Friday, June 15, 2007

Dying for the Words

A rare event: I got talking to a fellow cinemagoer after we caught each other surreptitiously checking out our tear-reddened eyes in the washroom mirror after the film. Talking about things that make us cry, I mentioned the newspaper, and she cited a story she'd heard on BBC World this week about the assassination of master calligrapher Khalil al-Zahawi in Baghdad. And that's the only traditional news outlet where I could find information. Blogger liosliath, at Morocco Time, links to the BBC article and to some examples of al-Zahawi's calligraphy. Follow the link for the art, not the blog, which is reductionist and partisan in claiming al-Zahawi's death as part of a Zionist plot.

From the other reductionist, partisan corner comes Bobfrombrockley, who makes the excellent point that there's been no news coverage of this story in the English-speaking world (comparable to, say, David Hockney being mugged and shot and no-one reporting it), and the slightly less sound point that al-Zahawi's death somehow proves that the US & UK are right to be in Iraq.

Logic fails. Words fail. Language is shorn of beauty. A library burns.

Also in memory of novelist, filmmaker, educator, provocateur Ousmane Sembene.

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