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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Gabriel’

peace01

Andrew Sullivan’s coverage of the Iranian “election” debacle and the subsequent protests and fascist crackdown by the Revolutionary Guard has been truly admirable. Something is happening in Iran, indeed.

You can’t force democracy down the barrel of a gun, the way the Neocons think. All this weekend, as all hell is breaking loose in Iran, I’ve had a line from Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” running through my head:

You can blow out a candle/But you can’t blow out a fire/Once the flame begins to catch/The wind will blow it higher.

There are young people in Iran (and all over the world) who are sick of the tyranny of old ideas, who want to be part of something hopeful, not repressive and brutal. While we’re worried about whether Adam Lambert is gay or indulging Sarah Palin’s shameless mock outrage at Letterman, people like this are fighting for their lives and freedom in Tehran.

One wonders if this was Obama’s long game: to engage the hopeful, and young, and through his Middle East address present them with a choice of continued submission to tyranny, or to forge their own future, much as the USA has done. “May you live in interesting times.” It doesn’t get much more interesting, y’all.

I wholeheartedly suggest following Andrew’s blog as well as Huffington Post’s coverage. It’s not as if Fox is gonna cover it; they’re too busy praying to God that Obama fails. Party first, country last, right guys?

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Finally Netflixed Steamboy, Katsuhiro Otomo‘s stunning anime picture.  I’m of two minds about it: It’s visually staggering. The London Exhibition, the sheer imagining of the visuals, the alternate reality, all overwhelming.  But I couldn’t help feel as if there was something missing. According to Wikipedia, it’s the the most expensive full length Japanese animated movie ever made. After watching it, I felt a lot like I feel after watching a Tim Burton movie: artistically shellshocked, in awe of the vision and craft, but absolutely uninvested in the story and emotional center of the film.

What’s the deal with animation? Why can’t they figure it out? Gaiman, Sim, Miller and Moore(and many others) elevated comics, why can’t anyone but Pixar and early Disney make me give a shit? When the credits rolled after Wall-E, and that great Peter Gabriel song came on, I was moved. (Of course, I’m a HUGE PG mark, so that may’ve infected me.) Watch Lady and the Tramp; it’s unbelievably atmospheric and beautiful.

The point I’m trying to make is this: How come there can’t be animated adult narratives that don’t try and be all things to all people? An animated Sopranos? Something that pushes the envelope. This was even my complaint with Lord of the Rings: They just had to shoehorn that goddamned Arwen narrative in there, didn’t they? Had to add that trite romantic sublot. It didn’t work.

If I can agree that Tom Bombadil wouldn’t have worked in the film (and doesn’t really work in the novels), can’t we agree that no one gives a shit about Liv Tyler? And I like Liv Tyler as an actress. She did about as good as anyone could’ve done with an extraneous subplot. But Tolkein didn’t write it, and it sticks out like a gangrene thumb.

Like Carl, I’m watching The Wire. I’m on Season Three. Like the Sopranos, like Deadwood (still my favorite), it’s sublime, uncompromising, and a work of art. People love it. They rent it, they buy it. Although it didn’t get the audience it deserved on HBO, it will eventually get the audience through word-of-mouth rentals, downloads and DVD purchases. It will live on. It’s too good not to. What TV and Film execs always fail to realize is that when you swing from the heart, you always connect with someone. (How many people do you think actually are passionate owning Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD? On second thought, don’t answer that- I may not want to know.)  All I’m asking is that someone make an animated film or series that doesn’t talk down to me, and challenges me the way the aforementioned series do.

Too much to ask? Probably. At least I’ll have South Park, which keeps going from strength to strength.

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