The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warning: Slant-Eye Alert

Yes, that means exactly the same thing as "Sambo Alert" only concerning Asians. I openly apologize for anyone who is offended. It was intended to represent an offensive stereotype.
Warning: I'm about to rant. You may want to skip today's column if you're tired of this subject.
Still here? O.K....

The Sociopsychological Reasons "Mummy 3" will Suck, Big Time

Reading the universally poor reviews for "Mummy 3" (Ah...I'll see it anyway--Can't resist Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh) I am irresistibly pulled back to what Nicki calls my "file drawer" conversation: cinematic images and sexuality and unconscious racism.

First, a bit of context. I looked up the ten most popular films of all time, using two different lists: Entertainment Weekly and the American Film Institute. Here's Entertainment Weekly's list:

1) The Godfather

2)Citizen Kane


4) Chinatown

5)Raging Bull

6)La Dolce Vita

7)The Godfather II

8)Gone With the Wind

9)Some Like It Hot

10)Singin' In the Rain

Now, the AFI top ten:

1)Citizen Kane

2) Casablanca

3) The Godfather

4) Gone With The Wind

5) Lawrence of Arabia

6)The Wizard of Oz

7)The Graduate

8) On The Waterfront

9)Schindler's List

10) Singin' In the Rain

Note that most of these films are driven by love and passion. The urge to build and protect family. Sexuality as goal, coin, regret, undoing. "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl" is the most common, central theme in all of Western literature (with the possible exception of "the child grows up or the old man/woman faces death" but even there, the closest thing we have to rituals of adulthood are sexual awakening and the attendant responsibilities of family life). Not much in "Lawrence of Arabia" to my memory (I won't count "your skin is...very fair") the Wizard of Oz (a child, after all), but in every other case romance, building family, and sex are central themes. Heck, Kane's entire life is initially destroyed because of passion for an untalented singer. So there we are.


I think I've figured out part of this. Sexuality, at least in our culture, is a twining of two threads: beauty and ugliness, supreme good and ultimate evil. Hell, the story of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden takes on a very interesting twist if the tree in the Garden is viewed as an understanding of sex. As long as Adam and Eve relate as brother and sister, it's cool. But a bite of the "apple" and suddenly they understand the "shame" of nakedness, Eve will bring forth children through pain and blood, and Adam will have to work hard to support his family. Wow.

Remember I asked if there was anyone who

1)Was in a satisfying, passionate romantic/sexual relationship

2) Had no sense that sex is dirty

3) Finds their own body attractive

Who doesn't like sex in films? While I'm SURE that there must be some, I have a very very strong suspicion that the vast majority of people who are repelled by sex in film would, disproportionate to the general population, NOT have all three of these characteristics. In other words, a general disgust with sex or a sense of jealousy ("I can't compete with Brad Pitt, or Halle Berry, and don't want potential sexual partners comparing me to them..") is at some unconscious level, going on here. Please educate me: if you have all three characteristics, and find cinematic sex repulsive, please let me know so I can factor your opinion in.


So we have the incredibly powerful drive to mate paired with a powerful aversion to sex found in our culture. Leading to people sneaking around destroying lives, careers, and families to satisfy the need. In film, it's "dirty" but satisfies a deep, deep drive. But something happens when the "Other" comes into the picture. My theory is that if Brad Pitt is bare-assed, and you are white, on an unconscious level that's YOU up there (if you're a guy). So whatever repulsion you have on the one hand is balanced by the identification and need.

(BTW---ladies, while I DO believe women have a bit less of this racial identification stuff than guys, you still have it. I suspect it manifests in the disproportionate number of fat black women set to directors by female casting agents. It's their way of undermining the "competition")

So...if the star is white, sex and love are central to the story--a core human need for intimacy and connectedness and the continuation of the "breed" takes center stage: virtually all memorable fiction revolves around it. Trust me: if an adult Dorothy returned to Oz, the sequel would be all about her finding love.

If the lead is non-white, suddenly this core human need vanishes, and in a strange unconscious variant of "releasing sterile medflies into the environment" suddenly there is dramatic slight of hand, and something other than this core human need is central. Suddenly, only the "ick" factor remains, and both audiences and Hollywood executives get the "Ah...there's too much sex in films nowadays. Let's try something else!" attitude. It is predictable as hell. I've watched it for upwards of thirty years, and it is as predictable as Liberal guilt.

Which brings me to "Mummy 3." What drove the first two movies? Survival, and the mummy-priest's love for the Pharaoh's mistress, and Brandon Frazier's love for Rachel Weisz. Period. That's first and second chakra stuff, marching right up the line.

