Thursday, June 05, 2008

what's who

I watched Man from Plains over a few nights; time interrupted by Buffalo. It’s a documentary about Jimmy Carter that primarily focuses on the book tour in support of his latest project. I vaguely remember reading about the simmering response – apparently to his use of the word apartheid in the title – but it had all slipped my fine focus. Of course, anything to do with the Middle East and Jimmy Carter will undoubtedly look back at his presidency and diplomacy of the late 70s. From that time of my life I remember not much about his single term aside from inflation, the gas crisis, SALT, and endless comedy skits poking fun at his physical characteristics and demeanor. When the documentary was finishing I looked at Miss X (who’d watched just a bit of it) and told her that he appeared to be a perfect example of a flawed hero – at least by my reckoning and definition. I don’t know that being president was the best screenplay for his life but there’s certainly something about a great deal of his thought processes and knowledge as related to peace, the Middle East, and human endeavors. Oftentimes throughout the film you could sense a naiveté that no doubt pervaded his time in the White House. I think it’s a film well worth watching.

As X has reported to Gandalf, I’m reading Samantha Power's book A Problem From Hell that addresses “America in the Age of Genocide”. I know – light reading. Samantha Powers, if you don’t remember, is known more for her ‘Hillary Clinton is a monster” quote than any of her writings. I don’t know that chucking America in the title is an indictment of the country anymore than simply an indication of a narrative written in the American voice. Most the events can surely claim nearly every country in the World as both defendant and witness. What is most enlightening is just how common it became in the twentieth century to watch world leaders stumble and, more often than not, decide that sitting on hands and waiting was a better option than doing.

Herein lies the best of my event input.


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