The Null Device


My review of the New Order Back To Mine compilation. Executive summary: it's good.


Surprise, surprise: after September 11, a number of Hollywood films which had been made were shelved as unpatriotic. These films included those which projected negative images of the US military.

And then there were not one but two Che Guevara biopics planned, one starring Antonio Banderas. On September 10, 2001, with Communism having all but collapsed as a threat, it was safe to pander to baby-boomers' '60s radical nostalgia by rehabilitating one of the (now safely commodified) icons of their wild youth. Then the planes hit, and the projects got scrapped to make room for Jerry Bruckheimer patriotic thrillers and safely escapist fantasy flicks.

(The identity of heroes/villains in films can be telling; for example, there's Four Feathers, which glorifies the British Empire (which can be seen as a rather prestigious model to proponents of a a global American empire) and its doings in the Middle East, only a few years after pre-9/11 film The Patriot painted the British as the original Nazis (somewhat slanderously, apparently). I wonder whether we'll see any metaphorical films about straight-dealing, heroic apple-pie Romans (played by Ben Affleck or Brendan Fraser) doing battle with treacherous, Taliban-like Visigoths.)

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It looks like the Bali bombing and the (anecdotal) rush back to the safe apron strings of conservatism hasn't tanked the Greens; the party is tipped to have won the seat of Cunningham in a byelection, giving them their first lower-house seat in federal parliament. That's what, one more than the Democrats ever had, no?

Anyway, good stuff. If the Greens can climb their way up to having serious political influence, then maybe Australia won't turn into the redneck state of South-East Asia.

(One of the Greens' policies is hardline opposition to invading Iraq, and an almost seditious disdain for Australia's current "I'm-with-Stupid" foreign policy. Maybe Graham was right and the Australian public is too smart to fall for the "Bali was bombed, therefore we must invade Iraq" bait-and-switch. Which would suggest that Australians are less gullible than the Poms. Discuss.)

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