12 Days Until Ernesto's Graduation
15 Days Until Livy&Sharlene's Wedding
1 Day until Dj Twist's CD Release Party
Dancin' Machine, Watch me Get Down
Who: DJ Twist
Where: Bridges, 10560 Main St., Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday, 18 May 2002, 9-2 AM
$7 cover, 1/2 off Red Bull drink specials.
This Here Intelligence Fiasco
Aaron Ammerman (F'00) once told me that "experts built the Maginot Line." This recapitulation of the French debacle in the summer of 1940 is a good starting point to explore the signs that the entire U.S. government had jagged pieces warning of a potential threat to the country before 9.11. Having information is a separate process from integrating it into a coherent picture. That is, in my opinion, a crucial point -- one that cannot be avoided. Both Congress and the White House had information that seemingly anticipated danger, but what form would it take? Sometimes, obvious historical events -- the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Nazi counterstroke in the Ardennes in 1944, the 1968 Communist Tet offensive -- sometimes blossom in front of our collective eyes as a nasty surprise. So we ask, how could this happen? How could such intelligent men -- years of experience allying them -- look at the same variables in real time that we do in history books and then come to a seemingly opposite conclusion and course of action?
And then we explore memos buried within memos and briefings rendered moot, and we realize that if someone, anyone, had put 2 and 2 together, we could have avoided the calamity that beseiged the Republic on that endless September afternoon. But even then, would we know which flights would become piloted missiles? What if, after having every conceivable warning and acknowledging every threat, that the attacks still took place? Does having the fort alerted to an attack from the front necessarily protect it to an attack from the rear? Alll of these are valid questions, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, we are reduced to "what ifs" and "should haves" -- which is of course not enough for the fallen or their families. Yet we the living should expect more from those tasked to protect the realm. We should explore what happened along the intelligence chain, in order to rectify existing deficiencies for the future. The Next Surprise could be all the more worse.
No, There Is Another
Livy Keithley (C'98) pens his thoughts on Episode II Those not wanting to read the review lest they pick up the almighty spolier then simply skip:
"Plain and simple: If you're a Star Wars fan, you get it. If you aren't, you don't. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely a "Saturday matinee," but is not all that thrilling as a movie in a vacuum. It is only when injected into the lore that is STAR WARS that the entire context and depth of the movie is revealed. Naturally, because of the prequel and original series, Lucas did not need to really engage in too much character development in terms of introductions; we kind of picked up midstream and kept going, much like two old friends who talk for the first time in a long while. This movie is quite deep in spots; it is actually hard to follow if you don't pick up on the clues and breadcrumbs left along the movie's path.
And if you are a Paduwan or Jedi like most of us, YOU'LL LOVE IT! The movie does not develop the tradition much, save for the emphasis on not having "attachments." This was alluded to in the original series, and mentioned in Phantom Menace, but it is a central focus of this film. Without giving too much away, we see that it is attachments which eventually prove the downfall of our current young hero Anakin...but the downfall itself is not till the next movie. If you remember back to Empire, this was also the vice that afflicted Luke (like Father, like Son I guess)...
Another great thing is the exploration of Padme' Amadala's character. Just like we wait to truly learn about Princess Lea until Empire, so here we had to survive the staticness of Amadala's character in Phantom Menace, only to see her character blossom here in Clones. And yes, for the Jedis whose focus is, um, "south of the border," we do see Amadala in some intriguing outfits - not quite the Lea leashes in Jedi, but we're gettin' there ;-)
Like Wes, I saw the movie in analog with THX sound - sound was amazing, picture left a bit to be desired. I'm going to search for a digital screen in Denver (if there is one), and then try to procure tickets. With the effects and abilities of the movie, they should only be shown on the biggest, baddest, loudest screens in the country.
Like Empire, this movie was clearly a connector between the movie preceeding and the movie to follow in a few years. Like Empire, it ends on a question mark. Like Empire, the tension between the Jedi and the Dark Side drives the movie, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. When the end comes, you are left screaming, "no!!" and relegated in teh thought of having to wait 2 years for the story to continue. It's that good.
So, my Paduwans, sit back, take a coke and some popcorn, tame your sabers, clear your thoughts and enjoy. The Force will be with us....always."
"History and Memory are not one in the same." -- Major Bob Bateman, U.S. Army