OCTOBER'S GLANCE

By William Markiewicz

Paparazzi

Who has use for them?

1) Popular celebrities, like stars and socialites. "Un-popular" celebrities like scientists, philosophers, writers, artists usually don't care for paparazzi nor paparazzi for them.

2) The profit-making machine (media). As for the consumers, meaning the large public, they ignore the paparazzi. They are interested only in the finished product, mostly photos, just as they purchase manufactured products without being concerned about the anonymous producers. The difference is that photos delivered by paparazzi are not a manufactured product but highly individual pieces, comparable rather to the hunter's trophy.

Paparazzi are not nice people; they are not paid to be nice. They are entangled in the conflict of interest between stars and the media. The stars want celebrity combined with privacy; they want to have their cake and eat it too. The media and the consuming public want the most shocking stories and photos possible so the paparazzi have to know how to swim and keep their shirts dry. As the law gets tough on the paparazzi it may mean a slow decline for tabloids because nobody wants to buy a never-ending series of pictures of smiling stars posing with their pets and their families. So a new industry may arise; half-shadey sites on the internet. Scoops may be replaced by something between the scoop and snuff. And as sites are under practically nobody's control, hunters for shocking photos may become manufacturers of shocking photos. It is so easy to fix any head with any body and let the paid models do what the site owner wants the celebrity to do. With the decline of tabloids a time may come when celebrities will long for the good old days when their privacy was a little bit abused but could be protected by a little bit of care on their own part. Yes, you cannot fondle publicly when you are a celebrity but isn't this a price worth paying for rising above the anonymous crowd?


Damocles' Sword

Talleyrand said, "It's more than a crime, it's a mistake." So, according to this view, crime is crime when it's confined to the victim and it becomes a mistake when the consequences go beyond the victim.

The West, represented by Bush, was certain that it could watch the disintegration of Communist countries from a safe distance, treating them as a laboratory and according them help with an eye dropper while giving them humiliating advice with strings attached. After all, the old school, transcending political systems and in defiance of the Global Village, divides the world into geo-political-economic blocs. Russia, communist or not, remains on the "other side" and whatever happens is their own business.

A few weeks ago, the news was that 30 nuclear luggage-size bombs were missing from the Russian arsenal. Now let's see if the terrorists who perhaps bought them will respect the world's division into blocs when they decide to make use of them.

The Russian Army was proud and uncorrupted until their officers were obliged to sell their blood to blood collection centers in order to nourish their families.


Likud and Hamas United Against Peace

Albright and Netanyahu strongy pressured Arafat to curb terrorism and he replied that nobody can achieve 100% results. With this argument he waved their words away like flies buzzing around his ears. Of course he cannot achieve 100% results, especially if Netanyahu pours fuel on the flames and requires Arafat to be the fireman.

In the times of Rabin and Peres, Hamas was dying and the peace process flourished. Then, an Israeli equivalent of Hamas killed Rabin and the Israelis rejected Peres and elected the anti- peace Likud. In this way they blocked the peace process, resurrecting Hamas. In a televised interview, anonymous Israelis declared that they voted for Likud because "security is more important than peace." How did they want to achieve this security without peace? By scaring kamikazes? Now, instead of getting security independently of the peace process, they are entangled in a vicious circle of vendettas in a whirlpool of blood.


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