And according to all accounts, what drives Jet Li's Mummy Emperor? The lust for power. Skipping right over the second chakra. Sorry: doesn't work. That's a sterile med fly. A sucker's bet. Take that deal "all the power in the world--but no children to pass it to" and you are dead in a single generation. It's equivilent to the Morgan Freeman factor: he's played God more often than he's had kisses onscreen. We'll give you th world, but take your tomorrows.


Of COURSE I could consider this all just coincidence. But when you look through the lens of "if the characters aren't white (European) or Exotic white (Arab, pale Latino etc.) then they will be de-sexualized" then a gigantic amount of this stuff makes sense. Patterns emerge which reveal unconscious social problems rooted in biosociological drives. I only talk about this because, as far as I can see, no one else does.

So if Jet Li appears in a re-working of "Romeo and Juliet" ("Romeo Must Die") suddenly, mysteriously, the entire romantic story line disappears. And no one notices.

Remember: The major reason I consider sex scenes the important measurement here is that they are visual and quantifiable. The truth is that the total ROMANTIC content of non-white mainstream (read: intended for white audiences) films is far lower. But I got tired of arguing about whether a mysterious glance should be considered equivalent to a frenzied make-out session, so I came up with the "movies over 100 million" standard for sexual content. Inarguable. All people can say is: "well, why does there have to be so much sex in movies, anyway..?" Which is the absolutely standard response, and is entirely changing the subject.

Without love to hold the film together at least marginally, all you have is a series of chases, stunts, and CGI set-pieces. It doesn't work. You can't knit body parts together and make a baby. You need a beating heart.

Mummy 3 was in trouble the moment they cast an Asian, because there was no way that he would be accorded his humanity. And therefore, nothing that happened around him would matter, really. So the script would have no life, no momentum, and no real heartbeat. And everyone in the audience would know it on an instinctive level...without understanding what went so damned wrong.

Take another look at the lists of top movies. Classic movies. Top box office movies. These are NOT lists of what Hollywood makes. They are lists of what Audiences crave. Blaming Hollywood is entirely missing the point.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

That's Rich!

I remember a friend worth over twenty million dollars telling me he was "Upper Middle Class." And I know people with two cars, two television sets, living in a house, and who have never missed a meal in their lives who consider themselves "poor." Now...obviously there are no hard and fast rules for these things, and a tremendous amount of subjectivity. "Poor" in America is at least Middle Class in most of the world. But certainly, it would be fair to say "the top X%" of the population (in Net Worth) is rich, and the bottom X % is poor. What is X? 5%? 10%? 1%? Sure, there will be other factors to consider, and "rich" people have problems of their own.

In monetary terms, what is rich? What is poor?


Stephanie: my heart breaks for you. The church shooting (the Unitarian church is one of the most open, loving, non-discriminatory institutions in America) is the act of a diseased mind. The fact that Conservative hate-books were found in his apartment screams for the need for a more civil dialog. It could have been a bombing, with liberal hate-books, but I don't see a liberal equivalent to, say, Micheal Savage or Ann Coulter. But there is quite horrific stuff on both sides, and as the country swings Left, we'll probably hear more of it. And while these thoughtless people claim "it's just entertainment" on another level they know damned well that the most radical 5% of their audience is listening, and capable of actual violence. "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" he says. And then when it is done, the king wails and moans that he didn't mean KILL the guy. Yeah. You have to be careful what you put out there. That's why I was so pissed at Fox for "accidentally" dropping assassination memes into the culture.

There are those among us who are fragile emotionally. Who are so afraid that they are consumed with hate and anger, and brittle enough perceptually to really believe "their side" is 99% right, and the other side 99% wrong. And these poor souls have always done the dirty work, been the bully boys. While the politicians and pundits can wring their hands and say they didn't mean actually KILL anyone.

Yeah, right. My heart dies for the friends and families of those who died or were terrified in that church. And please, don't suggest that "If only someone there had brought a gun..."

While Unitarian Churches aren't exactly "Christian" I think it is reasonable to assume that Christ would not have brought a gun to church. There's a limit. I don't think we want a world where you HAVE to be armed at all times just to feel safe enough to pray. And in my mind, anyone who thinks that's a good idea has a Sympathetic Nervous System that is WAY out of control.


I am not a military historian. Some of you guys are. So the following thought is offered, knowing that I may have my head completely up my butt.

