In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 28, 2005 / 19 Nisan, 5765

With Gutlessness Typical of the Grating Generation, Hollywood Takes Up 9/11

By James Lileks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The popular culture is finally beginning to deal with 9/11 in earnest, but it's doing so with the usual modern mix of internationalist pieties and timid, politically correct drivel. In World War II, the movies had a clear message: The fascists needed to be defeated, and we were right to fight. Today's message: Jihadists are people too, you know.

First, consider "The Interpreter." It's a big-budget suspense thriller, a movie that examines that august body of international concord, the United Nations, and how it deals with a terrorist threat. In real life, the answer would be "lunch." But since the film contains large portions of Sean Penn, one of the more cringe-inducing intellectual exhibitionists of the thespian profession, you know you're in for it.

The movie's terrorists blow up a bus in New York City. Their origin? The fictional African nation of Matobo. The producers didn't even have the nerve to use a faux Central Asian province, like Inventistan. No, they go to that hotbed of global insecurity, Matobo.

"We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way," Kevin Misher, the producer, told The Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps he means this: For some, the very act of mentioning Islamist terrorism is a political act, since it plays into the Bushitler/RoveCo Hate Axis scheme to shove McDonald's hamburgers down everyone's falafel hole. We can make movies about brave soldiers fighting Islamist extremists when Hillary's in power — until then, ixnay on the Uslimsmay.

Hence this strange silence. It's like making a movie at the height of the civil rights era about the horrible injustices suffered by redheads. Originally, the terrorists of "The Interpreter" were from the Middle East. Likewise the terrorists who set off a nuclear bomb in "The Sum of All Fears"; they were changed to neo-Nazis. It's a miracle the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor" didn't show Hawaii attacked by militia members outraged over Waco.

As for how "The Interpreter" treats the United Nations: Your correspondent has not seen it, but assumes that any movie that had Kofi Annan's blessing to be the first filmed at U.N. headquarters may pull its punches somewhat. If "Oil for Food" is mentioned, it's probably in the context of a dressing for the salad.

Then we have an upcoming NBC miniseries on 9/11. The producer said he hoped to do for Muslims what "Das Boot" did for Germans.

"Every approach prior to that was, the Germans were horrible," Brian Glazer told The New York Times. Das Boot "humanized them, because they are human. That's what I'm hoping we do, that we don't demonize, that we humanize all the different sides, and so we see the seeds, and we get an understanding from each culture's point of view as to how they got to such a horrible place."

You want to know how they got to a horrible place? On a hijacked plane.

So what if Mohammad Atta liked to sing in the shower, enjoyed sitting in seedy Florida strip clubs staring jaggy hate-beams at the writhing hussies? Who cares if he liked his orange juice with lots of pulp? If anyone dehumanized themselves, it was the hijackers. It takes a dead rotten heart to board a plane, see a little girl, and know you're going to kill her before the morning's out — if all goes well, that is.

But no one has suggested that the evildoers, to use the president's Hebrew Bible locution, are inhuman. The ability to do evil is not exactly a trait with which humans are unacquainted.

This isn't to suggest that the cineplexes should be stuffed with two-fisted jingoist anti-Muslim hatefests instead of sensitive necessary comedies about slackers who tour the wine country. But this disinclination to face hard facts is mystifying.

Another producer of another upcoming 9/11 drama says they won't show planes hitting the towers because, "We're not ready for it yet." We're babies. Please take the scary pictures away. Tell me the fairy story about Maboto again, Daddy.

Just what you expect from the Grating Generation, perhaps. It makes you nostalgic for the '80s, when Michael J. Fox fled in terror from pursuing Libyans in "Back to the Future." When that movie looks braver than modern post-9/11 drama, you know something's missing. Guts, for starters.

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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, James Lileks