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INT. LESTER BANGS' BEDROOM -- NIGHT

	Crazy jazz is playing.  Lester Bangs on the phone.

					LESTER BANGS
			Aw, man.  You made friends with them!
			See, friendship is the booze they feed
			you.  They want you to get drunk on
			feeling like you belong.

								 INTERCUT:

	INT. ROLLING STONE -- NIGHT

	William in the empty Rolling Stone office.

					WILLIAM
				(ruefully)
			Well, it was fun.

					LESTER BANGS
			They make you feel cool.  And hey.  I
			met you.  You are not "cool."

					WILLIAM
			I know.  Even when I thought I was, I
			knew I wasn't.

					LESTER BANGS
			That's because we are uncool!  And
			while women will always be a problem for
			guys like us, most of the great art in
			the world is about that very problem.
			Good-looking people have no spine!
			Their art never lasts!  They  get the
			girls, but we're smarter.

					WILLIAM
			I can really see that now.

					LESTER BANGS
			Yeah, great art is about conflict and
			pain and guilt and longing and love
			disguised as sex, and sex disguised as
			love... and let's face it, they got a
			big head start.

					WILLIAM
			I'm glad you were home.

					LESTER BANGS
			I'm always home!  I'm uncool!

					WILLIAM
			Me too!

					LESTER BANGS
				(leveling)
			The only true currency in this bankrupt
			world is what we share with someone
			else when we're uncool.
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nurembergmapa.jpgThe last time that the Federal government changed, I was working for it. I was a public servant in the Tax Office. I was also quite an active union delegate. And in that capacity, I was attending protest marches which opposed government policy.
After maybe a year, I realised that I couldn’t work for a government in the morning, and attend a protest against that same government in the afternoon. From then, I made the decision to not work for a government I wouldn’t vote for.

As you can imagine, in a city like Rome, where more than half the economy is centred on the government, that restricted my options over the last decade. That is part of the reason I left and went to Jerusalem.

Last night though, I watched Thank You For Smoking. It’s a crap movie, I wouldn’t recommend it. But in it, there was a line that so many of the world’s evils have been done in the name of paying the mortgage. So much of what we do which we wouldn’t otherwise is done simply in the pursuit of a pay-cheque.

When I returned to Rome, and began looking for work, some employment agencies found it odd that I told them I wouldn’t work for certain government departments. I wouldn’t work for Immigration (the worst of the worst!), Workplace Relations, Defence. Mainly because these organisations – under the Howard regime – were guilty of the worst crimes against the citizenry. Too many Romans though view their work as “I’m doing what I’m told” or “I’m just implementing the government policy”.

Where does collaboration end? And how deep do we have to be in before we can no longer rely on the Nuremberg defence?

I have just watched The Godfather. I’ve never seen it before, and in actuality, I still haven’t. Because the last few minutes on the DVD copy I watched were borked, so I’ve not seen from where they cut to Michael in Sicily.

imperialnavalaux.jpgWhile watching it though, I began to think about those small characters, the foot-soldiers who spend their whole life working for the big man, and never climbing to the top. No doubt some of them believe they are getting something back for the effort they put in. They’ll make powerful friends and allies, or good money and in exchange, they serve loyally.

But my mind was cast back to maybe two decades to the Timothy Zahn books that picked up the story after Return of the Jedi. While I was reading those books and following the battles between the New Republic and Admiral Thrawn, I thought then about the little guys. (By the way, I shant link to them, because the books are shite. If you need the proof by reading them, ask me, I’d gladly give you my copies). About those henchmen, bodyguards etcetera though who lay down their lives for their employer. Because that’s all he really was – Admiral Thrawn – he was an employer. Just like Don Corleone I suppose.

While many of us would go above and beyond the call of duty for an employer we liked, and we’d be loyal to a leader we respected, would we really go as far as to lose one’s life for them? Even though I have had some bosses I would have – and did – cop a lot for, I doubt I’d go quite that far. But what would I go that far for? A belief? An idea? What would you do it for?

200px-simpsons_coyote.pngI’m sure I am the last person on Earth to have seen it. But I took Lucius and one of his mates to see the Simpsons movie on the weekend. And I have to say I was disappointed. It was good to see it on a big screen, and maybe that’s why the animation looked different to when it’s on TV. But given the fanfare the movie had, and that in a lot of respects, the TV show is such high quality, I expected the movie to be “more”.  I guess I just felt that 70 minutes wasn’t long enough, since we get to see half hour episodes all the time, and the storyline was too similar to one of the TV episodes – admittedly, my favourite episode thus far – El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer (also known as “the episode with Johnny Cash as the Coyote”).

The boys I took to the cinema enjoyed it though, but maybe if the movie had been longer, they’d not have thrown out 2/3 of their popcorn and drinks – since they didn’t get enough time in there to scoff their munchies.

While I’m away, have a look at these articles.

First, one on how a democracy can evolve into a dictatorship. It’s a little dated, and it’s American, but it’s got some decent points.

The next is on the life lessons to be found in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

So there I was, browsing at the local video store, and I saw a movie sitting on the shelf – Black Dahlia. I’d remembered seeing the shorts for this in the cinema last year, so I thought I’d get it. I didn’t remember anything about it, just the name rang a bell.

Unfortunately, I’d been conned.

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