White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Darfur, the new tragedy of human ignorance

Apparently no country is going to take the lead to stop the savage actions of Sudanese militia in Darfur.  Tens of thousands of people have been killed by the militia or died out of hunger and no does anything!  Are we waiting for another Rwanda or Bosnia to take place and after the tragedy is completely done, then we send our troops for peace keeping vacation?

Short notes of these past days

I have been slacking in writing my notes, although I've seen and heard a lot which worth writing.  Now I give it a shot to review these past few weeks.
1.  I watched one of my most interesting movies of these past few years: 21 Grams.  I have thought a lot why I liked this movie a lot.  I guess it was more its structure and the fact the it was breaking and editing the time dimension which in some ways gives a new definition to the art of cinema.  In this new design the audience takes the lead in the edition and montage.  Also although the movie was talking about some philosophical issues at surface and shallow level, but still it was truly thought provocative which kept my mind busy for a while.  One of the best review that I read for this film was the one written by Mehdi Mostafavi (in Farsi).  Oh, I have to mention this one: One of the worst reviews that I read on this movie (and generally among many reviews that I have ready to this date) was the one on the Word Socialist website.  With all due respect to my socialist fellow and many of his progressive ideas, I should say that this guy was too much obsessed with his socialism vs. Individualism dilemmas that he couldn't relax for two hours and enjoy a innovative movie.
2.  Fahrenheit 9/11 came in US theaters and we want to watch it in it first weekend.  On 11:00 Am on Saturday in a suburb theater, the shows was half full.  The movie has been quite a success for Michael Moore (it has sold about 93 million by the end of this weekend.) If Bush administration have damaged the progress of many people around the world, Michael Moore has gained quite a good reputation and financial support from their stupid actions. (that of course he deserves it all).  I truly admire Moore for his courage.  Fahrenheit 9/11 moves beyond a personal attack on Bush and in some of its minutes touches the roots of the problems with the current power structure of US and our world.  Although these are minor minutes of the movie, but still it's great to see such questions are brought up on a popular mainstream production.  Tens of reviews have been written and will be written on this movie.  In general I can say although the main stream media is big time pissed with Moore and his ideas, but the movie is made strong enough which has kept them unable of doing a full scale attack and most of them have stayed at the level of picking on tiny segments of the work. 
3. Recently I have been reading a great book named:You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train by Howard Zinn.  It is difficult for me to explain the beauty of Zinn's vision and style of writing.  I leave more of thoughts on his book for later when I finish the book.
4. America is going through a deeply politically polarized period.  As the election debates and conventions are getting closer, you feel the heat everywhere.  Bookstores are literally filled with tens of books from different segments of the American political spectrum.  No matter what's going to be the result of this election, it seems to me that many Americans are not realizing that their vote is truly important in shaping the world order for the next few years. 

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