From Hammer Films ca. 1965. A gawping, strawberry blond Donald Sutherland plays a more vacuous version of Simple Jack alongside Stefanie Powers as the plucky yet oddly anodyne American beauty visiting her dead fiance’s psychotic mother– the inimitable Tallulah Bankhead speaking in a voice seasoned by two million unfiltered cigarettes.
This is interesting: the overlap of culturally specific modes of racial formation and market ideology. One long-term, very damaging effect of the American War in Iraq emerged from efforts to impose a peculiarly USAmerican version of the Nation as a polity paradoxically riven by racio-ethnic allegiances. The paradigm for this political dispensation is pretty clearly a mildly regulated market– ex. quotas are intended to fulfill a representative function without actually having any influence on matters of justice and equality. This, in essence, is what the US means when it bombs people in the interests of Freedom.
Removing Saddam was just a byproduct of another objective: dismantling the Iraqi state and its institutions. That state was replaced with a dysfunctional and corrupt semi-state. We were still filming in Baghdad when L. Paul Bremer III, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, announced the formation of the so-called Governing Council in July 2003. The names of its members were each followed by their sect and ethnicity. Many of the Iraqis we spoke to on that day were upset with the institutionalization of an ethno-sectarian quota system. Ethnic and sectarian tensions already existed, but their translation into political currency was toxic. Those unsavory characters on the governing council, most of whom were allies of the United States from the preceding decade, went on to loot the country, making it one of the most corrupt in the world.
Mosul 2006. Credit: Thomas Dworzak.
Samar Hassan in 2005, aged 5. Credit: Chris Hondros
Belated birthday wishes to the first human in space and Rocket Vodka spokesperson Yuri Gagarin.
The Mud-men are pretty kick ass.
Something to ponder in light of Vandover and the Brute. Gustav Hasford’s The Short-Timers formed the basis of this film, and it’s actually a much darker comedy than Kubrick’s adaptation, Full Metal Jacket. In any case the dualism Sgt. Joker invokes lies at the heart of Frank Norris’s novel.