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16 December 2006

Australia : Invites Us All to an Upcoming Book Launch


Not your ordinary literary calendar; not in Australia in any case --
Despite the Australian draught, despite the brush fires, despite the unseasonably warm temperatures in northern and eastern Canada as the globe warms unnaturally, I would jump at the opportunity to head off for Australia before the end of January of 'next' year (2007) (i.e., one month from today).

True, there are (or were) about one million things I want to do and see in Australia OTHER THAN go to 'one more' book launch or poetry reading. (As if there aren't more than enough of both such events in Montreal! Enough, at least, to fill my next year's agenda.) In your North American city, I'll wager you have the same sort of embarras de choix. Yet after reading the calendar and the announcement copied below, I would go just for this book show and my own signed copies of two books. Nothing local in my area can compare.

Read the blurb I've pasted below from what appears to me to be a very interesting and dynamic leftish bookstore in Sydney. Many people I imagine would love to have this sort of book launch happening in a local venue with local writers; yet we would also accept an urgent call by an editor to write this particular launch up after said imaginary editor 'flips' for the plane tickets and hotel reservations I'm certain. But this is only one of several events of equal or greater importance being held in this particular Australian bookstore this coming Winter and Spring -- click on the title above to discover more offerings at gleebooks.

Eat your hearts out lefties and progressive intellectuals (if you happen to live halfway around the globe from Australia as does Blogaulaire

---------------------- A twin twin-title launch by the multiple authors of two interesting books.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 / 6.00pm for the 6.30pm Launch

The authors who will be launching their respective books are:
Georgina Murray, Mike Donaldson & Scott Poynting

The two books:

Capitalist Networks & Social Power in Aust & NZ
Ruling Class Men: Money, Sex, Power

To be launched by Raewyn Connell

Venue: gleebooks
49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Cost: Free

RSVP: gleebooks - 9660 2333
Request a place

Book Summaries:

Capitalist Networks & Social Power in Aust & NZ
Georgina Murray

It is often asserted that the ruling elite in Western capitalist economies now consists of liberal intellectuals and their media sympathisers. By contrast this book looks at the real elite in Australian and New Zealand society and shows that there is still a
ruling class based upon economic dominance. From an analysis of corporate and public records, interviews, and other primary and secondary data, it develops a icture of networks of power that are changing but are as real as any network in the past.

Ruling Class men: Money, Sex, Power
Mike Donaldson, Scott Poynting

What is it like to be a master of the universe?

The authors have researched the desires and fears of the world's most powerful men. The Murdochs, Packers, Kennedys, Agnellis and other men like them, directly determine the fates of thousands and influence the future of the world like no other people. Described as 'sacred monsters' by one of their own, they are carefully created to be what they are and to enjoy shaping the world in their own likeness. To learn about these often reclusive men, the authors extended the lifehistory technique to interrogate autobiographies, diaries and biographies and have created a composite picture, a collective portrait, of tycoons over three generations. The book carefully explores the childhoods, schooling, work and play, sexual activities, marriages and deaths of the wealthiest men who have ever lived. It exposes the nature of ruling-class masculinity itself.

The Authors:

Mike Donaldson convenes the Sociology Programme at the University of Wollongong. He has written many books and articles on contemporary life,
including Male Trouble, Looking at Australian Masculinities (2003), Taking Our Time (1996) and Time of Our Lives, Labour and Love in the Working Class (1991). He has worked as a consultant with UNESCO and has taught at universities in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Scott Poynting is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney, where he teaches Cultural and Social Analysis.

His recently co-authored books include Bin Laden in the Suburbs: Criminalising the Arab Other (2004), and Kebabs, Kids, Cops and Crime: Youth, Ethnicity and Crime (2000).

Publisher and media enquiries to: Morgan Smith gleebooks Events Manager

The Australian Letters Blog


The daily newspaper, The Australian.:

From their Letters Blog

PETER Holbrook’s article"Classics out of print" stimulated a few comments from readers that articulate similar concerns regarding the disappearance of the English language literary canon from the curricula of schools and universities in Australia. Holbrook says that this is an urgent reminder to all those interested in literature that now, not tomorrow, is the time to take a stand or "a 'Literary paradise' may soon be lost”.

(Sounds exactly the same as the story in the USA and Canada, and for the same basic reasons.)