It seems to me that asking military officers or active duty personnel about whether we should stay or go in a fight is slightly counter-productive. Pardon me for asking (sincerely) but isn't a Gung-Ho attitude part of the job description? Isn't the psychology of stay and fight until the last bayonet is broken essential to the men and women who consider themselves warriors? So many times I've heard such people say that they aren't about politics, they aren't about overall strategy--they're there to get the job done. Bless them. No culture can survive without such magnificent human beings. How do you motivate yourself to stay in a war zone? I would think that you have to believe in the mission, or your buddies, or have the ability to fall in love with the helpless children and hapless civilians around you. To find any and every shred of justification for placing your life at risk--or justifying the taking of lives, the death of people whose faces will haunt your dreams the rest of your life.

It doesn't seem quite fair to ask them if we should stay or go--because they are, by conditioning and nature, designed to say "yes." It would seem fairer to ask retired officers, and men who have been in the conflict zone but have now returned to civilian life. In other words, who are no longer carrying the burden of having to be "Gung Ho" to prevent burn-out and psychic collapse.

On this one, you guys can set me straight if I'm wrong. Am I crazy, or are fighting men and women, especially their commanders, highly unlikely to say "we should get out" while tasked with moving forward?

Earthquake Stuff

Little knee-trembler yesterday (let's see if anyone catches THAT reference!), and everyone's fine. Jason's daycare lady actually used the quake to teach about tectonic plates! I think we have him in the right place. Anyway, I got the following forwarded to me. Seems authentic and reasonable. If you agree, please cut, paste, and send to anyone you know in an earthquake zone. You might save a life.


My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in anearthquake.

I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I
have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings
falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life".

The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.


1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE
are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position.
You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival
instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during
an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake.
If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created.
Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick
buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but
less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply
roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out
the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is
killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward orbackward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of
frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly
mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the
stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible
- It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls
in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happenedwith the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the
crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had
columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices
and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life... The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!

"We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly"

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be
correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul , University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did "duck and cover," and ten mannequins I used in my "triangle of life" survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions , relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using
my method of the "triangle of life." This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV

Monday, July 28, 2008

X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

Oh, it wasn't bad. And it wasn't good, either. I was creeped out at times, but it felt rushed, and strangely disjointed at times. The search for a missing FBI agent is complicated by the visions of a pedophile priest. How are these things connected? Best call Mulder and Scully. Basically, a typical episode of the TV series rather than an expansion or true deepening. This thing is gonna die FAST, and that's a little bit of a shame, because a non-alien X-Files movie was something I'd kinda looked forward to. One thing: Gillian Anderson is just terrific as Scully. She has the ability to show the camera depths of personality and emotion beneath a calm surface. A performance that belongs in a better movie.

WARNING: Mild Sambo Alert.

Rapper "Xzibit" plays an FBI agent. I am just sick of this (and so are many black actors, who have actually trained, only to find that studios cast rappers in plum roles). With the exception of Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Mos Def, most rappers present a surface, a shell, with nothing live beneath it. Acting is the revelation of sub-text, and these guys can't do it. It would be roughly equivalent to casting, say, one white actor in an otherwise all-black musical, with all of the blacks classically trained singers. The gap in capacity, and therefore the ability to express humanity, would be glaring. Now, there is one way in which this makes sense (actuallly more than one: rappers are pre-sold to an audience) and that is that most rappers today aren't singers, poets, musicians, or dancers--they "act" a particular tough and "street" personae. So I guess they ARE actors, but few of them reveal any actual humanity (as I've often said, compare rap music to Country-Western in terms of a spectrum of human emotion. No comparison at all. When rappers are cast in these roles, ESPECIALLY if they are the only black people present, it flattens them to a two-dimensional surface without love, feeling, or internal history. Black actors have complained for decades that white producers and writers denied them these things. I guess Hollywood has discovered a group that won't complain.


The "Daily Show" has been making great, hysterical fun of Obama's campaign. You should catch it. Anyone who thinks it isn't possible to satirize the guy isn't paying attention.


Someone said that I tend to make sweeping generalizations. Yes, I do--and then try to focus in from there. A couple that I use a lot ate:

1) All creatures will try to move away from pain, and toward pleasure.

2) Major human groups are roughly comparable in capacity. When you see large differences or dysfunctional aspects, look to the environment.

3) Those on the "Right" and "Left" have equivalent intelligence, integrity, courage, and patriotism. The difference is basic beliefs about the essence of what it is to be human: "does essence precede existence, or existence precede essence?" Questions that can be debated, but never answered.

