12 July 2004

Go Green!! Celtics Forever!! (Er, wait, that's a baskeball team.)

Being of Celtic ancestry, it pleases me to no end that I keep finding out cool things about the Celtic people. Among them:

- We were royally bitched out by no less a figure than St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians. (It's in the Bible!) The "Gal"atians--etymologically related to Gaelic and Gaul, lived in a portion of modern-day Turkey that was conquered in previous times by Celtic folks, but by Paul's day was a Roman province. (Fucking Romans.)

- The French people's most patriotic nickname for themselves--Gauls--is derived from Gaul or Gallia, a Celtic land that once stretched from France through Switzerland to Germany. From this vantage point, the Celts once opened a can of whup-ass on the Roman empire, but eventually the Romans drove them to the fringes of Europe, such as the British Isles and eventually Ireland and Scotland. (Fucking Romans.)

- We fought with King Arthur against the Saxons invading Britain, and kicked their Saxon hineys six ways to Sunday. (You can see a fictionalized yet entertaining movie about this at your local theater.) This, of course, was after the Romans turned tail and ran: after centuries of slaughtering Bretons, they'd decided that they didn't want that grubby little island after all. (Fucking Romans.)

Later, of course, there's a long, proud, brave, sad, and joyous history in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and elsewhere. I'm not much of a history buff. Even religious history is interesting to me only so far as there's a clear relevance to our life today. But there are a lot of good stories about the Celts (some of which may actually have happened), and I may continue to see what other ones I can find.

09 July 2004

Mike and Ann (and Mel)

I was just thinking: I'm sort of a lukewarm fan of Michael Moore. I think he's much more effective when he's focused on shaming people into correcting a specific injustice--such as unfair layoffs or the like--than when he's just shoveling big ol' spoonfuls of steaming propaganda, as in Farenheit 9/11. As to the former, I really am sorry that he makes decent people feel bad to achieve his ends, but while I'm a pretty nonviolent person, I have to say that I believe that public shame and ridicule are valid--not to mention effective--weapons in the fight for social justice. Everybody believes that the ends justify the means to some extent, depending on the ends and the means, and I happen to be just Machiavellian enough to approve of Moore's more focused campaigns to right wrongs.

As to the latter--the heaping helpings of well-mixed fact and bullshit that constitute most of the content of his books and movies--well, they're certainly well-executed, but I find them a bit harder to swallow. Clearly there are people who will be mislead by some of his BS (though I suspect that most of his fans and enemies are savvy enough to take his claims with a certain amount of salt), and clearly this is entirely OK with him. Still, F911 is no more or less full of lies than, say, the latest Ann Coulter book. But despite being almost infinitely more photogenic, Ann apparently can't make a movie worth a damn, or she probably would have made one by now. So tough noogies to Ann. When it comes to art, even artistically presented moo-cow droppings, the left wing wins every time. Ha!

(Er--still waiting for a left-wing religious movie as powerful as that reactionary crackpot Mel Gibson's film from earlier this year...so maybe not every time.)