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Stu just wrote about 1,000 deaths, and what that means.

The New York Times did this elegant, moving gallery of American soldiers who died in Iraq.

Some of these soldiers deaths were listed as "non-hostile".

This weekend, I went for a bikeride around the sunnyside pavillion and stumbled onto an airshow. I was a bit put out by having to dismount for fear of hitting pedestrians (too many people standing in the bike path, walking backwards AND looking up).

I looked up, and it was amazing. These aircraft we have built over the past 100 years are mindblowing. The speed, the swoop, the control, the sounds.... You almost forget they were designed for war. Did the people who made them engineer them with death in mind?

And then I heard this horrible musical medley with the dulcet-toned announcer intoning: "To those heroes who gave their lives for their country..."

And I got really fucking angry. And then deeply sad. I tried to sort out why. I mean, if you fight for your country, what do you picture? Is it like depictions of God with the flowing white beard? Do you have a visual? A set of values?

And this is not to disparage soldiers and the diverse sets of values and backgrounds and levels of optimism or naivete that goes into chosing to engage in war. But are victims heroes too? We certainly hear that name applied to the victims of the Pentagon/WTC attacks. And they were just showing up for work.

I was at a truly excellent Vietnamese restaurant on Spadina Wednesday night, called Miss Saigon, and had the surreal experience of watching Pearl Harbour, a movie that glorifies the US role in wartime. In a Vietnamese Restaurant.

After watching Outfoxed, I reeled at the damage that Rupert Murdoch's organization has done to journalistic integrity and truth (really, go rent it).

But as we sat by the fishtank, eating our pho over the swelling soundtrack, the heroic posturings of Ben Afflek (the sex with no sexuality ) and orgy of killing (killing but not death) that was the film, Chris commented: "I think Jerry Bruckheimer might be just as bad".

oh: Good read. Can we give the smart guys a chance?

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