Into A Shadowy World

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“The director Robinson Devor apparently would like viewers who watch his heavily reconstructed documentary, Zoo, to see it as a story of ineluctable desire and human dignity. Shot on Super 16-millimeter film, with many scenes steeped in a blue that would have made Yves Klein envious, Zoo is, to a large extent, about the rhetorical uses of beauty and metaphor and of certain filmmaking techniques like slow-motion photography. It is, rather more coyly, also about a man who died from a perforated colon after he arranged to have sex with a stallion.” (New York Times )

Putin to Suspend Pact With NATO

“President Vladimir V. Putin said Thursday that Russia would suspend its compliance with a treaty on conventional arms in Europe that was forged at the end of the cold war, opening a fresh and intense dispute in the souring relations between NATO and the Kremlin.

The announcement …underscored the Kremlin’s anger at the United States for proposing a new missile defense system in Europe, which the Bush administration insists is meant to counter potential threats from North Korea and Iran.” (New York Times )

I would quibble with the Times calling this an issue between NATO and Russia. It seems to me that Putin’s enmity, and the responsibility for potentially restarting the Cold War, should be laid squarely at the feet of our national-embarrassment-in-chief in Washington. This may well prove to be one of the most enduring facets of the Bush legacy, along with the destruction of Iraq, the squandering of most of the international community’s goodwill toward the US, the sabotaging of a consensus against climate change, irreparable domestic polarization, and the visitation of the burdens of his fiscal irresponsibility on a generation to come in the US. Am I forgetting anything?

All systems go for Hawking

“A jet carrying astrophysicist Stephen Hawking took off yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center on a flight to simulate zero gravity and make Hawking the first disabled person to experience weightlessness. …’As you can imagine, I’m very excited,’ Hawking told reporters before the flight. ‘I have been wheelchair-bound for almost four decades. The chance to float free in zero-g will be wonderful.'” (The Calgary Sun)