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"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King... 


...won 11 Oscars at last night's Academy Awards. Although last year was a rather thin one in terms of great filmmaking, ROTK was a superb film and deserved every honor awarded it. The awards to Peter Jackson for Best Director and to Howard Shore for Best Musical Score were especially appropriate. However, other than the awards Jackson's film, the rest of the evening was a snoozefest, punctuated by one or two Anti-war moments. In addition, Hollywood found a way to honor Leni Riefenstahl, whose signature film, Triumph of the Will, was a propaganda documentary of the 1934 Party Day Rally at Nuremburg.

Whether or not Hitler won a Life Achievement Award is unknown as we go to press.

The Man who wasn't There



On Sunday, Mel Gibson's new biblical, The Passion of the Christ, passed the 100 million dollar mark in total grosses. According to the people at Box Office Mojo, Gibson's genuflection towards pre-Vatican II Church doctrine has taken almost 118 milllion dollars in a little under 5 days.

Gibson was a no-show at last night's Oscar Ceremony. I don't believe that he was even mentioned by the emcees. According to Matt Drudge's radio show of last night, Gibson was afraid that he would be booed by some members of the Academy (...no, you think?). Gibson is also out hustling his film. However, while he was not there, I will guarantee you that Mel cast a long shadow over the Kodak Theater last night.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad



Iraqis have agreed to an interim Constitution that will govern the nation once America hands over official authority at the end of June. Elections are not quite set in stone for this year, but under the agreement hammered out with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, elections will be held at the end of 2004, or early 2005 at the latest.

In addtion to the Constitutional brouhaha, Iraq's Oil Ministry reports that output appears to be nearing prewar levels, much to the dismay of the chattering classes who maintained that the entire postwar enterprise in Iraq was a disaster from the word "go". I have always been of the opinion that if people in the Middle East were granted freedom of expression, religion, and press and economic liberty, they could amaze the world.

Put this in the bank: in five years, Baghdad will be the economic center of the entire Arab world. Book that.

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