The economics of publishing mean that the bookshop is no longer a place where we can browse through our literary heritage. Our great writers have vanished from the nation’s bookshelves because they don’t sell in the volumes of the latest pot-boiler. When literature confronts the bottom line, there seems to be no question as to which one wins out.
Mark Howie

Aged 31: A Few Reactions in Writing to What Got Published in 1975


In Year 1975, maybe you were waiting to be born. Maybe it was a busy year, so you did little recreational reading. Were you zonked out on something chemical; off trekking around the globe?

Well link to the ''s Page F75' ---- to catch up. (I found F75 while looking up a book I found and purchased today written by Ira Progoff, The Death & Rebirth of Psychology.) I knew that Progoff was credited as being one of Bandler's mentors circa 1975 and was regarded as an inspiring foundation for the neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) school. Now that I am reading Progoff, I find him a convincing authority.

On -- Page F75 -- the review in one paragraph of an NLP classic that published that year regards the book as far from being one of the best titles for easy reading enjoyment . The review is amusing:

Bandler, Richard, and Grinder, John, STRUCTURE OF MAGIC, THE, 1975, Science and Behavior Books (Palo Alto, CA), Trade. Subtitle: A BOOK ABOUT LANGUAGE AND THERAPY. Pity the poor heavy metal kid, looking for some quick surface spells, or the D&D* freak looking for a book on fantasy games, who bought this and discovered that its about Transformational Grammar and semantics. The cover has a nice color wizard, of the generic sort used on D&D* book covers. There's no wizardry within, though. It's just a boring bit of psychobabble about how to get from the "surface structure" to the "deep structure" through the use of the authors' linguistic "meta-model." This book stands as a good example of the paradox which exists in the whole pseudo-linguistic world. Why is it that those who are obsessed with language as the prime mover of human experience can't write better?

If these pseudo-heavy books bore right through your occipital lobes or overwhelm your retinal nerve-matrix (or are merely so boring you skip right past them in every used bookstore), then try this book for a juicier 1975 Book Title :


Anger, Kenneth, HOLLYWOOD BABYLON, 1975, Straight Arrow, HB. Anger was a character more outrageous than most of the Hollywood denizens he wrote about. He grew up around the movie biz and picked up a lot of leads about the sleazy side of Hollywood. Here's what really happened at Fatty Arbuckle's disastrous party, and the whole gory truth about Jane Mansfield's death, with tales of seduction, rape, suicide, and murder. Anger published most of this in Europe, but a lot of the information had worked its way back to the States to become part of the pop/folk tradition long before this edition was published. At times, Anger seems to be gleefully dancing on the grave of Hollywood myths. Anger, a fan of Aleister Crowley, opened the book with a quotation from the Magus: "Every man and woman, a star". It is one of the most ingenious misquotes I have ever encountered.

*D&D = Dungeons and Dragons

The Dragon's Almanac - 16 December


Well Chicken Lawn Ornament

from Justin Wintle

"If a priest teaches false doctrines, he is certain to be reborn as fungus."

. . .(1398) Japanese

15 December 2006

Not Forgotten: Gardener - Photographer


The Constant Gardener - December 14, 2006 - The New York Sun

December 14, 2006
The New York Sun
December 15, 2006 edition

"Charles Jones was a gardener. In a country where not just castles, but very modest homes have prized gardens, and where theories of landscape gardening correspond to political ideologies, a gardener is more than someone who comes around with a flatbed truck to mow the lawn. Not much is known about Jones, but he was evidently a very good gardener. He received a glowing notice in the Gardeners' Chronicle of September 20, 1905, for his care of Ote Hall, a private estate in the parish of Wivelsfield near Burgess Hill, Sussex. Besides that, we know he was born in 1866, married in 1894, and died in 1959. But he was an intensely private person who left no diaries or other writings, and whose death as an old man was marked only by the few who knew him.

In 1981, the author and photographic collector Sean Sexton chanced upon a trunk at the Bermondsey antique market in London that contained several hundred exquisite gold-toned gelatin silver prints, about twothirds of vegetables, the rest of fruits and flowers. The exact name of each plant was written on the back of its picture, and most were signed 'C.J.' A few had the photographer's full name, Charles Jones. Who this Charles Jones was, how he had made himself into such an accomplished photographer, and why he never publicly shared with anyone the results of what had to have been a considerable effort, was a mystery, and mostly still is. What Sexton realized immediately, though, and what remains apparent, is that this was an extraordinary body of work."

