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“Die Hard” Diehard Catching Flak for Epic Iraq Flick

Variety, May 1, 2008—According to insider reports, action star Bruce Willis is drastically over budget and cannot decide on an ending for his pro-war Iraq film, Mission Accomplished.

“He’s spun completely out of control,” said one member of the crew, who spoke on condition of anonymity.  “He’ll spend a month filming the ‘democracy’ ending, but no one knows what that’s supposed to look like, and then he decides it’s ‘too boring anyway.’ So we’ll spend another month on the ‘fighting terrorism’ ending, where we wipe out an entire city, then another month on the ‘civil war’ ending, featuring a bunch of Shiite death squads, then another on the ‘revenge’ ending with these incredibly gory Abu Ghraib scenes, then another on this bizarre ‘call in the bombers’ ending that reads like it was written by Sy Hersh.  And then he’ll just spend days alone in his trailer, blasting this turgid crap by The Doors and painting his body from head to toe.”

Willis has assured his initial backers, Passion Media, formerly known as Pajamas Media, formerly known as Open Source Media, formerly known as Pajamas Media, that he will finish the film “when it is done,” but has refused to set any timetable for its completion.  Lead screenwriter Roger L. Simon defended Willis’s refusal, issuing a terse press release, “cowards yell ‘cut’ and run, action figures never do.”

Industry analysts note that the cost of Mission Accomplished now exceeds $200 billion, but few of the cast or crew are willing to speak on the record, fearing reprisals from Willis, who demands complete and unquestioning loyalty from everyone working on the film.  “It’s way beyond what happened with Coppola,” said one of the film’s producers, “not that there are any parallels with Vietnam or anything.  But I think we’re past the worst moments of last fall, when Bruce was insisting on doing this Twelve Monkeys in Iraq bit where he travels back in time to find weapons of mass destruction.  Honestly, most of us wish that Bruce had stuck with the first ending, where Bush lands on the aircraft carrier in a flight suit.  Everything tells us that’s the ending with the biggest box office.”

Posted by on 11/29 at 08:38 AM
  1. Simon was going to call it Scenes From a Maul, but found that an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon had already taken the title. Perhaps they can get Hudson Hawk alum Sandra Bernhard to play the Evil Queen of Iraq to really kill the box office receipts.

    Posted by norbizness  on  11/29  at  10:30 AM
  2. What about the Blazing Saddles ending, where the war spills over into an Log Cabin Republicans production of Oklahoma and then Ken Mehlman yells out, “They’ve got Guckert! Get ‘em, girls!”

    Actually, I prefer the Monty Python and the Holy Grail ending, where Patrick Fitzgerald comes in and shuts the whole thing down.

    Posted by corndog  on  11/29  at  10:50 AM
  3. Y’know, when they started talking “two, maybe three” sequels before the the thing was even in post I knew there was a turd in the punchbowl.

    Posted by  on  11/29  at  12:33 PM
  4. Bruce should stick to movies set in Philadelphia.  Maybe he could do a remake of The Philadelphia story - with Ashton and Demi.  He could tag any unused endings from Mission Accomplished on it.  I’m sure people would be happy to see the bombers called in after 2 hours of their witty repartee.

    Posted by  on  11/29  at  12:34 PM
  5. In *Independence Day*, as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum (don’t remember their characters’ names) prepare for their daring mission to fly one of the aliens’ own fighters into the belly of the mother ship to destroy it, Smith accidentally flies the craft backward instead of forward.

    Smith: “Oops.”
    Goldblum: “Whattya mean, ‘oops?’ Don’t say ‘oops!’”

    Coincidentally, Willis’ script contains this same bit of dialogue, only Smith is Bush and Goldblum is everybody else in his administration.

    In *ID*, the exchange was a welcome bit of comic relief amid the rising action and tension.  In Willis’ film, it’s one of the first scenes, in which “Never Say Oops” becomes the basis for an entire foreign (ok, domestic too) policy.

