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George Clooney – Take a Bow!

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Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently, at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!
— Rudyard Kipling “The Ballad of East and West

All my working life I have been a salesman, albeit selling livestock, real estate, aircraft, mining and farming equipment and advertising in my livestock magazines and so it was, with this background, that I came to be so disturbed about what I was seeing whilst watching George Clooneys latest movie Syriana.

Whilst the credits at the end say much was fictional, it was nonetheless based on real life experiences of a former CIA operative, Robert Baer, who’s experiences covered a whole range of shenanigans across the Middle East and are included in his book “See No Evil”.

As the plot unfolds, and myriad characters come and go in establishing the story, if I put myself back a couple of paces, and use experiences and observations made over 43 years of both selling and mixing with high flyers in big business, I became more and more depressed.

The character played by Christopher Plummer of an aging, rose garden loving wheeler dealer was particularly chilling and I wonder how many of his ilk exist in the shady backrooms of politics, many no doubt connected through oil and drug industry to the front line of politics.

What the movie did was yet again expose the duplicity of both the United States business and government people and their sycophants across the Middle East and their underlying creation of mayhem for commercial advantage.

The movie also shows the other side where poor, imported labour, in this case from Pakistan, is ripe for the plucking by Islamic ideological zealots who have no compulsion about converting them from down trodden people to the stage where they willingly give their lives “for the cause”.

I believe George Cooney, and his directors, need a great clap of applause for having had the guts to make two movies such as Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck and having made (hopefully) people think again about just what makes this world tick.

At the funeral of Mrs Coretta Scott King, US Senator, and no doubt Presidential hopeful in 2008, Mrs Hilary Clinton said “ FDR said that there was nothing to fear except fear itself. Our Government (and you can include Australia’s and Britain in that too) runs on spreading fear in the community”.

How true that is and through movies such as these I am hopeful that the ordinary people who make up a nation can see what is happening and start to ask awkward questions of their politicians and not be satisfied until full answers are forthcoming.

Here in Australia and overseas in the USA, Britain etc., we pride ourselves on so called “free press” and yet all these mentioned Governments have implemented, in the name of fighting terrorism (when in fact more people are killed on the roads each year), measures that erode away the tenets of individual freedom and expression that we have had as the yardstick of our societies.

I listened with great interest to a Radio Australia broadcast yesterday as I was travelling Sydney auctioneering and it had to do with the BBC series The Power of Nightmares that is currently being shown here on SBS television.

The discussion centred on the enormous growth of the internet in China where there are currently some 110 million people on line (tipped to be 130 million by 2010) as against America’s 115 million.

Given the philosophical direction that the Chinese Government has come from, I can well imagine the number of overdone Dim Sums there as the bureaucrats come to grips with this conundrum.

One of those being interview was a member of the Independent Chinese Pen, a group of writers who use the internet as the means to express their opinions and who fairly regularly gain the wrath of “Big Brother”, a move no doubt aided by the rolling over of such corporations as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco Systems and their supplying of internet user information to the Government (back to my salesman par again eh??).

Edmund Burke, the 18th century British libertarian wrote “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance” and to me, nowhere is this more important than with the current crop of governments in the western world.

The spirit of Syriana is well and truly alive and sadly, and shamefully, Australia has joined that band through the AWB bribes scandal – once again salesman gone off the rails!

Carpe diem


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About Anthony Fountain

  • Solaris,

    Thanks for the reply but somewhere along the line I lost the thread of what you werre trying to tell me.

    My reasoin for using Kipliongs quote was simply to illustrate a point about relationships with east (arabs) and west (us).

    It hasn’t changed that much since Kiplings days in the Khyber Pass area and we overlook the strength of their tribal system at our peril.

    Thanks heavens it appears someone in the US military has finally got away from Rumsfelds stupid “shock and awe” caper and started to actually talk to people with their mouths and not the barrel of a gun.

    Maybe reading Lawrences “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” could give them an insight into the Arab mind and psyche and thus be able to save shedding a lot of blood, both from our lads and the Iraqi civilians.


  • Tony,

    In fact, I don’t really know what will be the God’s great, yes “Great Judgment Seat” or not seat ! In the East or West, where there is neither East nor West…and you know why? Because I don’t have at all, the good sense of the orientation. Can you believe that?

    I can share with you three- examples or more, even though, very simple -it’s nice when two strong person. One to One, Woman to Man, stand face to face and make a special spirit trip with also, of course, your favorite – Rudyard Kipling, but today, it’s should be “Souvenirs de France”…

    Yes, kind of memories, when he said (citation) :
    “Also, I was talking with ghosts—good and justified shadows out of that past when a few bewildered Africans and some copy-books were all that France showed the world of her Colonies. And now, at every turn—easy, assured, and interested—I beheld her peoples of many races and lands. They were each integral and unquestioning parts of a system which had been worked out on the line laid down long ago. One heard the triumphant ghosts summarising it. Listen! “Ye-es…

    Even though sometime, my car should thinking yes, es..I am crazy driver, like another man, the man that I love, should think : But Where is she, right now man? Tells me right now ! Tell me where is my wife ! Does he says on the phone, with an “intimest” or, just right in the corner, just behind his brown glasses- Black or White Limousine, yes you know, that kind of the King image.
    The intimest reply said : -In fact sir, yes-es, she was close to have an accident last night ! Yes, and because, she drives very fast, to fast, espacially when she hates her man, in that moment and then, she takes a cigarette and smoke it, like a french, parisian.
    And what man, Where is my best america’s …Hun ! or Ha ! as she wrote – on the text message !
    And sometimes, there are anothers, yes-es, others people who needed defend several positions, you know Tony, that kind of society of limited intellectual capacity, but not because of a –his or your- politics. Yes I will remember it !

    But for the Tick world, I could have several subjections for that. But for sure, your “Tick” can make a very nice impression around there.

    The thing what I want to tell Tony, is, that parcels of life, another part of Hillary Clinton, other part of the actualities, the best clap for G Clooney and his team. The Solaris Mission also, can make the differents. I mean you only speak about the last movies Tony.
    But yes-es, for sure, The kipling balade, poestry. It is this king of WORLD TICK,

    who makes people thinking about their personal life, so much people don’t know yet when, or what is the end of the black- dark tunnel?

    Maybe Mrs Coretta Scott King, replyed forward already, even from her heaven ! Don’t you Tony.


  • Bing

    A post praising George Clooney for his insight?

    I’ll never get the 2 minutes it took to read this back.