340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Eaters of the Dead.

On Friday, Canwest news reported that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent 5,000 copies of this poster to the World Youth Day festivities in Cologne. The brainchild of Reverend Jonathan Meyer, an Indiana priest who's my age, it's apparently meant to tap into young men's fascination with sacrifice, heroism and duty. Although the print is too small to see on this image, the tagline apparently reads, "The Catholic priesthood: The answer is out there--and it's calling you."

Talk about a piece of marketing genius. According to the article, Meyer believes that "pop culture can be used as a positive tool" in the promotion of Catholic values in general and the priesthood in particular. Keanu Reeves' status as a gay sex symbol is merely an ironic coincidence.

Catholic Online
has their own little in-house blurb.

* * *

Pacanukeha loaned me a copy of Life Eaters, a graphic novel written by David Brin that explores a fantastical hypothesis for the true purpose lurking behind the camps. Genocidal megalomania and raw hate isn't enough for Brin, no sirree; he needs to stir a little old-fashioned necromancy into the mix.

While the overall concept is intriguing, I'm uncomfortable with the "Holocaust-as-plot-device" trope and the implicit depoliticization of anti-Semitism, homophobia and racism. Brin's handling of the death camps was cavalier and, as far as I'm concerned, careless. I hadn't been able to articulate these feelings coherently until Steenblogen took a squeegee to my brain and broke it down for me. I'm indebted to her for the analysis and for giving me the words that you read above.

That having been said, the opening prologue is a taut, compelling, original story that's well worth taking a look at if you get a chance. Everything after the prologue, well... even ignoring the above caveats, I could kind of take it or leave it. It's kind of predictable and relies on classic superhero tropes to create and resolve crisis. Yawn.

* * *

Finally, in a fascinating piece of news that was woefully underreported north of the border, the CIA knew the Bay of Pigs was a crapshoot. First reported in the Miami Herald (which I shan't bother linking to, as it's a subscriber-only site), newly declassified information reveals that the Agency task force plotting to overthrow Castro had decided that the mission was "unachievable" half a year before the invasion was launched.

Oooohh... juicy.

It gets better: according to the report, "there will not be the internal unrest earlier believed possible." In other words, the locals won't welcome Americanskis as liberators. Sound familiar? The link above will launch a new window on the Statesman's site.


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