    Posted by  on  11/29  at  02:33 PM
  6. It must be getting harder and harder to make a substantial film that will bamboozle the box office in the US given this piece of finely tuned rhetoric from a US Congressman:

    Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), sees the country threatened by “the cult of multiculturalism...”

    Willis, trying hard to remain faithful to DW Griffith’s vision of creating nations for good white people, seems unwilling to cloak his heroes in the white vestments according their station.

    Posted by  on  11/29  at  04:37 PM
  7. These are great suggestions (particularly the Monty Python ending, corndog—love it!), even though they’ll undoubtedly push back the completion date still further.

    Hey, what about an Armageddon ending?  I haven’t seen the movie myself, but the Internet Movie Database tells me that “the world’s best deep core drilling team is sent to nuke Iraq from the inside.” Sounds like that’ll work!

    Posted by Michael  on  11/29  at  04:45 PM
  8. Of course it would be costly, but the rapture ending seems a natural. Bruce and his ilk would ascend to a heaven brimming with milk, honey, and virgins, while all us peaceniks plunge into the lake of burning pitch. (Hey, this was not how I planned to spend Theory Tuesday—Where’s John and June?)

    Posted by  on  11/29  at  05:14 PM
  9. Funny.  I remember seeing a re-run of Laugh-In<> recently where the joke was about making a movie about Vietnam… the problems were that it was too long, it was overbudget and they didn’t have an ending.

    The only endings for Bruce’s current project I’d kind of like to see involve the principle players in something like either the last scene of <i> Life of Brian, or better still, of Breaker Morant (o.k., I’m even willing to accept the movie version of The Producers or Risky Business ("the dock at the Hague could use a guy like Dub...")) Of course, I admit it… I still believe in Fitzmas miracles.

    What we’re actually going to see is the “is it real or not?” ending of Total Recall, or even worse, the non-director’s-cut (and-run!) of Bladerunner.  Of course, I suppose it’s never too late to wheel out the Raiders of the Lost Ark ending and show a crate marked “Saddam’s WMDs” being shoved in a large Pentagon storeroom… perhaps not. 

    Or best of all, the revisioniste ending a la Chicken Little.  Yes. That’s the way to go.

    Posted by the talking dog  on  11/29  at  06:09 PM
  10. I’ve got to read your blog more frequently from home rather than work—it’s so satisfying just to be able to tilt my head back and howl with laughter rather than smirking and stifling my giggles.

    Posted by Jeremy Osner  on  11/29  at  08:09 PM
  11. A “hook” for the chicks guarantees a larger audience. So, I see a rundown whistle stop on-base Burger King where Sgt. Bridge Jones and Major Darcy defy military policy, marry and conceive a child they name “Shelby.” In a flash-forward, we see Shelby has become a diabetic Hollywood hooker who has contracted AIDS. That’s okay, tho. She gets saved by Forrest the war hero.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  11/30  at  12:03 AM
  12. don’t overlook casting tho

    Who plays the token wise-crackin’ Good N-ah sergeant type?  I’m seein’ Bernie Mac; tho Will Smith certainly has those kind of neo-Uncle Tom chops down....and who’s cast as the good-Farm-gal-in-a-tough situation Nurse/2nd Louie type?  That’s a bit beyond Demi at this stage: maybe Renee Zellenger....and then hot sucy littel tramp --soldier pussy...aw yeah.....J-Lo type.....and creepy old Brass....with some kinda dykey wife maybe...Mary Tyler Moore!...none other than John Forsythe...ok he’s bit old...Don Sutherland?  Eastwood.......

