Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Bourne-Moby-Voldemort Identity

Just saw The Bourne Ultimatum yesterday.

On the plus-side: A fun, action-packed summertime popcorn thriller ... with a moral:
Never volunteer to be a remorseless, unquestioning killer for the State.
In the minus column: Gratuitous overuse of the "shaky-cam." You want to communicate to your viewers the chaos and disorientation that attend (I imagine) a man-to-man fight-to-the-death with an equally-trained and even more remorseless killer? Okay, fine. Shake away.

But in a quiet, subdued, face-to-face meeting in a café between a newspaper reporter and his mysterious insider source? C'mon ...

But I digress.

Each of the three films ends with the same song, "Extreme Ways," by a fellow named Moby. Since I'm a certified "credidiot" (one of those people you see in theatres sitting all the way through the final credits), I tried to pay attention to the lyrics this time. What I heard intrigued me, so I looked 'em up on-line.

Wow. In the context of the Bourne films, Moby's lyrics sure seem to express the lament of a remorseless, unquestioning killer for the State.

"So, just who is this Moby?" I wondered. So I went to his website. Where I read the following post in his journal:
i was just in washington dc for a day, and while there i was wearing my 'republicans for voldemort' t-shirt.

granted it's a fairly subtle literary reference (as the harry potter books have only sold, i believe, 300 million copies, and the movies have only been seen by a billion people or so), but i'm still surprised at how many people respond to the t-shirt as if i were really endorsing a republican candidate named voldemort.

every now and then someone will stop me and say 'your t-shirt is very funny, where'd you get it?', but more often than not i get dirty looks from democrats ('boo, hiss, dirty republican') and approving looks from republicans ('yahoo! another member of the cabal!').

but this isn't about politics, it's about my excellent t-shirt (and no, i don't remember where it came from. i think that someone might've given it to me in a bar?) and how surprising it is that the vast majority of americans seem to be unfamiliar with the central antagonist in the most successful book franchise of all time.

isn't that surprising?

i think it's surprising.

maybe if the t-shirt didn't look so authentic. ...
What a hoot! Pulling one over (quite unintentionally) on both Republicans and Dems, both sides thinking he's supporting a GOP candidate named Voldemort!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Warriors ~ Just Wars

Just Warriors ~ Just Wars is my new weblog, dedicated to a biblical consideration of war and the waging of war. Anticipated topics:
  • foreign policy
  • principles of national defense
  • raisng, training and equipping an army
  • conscription
  • individual ethics in war
  • Just War doctrine
  • international law

... etc. & so forth.

As a Christian, it is my view that God is the final measure of justice, and that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are given to man by inspiration of God to teach us, among other things, how to do justice and live justly — whether in peace or in war.

I invite you join in the discussion.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Benson on the Pat Tillman cover-up

Steve Benson's editorial cartoon from the 2 August 2007 Arizona Republic:

Which kinda makes me wonder: If they did it to Pat Tillman and his family, how many others have they done it to?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The pornography of violence

War is also the pornography of violence. It has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it "the lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War allows us to engage in lusts and passions we keep hidden in the deepest, most private interiors of our fantasy life. It allows us to destroy not only things but human beings. In that moment of wholesale destruction, we wield the power [of] the divine, the power to revoke another person's charter to live on this earth. The frenzy of this destruction — and when unit discipline breaks down, or there was no unit discipline to begin with, frenzy is the right word — sees armed bands crazed by the poisonous elixir our power to bring about the obliteration of others delivers. All things, including human beings, become objects — objects to either gratify or destroy or both. Almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that. ...

It takes little in wartime to turn ordinary men into killers. Most give themselves willingly to the seduction of unlimited power to destroy, and all feel the peer pressure to conform. Few, once in battle, find the strength to resist. Physical courage is common on a battlefield. Moral courage is not.

~ Chris Hedges, "The Death Mask of War"