Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France


I’ll keep this short and sweet. And I will save my promised discussion alleged film studio manipulation of movie reviews until next time. I don’t think anyone (in America, at least) is thinking much about movies right now.

To anyone reading this who has lost someone in the violence that has rocked so much of the world lately, my thoughts are with you.

In the course of hours of watching television coverage of the attack on America’s mainland, I have heard it described variously as “an act of terrorism,” “a criminal act” and “an act of war.” My question is: What is the difference between one or the other of these? And isn’t it a torture of logic to try to treat these as different things?

Such philosophical musing may seem self-indulgent under the grim circumstances, but it is worth thinking about, if only because, like most outrageous acts of violence, this one will inevitably provoke a reaction.

Events like this tend to reinforce an “us and them” mindset. A measure of our progress as a species will be the extent to which “us and them” evokes not nationalities or religions but simply the civilized and the uncivilized.


-S.L., 13 September 2001

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