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May 12

Chivalry and parades

An Absence of Chivalry in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is my Arab News column for today. Apropos of the film, Beautiful Atrocities: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: IF YOU LOVED ALEXANDER… has an entertaining roundup of reviews of the film. Funniest: Carrie Rickey’s description of the movie as “A doughnut with Bloom as its hole.” Most apt: the New Yorker’s sniffing the film’s “A rambling, hollow show about a boy.” Most accurate? Seattle Weekly’s assertion,”The Islamic characters are implicitly racist in their sentimental two-dimensionality. They’re not characters, they’re Christians’ wishful thinking about how Muslims should be.” Best read? Here, in Telegraph | Opinion | The Crusaders were right after all.

You also have to read Beautiful Atrocities: ORLANDO BLOOM: A STAR IS BORN, which is just the funniest collection of reviews of Orlando Bloom, and what his fans say in defensive response.

In The American Thinker, there’s a two part series that argues the Crusades were a reaction to Jihad (and which tries to explain just what a Jihad is).

Also, Victory in Europe – INQ7.net is my Inquirer column for today. To get a sense of the feelings of Socialist achievement at the time, you have to make reference to paintings such as this one, by the Soviet artist, Khemelko , which shows the moment the various war flags and trophies of the German army were thrown down at the steps of Lenin’s tomb. A magnificent series of color photos (actually photos taken from films) of the 1945 Moscow Victory parade can be found in Victory Day. Colour Pictures from 1945.

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