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5/12/2004

EAR PLUGS
We went on a rare expedition to the Highlands and Blind Willieís for Wanda Jackson last week and had a swell time. Sheís still got the voice that made her the Queen of Rockabilly some 50 years ago, and does some fine country tunes to boot. Iíve got pictures of that, and the late night party at Art Farm afterward, I hope to get to this week. But itís been a film-filled spring and weíre off to yet another tonight, the MC5 documentary at Echo Lounge.
Speaking of moviesÖ

FILM FLAM
We caught Van Helsing this week at the drive in, yet another remake in this seemingly decade-long summer of remakes. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein has David Wenham in the Lou Costello role and Hugh Jackman as Bud Abbott with neither as funny as their predecessors. Nor is Richard Roxburgh as creepy as Bela Lugosi. The other monsters fare no better, thought the special effects in this version are impressively over the top. It's like getting hit in the head with a brick, but a brick made of solid gold. It hurts, but you have to admire the expense to which the makers went to hurl it at you. The portions intended as horror are funny, but the parts intended to be funny are horrific. The non-stop action caused nothing but yawns, but the rare dramatic moments caused nothing but laughter. Beautifully awful and awfully beautiful. I'd say this ranks (and I do mean "rank") up there with the best of the worst drive in movies I've ever seen.

BLASPHEMY
We got this from degenerate GG regarding last episode:

First of all, as I am sure you already know, online polls are next to useless because the participants are self-selected.
Nevertheless, I would like to see a scientifically conducted poll on this subject. If one were done, I suspect the percentage of people willing to say torture could -possibly- be justified (under extreme conditions) might be even higher than 47%.
Let's say the authorities know for a fact (based on surveillance, informants, and 2 tons of circumstantial evidence to back up the surveillance and informants) that religious fundamentalists (belonging to any religion you care to believe might spark such fundamentalism) have planted a nuclear device in somewhere in Paris and detonation may be imminent. Or let's say the same amount of evidence exists indicating that every bridge and tunnel going into and out of Manhattan are targeted for simultaneous car and truck bomb explosions during rush hour. And let us further suppose that they have in custody the (suspected) mastermind of the entire plan. While in custody, he acknowledges that they have the right guy but refuses to divulge any specifics.
I am glad to know I will never have to make such a decision, but I think a scientific poll might show that even more than 47% percent of the people questioned might squeamishly agree that some torture might be acceptable in such circumstances. After all, the poll question is a theoretical one: is torture EVER justified? Still, there are real world precedents:
In 1995, Phillipine intelligence agents used torture to stop a devastating plan to bomb 11 US airliners simultaneously, murder the Pope, and fly a plane into the CIA headquarters.
LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A10543-2001Sep22
A question for you: how would you respond if you had been the guy in charge of Phillipines law enforcement?
A goofy stretch, I know, but play along!

Editorís Response: Iíve been fuming over this for a while now so I may simmer down enough to respond next episode. Stay tuned.
 


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