Friday, August 11, 2006


They just announced a terror alert in Delhi and Bombay for Indian Independence Day (August 15).

According to an interview with Lebanon / Hezbollah expert Augustus Richard Norton, the Israelis have killed some 20,000 Lebanese civillians over the past 25 years. This includes the over 1,000 that have been offed so far during the current, US-funded war; most, however, died between 1982-84 -- around the time when the Untouchables' song "Lebanon" was released. That tune has been poisoning my brain since I turned on the radio here on July 22 and heard everyone's new pronunciation of "Hez-BOL-lah." Lucky for me I still have that album. On vinyl.

Apart from the humanitarian crisis, there's the massive oil spill in Lebanon caused by the bombing of a power station. It's already over half the size of 1989 's Exxon Valdiz spill -- and no one's cleaning it up.

It's enough to spark one to turn off the radio, turn on the bhajans and make a donation to Doctors Without Borders, which is pretty much the only group administering aid to the refugees despite an Israeli ban on all movement in southern Lebanon.

Fortunately yesterday's "Fresh Air" also included an interview with Over the Edge and Little Darlings star Matt Dillon -- who is smarter than he looks, has a riveting voice, and plays the lead in a new film based on the novel Factotum by Charles Bukowski. The last good Bukowski film was the 1987 Mickey Rourke vehicle Barfly.

In this one, Lili Taylor -- star of 1988's Mystic Pizza -- plays the female lead.

Just like in the times of Reagan, the art (hopefully) improves when the government moves to the right and things look hopeless.

At least there's that.

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