First: I made a new yoga post on my yoga blog:http://ollieyoga.blogspot.com/2006/07/yoga-class-i-prefer-to-be-touched-and.html
It is about yoga teachers physicall touching and adjusting their students.
Athletically, I jogged two miles yesterday (pain free) and walked two more today. But slow walking around and standing in one place is still somewhat painful later in the day, so I've brought back the ice bag and the anti-inflamatories.
Now for the main topic:
I have to admit this: I have a love-hate affair with James Bond films. The films are horrible, the acting is atrocious and the plots completely absurd and unrealistic. The special effects in the old films are hilarious.
Nevertheless, I am still drawn to them.
Many years ago, these films caused me a bit of grief; I always thought that something was wrong with me because beautiful women didn't throw themselves at me the way that they did with Bond. I didn't understand FANTASY.
Still, I liked the films. My favorite characters are mostly the villians; in particular I liked Odd Job
from Goldfinger. Probably the reason that I liked him was that he (Harold Sakata) was a real athlete in real life; he won a Silver Medal in the 1948 Olympics as a weight lifter. He also had success in body-building as well and went on to become a professional wrestler "Tosh Tongo".
But I digress.
Just the other day, I watched "You Only Live Twice
" with my daughter. Partly I did this because she is into Japanese cartoons and You Only Live Twice was set in Japan. Partly I did this because of what happend back when I was an undergraduate (in 1979, 12 years after the film was made). A couple of my buddies went and saw the film. They got interested in the scene in which Blofeld (the arch villian) demanded that his henchmen kill Bond. As he lost his temper he cried: "Kill Bond. NOW!!!!"
My buddies stayed up all night trying to recite that in the proper manner: "It went: Kill Booond, NOW!!!" "No, no, no. It was more like: KILL Boooond, NOWWWW!!!" "No, no, no..it was more like..."
They did this all night long.
The plot of the movie: the opening scene shows an American Gemni Spacecraft being "swallowed" up by another spaceship; the United States claimed that the Soviets did it. Next, a Soviet spaceship met a similar fate. This brings the Soviet Union and the United States to the brink of nuclear war.
But alas, this was a plot of the evil group SPECTRE headed by Blofeld. They were being paid by Communist China to do this. They were launching this evil ship from a Japanese volcano which had a fake lake painted on its metal roof.
Of course, Bond, aided by "Tiger's Ninjas" (Tiger was a Japanese secret service head) and a shapey woman in a small white bikini, saves the day.
The previous photo shows Bond, who is supposed to be undercover as a Japanese, marrying the lady that is going to be running around in that brief white binkini.
Of course this was low-brow entertainment at its best (how did such a project get built in one of the most densely populated nations on earth without anyone knowing? Why does Specter's rocket lift off with so little extra flame and then gently touch down nice and vertically? Why can't NASA do that? Note how the chief villian (here and in other movies) is ruthless, but also very stiff and formal (like your boss?)).
But as I laughed my way though this, I got very uncomfortable. Note that the President of the United States and his top civilian and military advisors were protrayed as rather dull, clueless dummies. The immediately dismissed the intelligence that the British gave him and were getting ready for war.
And of course, the head of SPECTRE (Al Qeda?) hadn't been captured as yet.
The parallels with President Bush and his adminstration were a bit too ominous.
But this plays into the "Bush is dull and clueless" hypothesis, which, in part, lets him off of the hook. Another hypothesis which is more damning:http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=27033&mode=&order=0Weldon Berger: 'Let's have no more talk about Bush's stupidity'
Posted on Tuesday, July 25 @ 10:18:52 EDT
This article has been read 2082 times.
A lot of people think George W. Bush is stupid. It's an understandable mistake: he often acts as though he is. But the truth is worse.
The truth is that the things he doesn't know are things he doesn't want to know. His followers, the ones who also aren't stupid and who aren't simply lying about what they think, are on the same frequency; he and they are deliberately, sometimes heroically, ignorant.
The idea of invading Iraq was a self-evidently stupid one. You needn't have been a top-flight geo-political strategist to realize that. Most of the world picked up on it well before the invasion became a reality. Millions of people went to the trouble of clogging the streets in cities around the world to press the point. Hundreds of people in our own government pointed out the various military, political and civil society pitfalls, and some of them produced volumes of recommendations, studiously ignored, on how to avoid those pitfalls. So arriving at the conclusion that the invasion and occupation was an immensely dangerous and most likely doomed proposition didn't require a lot of smarts; it was simply a matter of not choosing to be stupid.
That's an important distinction. Stupidity is a more or less involuntary condition. Deliberate ignorance isn't. The same distinction applies to the conventional wisdom of an isolated president. Does he live in a bubble? Sure. Does he have to? Unless you think the most powerful man in the world can't get whatever information he wants whenever he wants it, no. Limiting himself to what he hears from a handful of close advisors is a choice.
That was then: At this point, Bush has done so many things that are so irretrievably damaging to so many people that he'd have to be nuts to solicit outside opinions. Who would want to hear that he's caused the needless deaths of a hundred thousand or more Iraqis, with no end in sight? Who would want to hear that he's destroyed the Iraqi middle class and bolstered recruiting for terrorists across the globe, or that he's green-lighted the undoing of the Cedar Revolution, the shining Lebanese moment of which he's so proud?
Not to say he isn't nuts anyway; just that under the present circumstances, few people would be willing to assume a burden of guilt on that scale even if they had the capacity for empathy or guilt or shame, something Bush hasn't demonstrated. The point is that calling him stupid is, as Bush himself would say, a misunderestimation of the degree to which he's responsible for his actions and their outcomes. It's an excuse that oughtn't to be permitted him. He's done what he did because he wanted to.
Source: BTC News