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  12:53 AM
  13. I have to say, Jason, your typing skills are much sharper when you’re sober.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/30  at  01:33 AM
  14. whaaa? yr not like down with say homie John Forsythe??/ (imagine mothers of invention here___________)

    not so tight--few whiffs of E n J--but I sorta got carried away with the barracks GI chick scene....ya know ....grimy muscle tees....sweaty latina girls...short hair.. fatigues....

    im not fond of the willis mega-mall-myth but maybe a full metal jacket-like thing (and not platoon hopefully) will come out of this....Im intending to catch this new flick by mendes

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  02:15 AM
  15. If needed, I think I know where Willis can find a few script doctors.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  11/30  at  02:15 AM
  16. Rox, I have no idea why that a href isn’t working.  But I suggest that everyone who reads your comment check the url on their own.  Nice call!  You just might have saved Bruce’s bacon on this one.

    Posted by  on  11/30  at  02:22 AM
  17. What’s quite amusing really about this thread tho, and about much of Berubeland (’scuzi for not havin’ the diacritics enabled), are the ethical assumptions being taken for granted. Peacenik moralism is in some sense nearly as nauseating as the fundie moralism; two sides, lib.--con., of the same well-worn coin.  In Ethics 101 parlance, was the Iraqi action necessarily an unjust war?  The Hitchens-Chomsky match may have grown stale at this stage, but let’s just say their are worse rats than Christopher Hitchens--some of them pray to mecca each day.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  12:55 PM
  18. Ah, it’s always good to have someone remind us of the praying-to-Mecca rats (hey, that reminds me—if I’d signed up for Open Robe Media I could have gotten some of Charles Johnson’s regular readers!).  But actually, Jason, the “serious” point of this post (here in Bérubéland, as you know, we always put “serious” in “scare quotes") is to ask just what “victory” in Iraq would look like at this point.  Or, to put this another way, precisely how much longer are our troops supposed to fight and die for the establishment of an Iran-style Shi’ite theocracy?

    Posted by Michael  on  11/30  at  02:14 PM
  19. You think pulling the troops out ASAP will bring more peace (less death?) I don’t think that’s a warranted inference. I say the cowboys get comfy, put a port in at Basra, work on their “mussalammas,” have the corps of engineers do it up right with...yeah a Wharf, some knick knack shoppes for the gals, burger ‘N beer stands (aw yeah Wharf Basra Hooters!) and maybe call Jack Nicklaus to design an 18 hole course coastside.

    Regarding the hysteria and irrationality of Islam, peruse some of the fatwas of the Saudi clerics or Taliban from the last decade or so, etc. Or maybe accounts of Baathist street sweeps of prostitutes and other “undesirables” (aw the boys were kind enough to leave the daughter--or at least her head--on the doorstep of her parents’ villa) For more Islamic aesthetics, try the history of the Ottoman Turks.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  02:34 PM
  20. Who said pull out the troops ASAP?

    Hey—you did!  Pretty sneaky, Jason!

    Seriously, it all depends on what the meaning of “P” is.  But here’s the thing.  I think we’re seeing the Iraqi civil war in progress right now.  Drawing down US troops gradually—and I’m with you on the burger and beer stands, though of course I think these should also offer white wine spritzers—will merely give various Iraqi factions fewer American targets.

    Posted by  on  11/30  at  03:18 PM
  21. Alright, then, before you delete me, my point is the essential naivete of the American “liberal-pacifism at-any-cost” crowd ( marxists are another matter). I will spare you any Nietzschean-schtick, though academics could do worse than to read Nietzsche’s comments regarding the Rousseauian social contract in “Genealogy of Morals”: suffice it say that the naive liberal faith--that “freedom” (note scare quotes) and pacifism are conducive or necessary for democracy and justice--is hardly justified.  I don’t support the fundies nor how BushCo handled all of this (as far as I am able to discern), and perhaps the hawks have not adequately dealt with the tragedy of the war, but I still think that the arguments in favor of the military actions (brought forth by the Blair supporters, including Hitchens and other ex-leftists and secularists) have not at all been refuted or proven to be wrong. If you need a convenient and topical category, that is the view of a McCainian democrat (I voted Kerry, reluctantly), who is fed up with the PC lemmings of the academia and the starbucks marxists and multiculturalists.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  03:38 PM
  22. The back and forth is pretty interesting, but I caution anyone thinking all followers of Islam are Islamists. Call me a multiculturalist lefty wienie, but that’s one of the reasons the Great Cod-piece was (and still is) able to convince some people that Saddam equals Osama.

