Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Observations found and lost.

I’ve had several thoughts over the past two weeks that for one reason or another I decided not to update the journal with. This is nothing new, although I do find it personally unfortunate, since I know for a fact that I wish I’d retained some of these thoughts.

For whatever reason, or convergence of reasons, I felt compelled to point out that the AP has a very subtle anti-Hussein bias. It’s a simple matter of stylistic convention, mind you, but it does say something that every other world leader is referred to by their last name–Blair, Bush, Karzai [1]–but Saddam Hussein is referred to constantly as “Saddam.” Right now, Bush is speaking with Blair, Putin, and Chirac to discuss ousting Saddam, reports the Associated Press.

But could you see the same sentence reversed? Would AP ever report that George is discussing the removal of Hussein with Tony, Vladimir and Jacques?

By no means do I think Hussein deserves the consideration of American press respect, mind you, but that’s not the point. In the press stories, both kidnappers and victims alike are referred to by their last name, or by both names. Westerfield was found guilty of killing Danielle Van Dam. And yes, one can make the case that using “Saddam” is an acceptable shorthand for American audiences since most of us are only aware of one “Saddam” in the world. (Note, however, that Terror War Fugitive #1 remains “bin Laden” [2].) Again, not the point. The convention is not a matter of who deserves it, it’s a matter of unified American English style.

Sometimes I view world politics as the discussions and arguments of giant children; now moreso than ever. Hans plays with Lottie, Lottie plays with Jane. Jane plays with Willy, and Willy is happy again. Suki plays with Leo. Sascha plays with Britt. Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrique plays with it.

What happens when the entitled child cannot have what he wants simply because he wants it? Tune in September 12th, when our sitting President throws a controlled tantrum in front of the UN Assembly.

[1] On this sidenote, props to Hamid Karzai for surviving the assassination attempt. As my LJ colleague Hannibal once put it, the man is “Snoop Dogg [3] charismatic” and while on the one hand, an assassination attempt seems like a sign to be worried, Karzai’s survival is a sign of hope.

[2] Apparently, in Germany recently, a Turkish couple decided to rouse rabble and ensure the future persecution of their newborn child by naming him “Osama bin Laden.” German authorities have blocked the naming, and this is how I discovered that German authorities can even do that, the same way the DMV doesn’t allow obscene vanity plates. For example, there are no children in Germany named “Hitler.” It’s just not allowed.

[3] Speaking of Snoop [4], “Entertainment Weekly” reports that the onetime recipient of the “High Times” Stoner of the Year award has got his bad self all clean and sober. This is something, I’m forced to admit, surprises me. If you’d told me two years ago that Snoop Dogg would quit smoking the ganja, I would have told you it was about as likely as Adam Sandler getting Oscar buzz [5].

[4] And speaking of other rap stars from the Gold Age of Gangsta Posturing, another recent news report [6] states that Tupac was killed by Crips under hire (and armed by) none other than future gang-related casualty Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, aka the Notorious B.I.G.

[5] Which he is, apparently, for his performance in “Punch-Drunk Love.” For that matter, so is Eminem for “8 Mile.” Crazy times.

[6] I’m reading and absorbing a lot of news today, it seems.

Current music: MP3 list, Steely Dan, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2002 by in News of the World, Politics, Writing.
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