- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2006

Random midweek musings:

My toddling son likes to watch the Animal Planet cable channel in the hope of catching a glimpse of dogs at play or, as is often the case, on a veterinarian’s operating table. One of the things I’ve noticed about the programming there is the not-so-subtle environmental-wildlife propaganda. Exhibit A: a generous plug for primatologist-activist Jane Goodall’s campaign to fly giant doves around the world in “support of the United Nation’s peace endeavors.” Oy.

Exhibit B: Well, I quickly switched to the Disney Channel after failing to explain to my son why people who aren’t allowed to shoot guns can’t stop, for example, oh, I don’t know, genocide.

I was also alarmed to learn this week of the condition of my tree-climbing guitar hero, Keith Richards, to whom this blog’s name is partly an homage (the -ology is me studying his many great riffs and trying to apply their simplicity and elegance to both my writing and guitar-bashing). The Human Riff is, well, human after all.

Finally, I’m heartened by news that the great film “United 93” seems to have some legs at the box office after a modest opening weekend. Chatter among entertainment reporter types is that the movie’s intense subject matter lends itself to private DVD viewing. But this movie needs to be seen in public.

As sometime Washington Times contributor Peter Suderman has written in response to a minority of critics who, while appreciating the movie’s technical craft, question whether it was gratuitous: “Asking why this film was made is like asking why we go to funerals, why we visit gravesites, why we build monuments. We do it because we need to remember. We do it as a public expression of grief. We do it to honor the dead. We do it because we must.

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