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Author Archives: Joston

The Christopher Hitchens Factor

It's no fun having a blog if you can't make wild, unscientific predictions about the election. Read More »

Zhang Yimou’s Hero

Zhang Yimou's martial arts epic of two years ago, Hero, is finally getting its North American release. The movie is getting good reviews. But is anyone looking at its politics? North American audiences looking for kung-fu thrills may be walking into an elaborate justification for Tiananmen Square. Read More »

Wolfgang Peterson’s Troy

If you could measure a woman's beauty according shipbuilding, where drop dead gorgeous equals one thousand warships and ugly is a canoe, then the woman who plays the mythical Helen of Troy in the new Wolfgang Peterson film Troy, Diane Kruger, is probably worth something with an outboard motor, but no more. Read More »

Mel Gibson’s Passion

Perhaps Mel Gibson's Passion won't launch anti-Jewish pogroms in the United States, but what effect will his film have on movie-goers in other parts of the world? Read More »

“Paris 1919″ by Margaret MacMillan

Did three men meet in Paris in 1919 and create the world as we now know it? According to Margaret MacMillian's recent book... yes. Read More »

Coalition of the Willing

I read the phrase in the newspaper nearly everyday. Coalition of the willing. I'm never quite sure who the coalition includes until a brief article appears about Bulgarians coming under fire. Then I know that the coalition includes Bulgarians. Read More »

The Great Odometer of Holidays

New Year is the oddest of holidays. It's not entirely clear what is being celebrated. Is is just a time for new calendars? Read More »

‘Tis the season for Xmas punditry

'Tis the season for journalists to pseudo-philosophize about the meaning of Christmas. Everybody's got an angle. Read More »

Saddam Conspiracy Theories

Since the capture of Saddam Hussein, there have been numerous stories questioning or contradicting the original account of his arrest. What is the truth? Read More »