantly sensationalistic video for the song "Beliy Plaschik (White Robe)." It's so intentionally provocative it's either juvenile or obscene or both or neither—if you watch, be sure you watch the shock ending, too:

Amazing how the Sara Gilbert one has vamped out and the boyish one has become a mom.

t.A.t.U.'s 15 minutes might seem well up (at least in America), but Mischa Barton will be starring in the film You And I (Finding t.A.T.u.) as "Lana Starkova," a baby dyke who falls in love at a t.A.t.U. concert and gets mixed up with the wrong people. Isn't that how t.A.t.U. were formed, by the wrong people? Along with the film will come t.A.t.U.'s third English-language CD, Waste Management, perhaps an editorial comment about their shady ex-Svengali.

 
 
Hard Figures Are Difficult To Come By Comments (2)

RThis story (click here) about older white English women traveling to Kenya as sex tourists in order to have condom-free sex with young African men got a lot of play.

What I found so interesting was that when it was discussed on The View (the only exchange I've caught all year since Rosie left, I swear!) was that neither Whoopi Goldberg nor Star Hasselbeck (oops, I mean Sherri Shepherd—she's a hybrid of the two) focused on what (I believe) was the journalist's reasoning for finding the trend in this story objectionable—the elite colonialism of a "have" nation indulging in the sexual favors of a "have-not" nation.

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Hugh Do Something To Me, Something That Simply Mystifies Me Comments (2)

Sc000347b6Sovieterosexual.

Crazysexy Hugh, who could not possibly be gay because he's married, will make you want to Jackman when you get a load of him on the cover of Russian GQ (11/07). Actually, you're unlikely to ever see this cover anywhere but here, but perhaps now that you've seen it and (after the jump, tons more!) the inside portraiture of Hugh, you may decide to seek it out, da?

Sc0003e94bPeter Allen would eat his heart out (from the nipple in).

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Infant Inside Comments (0)

I'm sure the people who sent this in to the National Enquirer thought it was cute, and I know NE thought it was cute, but all I can think of each time I glance at this is, "What monster fisted that tot???"

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Eros By Any Other Name Comments (2)

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Eros Ramazzotti caught my ear in the early '90s with a song whose title escapes me, but he's one of those artists you think is a one-hit wonder but who you later realize is a gigantic icon elsewhere. The Italian stallion has been churning out hits in Europe for ages, and looks quite ruggedly well-preserved (reminiscent of Robbie Williams by way of Dermot Mulroney?) on the cover of Italian Vanity Fair (29 Novembre 2007).

Many more pictures after the jump.

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Nov 29 2007
Montreal In This Together? Comments (1)

Mback_3Backstage at 1985's The Virgin Tour, from Madonnalicious.

From the comments section of a previous post regarding a possible spring/summer 2008 Madonna world tour:

"I thought I'd mention that an employee of Admissions (the Ticketmaster affiliate here in Montreal) has leaked out that there are two (yes, two!!!!) dates booked (not reserved, but actually booked) for Madonna's upcoming tour this summer at the Bell Centre, which is where she played her 2 Montreal nights on the Confessions tour. A pretty good source, me thinks..."

Sounds good. She should call it The Identity Crisis Tour where she spends the first half vibrantly performing old material, then at the mid-way point reverts to experimental, unreleased songs in-between weeping and rounds of on-stage plastic surgery. Then it could be sponsored by Life & Style and I guess at the end she expires, right? Oh, black humor, my old friend.

I just got this in my in-box:

Mlive

Hoping all these tour rumors are are real as they sound! Not only is she touring, but we get to vote on how to make it a better experience??? I'll vote for more ad-libbed stage banter, even better access to amazing seats for ancient fans like myself and a ban on "La Isla Bonita." I think she needs to do "Borderline" this time, too.

 
 
They Have A Head For The Hills Comments (0)

James Franco and Mila Kunis ape the Hillstards to a "T."