May 27, 2004


• Cannes judge Tilda Swinton explains the true meaning of Michael Moore's Fahrvergnuegen 9/11: "It's possible to see that this film is not about Bush, America, or Iraq, but about the system, in a very precise way. It's about the dialectic between film-makers, the media, and the audience." Ohhhh-kay ...

• Uday Hussein owned a bunch of cars, including two Mercedes sedans with "war scenes painted on the doors." And people were worried about Uday’s dignity after those corpse pictures.

• Natasha Stott Despoja and Nine network newsreader Hugh Riminton travelled at taxpayers' expense while they "investigated the differences between European parliamentary systems." So that’s what they’re calling it these days.

• If the highlight of Madonna's concert was a rendition of John Lennon's Imagine, accompanied by a video of sick and injured children from around the world, what the fuck was the lowlight?

• If you haven’t already, please enjoy this discussion between a heavy metal musician and a dipstick 22-year-old Chomskyette. (Via Sullivan.)

• In yet more music news, Jewel is losing it.

• Jonah Goldberg writes: "Cricket is not a sport. It's complete nonsense the British and their subjects do to keep the rest of the world confused." Oh, please. What’s so difficult about the leg-before-wicket law as it applies to deliveries that pitch outside the line of the stumps, except in such cases as the batsman is judged not to be playing a shot?

• Spanky the circus clown was arrested last week on charges involving child pornography.

• Richard Reeves believes that the ignorant should be appeased: "If young women on the streets of Rome are comparing America's president to Hitler, they probably are going to see other Americans as brutes and thugs who ignored the obvious at home and unthinkingly followed orders in dehumanizing prisons and other symbols of military occupation far from home." More Eurohate is evident in Britain -- from the Right.

• "You go and spend $8 for a lobster," declares Dover lobsterman Edward Heaphy, "you want a good-looking lobster."

• Fox movie man Roger Friedman reviews controversial global-warming terror flick The Day After Tomorrow, When We’re All Killed Because Bush Didn’t Ratify Kyoto. His verdict: two globally-warmed thumbs down.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 27, 2004 03:21 AM

Tim never sleeps.

Posted by: SteveGW at May 27, 2004 at 03:25 AM

That interview with Jon Schaffer (founder of Iced Earth, great metal band btw) had been quite the conversation topic in the metal world for the past few months. Glad to finally read it...and see just how much of an ass that interviewer really was.

Posted by: madne0 at May 27, 2004 at 03:27 AM

""It's possible to see that this film is not about Bush..."

Sure, it's possible. Just depends on what you're smoking.

Posted by: Todd S at May 27, 2004 at 04:13 AM

"It's possible to see that this film is not about Bush, America, or Iraq, but about the system, in a very precise way."

If you try hard enough it's also possible to see F911 as a comedy-romance, as a stirring WWII documentary, or as an allegory about the lives of bunnies.

Me - I think I'll try real hard to see this film as a film that I'm not going to pay to watch.

Posted by: Jody at May 27, 2004 at 04:18 AM

Man, I just visited the Fox site and I didn't realize there were such horrifying images in the movie! That tornado just to the right of Rosie looked a little scary too.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at May 27, 2004 at 04:20 AM

Re: cricket. Have you ever read P. G. Wodehouse's ``Piccadilly Jim''? It has a priceless scene where a British butler is explaining cricket to his homesick American employer; needless to say the poor Yank (like this American reader) doesn't understand a word of it.

Posted by: Annalucia at May 27, 2004 at 05:46 AM

I read that interview with Jon Schaffer; I'm not up on current heavy metal bands (yeah, I know that dates me), but it sounds like Jon has a solid appreciation and respect for the world he lives in. That's a rare commodity these days, especially in the entertainment industry.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 27, 2004 at 06:12 AM

BW&BK: "Do you think 9/11 will be viewed as the first event in the US empire's decline and fall?"

JS: "No. This is not an empire, first of all. If the United States was an empire, your country would be our 51st state."

I'm gonna have to remember that one.

Posted by: Cool Tester at May 27, 2004 at 07:06 AM

If you haven't already done so, take a minute to read the article about Uday's cars. Staggering.

I'm almost afraid to ask but, what does a person hunt in Iraq?

Uday... was forced to hide many of the vehicles in secret garages and warehouses because his father disapproved of such conspicuous spending.

Now, how many palaces was that again, Saddam?

