What a Pain

One of the strongest arguments against torture was made recently by Vladimir Bukovsky, who spent twelve years in the Soviet gulag.Writing in the Washington Post, he noted that “Torture is the professional disease of any investigative machinery ... Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one’s sources. When torture is condoned, the rare talented people leave the service, ... and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists.”

If you need further evidence of this point without leaving the comfy precincts of entertainment, consider Hostel, the latest from Eli Roth, a writer-director who makes his mentor Quentin Tarantino look like Euripedes. Marketed as a campy horror flick, Hostel is something much uglier: an open invitation to share the pleasures of Bukovsky’s playground. (“There is a place where all your darkest, sickest fantasies are possible,” rasps the trailer.) When distributed overseas, this vomit will do a fine job of souring America’s feeble efforts at public diplomacy.

January 7, 2006 10:23 AM |



PRC Pop 

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Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Martha Bayles published on January 7, 2006 10:23 AM.

Of Lions, Witches, and Noseless Demons was the previous entry in this blog.

Director's Cut (Burn, Shock, Waterboard ...) is the next entry in this blog.

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