Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Don't f*** with Maximus 

This must rank as one of the more bizarre recent political-entertainment stories:

"In one of the more bizarre terror plots hatched by al-Qaeda, Australian actor Russell Crowe was the target of a kidnapping scheme as part of a 'cultural destabilisation plan'.

"Crowe has revealed he was approached by the FBI in the months leading up to his Academy Award win for Gladiator in 2001 and warned, vaguely, of the threat: 'That was the first (time) I'd ever heard the phrase al-Qaeda.'

"It was about - and here's another little touch of irony - taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as a sort of cultural destabilisation plan."
Ironic not the least because the "iconographic American" is actually a New Zealander who's a permanent Australian resident.

"Cultural destabilization plan" has a sinister ring to it. And it puts some other recent controversies in an entirely new light. Just who exactly was responsible for Janet Jackson's Superbowl "burqa malfunction"? And what if Michael Jackson was actually framed by Al Qaeda's Neverland sleeper cell (or at least a sleep-over cell)?

The jihadis are not particularly well known for their worldliness, but they obviously know enough about our popular culture not to have made some basic mistakes, such as kidnapping Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin or Gore Vidal. You know you've botched up the job when the only response you get to a ransom note is: yep, you can keep 'em.

And this is
the second most bizarre story:

"Irish rock star Bono (Paul Hewson) is one of several people who have been nominated for the president of the World Bank. US Secretary of Treasury John Snow said Bono's candidacy would not be considered lightly because he is known for his work in the fight against AIDS and his charity activities."
And following on the success of U2's latest album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb", the group's guitarist, the Edge, has been nominated to replace Mohamed ElBaradei as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. God knows, he might actually do a better job.

What else can go wrong today?


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