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Ok my friend John Hartford who runs Eccentre and the Sumerland list posted this. Author Salman Rushdie (Fury, The Satanic Verses) and somehow who've has earned the wrath of Shiite Fundamentalists with a price on his head wrote a piece on the Washington Post about The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, Gangs of New York and the upcoming war on Iraq. A must read. I'm just copying the whole article for your reading pleasure. Copyrights and all rights reserved to the respective parties and all that. So without further delay here it is.

Getting Into Gang War
By Salman Rushdie
Wednesday, December 25, 2002; Page A29

As the world prepares for war, two extraordinary portraits of human conflict are offered at movie theaters this Christmas. Peter Jackson's "The Two
Towers," the second installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" are superficially similar because of their mutual interest in battle; but they could not be more different beneath their bloodied surfaces, and the choice between their conflicting visions is one we may all shortly have to make.

Both films have been eagerly anticipated. Neither has disappointed. I do not speak here of their performance at the box office but of their qualities as what one used to call "cinema," which is to say, as art.

Like its precursor, "The Fellowship of the Ring," Jackson's picture is an improvement on its source material, if only because Jackson's film language is subtler, more sophisticated and certainly more contemporary than the stilted, deliberate archaisms of J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptive prose and, even more problematically, of his dialogue. (I am a big fan of the book version of "The Lord of the Rings," but nobody ever read Tolkien for the writing.)

One might say something similar about Scorsese's use of sources. Herbert Asbury's 1928 classic "Gangs of New York" has been transmuted in the film version into a poetic, visionary epic, a "birth of the nation" saga that seeks nothing less, as the New York Times reviewer comes close to suggesting, than to supplant the grand narratives of national origins created by D.W. Griffith and John Ford.

It may seem strange to compare Jackson's fabular Middle Earth wars among men, orcs, dwarfs, hobbits and elves with Scorsese's riots in the all-too-real Five Points district of 19th-century Manhattan, but both filmmakers share an interest in the cut and thrust of hand-to-hand fighting, of close conflict realistically depicted according to the "ancient laws of combat." Movie blood used to be known as "Kensington gore" after the upscale London street, but there's nothing posh or genteel about the gore offered here.

So much for parallels and surface similarities. Where the two films differ radically is in what they have to say about men at arms and about the nature of war.

"The Two Towers" -- how fortunate for all concerned that this title was not ready for release 12 months ago, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the World Trade Center -- follows Tolkien in creating a universe of moral absolutes. Tolkien didn't like people calling his great work an allegory of the battle against Adolf Hitler, but the echoes of World War II, the last "just war," are everywhere.

The Dark Lord Sauron is the incarnation of evil, and his most potent (and very Wagnerian) weapon, the One or Ruling Ring, is made of and perfects that evil. All who come under Sauron's baleful influence become as thoroughly, homogeneously evil as their lord. The forces of good that stand against him -- and this explains much of Tolkien's appeal -- are, by contrast, extremely various: from Gandalf the wizard (the powerful good guy), Aragorn the Ranger (the heroic good guy), Legolas the elf (the cool good guy), Gimli the grumpy dwarf (the uncool good guy), all the way down to the little people, the hobbits or halflings, who will in the end save the day.

Scorsese's film offers no such extreme moral contrasts. As knife goes up against cleaver, club against skull, nativist against immigrant American, Protestant against Catholic, "good" and "evil" seem almost irrelevant. This is the amoral world of bare-knuckle power, a Darwinian cityscape in which only the fittest will survive. And out of that world, Scorsese reminds us, comes ours. This is a far braver, rarer vision than that of "The Two Towers," brilliant as the fantasy epic is. Gang war is neither holy nor just, Scorsese tells us, and, as one leaves the movie theater with his images dazzling the mind's eye, the thought occurs that maybe all wars are gang wars.

The films have opened at a time when all of us are trying to come to grips with the fact of an impending, controversial war, and many people, on both sides of the argument, are taking the absolutist line. The Bush camp's interest in "evil" and "evildoers" needs no further emphasis. But the Bushies are finding support in some strange quarters. To take just one example, the crazy rage of the writer Oriana Fallaci, directed without discrimination against every Muslim in the world -- "every Muslim, without exception, is a fundamentalist"; "they multiply like protozoa to infinity" -- is one example of what one might call the New Evilism that is busily painting the world in black and white. Oddly, opponents of the proposed American attack on Iraq often look like mirror-images of what they hate. According to these opponents, Western as well as Islamic, the United States is the tyrant, the Dark Lord, and all its purposes are vile.

