Zero Dark Thirty is a decent movie whose depiction of torture in the search for Bin Laden has touched off a series of accusations/protests against the film. Here is one such example, a letter from Senators McCain, Feinstein and Levin directed to Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures: “With the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”
This is a flawed argument in a number of ways. First and foremost, movies are under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to get the facts right. This is silly. Movies are at their core, Adam Sandler and otherwise, art, and art knows no obligations save for itself. That’s what makes it art. The marketplace determines whether the movie will sink or swim, critically and commercially, so encouraging filmmakers to censor themselves for the social good is an idea on par with letting Tim Tebow start at quarterback.
It’s about an hour and a half ferry ride to get out to Princes’ Islands from the European side of Istanbul, which really puts into perspective the size of the city. Ferda and I got to the ferry early and had plenty of time to sit by the water, drink tea and relax.
My t-shirt proved popular on the day, apparently images of squirrels with guns successfully crosses all cultural and geographic lines.
The NBA has produced a lousy product for decades, held together by superior marketing and an intrinsically pleasing game. I’m from Indiana. I can still shoot free throws at better than a 70% clip despite being old, out of shape and only playing once or twice a year, and if there is a television screen nearby with images of a basketball floating through the air majestically, I will always and forever be drawn to it. I love basketball, which is exactly why I hate the NBA.
The reason for this is simple. The NBA has long been a failure at the one thing that matters most to a professional sports league – integrity. My friends have had to listen to my annoying rants about how NBA playoff games are fixed (they are) and why the games, in the regular season in particular, are terrible (they often are) but just yesterday the league (aka David Stern) came out publicly with the exact same assessment. Well, maybe not the one about playoff games being fixed, they’re probably hoping people don’t notice that.