Archive for July 9th, 2005

Westchester County is, by and large, idyllic suburbia. That added to the shock when a woman was stabbed to death in the parking lot of the galleria mall in White Plains. The alleged perp, a black man, admitted to the crime, saying he wanted to kill a white person. Al Sharpton is now encouraging the DA to pursue this a a hate crime.

I don’t particularly like the idea of hate crimes. I consider it divisive, difficult to enforce with clarity, and an invitation for abuse on the part of ambitious prosecutors. Cynical minds may accuse Sharpton of a calculated PR move because hate crimes laws are something he supports. That may be so. I do disagree with Sharpton on many things. However, as much as I do not see the things the way Rev. Sharpton does, I give him credit for consistency in this matter.


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I saw War of the Worlds this past week and found it to be pretty good. Not surprising; Spielberg directing an HG Wells classic sounds like a tough production to screw up. A SciFi network show on the making of the movie had Spielberg talking about how he incorporated some devices of Wells’ that were not done in previous productions, such as how the aliens begin to change the vegetation to that of their home planet. Freaky. Unlike Independence Day, where Alien superiority is viewed mostly from a control room, we see aliens kick our posteriors through the eyes of the kickee. Tres Freaky.

The only distraction of the whole thing was casting. First, Tom Cruise is not very believable as a divorced longshoreman with a college age son. He’s a man-waif. Bad job. Also, Tim Robbins must have relished the role of being a rifle wielding whack job. His character wanted to fight back, claiming that occupations never succeed and other things I’d expect to hear from Robbins out of character. That was a bit too predictable.

Now, before you blame Spielberg or Robbins for injecting politics into this, I hasten to add that the whole story was in part a political allegory by Wells himself of European colonial subjugation of Africa and Asia. My only point is that Robbins must have loved acting out what he viewed as a caricature of those whose politics he does not share (to put it kindly).

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“Hi Daddy”

First words!


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