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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (5036 previous messages)

commondata - 09:26am Oct 19, 2002 EST (# 5037 of 5047)

Through 'rubbery figures' for example ... people can see and hear the international leaderships 'think' ...

"Spitting Image" was a thorn in the Thatcher government's side through the eighties. And, oh, how we wept with laughter!

lchic - 09:31am Oct 19, 2002 EST (# 5038 of 5047)
~~~~ It got understood and exposed ~~~~

"" Duck Soup (Screenplay by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby), is a subversive movie in more ways than one. Its plot revolves around the cold and hot war between two fictitious countries, and this situation is used to debunk the pompousness and fanatic seriousness of official politics, diplomacy, nationalism, militarism, secret services, and the kind of posturing which became very acute during the thirties when Fascism was rising in Europe, and when several countries were preparing for wars of aggression. Trentino, the ambassador of the fictitious enemy country, tells Firefly, the leader of Freedonia: "I am willing to do anything to prevent this war." Firefly answers: "It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield." And during the war Firefly tells his compatriot Chicolini: "You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines, and remember, while you are out there risking life and limb, through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are!" Political speeches and ceremonies are invariably portrayed as pretentious and hollow, patriotic war declarations are caricatured as a mixture of cheap operetta and religious service, and the usual identification with the " good side" is subverted by the fact that the combatants keep changing their uniforms. Having the same maniacal characters appear as the defenders of the Alamo, as Confederate soldiers, or as French conscripts of World War I makes hash of the loyalties and orientations which dominated the military establishments and war propaganda of the time.

But Duck Soup is subversive not only with respect to particular attitudes and values, but ultimately with respect to everything. The pompousness of official politics and military establishments are not criticized in the name of ideals that are respected or implicitly advocated, but they are subverted in an orgy of total debunking which leaves nothing intact. The film, on one level a farce whose purpose was to provide comic relief during a period of high anxiety, is, on another level, implicitly nihilistic, and the worldview which emerges through the shenanigans of the Marx Brothers is essentially no different from that of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. The reality of Duck Soup is a systematically produced chaos in which the disconnected fragments of speech and purposeful action are kicked around as mere playthings in a game of joyful destruction. The dialogue and acting of the protagonists in Duck Soup are methods of making all of reality come apart.

lchic - 09:35am Oct 19, 2002 EST (# 5039 of 5047)
~~~~ It got understood and exposed ~~~~

Spitting Image - Russia .... was executed ... the President sensitive to critism.

Is there a time in a country's development when 'too much' critism can be counter productive?

lchic - 09:38am Oct 19, 2002 EST (# 5040 of 5047)
~~~~ It got understood and exposed ~~~~

Comedy should be used in the current situation to get out the 'ideas'

To turn the ideas inside out and every-which-way!

To get people involved.

To help thinking - to give 'the people' a chance to become 'involved'

To increase international understanding.

!!! Get the puppets out !!!

mazza9 - 10:01am Oct 19, 2002 EST (# 5041 of 5047)
"Quae cum ita sunt" Caesar's Gallic Commentaries


You're charges regarding Iraq's gasing of the Kurds are scurrilous. But communist propoganda is always based on lies!

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