Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meanwhile, back in the real (?) world ...

I must admit, I'm disheartened by the recent murder of two policemen by the so-called "Real IRA" (brilliant name, btw, which has now inserted itself sans quotation marks into coverage of the story, thus lending legitimacy to a splinter group that doesn't appear to deserve any). It seemed for so long lately like Northern Ireland was a workable, inspirational example of actual change in a situation that had been deadlocked for decades, if not centuries--a case for diplomacy and compromise as an end to violence. (I thought it was a very smart move, a few years ago, when reps from Ireland tried to lend their experience to participants in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, not that it appears to have done much good.) This NPR interview with BBC correspondent Audrey Carville struck me, as an outsider, as a very good analysis of the situation--the economic context in which the incident took place, the ironies involved (like the image of a former IRA leader now working with the same British police whose murders he once plotted), and just what is at stake right now. I try very hard to keep an open mind to every side of a story, particularly those that unfold on the other side of the world from me, but this feels to me like a pretty clearcut case of a small minority doing everything it can to undo years of hard work for the sheer hell of it.

On a lighter note, we have "Eye-borg," the superhero-ish moniker of filmmaker Rob Spence, a self-described Six Million Dollar Man fan who is outfitting his empty eye socket with a camera. The first interview I heard with him (which I can't find at the moment) explicitly raised the possibility that he could use his new "superpower" for good or for evil. And at Spence's website, you'll find the following video intro; note the many references to Luke Skywalker, Neo, and other fictional precedents:

EYEBORG-- The Two Week Trial from eyeborg on Vimeo.

Maybe Eye-borg can lend his services to "the Troubles."

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