I start with those assumptions (and others) and work outward from there. More esoteric thoughts such as all human beings are spiritual creatures having a fleshly experience also apply. One must be careful here. While in some senses, the oppressor suffers along with the oppressed, and all human experience, positive and negative, is equally valuable, you can use this attitude to justify incredible poverty and misery or slavery. Just as an awareness of the vastness of existence can make the suffering of an individual child seem trivial--if you lose your balance. All death, war, disease, and whatever can be trivialized, and under the right circumstances, that is a healthy reaction. It is entirely possible to care too much, to treat the suffering of every child on the planet as being as important as the cares and woes of your own children. Just try living that way: you'll destroy your family. We have to walk a careful line.

The question for the day: What large-scale generalizations do you use to navigate your world?


I got my hands on "The Adventures of Captain Marvel", arguably the very best serial ever made. Wow, it's fun, and the flying sequences (for the time) are just unbelievable. A few of them look better than anything I've ever seen, to this day: a shot of Captain Marvel jumping off a balcony and gliding down on a running man, obviously done real-time and without optical effects, is just thrilling. But man oh man, are there continuity problems in most serials. Especially in the cliff-hangers, where the filmmakers cheat like crazy. In another serial, "Undersea Kingdom" (starring a ridiculously athletic Ray "Crash" Corrigan--last seen in a monster suit in "It, the Terror From Beyond Space", the inspiration for "Alien) our hero falls down an elevator shaft--AND YOU SEE HIM PLUMMET TO HIS DEATH. In the next week's episode, he grabbed ahold of the side of the shaft, and survived: no plummet at all. Obviously, they hoped that by next week, you'd forget what you'd seen. What a gyp! Still, I love these things, and it's fun introducing them to Jason.


I want to state again that Jeff Martone at is doing some really interesting fitness stuff. The man is a modern-day warrior who can do a Turkish Get-Up holding his wife. Yow. Anyway, his H2H "kettlebell juggling" work is probably as sophisticated a training method as you can get with a simple implement. Hard to imagine a physical attribute you aren't developing. You probably can't get extreme cardio, because coordination breaks down under fatigue: you'd need to switch to simpler motions. But his wife Maureen's KB Interval Training for Women DVD is still the only exercise video I've seen with an effective randomizer. That's just terrific. He also has something called "Superior High-Output Training" (S.H.O.T.) that takes his "juggling" idea to a higher level by using a 12-20 lb shot. The coordination requirements are a little higher than the H2H (maybe) but the lighter shot can be handled at greater speed. This feels more like a tool for developing athletic capacity, especially hand-speed, and the acceleration/deceleration strengthens connective tissues (so I believe--I've only been playing with it for a week). But a few of the drills (the "Tactical lunge with a Pop-up") for instance, look so applicable to martial arts or boxing it's just unreal. Others look like they'd be great for basketball or baseball. It looks like he's cross-bred Shot-Putting, Medicine Ball work, Kettlebells, and Juggling to create something really interesting. There are some smart folks out there doing fun stuff, that's for sure. Last Saturday, I adapted his circuit training idea from H2H to S.H.O.T. training, and did three three-minute rounds (30 seconds work to 30 second rest for each of three different combination drills), a total of nine minutes of work, using a 12-lb shot (I have a 16 pounder coming soon. Martone uses a 20-pounder, and makes it look disgustingly easy). Sunday my body felt tight, lean, and hard. After a Tibetan session, it felt loose and fast. Interesting. No idea where this goes, but it's FUN. I mean, you have to keep the thing going continually for 30 seconds to three minutes (at the higher levels), so the level of pure flow is beautiful. If I saw a man doing H2H drills at speed with a regulation 16-lb shot, I would assume that he had death in both hands. The amount of body dynamic necessary to do it is Shaolin level. He has clips on his website, so you can peek at what I'm talking about.

You know, as you get older, it's more and more important to entertain yourself in your daily routines. Don't let yourself get stale. I don't really mistake my enthusiasms for "wow! I've discovered the secret of the universe!" It's really more like: "here's something new to keep me amused until I find the next thing."

Little Stevie is rather tickled right now, and that's a good thing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Comicon was Ludicris

After reading the complete Shakespeare aloud--it took me about three years--I'm starting to work my way through the Bible, one chapter at a time. I'll probably increase that to two chapters, so that it will only take me about 2 years to get through it. Reading today about Ham and Noah and so forth. Remembering that Southern preachers found a way to twist this story into some justification for slavery. Brrrr. Anyway, So Ham told his brothers that his father was naked. I suppose that it was some kind of cultural taboo to see your father naked. The other brothers covered him up, walking backwards so that they wouldn't see him. Then Noah wakes up and curses Ham for...what exactly? I just couldn't make heads or tails of that one. What the heck is it that Ham did wrong? Anyone have an opinion?


