Which is still shameful, but in a creepy spin way rather than a directly racist way.
Talking of spin, my head did when I read in various newspapers that Al-Zawahri, the Al-Quaida No.2 and spokesperson, has rebuked Al-Zarqawi, their guy in Iraq, for killing too many civilians, and not enough Western soldiers.
He is also unhappy with the 'kill all Shi'a' line and with the beheadings, which he feels do not play well in the Islamic world at large, compared with hygenic shootings.
There is something oddly bizarre about the international terror conspiracy that has started to worry about its image.
I saw 'A History of Violence' this pm and was fearfully impressed by the discovery that Vigo Mortensen can act as well as look dourly pretty. It is probably the most human film Cronenberg has made thus far, and works pretty well as an allegory for Amerika. The very graphic sex scenes are some of the best and least gratuitous I have ever seen, and the violence is appropriately sickening, shocking and viscerally exciting.
'Night Watch' was OK in a Russian version of Matrix way. I liked the little bits of social assumption, such as that a guy can just turn up at a doctor's flat in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm and she will see him for a consultation, and that if you suddenly have a naked woman in your flat, you can knock on the next door flat and ask for any old women's clothes your male friend who lives there by himself happen to have around. I couldn't work out whether this was egregiously bad plotting, or just how life in Russia is.
I also read a couple of historical romances by Diane Norman; the later one was not much good, but 'The Vizard Mask' did good Prince Rupert and Aphra Behn, while generally despising Charles II in some detail.
The Stuarts - Britain's crappest dynasty? Discuss.