The truth looks more confused, more amorally Scorsesean. Saddam Hussein is a murderous despot, but the present U.S. administration's assaults on fundamental freedoms call into question its right to be called freedom lovers. The overthrow of the present Iraqi leadership may be desirable, but many of the scenarios for the aftermath of that overthrow are undesirable, to say the least. America may be in less danger from Iraq than its leaders claim, and the war on Hussein may have more to do with breaking U.S. dependence on Saudi oil than anyone cares to discuss. Yet it is possible that this flawed war may end up creating a better Iraq for most Iraqis than could be achieved by any other means. In short, we may be in for a gang war on a gigantic scale, and yet, as in Scorsese's movie, that gang war, brutal, cynical, atavistic -- a war in which one man's hero is another's villain -- may paradoxically succeed in bringing a more modern world into being.

Ambiguity is out of fashion, however. We will be given a war of heroes against villains at all costs. After all, "The Two Towers" is a vast popular success, and "Gangs of New York" is doing no better than modest business. Perhaps when the time for the Oscars comes round, the academy will see fit to reward the more profound complexities of the Scorsese movie. But by March we may all be preoccupied by a greater, darker contest than the one for the Academy Awards.

Salman Rushdie is the author of "Fury" and other novels.
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I'm very restless and about to have a fit, a breakdown, I don't know. Very sleepless too. Things need to be done and I'm procastrinating. I need a new job. They're cutting down my hours and it's not that I don't need the bloody money. I'm so tired of this. Part of me wants to go to PR but that's unnacceptable too. I am going to NYC but I'm not expecting a picnic. So once I get back from work today hopefully calls will be made, laundry will be made, research will be done. Now if I can somehow get some fucking sleep.....
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ah i love it when blogger gets moody with errors. argh!
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More fun with quizzes. Thanks Nikka. You rock!

You are cutting
What Self-Mutilation Are You?

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who's your gothic daddy?

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Of course! What do you expect?????
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Xmas came and went. Not much except that I put out this really cool compilation for my minidisc. Helps me pass the long busride to work. Mostly ambient, idm, techno and some shoegazing guitars. Most wholeshome. Dancing to it right now.

Back to the grind tomorrow.
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Merry Xmas to the Xtians
Kwanzaa to the Africans
Hannukah to the Jews
Saturnalia for the Pagans
and just another day for the rest of us
it really. Xmas lost it's meaning for me a long time ago.
Just another day off.
Looking forward to a fresh start in the New Year.
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Joe Strummer died of a heart attack. I'm kinda devastated because The Clash was one of my favorite bands of all time and their influence is still felt. The Sex Pistols had the impact, The Ramones the sense of humor, The Damned and The Buzzcocks had melody, but The Clash was the only band that mattered. Bands like U2 wouldn't have existed if not for The Clash's mixture of melody, eclectisism and politics. Strummer always rocked whether with The Clash or solo and still remained down to earth and humble. I'm blasting their music even if the world won't listen. Straight to hell, boy. Straight to hell.

Aside from that, just counting down the days. I'm gonna freeze my balls off in that trip but I don't care. I must find out. Go North, young man.
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Watched "The Two Towers" and the only thing I have to contribute to the general consensus about the movie is that Orlando Bloom stole the show on this one. Still, Peter Jackson and the cast did a great job. Celebrated my friend Nuria's birthday watching that with her and her husband. It was cool. Gave her 2 sixpacks for them to drink afterwards. I fell today. Broad daylight. On the street. Scraped my left knee and my right elbow, but otherwise I seem to be doing ok. Heh. Aside from that, not much. And found a nice little joint near the house so I can satisfy my cravings for some tripletas, medianoches and cuban sandwiches. Woo baby!
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You are Silver Surfer!

Take the "Which Marvel Comics Hero are you" quiz!

It figures. I've always liked him. Jack Kirby RIP.
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sunday morning........
and i got to go to work..bleah
it's not like i partied last night
(i wished i did. last night's social function at work was boring)
but the psychic hangover is overwhelming
thank god it's only 5 hours this time.
talked to her last night
she's a bit apprehensive about our thing
but it's cool. that's natural.
i can only hope for the best
can't wait to see her
and see if it works out
cause i still has memories of our first kiss
and the ones afterward
passover in a bar
at a friend's loft
in her car
on her way to the airport
ages ago and they still linger
in a way, yes, this is madness
but i can't have it any other way
it drives you mad
it makes you stupid
just don't make me call it
cause i want it to happen
before i can name it
all i know is that i want her
and i miss her
once again i'm on the road
because i must
because i want her
her beautiful hair, her eyes, her smile.
her mind, her insights, her soul.
yeah it's sunday morning
and it's cold as hell
and i wished i was just lying by her side
feeling her warmth
two less lonely people in this world
let's make it happen

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Before I tell you all about my Friday the 13th, which I will eventually but it's almost 4am and I'm brainded so basically.....

