War and Shopping – published: 7 Mar 2004

Some things that look interesting or, in fact, were:

Fog of War. This Oscar winning documentary is soon to be screened in London but it’s already been released on DVD in the U.S.

It’s about Robert McNamara and the insane defence decisions taken during the Cold War. Timely? The website is a minor masterpiece so if that s anything to go by, the doc must be awesome.  (Chances of anyone seeing this doc at a cinema outside London? Multiplex culture won’t allow brain nutrition to seep out into the provinces. Even though London is a city coming apart at the seems, the culture vacuum outside stops me from fleeing. Sorry, that all came out a bit grimpyfied.)

Status Anxiety. Alain de Botton is a British Philosopher and his surname sounds like bottom. Last night his two-hour doc on Status Anxiety was shown on Channel 4. Basically it was a study of our generation’s pursuit of luxury living and recognition, and lack of any real fulfilment; something I’ve heard many people make nebulous references to, including myself. Alain articulated it.

If (like me) you read the Sunday papers, look at pictures of mahogany panelled Uber-fridges or BMWs that match the dining room curtains, chances are you feel you’re getting left behind.

If you see someone at work get a promotion, someone who perhaps joined the company after you, chances are you ll be gripped by a sour dread and an inner anguish that only excessive shopping and a new flat will ease.

Alain hinted that Nudists might have at least part of the answer. Hope they show this again.  (Not the nudists.)

Jarhead. Used up the last of my Christmas book tokens on this (thanks Claudia). I m enjoying this unabashed insight into the life of a Marine Corp. Grunt in Gulf War I. Dumb, macho, inhumane teenagers with guns get dumped in the desert to do the bidding of the oil companies but first they have to dig a latrine. This is war: lots of sitting around.

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