    Baathist street sweeps may have occured to show the rest of the Islamic world that Saddam was really one of them, I don’t know, but no one seriously believes he and his regime were anything but a bunch of secular thugs. The Ottomans declared Jihad in WWI, not because they were fundies, but to stir up rebellion in the British, French and Russian Empires. Didn’t work because the Young Turks were rightly perceived as being an irreligious, corrupt gang of Turkish nationalists.

    Portraying everyone who believes in Islam as Jihadists or fundementalists is like saying all Christians are like Pat Robertson. Just saying.

    Posted by  on  11/30  at  05:23 PM
  23. Give Secular Imperialism a chance! American liberals are all about combatting the hick protestants and theocratic catholics here in the states; then, as Hitchens notes, why aren’t they at least as concerned with the far more brutal theocracies of the Middle East?  The society based on “sha’ria” is about as far as close as Stalinism is to secular democracy.  Multiculturalists who try to present this watered-down version of Islamic radicalism are not simply mistaken, they are really tossing the entire tradition of Western rationalism, starting with the Greeks, into the street.  And it’s not simply about morality--the Saudi clerics for instance are all about challenging basic scientific beliefs--like the Copernican helicentric model. There’s no “different strokes for different folks” when one group is saying that Copernicus and Newton (and the rest of western science) is the work of infidels is there? The Riyadh Flat Earth society could use some shaking up. (Maybe begin by teaching Socrates instead of the Quran in Middle Eastern schools)

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  11/30  at  07:27 PM
  24. Yeah. Friedrich Nietzsche in the house. Verstehen Sie das?

    Posted by MT  on  11/30  at  07:44 PM
  25. I’m not down playing how dangerous the Islamist radicals are to the entire world. And their beliefs about science are every bit as ridiculous and dangerous as the ID people in this country. I supported the effort to take out Osama in Afghanistan, as did almost everyone, after 9/11. The expansion of this war to Iraq, is a totally differnt kettle of fish. What was a country governed by a brutal, but secular (and contained) regime looks like it could be turned into theocratic regime closely linked to Iran. What have we gained?

    Following Mr. T’s advice to “shake up” things in Saudi Arabia would be an even worse folly. And it bothers me, after what has happened since 2003, that anyone could think it a viable option.

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  11:49 AM
  26. There seems to be some confusion in the audience on the identity of Bruce Willis.  Bruce Willis is not the same guy as Mel Gibs “Patriot”, “Braveheart”, “Passion of Christ.” (He’s moved along from the “Mad Max” days.) Bruce Willis does stuff like “Sixth Sense,” “Die Hard,” “Fifth Element.” The genres are subtly different, if you study the text carefully.

    In short: Bruce Willis wouldn’t be interested in the Rapture.

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  11:50 AM
  27. Only one crew of film-makers could possibly do justice to it:

    A laboratory. Behind the counter, ALI (played by Michael Palin with a moustache on). Through the window, several hundred MANIACAL FUNDAMENTALIST TERRORISTS are visible in Saudi Arabia. Enter GEORGE (played by John Cleese).