1. Started to read Irvine Welsh's "Porno". The sequel to Trainspotting. So far, so good.
2. Brought the plane tickets to visit my friend and see where that takes us.
3. For the first time enjoyed some PR Xmas party music in a long while. Nevermind the food.
4. Thank God or "Bob" for ze tips and some unexpected bonuses. Much appreciated. Hard work pays off good karma and all that.

Ok enough already. More later.
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How fucked am I? :) Let me count the ways:


-- Click Here To Take The Test --

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Nikka is evil. She has some cool quizzes in her journal. Must take them. :) So........

Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?

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Went to check out Nikka's blog and I decided to take this test. See my comments below:

I am the Rake

A woman never quite feels desired and appreciated enough. She wants attention, but a man is too often distracted and unresponsive. The Rake is a great female fantasy-figure - when he desires a woman, brief though that moment may be, he will go to the ends of the earth for her. He may be disloyal, dishonest and amoral, but that only adds to his appeal. Stir a woman's repressed longings by adapting the Rake's mix of danger and pleasure.

Symbol: Fire. The Rake burns with a desire that enflames the woman he is seducing. It is extreme, uncontrollable and dangerous. The Rake may end in hell, but the flames surrounding him often make him seem that much more desirable to women.

What Type of Seducer are You?
created by polite_society

An apology (of sorts)

So according to this little test, I'm a bit of a rogue. Dishonest? No. I've been acused of being too honest. Honesty's the main quality I look for in a relationship. Disloyal? Hmmm. Funny that you mention that when my last two relationships lasted four and three years respectively. I admit to cheating in the former but the relationship was pretty much dead in the last year and we both cheated on each other. No cheating on the latter though. I stayed loyal to her till the bitter end of it. I learned my lesson well.

It's only one of those net surveys. Make of it what you will.

Meanwhile I got a need to listen to the Slackers' "Redlight". I need to get my Slackers fix.

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ok this one's in spanish because i posted it on another site. sorry i'm not gonna bother for a translation. use babelfish or other handy translation utilities while i find time to translate this to you all. here it goes:

ok estoy aburrido......
una cosa cabrona.....

re-lei trainspotting para ponerme al dia pues pienso regalarme "porno" la secuela de este librito para estas navidades. a la verdad que todavia el sr. welsh hace un buen trabajo para mis neuronas....

pedi una pizza porque en verdad no tengo ganas de salir y ver toda esta obscenidad que los gringos llaman navidad. en esta trampa turistica llamada whorelando, floriduh, los turistas estan por doquier. la economia esta jodia pero los estacionamientos en los centros comerciales estan llenos. just like macondo, usa. por lo menos un regalito que me envio un amigo me mantiene al tanto de las pocas cosas que me interesan de macondo usa, auditivamente hablando. y estoy esperando un regalito del dr. hoffman. una manifestacion auditiva de LA COSA, if you will.

botaron a uno del trabajo. el muy moron bebiendo en el trabajo y el tufo a alcohol se le notaba. not good. el tipo es tremendo bajista (a lo jaco pastorius para los jazzbos por aqui. si alguno existe) y es super chevere, pero el tipo tiene problemas con el alcohol. shit. el tipo perdio a su mama despues de thanksgiving y en vez de los cabrones mandarlo a rehab a un programa de consejeria para que bregue el caso, lo botan. gracias.

mientras tanto una amiga que trabaja ahi por poco manda al carajo a par de gente. que cojones. la amiga trabajando la nomina y envuelta en eso y una puta trajeada la llama para pedirle un fucking cafe. ella lloro de rabia por la afrenta. gracias a dios que no le cayo a gaznata's porque esa puertorra mi pana es fuelte. pero nada. le dijo el "NO" mas poderoso que una femina puede tirarle a otra de su especie. girltalk and girlcodes rule.

mientras tanto, sobran alimentos y bebida de las funciones y a veces nos autorizan para llevarnos el botin a casa. salmon, pavo, roast beef, una botella de champagne, una de vino tinto y 2 cajas de cerveza. esas dos mueren manyana en el party de un pana. o en el post-party. plop. mientras tanto me doy una friita en lo que escribo esto. la dictonomia del trabajo. la paga no es nada del otro jueves pero en esta epoca como gratis, hay cosas 'interesantes' pasando y hay dias que llego al apartamento alegre y contento. pero el prospecto de trabajar con varios seres con complejo de napoleon esta cabron. i love to hate you, baby. really.

