Saturday, July 09, 2005

Death of Innocent People: "Collateral Damage" OR "Barbaric Terrorism"?

"It is easy for Tony Blair to call yesterdays bombings "barbaric" - of course they were - but what were the civilian deaths of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the children torn apart by cluster bombs, the countless innocent Iraqis gunned down at American military checkpoints? When they die, it is "collateral damage"; when "we" die, it is "barbaric terrorism".

The Reality of This Barbaric Bombing by Robert Fisk

Iraqi Civilian Casuality (2003)

London Bombing (July 2005)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Batman Begins...Again The West is Good and the East is Bad

"....But then the story shifts to an undefined mountainous spot in the East, where Batman is trained in ninja arts by the real villain of the film. Those who cherish Eastern wisdom and a deep sense of warrior might be disappointed by the phony wisdom and brutal notion of power associated with this Tibet-like region.

In a sentimental scene we learn that Bruce doesn’t fit in with the bad guys because he’s compassionate and can’t execute a prisoner. He takes a noble position, of course, but the scene takes him away from the dark and into sweet sunshine. I would have expected his schooling in the high Eastern mountains to deepen his mysteriousness...." Thomas Moore in Beliefnet

Yazdi and I had been to see the film. The concern raised by Thomas Moore above was also ours. Somehow Batman learnt the warrior and spiritual arts from the East but uses it for the Good unlike the East that uses it for the Bad (or for the Good in a Bad Way, whatever that means).

Batman (the West/America) is framed as morally superior to the East. Through Hollywood, the West/America shows the world the way to do it Right (fighting Bad/Evil). The whole symbolic construction which is flimsy is given the "Hollywood Touch" and now available across Asia (and the world). And our young are forming their opinions....