    G – Ah, good morning.
    A- Morning, sir.
    G- I was across the road in yonder White House, pondering the expanding federal deficit, when I suddenly found myself come over all… aggressive.
    A – Aggressive, sir?
    G – Yes, aggressive. Belligerent. Militaristic. (Texas accent) I wanted to start a war, son!
    A – Oh, a war, sir. I see.
    G – So I thought I would curtail my budgeting activities and hie myself here to this desert spot to pursue the discovery of some murderous instruments of battle.
    A – Sorry, sir?
    G – (Texas again) I want to find some weapons!
    A – Oh, I see, sir. Well, you’ve come to the right spot. This is a weapons research centre, sir. I was worried you had come to complain about the maniacal fundamentalist terrorists across the border.
    G – Oh, no, I am a confirmed supporter of all conservative faith-based initiatives.
    A – I’m sorry, sir?
    G – (Texas) I love that old-time religion!
    A – Oh, fine.
    G –Good. Well, what shall I have? How about some anthrax?
    A – I’m afraid we’re all out of anthrax, sir.
    G – Really? Well, no matter. What about tularemia?
    A – Never have any at the end of the week, sir. Always get it fresh in on Monday.
    G – Not my lucky presidential term, is it? Typhoid?
    A – Not right now, sir.
    G – Typhus?
    A – Normally, yes, but… the mobile bioweapons lab broke down.
    G – Oh dear. Ebola? Marburg? Q fever?
    A – Not at the moment, sir.
    G – Simian haemorrhagic fever? Brucellosis? Cholera? Botulinum? Plague?
    A – Afraid not, sir.
    G - Chemicals?
    A – Yes, sir?
    G – Oh, you do? Splendid! Well, I’ll have some of those, then.
    A – Oh, sorry, sir. I thought you were talking to me. That’s my name, you see. Chemical Ali.
    G – Is it. VX? Tabun? Soman? Sarin? GB?
    A – Afraid not, sir.
    G- Mustard gas? Lyddite? Lewisite? Blue Cross? Phosgene? Xylyl bromide?
    A – No. Sorry.
    G- This is a weapons lab, isn’t it?
    A – Oh, yes, sir.
    G – Well, what have you got?
    A – Well…
    G- No, don’t tell me. I am keen to guess. Chlorine?
    A – No.
    G – Uranium?
    A – Ah, we do have some of that, sir.
    G – Well, bring it out, man!
    A – I’m afraid it’s a little depleted, sir.
    G – Doesn’t matter, I like it depleted.
    A – I’m afraid it’s a bit more depleted than you like, sir.
    G – Look, I don’t care how excrementally depleted it is! Bring me the uranium de la belle Nigere!
    A – Right, sir. Oh, damn.
    G – What.
    A – The Head of Weapons Research got it.
    G – Has he.
    A – She, sir.
    G – Right. How about missiles? Silkworm?
    A – No.
    G – SS-19? SS-4? SS-12? SS-18? Al-Hussein?
    A- No.
    G - Scud?
    A – Not much call for it round here, sir.
    G – Not much call for it? It’s the single most popular tactical ballistic missile in the entire world!
    A – Not round these parts, sir.
    G – I see. And what, pray, is popular round these parts?
    A – Al-Samoud, sir.
    G – Is it.
    A – Oh, yes, sir. Quite staggeringly popular with the fedayeen, squire.
    G – Right. Have you got any, he asks, expecting the answer no?
    A – Er…no.
    G – This is a weapons research lab, isn’t it?
    A – Oh, yes, sir. Finest in the region.
    G- And on what, pray, do you base that conclusion?
    A – Well, it’s so clean.
    G – It’s certainly uncontaminated by weapons.
    A – Go on, ask me another.
    G – Like what?
    A – Well, you haven’t asked me about plutonium.
    G – Is it worth it?
    A – Might be.
    G – All right, I’m game. Have you got any plutonium?
    A – Ah… No.
    G – Now, listen. I’m going to ask you one more time, and if you say you haven’t got any weapons, I’m going to invade and occupy your country. Have you got any weapons?
    A – Er…no.
    (FX: Invasion, rolling tanks, IEDs, gunfire, helicopters)
    G – What a senseless waste of human life.

    FADE

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  01:12 PM
  28. Monty Python as the Administration? Brilliant!!!

