Friday, May 5, 2006

Introduction and _United 93_ (Don)

HAL 2000 has given me the go, and I must abide.

For my part, this web-log is to raise political and philosophical questions in a way which might allow for broader feedback. And to commit jokes to (digital) print. Many of the contributors to this web-log will be far apart over the upcoming summer, and so _Theoretically Political_ might be a good way for them to stay in touch, even if it keeps them spatially apart. And having this as a group web-log will increase the chances of its staying alive.

In other news, last night I saw _United 93_. I thought it went well: the movie showed admirable restraint and "minimalism." No major actors were employed, and so the film worked well as a depiction of the "common" American citizen. It was no tale of heroism or of triumphalism-to-be. The film conveyed frustratingly and remarkably well the disarray of America's air-traffic-control system. The movie claims that military commanders knew of United 93's hijacking no earlier than four minutes _after_ its crash. If that's true, then the film does a good job of showing you why and how such confusion arose among the country's top brass.

I wonder: How do others feel about this movie, assuming, then, that the film is as I've described it, i.e., done with admirable austerity, restraint, and bluntness? Part of me found that, so to speak, "it was not too early to do a 9/11 movie." The movie was a fine work of art, done about a topic of seriousness. But another part of me found that the movie would play well into the image of Western decadence which might be fueling some of America's enemies: "A memorial to the victims of 9/11, but it's still just a commercial movie, with a $9 sales tag. Is nothing beyond the market's reach?" True enough, in an ideal world (for me), the movie would have been released with a nominal price tag (say, $1) to avoid the charge of opportunism. As to that, I can't say much more. But as a work of art, the film deserves to be seen. That is much more than I expect to say about that new firefighter movie with Nicholas Cage as the lead actor (_World Trade Center_ by Oliver Stone).


Josh Cherniss said...

Hopefully the blog itself won't be responsible for keeping us spatially apart; while Hal 2000 may be a powerful malevolent force to whom resistance is futile, I think that various summer projects, to say nothing of geography, will be responsible for our summer separation.

Don said...

True enough, it won't be the primary cause of keeping us apart; but if we prioritize commenting on this web-log, then it will; and if we embroil ourselves in heated-and-boiling-over discussions, then we might see the end of amicable dinners, walks, and outings. How many friendships have web-logs destroyed? Weren't you and Brian Leiter best buds, way-back-when?

Josh Cherniss said...

Oh, don't worry Don; in the last group-blog I was on, the bitter arguments led to my co-blogger leaving -- the co-blogging gave before the friendship.
And I like to think I'm a bit more mature now.
Anyway, I would suggest that if things ever do become heated, we remove the discussion to email; our hypotethical quibbles are not, I feel, things that need to be put up online.