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good, bad, ugly

the more i consume of modern media, the more i generally want to go play in traffic. seriously, the obsequious, mealy-mouther, fawning and, most importantly grotesquely flawed treatment of some of today's most controversial figures by the people who have taken it on themselves to work as cultural critics and investigators brings up many issues and, often, a couple of good meals.

i was reminded of this lately while reading an article on the late italian journalist oriana fallaci. over the course of her career, fallaci interviewed the most powerful men in the world without blinking. she asked the shah of iran if he would have her thrown in jail for her beliefs (he conceded he probably would have) and then confronted his successor, the ayatollah khomeni, with a barrage of questions on his crackdown on potential sources of opposition.

late in life, the fire in her belly seemed to become transmuted into vitriol, earning her condemnation from many, including umberto eco.

a probing question, looking at her later work, would have been whether her words were genuine or whether they reflected the desire of a person in the twilight of life to reclaim something of her former celebrity. pity no one asks probing questions any more.

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i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

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