The Jeff Bridges’ version of True Grit opens here tomorrow…coincidentally, I only watched the original John Wayne version from 1969 on the weekend and commented to Carmen the other night that so much of the lines in the trailers for the remake were word-for-word from the original, I wondered if there was going to be much different about the new version other than Rooster gets to wear his patch on the other eye this time round…
So, imagine my surprise to read in today’s DomPost that “…where Wayne played Cogburn as a one-dimensional veteran gunslinger, the original Rooster of the novel (brilliantly rendered by Jeff Bridges in the Coen’s version) is drunken, half-blind, smelly and deeply flawed…” Furthermore, this amazing bad and inaccurate review, in this nation’s second largest daily, isn’t even by a Kiwi – it’s some loser called Ben Macintyre who writes for something called The Times…my recollection of John Wayne’s performance, only days old, is exactly of “…drunken, half-blind, smelly and deeply flawed…”
Dean’s comments yesterday notwithstanding – and they do apply more to general soldiery than to the specifics of those in sensitive roles – I really worry if that bumper sticker actually has a broader application beyond the intel community into the general information community. I’m reading Dean Koontz’ Cold Fire this week and parts of that also struck a similar chord with me as the reporter lead in the story laments to demise of good old fashioned ‘honest’ reporting in favour of what sells – and that was written in 1991…
I’m on base for the next couple of days and was able to catch the big TV in the bar free tonight and take it over to keep up with Coro – waiting to see how, not when, Molly and Kev’s little affair gets blown – but was reading today’s paper in the ad breaks. Maybe it was just a slow news day but I was disappointed at how superficial many of the items were…we don’t get a paper delivered at home and, really, why would we bother if all it’s going to be good for is starting the fire and wrapping the frozens when we go away…
I find now that I get greater stimulus from the non-professionals on the internet; in fact, I would have to say that Michael Yon’s Facebook page, when he isn’t whining about milkooks, or general officers who have (apparently) slighted him, offers a very good range of cues; as do the Facebook pages for the USN’s Information Dominance Corp and Marine Corps Gazette; Small Wars Journal and Travels with Shiloh…
I wonder whether the maturity of the information age also means the demise of the true professional reporter in favour of info-marketeers who tailor their stories to specific markets (as opposed to audiences), and the rise of the information militia as the new voice of the ‘news’…?
I did find a couple of interesting titbits in the Dompost:
The capital of Afghanistan,Kabul, was rocketed by rebels – in 1993. It’s quite strange to think of a time where it was necessary to state that Kabul was the capital of Afghanistan.
And also on this day in 1944, NZ pilot Irving Smith led Mosquito bombers in a pinpoint raid on Amiens prison to save condemned prisoners. If nothing else, a timely reminder that airpower is more than just running a flying bus service and providing direct support to the troops on the ground.
In 1848, Mexico ends a US invasion by ceding Texas, New Mexico and California to the US. If Mexico does get a handle on the cartel wars soon, I wonder what they have to trade-off against the next US invasion..?
In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khoumeini becomes the de facto leader of Iran and the place has gone steadily downhill since. While Europe and the US get all antsy about Iran’s nuclear programme (but not Pakistan’s), the biggest risk offered by Iran to regional instability comes from its increasingly dissatisfied youth. The best thing that the US and NATO could do is invite Iran into Afghanistan, get it committed (entangled) by both its own rhetoric and the tarbaby mess that is Afghanistan; and then step back and watch it all unravel…Iran, that is – Afghanistan does need anyone’s help top unravel…just install an unpopular (in every sense of the word) leader and retire to a safe distance….