Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Long Way To Go To Steal Bread

So Operation Swarmer was maybe a training exercise in a series of training exercises, or a photo op. But what got me in the Time Magazine online coverage was this bit:
Four Black Hawk helicopters landed in a wheat field and dropped off a television crew, three photographers, three print reporters and three Iraqi government officials right into the middle of Operation Swarmer. Iraqi soldiers in newly painted humvees, green and red Iraqi flags stenciled on the tailgates, had just finished searching the farm populated by a half-dozen skinny cows and a woman kneading freshly risen dough and slapping it to the walls of a mud oven.
Ok so far, they swoop (swarm?) into a farm. But when they leave:
Before loading up into the helicopters for a return trip to Baghdad, Iraqi and American soldiers and some reporters helped themselves to the woman's freshly baked bread, tearing bits off and chewing it as they wandered among the cows.
Did they compensate the woman for her bread? Or was just another little sign of disrespect, a reason for her to hate us some more?

Doctor Who on Sci Fi channel

Cross-posted from an AMERICAblog open thread:

I'm an old Doctor Who fan ...

Thought the 2000 US episode was disappointing.

Watched the complete new series last year (it was on CBC) and the Christmas Invasion episode. I think it's a great extension of the franchise, as they say. The effects in the original series were cheesy but nobody cared, as with the original Star Trek (which I saw in original broadcast so now you know about how old I am). As you know by now, the BBC has gone all out to use the best effects available. As a former theatrical set designer, my belief is that sets and effects are there to support the story, and that's what "the beeb" has achieved.

Here's what I wrote last year about the first episode in this series:
The Doctor is In

I think The Doctor on the series now on the Sci Fi channel is #8. He regenerates, you see ...

Later in this series, they get into some interesting political parallels to what was / is going on in the world, specifically war and those who wage it, but they also explore the strength and frailty of the human spirit. I don't want to give anything away, but stick with it if you are not impressed yet. There are themes interwoven throughout the season, they bring back or reference many old villians, and the season ends with a bang.

By the way, since I don't get the Sci Fi channel, I would be curious to know if they are playing the "Doctor Who Confidential" companion programs that go behind the scenes. More than just a look at how the effects were done, they go a long way to tie it back to the earlier Doctors.

Bush Administration Jumps The Shark

Truthdig has a great post up expressing the view that the Bush Administration has jumped the shark:
But according to shark-jumping expert Jace Monteith, “The Bush administration is beginning to look like the fourth season of ‘Saved By the Bell.’ ”

Mr. Monteith points to Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent hunting accident as a sure sign the White House has jumped the shark.

“If you were reading TV Guide and it said, ‘This week, trouble ensues at the White House when the vice president shoots a man in the face,’ you’d be like, oh, man, they’re running out of ideas,” Mr. Monteith says. “What are they going to do on next week’s episode, give the ports away to Arabs?”