Friday, October 10, 2008


I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Oliver Stone's W script, as we had some investors in the GCC who wanted to look at investing in films. In the end, most thought it was to controversial.

It really is a good story, and I don't think it's controversial at all. It's out there...but it makes you think, which IMO is what a good film should do.

I believe it is in a trailer for Bill Maher's film, Religulous, where there is a clip of Bush. Apparently he is answering a question on foreign policy (you don't hear the question) His answer is along the lines of "I believe that God wants everyone to be free, so that is the basis of my foreign policy."

Now that is not verbatim, but close to what is on the clip. How ignorant can someone sound? Even if you are deeply religious, which is one's personal right, to express this goes beyond insane. Whose God is he talking about? How pompous that he believes that if "his God" says must be so.

I am not arguing that freedom is a negative thing, but by making such a statement, you are not taking into consideration other people's concept of what God is or isn't.

No wonder he is the worst President the US has had. Anyway, I would recommend seeing W, and I am going to see Religulous. Curious if either will play in the GCC.....

Sammy the Shark

While I am still in Los Angeles, I have been reading the UAE news online.

I really think the current "Save Sammy" campaign is fantastic. The issue itself, keeping an endangered animal captive in violation of CITES, is a slap in the face to the UAE Federal Govt.

Yes it's true that there are certainly other important things to address in the UAE, like the rights of laborers. However, when a high profile establishment like Atlantis is allowed to openly defy an initiative that the Federal Govt. signed on with, the message it sends is not good. The whole idea of protecting endangered animals is so that we can keep them from becoming extinct. One could argue, "If Atlantis can do this, why can't I?" and before you know it people don't pay attention to what CITES initiative is working to accomplish.

However, I think the really fantastic bit of this is, that the public is getting involved with the campaign. Social conscience has long been a part of America's history. Americans have openly railed against our government, big business and other groups they felt were not leaving a positive contribution. This freedom of expression is protected by law. I won't deny that there have been abuses of this, but the concept of freedom of expression is a positive one. Taken to the extreme, California is one of the states that has something to say publicly about just about everything!

Even though the laws are different in the UAE, most Nationals I have met are just as vocal in what they believe and just as concerned about current issues. However, it appears that it is not their custom to voice these opinions openly (but that is changing with some of the talented Emirati bloggers) The people who are wearing the "Save Sammy" buttons are in reality, staging a polite protest and expressing their social conscience, and Gulf News posting their photos is giving this campaign legitimacy.

Hopefully, Atlantis decides to do something sooner than later because of the negative press and releases Sammy, or the Federal Govt. intervenes.

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.- Albert Einstein

Gulf News