no se si asistir a la fiesta de navidad de la empresa. como dije me gusta la gente con quien trabajo y hay par fuera de la division que son supercool. pero no se si tenga la capacidad para aguantar la comemierderia y pretensiones de cierta gente fuera de horas laborales. mi companyera de cuarto trabaja conmigo alla asi que lo mas seguro dare cara.

nueva yol me llama. "vente para babilonia" - me imagino que ella me susurra al oido. la conozco hace 4 anyos. ironicamente un poco despues que conoci a la que eventualmente seria mi mas reciente ex. super cool. inteligente, bonita, sensible, como anillo al dedo. la musa que necesito para poder sacar a flote el lado literario. el musical esta bien, gracias. ella quiere que vaya de visita. el viernes compro los pasajes, si 'bob' quiere.

babilonia me llama. especialmente esa residente en particular. la soledad a veces duele y el hombre del siglo 21 todavia esta solo. al menos en mi caso. 90% del tiempo prefiero la soledad a la mala companyia, pero uno encuentra seres que uno no puede dejar pasar desapercibidos. a ver que sucede y que nos trae el 2003.

y por ahora basta

popu 12/11/02 21:36
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I was gonna post a rant about my love-hate relationship with my job. Basically I love the people I work with but sometimes hate some of the people who gives us the work orders, but you know what? fuck that! Probably next time. Now time to take some useless mind numbing tests for you to peruse so here we go!

I am 31% Geek

You probably work in computers, or a history deptartment at a college. You never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But you have friends, and this is a good thing.

Take the Geek Test at fuali.com

I am 75% Punk Rock

I am PUNK AS FUCK! The model punk. I care not for anything. I kick ass, but probably smell really bad.

Take the Punk Rock Test at fuali.com

I am 56% Goth

Oh My Goth! You Goth, Girl. There is a good chance I am bi. Freakiness pumps through my viens, but I can still laugh at myself.

Take the Goth Test at fuali.com

I am 52% Internet Addict

I am pretty addicted, but there is hope. I think I'm just well connected to the internet and technology, but it's really a start of a drug-like addiction. I must act now! Unplug this computer!

Take the Internet Addict Test at fuali.com

I am 40% Metal Head

Most other metal-heads acknowledge my presence, but they laugh at me behind my back. Maybe I need to stop spending all that money on haircuts and invest in a few Pantera T-shirts.

Take the Metal Head Test at fuali.com

I am 36% Raver

Well, I may have been to a rave. I probably know a bunch of ravers, but they may think of me as an outsider. That's okay, at least I am not a complete freak.

Take the Raver Test at fuali.com

I am 67% Evil Genius

Evil courses through my blood. Lies and deceit motivate my evil deeds. Crushing the weaklings and idiots that do nothing but interfere in my doings.

Take the Evil Genius Test at fuali.com

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someone came back to the picture. it's a welcome surprise and i'm sorting out the details to see what's gonna happen to us. i'm hopeful that things will get sorted out. lord knows this could be the first time. :)
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If you must a free subscription to FAQ YOU allows me to be in your mailbox and spare you the grief and torture of visiting the site daily. :rolleyes: So if you must, go ahead, make may day and use the handy form on your left. Thanks.
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Some eye candy for you. My current desktop. Click on the picture if you want to see it on it's full glory. Heh. (Insert rant here about loving Mac's OS but wished the fuckers would produce a really affordable computer for the rest of us.) Enjoy!

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"I feel so extraordinary
something's got a hold on me"
- new order "true faith"

It's a strange weekend. A friend's mother passed away and I'm trying to be as supportive as I can within those circumstances. I was about to go out and have fun when this happened so I stayed and was available for him in case he needed me. Running out of cash, need cash for the rent so I called my mum to see if she would send the money order I refused earlier in the week. She did but supposedly these mofo's of the famous job they supposedly offered but didnt are going to call. I got so mad and started arguing with her. Then a strange thing happened.

I have a friend in NYC. Really cool girl. Writer, journalist, intelligent, sensitive really cool. We met a few months after I met Lana. She and I have kept in touch through the years and it's always good to see her. Well I ran into her online and we had one of our really deep chats. Damn. I want to work like a madman so I can go to see her. She's that good. Looking forward to that. A good motivation to go on.

That and now that I got DSL I've been downloading stuff like a madman. I really missed it. Also will change the pc's layout soon.

Ok I should get some rest no?

Last but not least. Thanks to window blinds my pc has a mac-like interface. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!