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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

And a Very Merry Christmas to You All

Watching the movie Brazil recently, I was reminded of a TV interview that takes place almost in the background during the opening scene. Mr. Helpmann, the Deputy Minister of Information, is being interviewed, and the exchange sounds frighteningly familiar:
INTERVIEWER: Deputy minister, what do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings?

HELPMANN: Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless minority of people seems to have forgotten certain good old fashioned virtues. They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win. If these people would just play the game, instead of standing on the touch line heckling –

INTERVIEWER: In fact, killing people –

HELPMANN: In fact, killing people – they'd get a lot more out of life.

. . .

INTERVIEWER: Do you think that the government is winning the battle against terrorists?

HELPMANN: Oh yes. Our morale is much higher than theirs, we're fielding all their strokes, running a lot of them out, and pretty consistently knocking them for six. I'd say they're nearly out of the game.

INTERVIEWER: But the bombing campaign is now in its thirteenth year . . .

HELPMANN: Beginner's luck.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you very much, Deputy Minister.

HELPMANN: Thank you, David ... and a very merry Christmas to you all.


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