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links for 2009-02-14

Saturday, February 14, 2009
  • "APIP-SQUEAK of dissent is peeping through the fog of euphoria. Slumdog Millionaire (SDM) was going straight to DVD but it was pulled from that fate and lo — 10 Oscar noms? Really? If people like their social realism packaged like a cake of detergent, with large letters and bold graphic design, so be it. But ‘masterpiece’, ‘brilliant’? Really?

    So, what to make of the unquestioning adulation SDM has received? I guess public perception is driven increasingly towards homogeneity, and stick-figure fantasies sell easier than nuanced realities blah, blah, blah. Still, what SDM shows is the power of mass conversion, and how advocates are made in this world of instant coffee; where generic social realism is intravenously consumed: no need to tax the tastebuds, needle straight to the bloodstream and it’s a joyride through wonderland."

  • "In 1993, Labor prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo accords. Ambiguities in the agreement — which included no mention of "self-determination" or "independence" for Palestinians, or even "occupation" — made it easier to clinch a short-term deal. But confrontation over irreconcilable expectations was inevitable. While Palestinians hoped the Palestinian Authority, created by the accord, would be the nucleus of an independent state, Israel viewed it as little more than a native police force to suppress resistance to continued occupation and colonial settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Collaboration with Israel has always been the measure by which any Palestinian leader is judged to be a "peace partner." Rabin, according to Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, "never thought this [Oslo] will end in a full-fledged Palestinian state." He was right."

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