Friday, February 20, 2004

Why we must not move on.

My PC has been out of action and shows no sign of playing ball so updates to my blog are few and far between.

Nearly a year since the invasion of Iraq and while the majority of people seem to have done as they are told and 'moved on', there are still many trying to ensure that the actions of a few unscrupulous leaders do not go unpunished.

Today saw the release of 5 British born prisoners from Gauntanamo Bay. Whether involved in the Afghanistan war or not, these people have been held for over 2 years without charge, in a direct breach of the Geneva convention. More than 660 terror suspects are still held at Camp X-ray and are not afforded the basic rights of prisoners of war. As I've said before, this is not a time to move on. It's a time to fight for fair justice for all those involved in these conflicts.

Meanwhile back in the UK the prosecution looks set to drop the case against former GCHQ interpreter Katherine Gun. Gun was arrested last year for leaking information about a spying operation against other members of the United Nations. The fact that the prosecution may drop the case is fantastic news for Gun, who has claimed that the leaks proved that the US was attempting to subvert our own security services.

Unfortunately, should the case be dropped then the government will avoid the potentially embarrassing situation of having the full advice of the attourney general on the legality of the war released to public. Gun has claimed that the war was both illegal and involved serious wrongdoing on the part of the security forces, who are accused of bugging the delegates of Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan. Should such accusations be true, then the government would find themselves at the centre of a scandal far larger and more damaging than Watergate.

The media and government may be trying to divert our attention away from the war on Iraq, but the fact remains that serious breaches of international law have been made by serving western governments. Breaches that they must be held accountable for. If they are allowed to get away with the lies they have spun, then the few freedoms we have left will truly disappear, and we could all find ourselves being arrested for trying to speak out.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Star Wars in not best film ever shock!

So for the first time in four years, Empire has produced a top 100 movies of all time list. Naturally, I've always been skeptical of these lists as I feel a majority of people vote for whatever the media tells them to. For example, Star Wars has been so indoctrinated into our psyche that you just have to vote for it.

Not me. Personally, Star Wars wouldn't make it into my top 10. I think Empire Strikes Back would sneak into my top 20, although there are a lot of films out there.

Take a look at the top 10 in Empires list and it certainly feels like the medias obsession with two franchises in particular has paid off.

Top 10
1 - Lord of the Rings (Fellowship)
2 - Star Wars (A New Hope)
3 - Lord of the Rings (Two Towers)
4 - Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back)
5 - Shawshank Redemption
6 - The Godfather
7 - Pulp Fiction
8 - Lord of the Rings (Return of the King)
9 - Fight Club
10 - Jaws

Now before the Tolkienites start having a go I'd like to point out that I thought Lord of the Rings was one of the finest examples of modern movie making in history. As a combined collection, the three films would certainly make it into my top 20 (maybe even top 10). I guess it just gets to me how people have such short memories. Granted Star Wars is pretty old now, but I should point out that Star Wars did not make the top spots in a lot of movie polls until the release of the extended edition in 1997 rekindled people's love of the originals.

Would classic films such as Ben Hur, Citizen Kane or 2001 be reinvigorated if they were given a multi-billion dollar overhaul and re-release?

Granted... I know I tend to have a go at Star Wars a lot. I agree that it revolutionised the way in which films are made today but does that fact alone make it one of the greatest films ever made? Does Star Wars truly compare with the such classics as The Third Man, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and North By NorthWest? Does Star Wars have the originality and sheer twists of plot as Memento or Donnie Darko? I think not.

I guess in the end it all comes down to your own personal opinion, or maybe more realistically, the opinion of the media.