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  02:35 PM
  29. Amusing but if this little dialoque was meant to suggest there were no chemical weapons in Iraq it’s mistaken. Fallujah was the center of the Baathist chemical-weapons industry and there were large amounts of deadly chemicals stored in various locations there; that is, until the Marines sorta cleaned it up. American and British liberals do love their satire and irony: that sort of irreverent slapstick or absurdist humor would probably cause you to be imprisoned if not executed in a shiite or sunni regime.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  12/01  at  04:49 PM
  30. Mr. T is probably right, we would be done disappeared pretty quick. But I got this sneaking feeling that there are some (quite a few?)on the right who would dearly love to do the same thing, if only they could.

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  04:58 PM
  31. "Amusing but if this little dialoque was meant to suggest there were no chemical weapons in Iraq it’s mistaken . . . blah blah blah”

    And the humorless troll of the month award goes to . . .

    Actually, in addition to being a load of hoohaw, Mr. Toad’s complaint reminds me of this bit:

    Mr Chigger:  Gosh, I am glad I’m a fully qualified arline pilot. 

    (Cut to BALPA spokesman sitting at a desk. He is in Captain’s uniform and has a name plate in front of him on the desk saying BALPA Spokesman)

    BALPA Man:  The British Airline Pilots Association would like to point out that it takes a chap six years to become a fully qualified airline pilot, and not two.

    CAPTION: ‘FOUR YEARS LATER THAN THE LAST CAPTION’

    (Interior cockpit for three seconds. Then cut back to BALPA spokesman.)

    BALPA Man:  Thank you. I didn’t want to seem a bit of an old fusspot just now you know, but it’s just as easy to get these things right as they are easily found in the BALPA handbook. Oh, one other thing, in the Sherlock Holmes last week Tommy Cooper told a joke about a charter flight, omitting to point out that one must be a member of any organization that charters a plane for at least six months beforehand, before being able to take advantage of it. Did rather spoil the joke for me, I’m afraid. (phone ring) Yes, ah yes - yes. (puts phone down) My wife just reminded me that on a recent ‘High Chapparal’ Kathy Kirby was singing glibly about ‘Fly me to the Stars’ when of course there are no scheduled flights of this kind, or even chartered, available to the general public at the present moment, although of course, when they are BALPA will be in the vanguard. Or the Trident. Little joke for the chaps up at BALPA House. And one other small point. Why is it that these new lurex dancing tights go baggy at the knees after only a couple of evenings’ fun? Bring back the old canvas ones I say. It is incredible, isn’t it, that in these days when man can walk on the moon and work out the most complicated hire purchase agreements, I still get these terrible headaches. Well . .. I seem to have wandered a bit, but still, no harm done. Jolly good luck.

    Troll imitates art.

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  06:31 PM
  32. Nice attempt at Bukharin-like defamation, but why not address the claim? THere were plenty of chemical stockpiles in and around Fallujah. Most of the types of chemicals found and then destroyed could easily have been converted into chemical weapons.  That might make you cry, Rube, because it challenges all of your sentimental cafe-leftist attitudes about those peace-loving, prostitute-decapitating, Kurd-murdering Baathists, but them’s the facts.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  12/01  at  06:53 PM
  33. best presidential speech rebuttal ever!

    Posted by Librarian  on  12/01  at  06:54 PM
  34. I think Mister Toad’s fulminations would have a bit more emotional pull for those of us on the “left” if the secular world had any dog in the “war against terrah.”

    Unfortunately, the Democrats and Republicans compete to see who is the most holy Christian, with the Jewish faith seen as a sort of adjunct Christianity.

    We who are worried about the future of secularism see all of them as dangerous. I suppose being forced to wear a burkha might be worse than being forced to pledge alliegence to a god I don’t believe in, but I’m just darned unwilling to admit that’s a choice I have to make.

    In other words, it’s not who they pray to, it’s how adamant they are that I have to pray to the same god they do.

    So, Mister Toad, couch your antigonisms in terms of methodology (bombing bars, say, against blackballing from political office or shunning in schools) when you want to contrast relgious fascists. But don’t set up a false analogy of us(secular) v. them(religious nuts).

