Wednesday, January 23, 2002

BOB ALTMAN: Both Damian Penny and Jeff Jarvis have picked up on cranky ol' Robert Altman's political comments, especially the part where he says the terrorists got the idea from Hollywood. Damian and Jeff both think that this couldn't be true because they don't have American movies in Afghanistan but I'm pretty sure that they do, or there's no reason to think that they couldn't. Cheap and easy video piracy has ensured American culture's spread worldwide in an underground fashion (like the recent Black Hawk Down screening in Mogadishu) and if they're seeing our movies in Iraq and Iran I see no reason why Afghans couldn't have squirreled some movies away throughout the Taliban rule. Heck, we know that terrorists are not the most self-consistent people themselves --I mean, everybody's seen Rambo. So I see no reason, on the face of it, why terrorists could not have been inspired by Hollywood movies, because they probably had some lying around. Remember Black Sunday? I think there's at least a quasi-connection here; why else did the Army enlist screenwriters to come up with more potential terrorist plots so they could be countered in advance?

And I don't care what all y'all say, The Long Goodbye is a great great movie, with Altman and Eliot Gould at their rambling comic peaks. Everyone loves MASH. McCabe And Mrs. Miller --which I had to watch a million times in college-- is good too. And Popeye is a seriously underrated movie.

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