Monday, December 10, 2007

The Battle of Algiers and some other stuff

Spent the weekend catching up on some reading and some movies I have been wanting to see. First off I finished up "The Subtle Knife" which is the second book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Phillip Pullman. The book wasn't nearly as good as "The Golden Compass" but I am committed now. I will probably read "The Amber Spyglass" over the next week or so. Just a quick comment here - Pullman seems to be another great admirer of Shamanistic religions and "primitive" cultures along with Jared Diamond and Roger Osborne, but maybe I am reading too much into his story line>

I also read a little more of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" I have been trying to tie together the notes and references in the back of the book with what Perkins is talking about without much luck so far. That could just be me sometimes I am a dense dumbass.

The main movie I watched this weekend was "The Battle of Algiers". Very interesting film. You can definitely see some parallels between the situation in Algeria as described by the film and the situation in Iraq. Two specific examples I can think of is the vital roles intelligence plays is filling out the order of battle for the insurgents and the use of Sharia law to enforce compliance in the Casbah.

Well Worth Watching.

I also tried to watch Fight Club (again) because everyone is always telling me what a good movie it is, but once again 5 minutes in I was thinking what a bunch of punks, was bored shitless and took a nap. I haven't read the book - maybe I should try that first.

This seems to be a theme in my life I guess - I occasionally feel sorry for myself, like everyone does, but when I see people on TV or in a movie or read about people bitching and moaning about how bad they have it I just want to scream. Or maybe vomit on them I don't know.

That isn't to say that there aren't people out there that deserve sympathy for the situations in their lives. I realize there are and I donate to charities to support the mission of making their lives better if possible. Politically I also support a limited social safety net for the truly needy. I just don't see where feeling sorry for yourself beyond some limited bitching and moaning does anyone any good. Suck it up and drive on.

Maybe I am just turning into a crusty old shit.

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