    Posted by  on  12/01  at  07:15 PM
  35. Yeah I’m an atheist. It took me some years to discover that. Sunday school moralists, of either the right or left, nauseate me. But not a marxist or even particularly decadent type of atheist. While the death of innocent Iraqis is horrible, the continuing injustices of the Hussein were (and would have been) worse. I don’t agree with everything that another atheist, Chris Hitchens, had to say, but I do agree with his assertion that the secular left seems rather hypocritical in regards to its differing attitudes to the Xtian fundies and to the muslim fundies. (and it doesn’t get more fundie than muslims). Additionally, there is a sort of quasi-Hegelian aspect to warfare that is sort of stimulating--the USAF, for instance, certainly has some dread gear, dat’s for sure.  F-15s, Abrams tanks, aircraft carriers, the materiel of the Allies (and Axis) in WWI and WWII; they have a sort of splendid if terrifying beauty.  Give war a chance!

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  12/01  at  07:56 PM
  36. American and British liberals do love their satire and irony: that sort of irreverent slapstick or absurdist humor would probably cause you to be imprisoned if not executed in a shiite or sunni regime.

    Jeez, that’s a good point, Jason.  I’d never really thought very much about the freedoms available to me as a satirist.  I guess I ought to rip up that check I just wrote to the Saddam Defense Fund!

    And you know, Saddam would have had me executed for that little bit of irony, too.  Ironic, isn’t it?

    Posted by Michael  on  12/01  at  08:50 PM
  37. I’m sure it seems a bit trivial to a real literary-philosopher such as yourself, but it’s something to keep in mind: there is no separation of church and state in Islamic states, and there are no rights to free expression, nor to a free press, nor is objecting to the Koranic law permitted.  In any muslim state satire of the Koran is probably grounds for a blasphemy charge, as it was in the Rushdie affair. And the muslims hate the US liberals and marxists as much as they do the rightists: indeed, the leftists are considered to be even greater infidels than the Christians are. But, again, all of this appears fairly obvious to a sharp literary analyst such as yourself, right.

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  12/01  at  10:31 PM
  38. Reciting a Monty Python pastiche poking fun at George Bush would get me executed in an Islamic regime? Really? I’d have thought they’d quite like it. He isn’t terribly popular in most Muslim countries, you may have noticed. (Or most Christian countries. Or most Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist countries.) It’s not all work, work, work being an Islamic fundamentalist, you know; they have to kick back and relax sometimes.
    Saddam probably wouldn’t have liked it very much; I think of him as more of a “Cheers” fan than a Python watcher. But I could be wrong.
    I didn’t realise he was anti-irony, either. Him and Alanis, eh? Well, well, well.

    By the way, the deadly chemicals we found in Fallujah were things like sulphur and acetylene. Now, you can make sulphur mustard with those, but they’re not chemical weapons themselves. You can make chlorine gas with drain cleaner and bleach (so watch out when you’re cleaning the toilet) but that doesn’t make bleach a chemical weapon either.
    “In its 2004 report, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) concluded that Iraq did not reconstitute its Chemical Weapons (CW) program during the time before Operation Iraqi Freedom, as the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded.” No CW programme. See? (http://www.globalsecurity.org)

    And if you know the difference between Bukharin, Bulganin and Bakunin, I’d be very surprised. No googling, now…

    Posted by  on  12/02  at  06:19 AM
  39. But, again, all of this appears fairly obvious to a sharp literary analyst such as yourself, right.

    Right.  I did, in fact, know these things.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/02  at  08:32 AM
  40. o you think Summers had an “oh shit” moment while he said this? I mean, wouldn’t his distinctive male genetic makeup allow him to mentally visualize the rotating three-dimensionality of his foot as it entered his mouth?  AC Condenser

    Posted by  on  04/03  at  07:54 AM

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