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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Hollywood Prognostication 2006.08.27.07:17

The Siege is not exactly an Oscar-calibre film. But watching it (more or less, in the background as I write code) this evening, it strikes me how prescient it seems to be; the setting of NYC, encroachment on civil liberties, unlawful surveillance of citizens, torture and murder of suspects by military persons. It was released in 1998, almost obviously as a response to the 1995 World Trade Center attack. But the relevance and resemblance to the present-day, to the way things have gone since 2001, is almost uncanny. (All except the "happy" ending, where all the terrorists are caught and the bad army man is jailed for the murder of a prisoner. I don't really expect to see anything like that any time soon.)

I could do without the over-the-top dialoque, particularly the really bad lines Denzel Washington was given. And I don't necessarily see the president putting a major city under martial law, or said military presence leading to the rounding up of people en masse and locking them up in makeshift detention facilities. But with so much of the rest of it having come around, I do worry. I don't see it, but four years ago I wouldn't have seen our military engaged in torture, and memos from the administration's own legal team justifying it.

(Still, don't watch it expecting any break-out performances.)

# [/politics]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

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Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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