The Howard Greenberg Gallery currently has up an eponymous display of 29 of Jones's striking photographs of vegetables and fruits and flowers.

The Dragon's Almanac - 15 December


Factory Smokestack Water Tower

from Justin Wintle

"Every sect has its truth; every truth has its sect."

. . . (1397) Chinese

14 December 2006

Louis MacNeice - From a British Poetry Archive


Louis MacNeice - Reads a Poem CLICK on TITLE "Prayer Before Birth" at TARGET SITE:

"Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was a friend and contemporary of W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender at Oxford and his poetry has often been linked to their own. Whilst sharing certain characteristics with them, including a sharp political awareness, in recent years MacNeice's poetry has been re-evaluated on its own terms, particularly by a new generation of Northern Irish poets such as Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon who've acknowledged him as a major influence. MacNeice's family were from the West of Ireland but he was born in Belfast to a Protestant clergyman father and a mother whose mental illness and premature death disturbed MacNeice for the rest of his life. These early years were recalled later as a time of darkness and loneliness presided over by the strict figure of his father. MacNeice was sent to England for his schooling, to Marlborough, and he then went on to read classics at Oxford. His professional life began as a lecturer in classics but in 1941 he joined the BBC and for the next twenty years produced programmes for the legendary Features Department, including his own celebrated parable-play, The Dark Tower. He died from pneumonia in 1963 following an expedition to the pot-holes of Yorkshire to record sounds for a radio play.

Longley has described MacNeice's poetry as 'a reaction against darkness', his childhood memories of puritanism and rigid ideology fostering in him a contrasting love of light, of the variety and flux of the world as expressed in his famous phrase 'the drunkenness of things being various'. However, the darkness remained a presence in his work as in this poem 'Prayer Before Birth' written at the height of the Second World War. In the poem MacNeice expresses his fear at what the world's tyranny can do to the innocence of a child. Although written at a particular historical moment, by making the speaker of the poem an unborn child MacNeice gives it a stark universality.

This recording, made in 1946, was part of a series masterminded by the author and literary impresario John Lehmann (and also includes Edith Sitwell featured elsewhere in the Archive) on behalf of 'The Writers Group of the Society for Cultural Relations between the Peoples of the British Commonwealth and the USSR', though what the Soviet authorities would have made of MacNeice's impassioned cry against totalitarianism is an interesting thought. In the reading MacNeice brings out the driving momentum of the poem, its largely anapaestic rhythm building to a crescendo which makes the terseness of the final line all the more shocking."

"Prayer Before Birth" AUDIO

Bookninja is Worth Reading Today


George on Bookninja offers up one of his (but maybe 'G' is a 'her'*) . . well, George woman (hee, hee; like the real author of the Greek classic The Odyssey*) . . well in any case, George offered up one of his/her less cryptic remarks today Publishers Weekly article on bookstore sales for 2006. Not an encouraging spin on the sales summaries as Christmas and Hanukkah approach:

Bad year
For being a bookstore

I have a great live recording of an Oasis number where at the end, the two main coke-heads get into a tiff on stage about the drummer and keyboardist doing a bit of jazz improv. The text goes something like this, Noel: “Oi, oi, oi. Cut that fooking jazz nonsense out…. Seriously, I hate that fooking shit.” Then Liam chimes in with a fed-up “Awright, this will be our last song. We’d play more, but it’s been a bit of a topsy fooking year.” There’s a pause before Noel says matter-of-factly, “Same as the last one.”

That’s how I see this kind of article.

Posted by George (at Bookninja)

Well Bookninja, without a subscription , readers do not have access to the entire PW article; the lead paragraph says that figures are for pre-November sales in 2006; the figure is less than a 2% drop and the holiday sales are not projected.

Here is one reader's comment on the PW site that non-subscribers are allowed to read:

Submitted by: yan liu
12/14/2006 6:38:20 AM PT
Location: china
Occupation: editor

look at the datas (sic) of online bookstores. i believe they are happy with their sales numbers. Also, more and more people are getting used to reading online... the publishing business is in the biggest transition.

Despite CPE's reservations regarding the bookstore sales figures, you should take time to browse over to Bookninja for several other, very important, articles:

Giant Black history collection in danger

* See the Bookninja post "Here’s to swimmin, with Trojan women - More on Homer’s possible Homerella status."

