Airline passenger conversations to be monitored under EU project – Telegraph

So Brussels is finally bending their knee to the USA in this too.
Flying is by a huge percentage less dangerous than twenty years ago, which was in turn a huge percentage less dangerous than twenty years before that, yet the culture of fear and dependence that the US Government, closely aped by the major EU powers, is insisting we live in would have us see the world in a state of deadly terror under constant but non-specific threat of annihilation.

“We are encouraging the world of social and behavioural science to share their ideas and expertise with us to do this. Academia and industry may be able to provide invaluable assistance and advice in helping to prevent terrorist attacks.”

We must learn from the software industry that this kind of knee-jerk, cure-all, attack-the-symptoms thinking simply forces those few would-be wrong-doers into more and more devious exploits, much like the ever-narrowing gaps between new anti-piracy measures being launched and cracked versions of new software appearing on torrent sites.
It’s like MRSA – hyperfocus on wiping out a threat and the threat develops immunity and becomes stronger.

Why don’t authorities see that dealing with terrorism effectively means dealing with root causes, like disaffection, isolation and demonisation?
Are there no obvious lessons to be learned from, for example, Northern Ireland? Is Politics so concerned with saving face that it cannot acknowledge that the foreign and domestic policies of sovereign governments can cause adverse reactions both within and outwith that country and that addressing this can only start with both admitting and ceasing to make mistakes?

I Won’t Be Happy Unless It All Ends In Tragedy.

I mean Tragedy in the sense of not an Epic or a Comedy.  Tragedies tend to be meditations on death, loss and suffering but without any final redemption, whereas Epics, though they touch on the same subjects, end with the protagonist learning an essential truth, becoming stronger for it, and experiencing some form of redemption.
Forgive me if I’m offering you a pre-sucked egg here.

Tragedies can be difficult to sit through and, forgive me for saying this, often seem to be taking themselves far more seriously than necessary.  To quote an esteemed colleague, movies that are hard-going for hard-going’s sake just seem to defeat the purpose…much the same [as] “earnest” movies.
Bill Murray, as one example, has an amazing knack for taking serious, “earnest”, complex roles and injecting both humanity and humour, allowing the viewer to watch and enjoy (because let’s be plain here, we’re not talking about documentaries, we’re talking about work that is designed, marketed and consumed primarily as entertainment) the movie, but which also serves the process of the art much better in that it communicates the human experience involved, adds extra levels of communication between actors and audience and forms connections, bonds, between actors and audience granting those unspoken dimensions a presence onscreen.

As another example I think Deer Hunter was more in the “hard-going for the sake of it” camp, although perhaps it was intended/received as a necessary catharsis for Americans from the Vietnam era, ‘cos heaven knows such a thing was necessary given what the vets experienced both in service and on their return home.

This is in stark contrast with another war movie, Apocalypse Now, which is one of my favourite movies (especially the 45 min longer Redux cut), and, y’know, it barely seems like a war movie at all to me.  I’m a bit of a Joseph Conrad fan, and I really really like the exploration & exposition of personality that his storytelling deals with, and I think Coppola reflected this brilliantly.  The war aspect was just a distracting device through which to explore the otherness of white guys going crackers in the jungle (amongst slightly more weighty topics ;> ).
Better than Romancing the Stone, anyway.

But here, if you fancy some luscious cinematography, find a Russian movie called The Return.  so good.  Also an Epic.  Or its successor, The Banishment, a Tragedy.

I Won’t Be Happy Unless It All Ends In Tragedy.

I mean Tragedy in the sense of not an Epic or a Comedy.  Tragedies tend to be meditations on death, loss and suffering but without any final redemption, whereas Epics, though they touch on the same subjects, end with the protagonist learning an essential truth, becoming stronger for it, and experiencing some form of redemption.
Forgive me if I’m offering you a pre-sucked egg here.

Tragedies can be difficult to sit through and, forgive me for saying this, often seem to be taking themselves far more seriously than necessary.  To quote an esteemed colleague, movies that are hard-going for hard-going’s sake just seem to defeat the purpose…much the same [as] “earnest” movies.
Bill Murray, as one example, has an amazing knack for taking serious, “earnest”, complex roles and injecting both humanity and humour, allowing the viewer to watch and enjoy (because let’s be plain here, we’re not talking about documentaries, we’re talking about work that is designed, marketed and consumed primarily as entertainment) the movie, but which also serves the process of the art much better in that it communicates the human experience involved, adds extra levels of communication between actors and audience and forms connections, bonds, between actors and audience granting those unspoken dimensions a presence onscreen.

As another example I think Deer Hunter was more in the “hard-going for the sake of it” camp, although perhaps it was intended/received as a necessary catharsis for Americans from the Vietnam era, ‘cos heaven knows such a thing was necessary given what the vets experienced both in service and on their return home.

This is in stark contrast with another war movie, Apocalypse Now, which is one of my favourite movies (especially the 45 min longer Redux cut), and, y’know, it barely seems like a war movie at all to me.  I’m a bit of a Joseph Conrad fan, and I really really like the exploration & exposition of personality that his storytelling deals with, and I think Coppola reflected this brilliantly.  The war aspect was just a distracting device through which to explore the otherness of white guys going crackers in the jungle (amongst slightly more weighty topics ;> ).
Better than Romancing the Stone, anyway.

But here, if you fancy some luscious cinematography, find a Russian movie called The Return.  so good.  Also an Epic.  Or its successor, The Banishment, a Tragedy.

The Sports Car: Anacronism?

When were sports cars last used for competitive sports?

Surely not since the early seventies? Le Mans and Grand Prix cars have evolved way beyond the possibility for production road versions, and as the 70’s progressed Rally cars also moved away from the sports car model into its current guise of the souped-up and heavily modified saloon car.
Similarly televised motorsport is dominated by the British Touring Car championships, and in States they have Nascar, again using souped-up and heavily modified saloon cars.

Is the sports car, long a classic icon of wealth, elegance and performance, an anacronism? Is it now just a dead-end and flat-out statement of disposable income with little or no redeeming aesthetic or social meaning?

The Sports Car: Anacronism?

When were sports cars last used for competitive sports?

Surely not since the early seventies? Le Mans and Grand Prix cars have evolved way beyond the possibility for production road versions, and as the 70’s progressed Rally cars also moved away from the sports car model into its current guise of the souped-up and heavily modified saloon car.
Similarly televised motorsport is dominated by the British Touring Car championships, and in States they have Nascar, again using souped-up and heavily modified saloon cars.

Is the sports car, long a classic icon of wealth, elegance and performance, an anacronism? Is it now just a dead-end and flat-out statement of disposable income with little or no redeeming aesthetic or social meaning?