War is Dumb

war is peaceOK, I just have to ask: why is a great big country like us seriously considering making an unprovoked attack on a much smaller country like Iraq, ostensibly because they have a tiny portion of the same weapons we have? Can we really be this bent on haggling a good price for oil?

We keep hoping our president is less ignorant and malignant than he seems, but there’s scant evidence to the contrary. The usual list of celebrity malapropisms attributed to Bush is a frighteningly impressive giant step beyond even Dan Quayle, and the look in his eyes -or, more accurately, the lack of same -instantly confirms that there’s nobody home.

Worst of all, people who know absolutely nothing about politics or history or world affairs are going to start to pipe up, some of whom didn’t even bother to vote in the first place.

People like me, for instance -people who know nothing about anything. People who never, ever talk about this kind of stuff are starting to, and that can’t be good. (If you would only listen to me, I would gladly shut up.)

In all my years here at La Krepe de la Kape, I have never once written anything that was even vaguely political or topical, and darn it, I don’t want to start now -for that would be giving in to terrorism -but this cowboy stuff has got to go. I’m completely mortified.

All this has made it hard to concentrate on what should be my first priority as your local music correspondent, which, of course, is this year’s upcoming Oscar awards show!

Once again, it looks like the local music community has been shut out of the race completely -not only were none of us nominated, none of us were ever even in a movie to begin with. It’s hard not to think about what might have been: Link Montana in “The Hours”! Randy Frost and Steve “Woo Woo” Wood in “Chicago” -the list is endfull.

By the way, Steve “Woo-Woo” Wood’s regular Sunday happy hour shows at the Prodigal Son in Hyannis seem to be the talk of the town lately. Apparently, Eastham’s P.J. O’Connell sat in last week, and things got loose and loud, to the point where some people’s eyebrows were singed right off. I might drop by this Sunday myself, if I’m not in hiding.

I saw a remarkable new band up in Boston a week or so ago called “The Ninja” (and, yes, I agree that “The Ninja” is one of the least promising band names I’ve heard in quite a while.) They played a short but galvanizing set at the Midway in Jamaica Plain that recalled the energy of the Foo Fighters, but with more interesting melodies and arrangements.

They are fortunate to have what any great rock ‘n’ roll band needs most, which is a great drummer, in the person of Barnstable resident Finny Moore. Guitarist John McWilliams is also from Barnstable (used to be in the local band Degobah), so perhaps there’s some chance they’ll book something out this way soon -consider this an orange alert.

As to the Oscars, ah, I don’t know, you pick. I’m rooting for Diane Lane (partly because she really was great in “Unfaithful”, but also because I just always root for Diane Lane) and for Christopher Walken (because I always root for Christopher Walken, and because a day without Christopher Walken is like a day without sunshine, and because I’d like to hear his speech.)

More importantly, I saw a fascinating movie last week called “Russian Ark.” For now, you’d have to go to Boston (Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, actually) to see it, and it’s in Russian, too, so, I know, fat chance; but it is absolutely remarkable, a true jaw-dropper (and would be even if it wasn’t shot in one gargantuan ninety minute-plus take.) Stately, moody, mysterious, haunting, and sometimes even playful, it reminded me most of the last hour of “2001”; like that film, it’s open to a thousand different interpretations.

The crowded ballroom scene at the end is especially amazing, and has a strange Capra-esque quality: even the smallest, non-speaking characters seem somehow to lead full, fascinating lives. In a room full of hundreds of people swirling around, not one of them seems like an extra, and the effect is remarkable, stirring, and, in the final rapid pan down the stairs through the crowd and out the door to a lonely green-grey sea, unforgettable.

In the past, I’ve frequently found Russian movies hard to take, but I’ll certainly be searching for anything else by director Aleksandr Sokurov (and probably not in vain, as “Russian Ark” is apparently his 31st film.

[Editor’s note: I encourage all to please check out MoveOn.org: Democracy in Action]

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