Posted by: RainDog at May 27, 2004 at 07:58 AM

Unnnh, that would be Spanky the clown. Which somehow makes it even worse.

Posted by: BlogDog at May 27, 2004 at 09:57 AM

Re: Jonah and Cricket

Check out the following from the rules of baseball:


Posted by: Nigel Kearney at May 27, 2004 at 10:51 AM

I wouldn't mind 'investigating the differences between European parliamentary systems (ITDBEAPS)' with Natasha.

Itdbeaps of fun.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 27, 2004 at 11:05 AM


Posted by: joey bugner at May 27, 2004 at 11:09 AM

Spanky, not Sparky. Will fix.

Posted by: tim at May 27, 2004 at 11:13 AM

Many years ago I worked for 2 Australians and I learned a little bit about cricket (very little). I've forgotten everything they taught me except the phrase 'Bowl a maiden over'. . . . I have no idea what it means, however.

Now I'm trying to learn the rules of Australian Football. My brain hurts.

Posted by: Polly at May 27, 2004 at 11:26 AM

"If the highlight of Madonna's concert was a rendition of John Lennon's Imagine, accompanied by a video of sick and injured children from around the world, what the fuck was the lowlight?"

Umm... dude, Madonna. You wrote it yourself. To paraphrase Jackie Chan: "Do you understand the words that are coming out of your modem?'

Posted by: richard mcenroe at May 27, 2004 at 11:37 AM


With a consistent line, assisted by deft placements of silly mid ons, gullies, square legs, long offs and slips, a bowler can deprive a batsman of the opportunity for hooks, square drives, french cuts etc. With no fours, sixes, singles, leg-byes, no-balls, wides or other concessions, he can achieve a maiden over. If he's really proficient, he may even get a duck or - joy of joys - a golden duck. Which makes the batsman look a goose.

Simple really.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 27, 2004 at 11:49 AM

That was the most eloquent interview from a rock-star that I have ever read. Seriously.

Next, why don't they ask Ozzy Osbourne what he thinks?

"I ... uh.. the.. I-I-I-I-well.. ih..geh.. I. ehh. SHARON!"

Posted by: MD/V at May 27, 2004 at 01:18 PM

Thanks CurrencyLad. It's all perfectly clear to me now.

Posted by: Polly at May 27, 2004 at 02:42 PM

Australian 'Rules': it is a goal if the ball passes between the two taller posts, unless it is touched by any player, in which case it is a behind, also known as a point. It is a behind, or point, if it passes between one of the two taller posts and one of the shorter ones, unless it touches the shorter one in which case it is nothing. In the latter case, if it bounces first a 'boundary' umpire will throw it back into the field. If not, an opposition player will kick it back into the field. With either goals or behinds/points, it is not necessary to kick the ball literally between the posts. It can be kicked any distance above them and it becomes a matter for judgment by the 'goal' umpire who must draw a mental picture of a rising line of the posts in order to decide if the ball has passed over the goal section, the behind/point section, or directly over one of the posts, in which case the same rules apply as if the ball had hit one of the posts as explained earlier.

Next week: 'in the back', 'around the neck', 'over the mark', 'dropping the ball', 'failing to bounce the ball' and 'throwing the ball'.

Nah, forget it, Polly. Just sit back and watch Essendon's James Hird work his magic.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 27, 2004 at 04:35 PM


And don't forget to mention Australian football is the only game in the world where you get a point for missing the goal. Ho ho - old Rugby joke.

Not that my old code is worthy of any ridicule at the moment, eh?

Now I'd better run - far away...

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 27, 2004 at 04:41 PM

There's going to be no quarter given to the Yanks here, I can see that already. We may have to explain the Infield Fly Rule to these guys by way of getting even.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at May 27, 2004 at 11:19 PM

Cricket's a lot easier to understand if you play it.

Although, we've had to develop the 'pitching rule'

Since bowling doesn't quite come naturally to those who didn't grow up with it, we've added the 'rule' that three balls pitched--instead of bowled--in a row means change of bowler.

We'll probably get a game together for our Memorial Day BBQ. One of the best things is the stares...

Posted by: jack at May 28, 2004 at 12:24 AM

Uday had lots of cars? Wow, what a role model, hey Tim? Lots of cars are a sure sign of a successful person in today's fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at May 29, 2004 at 10:48 AM

Try to conceal your jealousy better, Miranda.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 30, 2004 at 03:39 AM