Cy (host of CPE) commented recently on an altogether unrelated post on Bookninja.

The Dragon's Almanac - 14 December


Tiny Yacht

from Justin Wintle

"There is no highway to the heavens, there is no doorway to the earth."

. . . (1390) Chinese

13 December 2006

Ferlinghetti gets down about SF's 1950s North Beach (where you can still catch him and his) - Café Trieste


excerpted from -
SFGate, 13 Nov '06

A free-speech landmark -- 50th anniversary of 'Howl'
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

. . .

The Importance of Being Rexroth

When I arrived overland by train in January 1951, it didn't take me long to discover that in Italian, bohemian North Beach, I had fallen into a burning bed of anarchism, pacifism and a wide open, nonacademic poetry scene, provincial but liberating. There were two or three anarchist poetry magazines spasmodically published, but the central literary, political force in all this was the poet and polymath, Kenneth Rexroth, who was active in the Anarchist Circle, waxed wroth regularly on KPFA-FM, and held Friday night soirées in his flat filled with apple-box bookshelves loaded with books he reviewed on every subject from anarchism to xenophobia.

The Beat poets, joining this San Francisco scene in the 1950s, furthered the postwar cultural synthesis, and "Howl" became the catalyst in a paradigm shift in American poetry and consciousness.

. . . read more Ferlinghetti clicking the highlighted subtitle linked to SFGate article

The Dragon's Almanac - 13 December


Guitarist Abstract

from Justin Wintle

"It is better to die alongside a wise man than to live in a house with an idiot."

. . . (1389) Chinese

Dragons Teeth Used Books

Robt Payne, ed "The White Pony:
An Anthology of Chinese Poetry"

New York: N.A.L. (paperback), 1960.

US $12.55 plus $2.45 shipping
(in Canada and the USA)

The Dragon's Almanac - 12 December


travel with children

from Justin Wintle

"Every life enjoys seven successes and seven failures."

. . . (1389) Japanese

William Shirer Book Cover

Dragons Teeth Used Books

Wm Shirer, "Berlin Diary"

Toronto: Ryerson (paperback), 1961.

US $12.55 plus $2.45 shipping
(in Canada and the USA)

Cy's Letter of Resignation from the Bookstore


Here is a copy of my resignation addressed to Sandra:


It was impossible to continue the conversation yesterday evening in front of my daughter Dee and again impossible this morning in front of A. E. (all ears).

I cannot continue to work at your bookstore. Please accept my resignation immediately. If you wish, I could post a notice on the door for customers who come by on Thursday and find no one there.

Erick says he cannot stand in on Thursday. If you would like me to phone anyone else, let me know.

In any case I cannot continue at your store. The agreement was that my books would be displayed and I would keep any payments for their sale. The arrangement you are now following ends up with me making no money for work on Tuesdays and no money for any sales of my books.

Please delete my books from the online offerings.

I will come by Thursday at 1 pm to pick up some of the books that are still there. If there are customers, I will take care of them (if you wish). Before you leave for the bus driving work, you can have your key back or I could leave it in your mail slot at home.

Be assured that I want you and your bookstore to prosper. Sincerely, Cy

Bookstore Flounders: Holiday Book-Buyers Give Us a Cold Shoulder


If you are looking for a web link to this post, stop. Most of the background to the story & this post are there in Cy's profile or are archived on this site already.

Early on, Blogaulaire decided that dissing 'the Management' was becoming too personal, so I deleted the nasty posts. All the readers I consulted before trashing these rants agreed in principle. But then they bugged off from Cheap Priceless Editions for their daily gossip, because the juicy part was what attracted some of my friends in the first place.

Well feast today while the bookstore languishes in famine.

My own personal involvement as a part-time worker at 'Sandra's Books' is unsustainable now. This is due to a fundamental problem - money. Each of us who work in the bookstore alone from 1 pm to 6 pm on weekdays and even the owner, who also puts in two 1 pm to 6 pm shifts (Saturdays and Sundays) plus two later shifts from 6 pm to 9 pm (on Thursdays and Fridays) lately have toughed out these zero-sales days. Obviously it is disheartening. The frequency of days open with no sales seems to be growing as the holidays approach.