Ah, the Hollywood life. Nicki and I went to the BET party at Comicon last night. It was hosted by rapper Ludicris. I remember being near the main dance floor and the announcer said: "Ludicris is in the house!" And everyone looked around excitedly, and saw...nothing. I ran into Matt Wayne, with whom I'm working on the Hannibal project, who was with his wife and the other writer on the show (I'm tired. I forget his name. Ed? Maybe. Sorry) and we went looking for a quieter place to hang out. There was a VIP lounge for which we didn't have access, but ran into Reggie Hudlin, president of BET (and director of the highest-box office film where a black lead is openly sexual: "Boomerang" with Eddie Murphy: 70,000,000 domestic) who got us in. We sat around on the couch talking, and suddenly Nicki said: "Ludicris is over in the corner" and so he was, talking to a couple of ladies. Five minutes later, he came over and welcomed us warmly, quite soft spoken and polite, and I asked if he was a comics fan, and did he like DC or Marvel. We chatted about Spider-Man, and he went off to greet others. Nice.

Nicki was cracking up about my conversation with him, and then said: "Samuel L. Jackson is right over there." And so he was. He was also tightly wound into conversations with some heavy-hitters. But after about fifteen minutes I went over, and Reggie introduced us. I called him "Colonel Fury" (from his appearance in Iron Man) and we chatted about various things, he said he wanted to read "Lion's Blood" and I gave him my card to have his people call my know the drill. After we were all chummy, I pulled open what Nicki calls my file drawer conversation, and asked: "So...who took the sex out of Shaft?" You could have cut the silence with a knife, and then he laughed, and Reggie laughed, and they said "do you want to tell him, or do I?" And they said "everyone." Jackson was eager to do it ("what part of `sex machine with all the chicks' didn't you understand?) and John Singleton kept promising him it was coming...but Paramont wouldn't let them do it. Scott Rudin, the producer who allowed implications of anal fisting in South Park between Satan and Sadam Huessein, wouldn't let a black man be sexual. Then there was a brief discussion about how when the lead of a film is black, the rules change. I've talked about this one with about ten actors now. They are unanimous: black actors want to do sex scenes as much as white ones. The studios say no, their justification is box-office history. Hudlin is doing a direct-to-video piece with Ving Rhames that sounds terrific and fully human. I'll have to check it out.


I noticed that few readers actually addressed my last question. Interesting.

Let me state another position: if you don't clearly define the terms under which you will leave someone's home, or return their possessions, and say you are the only arbiter of when these hazy terms are met--you don't want to leave, or return the possessions. You are reserving the right to constantly move the goal posts. Iraq's elected leaders? The average Iraqi? 95% of Iraqis? How about the average American serviceman on the ground? The average American? If any of these had been proposed, I might not have agreed, but at least it would have felt like someone really wanted it to happen. Not for a second do I believe that 80% of the Arab or Muslim world hates America. I think it's possible that that percentage of them hates our current leadership, yeah.

And I absolutely believe that the men who flew planes into the World Trade Center had a distinct political agenda. They were Saudis who wanted American troops off Saudi soil. They may have been fanatics, but that was hardly a random act of violence. It was murder, and terrorism, and deeply criminal. But it sure as hell wasn't random or disorganized thinking. Not one time on any Right-wing talk show have I heard the fact of the nationalities discussed. Much of America still thinks that the planes were piloted by Iraqis. It's pretty clear to me that nobody wanted us to consider the implications clearly. It's just as disturbing that the 9/11 conspiracy theorists seem to believe that someone would plot something like that without putting Iraqi bodies in there. I mean, it was a staggering level of ineptitude to attack the wrong country, but surely NOBODY could have predicted how easy it would be to get Americans to forget who actually attacked us. That one boggles my mind to this very day.


For an Oil-man dominated White House to "accidentally" attack the wrong country, which just happens to have vast oil reserves, and then set an invisible standard for leaving that has nothing to do with the wishes of the invaded people at the same time that American gas prices are creeping up to 5.00 a gallon, and billions of dollars are being made by the circle of "friends" around Bush and Cheney...well, there might not be malfeasance, but it would be insane to suggest there is no appearance thereof, or that those of us who smell a rat are irrational. And I REALLY don't want the same people who MADE the mistake asking for our unqualified trust of their intentions. How much money has been transferred from our pockets to those of the people around Bush and Cheney? Can it even be counted? Has money corrupted power in the past? You bet your ass. Does that mean it did here? No. But it would be a very gullible citizenry indeed that didn't hold their official's feet to a slow fire and ask hard questions.