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If you haven't heard elsewhere, there's a supposed weblog by someone in
Baghdad calling himself "Salam Pax" that documents the experience from his
side of the line in the sand:
There is debate about whether this is for real or not, but it's interesting
reading nonetheless.

And we got this from degenerate JDP:
Thanks to a little gold statue, and the Academy who doles it out to
those they feel are deserving of their recognition, I was finally
able to see "The Quiet American" today. The film was originally
released by Miramax in December of last year, but only in enough
cities and on enough screens to barely qualify it for Oscar
eligibility. At the time, Miramax felt that the (largely
historically accurate) anti-American theme was insufficiently
patriotic for the interesting times in which we now live.
The Quiet American is based on a novel by English suspense author
Graham Greene. It is set in 1952 Vietnam, and was shot largely on
location. The story begins when an English journalist (played by
Oscar-nominated actor Michael Caine) has a chance meeting with a
young American ophthalmologist (Brendan Frasier) somewhere around
tea-time. The personal lives of the journalist, "doctor," and the
journalist's Vietnamese mistress serve as a metaphor for the complex
relationships of Vietnam, it's colonial occupiers, and it's would-be
American patrons. This is a film about the murder of innocence -- a
commentary on how noble notions of acting to save what one may not
understand might have the opposite effect, especially when one is
less than careful about the means one chooses to reach their goals.
Given current (March 2003) events, one should be able to readily see
both the relevance of the film and why Miramax was so quick to
The Quiet American will beat you over the head with its theme, and
should be screened for the White House and State Department, or any
who would support their recent actions (or those who still think we
should have used nuclear weapons on Hanoi). If I was to use aircraft
carriers instead of stars to rate the film (maybe the fascists will
think I'm a war-monger like them and not kick in my door), it would
get about 3.5 out of a possible 5, despite the presence of Brendan
Frasier. Given that I am a demanding critic, most reasonable
reviewers would likely give it a higher rating, so, piss-off the
censors and go see it before they change their minds.
Degenerate JDP
(The Quiet American is playing in Atlanta at Phipps. Catch it while you can.)

There's a very interesting, well-thought-out interview/article with Paul
Berman about why we should be working towards regime change in Iraq on
You've got to click through an ad to get to it, but it's worth reading. He
makes several interesting points about the war, Bush, Islam, western
thought, democracy, liberal protests against the war, and more. It's the
best thing I've read yet that reflects my feelings about another fine mess
Bush has gotten us into.

And we found this on the Immortal Lee County Killers' spam:
"It's amazing that I won. I was running against peace, prosperity,
and incumbency."
George W. Bush, June 14th 2001, speaking to Swedish Prime Minister
Goran Perrson, unaware that a live TV camera was still rolling.
(I could point out what's really amazing is he didn't really win yet
he still got into office, but why resurrect dead horses when the live
ones are stampeding out of control?)

And last but not least, here's something from degenerate SS we
neglected to post last episode:

We stood on the deck tonight overlooking the Chatahoochee National Forest
with the distant roar of the same storm you have described just south of
us.... and quietly plotted our "worst case scenario" plan for our family.
Head for the mountains? Out of the metro area? Stock the basement with
water and extra food in the freezer? We're not alarmists... it was odd to
have that talk. We don't have extra duct tape or hefty bags.

DH and I just came back inside to learn that the bombs are falling in Iraq.
The thunder continues to echo as an ominous prelude to the President's
address at 10:15pm. What can he possibly say?

I wrote the following in my journal months ago. I pulled it up tonight to
see if possibly an explanation for our country's actions can be found in
what I thought then. I can't.

It's 9:26am on September 11th, 2002. It's now been a full year since we
watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center.

What prompts me to write this at this moment? Perhaps something heard
beyond Governor Potaki's reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Shocked
into reality this morning, I struggle to find some ground or cord of
continuity in our history. My mind races to find the right phrase. perhaps
that we have inherited the strength from our forefathers' grief to cope.

I guess I write to let my great great grandchildren know that we were
affected so far beyond "Let's Roll" and "We will never forget."

I sat through the reading of the 2801 names through to the Ds. Listening, I
searched my brain through each name for a hint of recognition. I found
myself in tears. --Much the same tears as last year at the same time. Will
I cry for them each year? What is this overbearing, pissed off, indignant
sense of patriotism I feel??

You see, my children, I knew of many of the AON and Marsh employees who died
in the attacks of the World Trade Center.

Sadly, I had no personal relationships with them. Many letters and phone
calls were exchanged between us. There were a few mentions of where they
went for lunch, whether or not they had seen the latest Broadway show or
some disinterested inquiry of how a vacation was spent.

I bear an intense sense of regret. How many times did I have contact with
them and treat them quite professionally, never even considering that their
lives could be snuffed out in fifteen minutes? Would my life have been
richer for knowing them, or would my mourning just intensify?

I guess I've become rather resolute. I cannot and will not allow people to
pass through or by my life without reaching out. In my last business
meeting in New York, I met two of the survivors. I heard their stories of
escape that I'm sure they have repeated hundreds of times and relived in
their sleep three hundred and sixty five. They are no less passionate now
than a year ago. And, now I know their children's names.

Befuddled, but yours truly,
Degenerate SS

We got this from a local venue, so if you're in a retro band looking
for work see below:

To whom it may concern,
My name is Tracie Rosado. I run the Boom Boom Room in
midtown, atlanta. Boom Boom Room is a new tiki bar that just opened
about six weeks ago. I met a very nice woman last thursday at star bar
who said her husband woked for this site. We are currently looking
for rockabilly bands to play at the club. Unfortunately I know of
very few rockabilly bands in this town.I went on ear plugs and got
only one response. If anyone there can point me in the right
direction it would be greatly appreciated. Please stop down to the
club and check us out. Ask for tracie i'm usually always there.

Tracie Rosado
Managing partner
Boom Boom Room
1140 Crescent ave.
Atlanta, Ga. 30309

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