Earlier today, the 6 billionth human on the planet was born. I thought this happened three months ago but, what with all the earthquakes, hurricanes, and West Nile-like mosquitoes loose in Queens, I guess someone had to revise downward. According to the U.N., the blessed event finally took place at 12:02 this morning-- in Bosnia, where they designated an 8-pound baby boy as Number 6 Billion. What a lucky kid to enter this planet in such a pleasant place! Allow me to greet the newest, record-setting member of our species with these words -- RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!
I have just seen the best film of the year. I had no idea I would feel this way about it as it appeared to be just another Hollywood action/war rah-rah flick. Well, was I ever wrong.
The movie is called "Three Kings." I can't believe this film got made. The movie essentially says that the United States of America committed a profoundly immoral act by staging the Gulf War. It says that we did it for the oil companies, and we left the people of Iraq, who wanted Sadaam removed, twisting and dying in the wind. It deals with racism at home ("What's the problem with Michael Jackson?"), our attitudes toward Arabs, and what actually happens when you take another's life. The film opens with an American soldier murdering an Iraqi soldier after the war is over while the Iraqi is waving a white flag. When I saw the movie, there were three teenage boys in front of me who shouted, "Cool!," at the screen when the Iraqi is first shot. But that was the last time during the movie that they cheered any killing. By the time it was over, they left the theatre looking pretty sobered by what they had just witnessed.
Oh, and the movie is also filled with great moments of dark, weird and twisted humor. Major thanks to George Clooney, John Ridley, David O. Russell,Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and Spike Jonze, plus Warner Bros. for having the courage to make this film.
While we are on the subject of misdeeds done around the world in our name and with our money, check out this past Saturday's Washington Post and how more and more of the truth is finally coming out regarding the U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the legally-elected government in Chile in 1973. The man who led the CIA-backed coup, General Augusto Pinochet, has just been given his ticket to Spain, compliments of the British government, to stand trial for murder. This is one of those rare cases where the bad guys really do lose in the end.
What's up with the British these days? First they perform this incredible act of justice... and then they vote me into second place for British GQ's "International Man of the Year!" Yes, the results are finally in and the editors at GQ are probably thanking every deity in the heavens that their fashion kingdom was not turned upside down. Thanks to all those who sent in their ballots. Only John Travolta got more votes. I beat both Clinton and Tom Cruise. No greater honor have I ever known. I will now put away my grody t-shirt until next year when we will storm the ballot box once again!
Yesterday was Columbus Day, which for some reason is a big deal here in New York City. Columbus himself was personally responsible for wiping out hundreds of thousands of native people on the island we now know as Haiti and the Dominican Republic (click here to read about Columbus' legacy of genocide). Can you imagine a few hundred years from now they name a holiday in honor of some guy from this century who was responsible for genocide, but they decided to overlook that because of his other historical accomplishments like the fact he invented the rocket and the autobahn? This is really a nutty holiday, right up there with "Presidents Day." Why don't we drop these two holidays and make December 29 a national holiday in honor of the final massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 of the American Indians? And for that matter, whatever happened to the four-day work week we were promised by the end of the century? At the very least, shouldn't everybody have their own birthday off? And can we all get our original area codes back, please?
Well, I hope I haven't upset any Italians with my comments about Columbus. You still have Mayor Giuliani to be proud of, especially now that he is an art critic. It's just too bad he has to do so much Catholic bashing. What does he have against Catholics? Here he goes, attacking a Catholic artist from Africa who made a painting of the Virgin Mary, a deeply religious work of art if you have a chance to see it. For the mayor to go after someone for expressing his personal religious views (in this case, the artist's devotion to the mother of Jesus) is really abhorrent to what we value about this country. And then to use his political office to punish a museum for allowing someone to express his religious beliefs is even more revolting. Mr. Mayor, stop bashing us Catholics! I'm sorry I gave you those noogies. Obviously, I knocked a screw loose.
P.S. Dear Mr. Quayle: After drudging up a tired old joke in my last letter about how you once spelled "potato," I then proceeded to misspell your name. For that infraction, I am hereby banned from making any jokes or comments about you or your intelligence (this order shall run concurrently with the formerly-announced bans on Gerald Ford klutz jokes and any mention of Y2K).
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