Archive for August 15th, 2005


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Just… No. This is unacceptable. Posted by Picasa

And speaking of things that are unacceptable:

In the immortal words of Yoko Ono, “Aieeeee!” A fierce primal scream – of the kind Ms. Ono is famous for as a performance and recording artist – is surely the healthiest response to the agony of “Lennon,” the jerry-built musical shrine that opened last night at the Broadhurst Theater.


This drippy version of his life, written and directed with equal clunkiness by Don Scardino and featuring a Muzak-alized assortment of Lennon’s non-“Beatles” songs, suggests that he was just a little lost boy looking for love in all the wrong places until he found Ms. Ono and discovered his inner adult. When his adoring fans and a hitherto tame press turned on him in the late-1960’s, Lennon told a journalist that his public had never seen him clearly to begin with, that even when he was a schoolboy, those who actually knew him never “thought of me as cuddly.”

Yet cuddly is how Lennon (who is portrayed by five actors) emerges here, like a pocket-size elf doll who delivers encouraging mantras of self-help and good will when you scratch his tummy. “We’re all one,” “Love is the answer,” “Be real” – these and other Lennonisms are projected in repeated succession on a screen before the show begins. Little that follows goes beyond such fortune-cookie wisdom.

And this was necessary why???

(And should I be concerned that someone found my blog via a Google search for “clinical assholism”?)

8 comments August 15th, 2005 at 06:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google,Music,Weirdness

Torture Song Trilogy

Okay, so. BushCo is still fighting the release of additional Abu Ghraib images tooth & nail. They have apparently abandoned the truly laughable “It would humiliate the torture victims” rationale (I think that ship has already sailed, eh?), and have moved on to how “al-Qaeda and other groups will seize upon these images and videos as grist for their propaganda mill.” Phila has an excellent post covering the moral bankruptcy of this strategy, but I want to talk a little bit about the stakes here, and why it’s so important to the administration to suppress any more Abu Ghraib pictures.

Why should this be a big deal? After all, we’ve already seen pictures from Abu Ghraib, and everyone was suitably outraged. Even if the new pictures are worse, does it really make that big of a difference? Well, consider: Americans generally have short attention spans, and need the immediacy that images provide. Verbal descriptions of Abu Ghraib (and later, Gitmo) had absolutely zero effect. And now that everyone’s seen the pictures, they’re old news, and the scandal is essentially forgotten.

So why is this important now? Because when the first wave of Abu Ghraib pictures was released, the administration successfully palmed responsibility off on “a few bad apples,” and most people were satisfied with that. But since then, revelations have come out about very similar tactics being employed at Guantanamo Bay, and still more damning, the fact that the torture and humiliation started at Abu Ghraib shortly after the general in charge of Gitmo transferred to Iraq. Right now, those linkages are dormant, because all they do is link a non-story (no photos of Gitmo) to an ex-story (old news!). But release additional photos from Abu Ghraib, and some people will start asking the same how-could-this-happen questions again. And this time, the old excuses will be a lot harder to sustain.

Conversely, if the administration succeeds in suppressing the additional Abu Ghraib photos, the coverup of their culpability will be successful. No-one will dig into the connections between Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, the connections that demonstrate that torture was systemic, pervasive, and instituted from a very very high level. We need those pictures to come out, and we need someone to start asking the right questions. A congressional investigation and/or special prosecutor would be appropriate but unlikely. Let’s hope the media is on the job this time, or that the bad apples have some intrepid, fearless, and publicity-seeking legal representation.

4 comments August 15th, 2005 at 12:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Favorites,Iraq,Media,Prisoners,Republicans,Torture,War

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