Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

09 February 2003

On a disturbingly under-reported survey from Salon.com:

At the end of the first week of January, the Princeton Survey Research Associates polled more than 1,200 Americans on behalf of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain. They asked a very simple question: "To the best of your knowledge, how many of the September 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens?"

Of those surveyed, only 17 percent knew the correct answer: that none of the hijackers were Iraqi. Forty-four percent of Americans believe that most or some of the hijackers were Iraqi; another 6 percent believe that one of the hijackers was a citizen of that most notorious node in the axis of evil. That leaves 33 percent who did not know enough to offer an answer.

Is it any wonder that Americans have an international reputation for stupidity? The article points to Bush's infamous 'axis of evil' comments that permanently associated al-Qaeda with Iraq. Somebody told me that (and a brief search on the Internet couldn't confirm it) when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1991, al-Qaeda actually offered to deploy a jihad (what's the correct verb there? Start up a jihad? Host a jihad? Enable a jihad?) against him.

For a realistic analysis of al-Qaeda-Iraq relations, check out this article from the level-headed CBC:

There's only one problem with the ties the White House alleges between Saddam and al-Qaeda. According to most experts on Iraq , those ties barely exist, if they exist at all.

Experts point out that Saddam, a secular Iraqi nationalist who refuses to rule by the Muslim religious law of Sharia, is a natural enemy of Osama bin Laden.

3:56:26 PM    comment []

I don't track Web stats on this Web site, because I've never really had cause to. I plan to start once I get back to Vancouver and possibly set up my own dedicted Web server for all of my sites. However, my blog software allows me to see pages that refer to my site. I checked recently and found that I'd turned up on the first page of Yahoo search results (http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=photo%20pretty%20barefoot--click any of the links at your own risk) for "photo pretty barefoot". Am I increasingly receive visitors who are foot fetishists? Not that I mind. It's just that they'll just be sorely dissapointed.

3:43:51 PM    comment []

This is a great idea. The folks at Newseum.org make forty newspaper front pages available online every day. This page describes how the project works. I see that the reliably welter-weight Vancouver Province has photos of George Clooney, Nicholas Cage and Salma Hayak above the lead headline. Good sping for the Olympics as well: "Salt Lake City: We'd Do It Again". Mind you, having spent two years around Irish and British tabloids that make the National Enquirer look like Dickens, I shouldn't complain.

3:42:03 PM    comment []

I just saw Punch Drunk Love, starring the surprising Adam Sandler and the exotic bird that is Emily Watson. It's from Paul Thomas Anderson, one of my favourite directors, and is a fantastically original film. Utterly unpredictable and visually sophisticated, it's the best film I've seen for the past few weeks (with the exception, I guess, of Roman Polanski).

I never cared for Adam Sandler, but like Tom Cruise in Magnolia, Anderson elicits a remarkably tectured performance. As a sub-theme, the film examines an unpopular subject: male rage. One result of feminism is that it's become remarkably unacceptable for men to publically express anger or rage (or, God forbid, get in a fist-fight with a willing opponent). Yet rage is an important, evolutionary aspect of the male animal. In Punch Drunk Love, Sandler's character is meek and stuttering in the company of others. This is counter-pointed when he's overcome by fits of violent rage in private. This aspect of the film reminded me of two other artworks. The first is a poem by Henry Rollins that includes the lines 'the rage that made you stagger' and 'a hate that was pure as sunshine'. The second is District of Centuries, a play by Sean Dixon. My favourite line of the play is the simply-expressed 'I feel such a rage.'

3:36:27 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 Darren Barefoot.



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