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March 11, 2006

The girl who stole the Eiffel Tower (also stole my heart)


Natalie Portman sizzles in her first university lecture. The venue is Columbia and the topic is... terror!

A sampling of the truths Ms. Portman imparted in the 20-minute Q&A session following a somber Frontline documentary on Al Qaeda, Guantanamo and the CIA's counterterrorism tactics:

- "My immediate reaction is that torture is wrong."
- "I don't think it's right to take down the Twin Towers."
- "Censorship is bad."

For which we can thank insights gained in her V For Vendetta role (via Egotastic). And no particular excuse for the tag-line. I just think Audrey could have been a most convincing university lecturer too.

Climate of fear Update: Because the important thing is that we don't just call people terrorists but ask why does terrorism happen? In this culture of fear this is a question few have dared to ask; especially in conservative Hollywood. I mean, not that we can condone terrorist acts BUT we also have to interrogate the idea of state violence v individual violence. After all, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter (sorry to use man-centric language there). To some people Osama bin Laden is basically the same as Nelson Mandella or George Washington so you have to take into account perspective and context before simple-mindedly describing an act as "evil". Remember, Guy Fawkes was basically a civil libertarian and He Was English!!! Etc., etc., etc.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at March 11, 2006 09:33 AM

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Thumbs up, Flea! (Sorry for inadvertently condoning violence against the non-opposably thumbed.) Glad to see you've finally seen the real truth behind the corporatist veil. And don't forget that even the "worst" "excesses" of the "terrorists" actually pale in comparison to Amerikkka's hegemonic campaign of environmental terror. If it wasn't for Bush, Clinton would have been able to sign Kyoto and the world would not now be hurtling towards envirocatastrophe.

Where is America's Mandellla, that's what I want to know?

Posted by: N [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2006 12:58 PM

The "let's not be too quick to judge" view might seem typical of anti-American appeasers of terror.

But Portman applies it across the board which leads her to fight simple-minded attacks on Israel, as well.

Here is a report from the Washington Post of her letter to the Harvard Crimson defending Israel against charges of racism.

Posted by: Canadian Headhunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 09:59 AM

Amazing -- in those three statements, she sounds like an intellectual lightweight, and yet she is probably on sounder moral ground than, say, most of the faculty at Columbia University...

Posted by: Ben [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 11:04 AM