Some of the owner's friends have helped out gratis (these are my friends as well, and I should include my own 11-year-old daughter here). Several of us have tried to straighten up in all the aisles and within all the nooks and crannies of the various subject sections. Over the past several months shelving has been built, duplicate copies stored away, displays rearranged - but to no purpose. Sandra undoes our efforts, claims she has her system (implying strongly that she is on top of things which is patently untrue and evident to everyone who enters her bookstore - they say this without mincing words).

With the constant in-flow of more boxes full of donations, boxes of 'everything imaginable printed on pulp & paper', and the owner's obvious fixation on hoarding it all, whatever order any of us have tried to make out of the mess has been buried under the accumulated rubble.

Well, maybe it's not THAT bad. But wherever and whenever anyone other than the owner makes headway at arranging the surplus of books piled on the floor in one corner of the bookstore, we are made to feel that we have just 'stabbed her in the back' by messing up her efforts at 'properly arranging the books'. This is not an exaggeration. If this is not a formula for discouragement . . well the disappearance of even the regular clientele who should now be getting into the holiday buying spree spirit (wish, wish) . . that certainly is discouragement.

Quite recently there have been other developments of a more private and personal character. Not between the owner and any one of us who work for chump change or who volunteer our time. I won't go into it. Only to say that it is all starting to look so thoroughly neurotic in scope and depth that a couple of us 'in the know' are throwing up our arms, fingers and feet in disgust. We will merely 'float away' with all our limbs engaged in mid-air like that vis a vis Sandra. She is the one who will land smack on her ass. That is our prediction (and I DO write here for more than myself).

Sandra is the first person who will tell you that if there is something wrong with the bookstore, blame somebody else. Does she also believe that if there is something good about the bookstore she is the only person who deserves credit? If she does think like that, it is a perfect formula for what is happening. Her community is deserting the store. The passengers onboard are jumping ship. In extremis, as the situation appears to be at this crisis juncture financially, none of us have the leisure to debate whether the ship hit the iceberg or whether the iceberg rammed the ship. Most of us think that the collision occured in broad daytlight and that if the captain cannot tell what happened, the least the captain can do is lash herself to the mast and leave us one more place to save someone more innocent of complete disaster.

12 December 2006

Battle in Seattle - Vancouver Crew Re-enacts the Clash of 1999 for a 2007 Movie !


Is Flickr Showing Us the Movie - Or Is This from the Archive?: "Battle in Seattle - a 2007 movie release

When a film crew films dummie demos about huge real demos - still remembered vividly by the now 'ageing 20-some' movie reviewers (some 8 years after Seattle) the reader can really sense the Adrenalin-flow in every phrase of copy content. I can share it, though I admit that this sort of thing is the height for definitions of what is seriously self-referential; it can turn into one more progressive's contortionist act of gazing at his or her own belly button.

Bob at flickr ran photos of the scripted WTO counter-globalization demonstrations taking place this week in Vancouver (Year 2006). I cannot tell the film version from the archived real images. I don't even try!

Let us see if we can upload an image:

This was being filmed this morning at Robson and Homer, Vancouver, BC.

Eight years is approximately half the lag-time between movie and realtime protest movements and struggles. Have we moved that fast lately so that today 8 years = 16 years of the 20th century . . or is the time warp only affecting these global trade issues?

------------------------- Quote (below) from

View Bob_2006's map

Taken in Downtown, Vancouver, BC, CA (See more photos here)49°16' 46' N, 123°7' 01' W49.279495-123.116925

This was being filmed this morning at Robson and Homer, Vancouver, BC.

Director: Stuart Townsend.
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron.

Based on one of the most incendiary political uprisings in a generation, Battle in Seattle takes an in depth and personal look at the five days that rocked the world in 1999 as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in protest of The World Trade Organization. What started out as a peaceful and successful protest intended to stop the WTO talks quickly escalated into a full-fledged riot and eventual State of Emergency that squared peaceful and unarmed protesters off with the Seattle Police Department and National Guard. A 'ticking time bomb' political action-drama in the vein of 'Crash' and 'The Constant Gardener', Battle in Seattle intertwines points of view of all facets of this infamous event. Our lead characters are protestors, pedestrians, politicos, police, delegates and doctors. No perspective is left untold . . .

11 December 2006

Comparing Hollywood Trailers : 3rd World Genre 01


Blood Diamond

Hollywood: The Human Juice and Fizzy Swirl Soda Bar. Reality in, flaming yet frosty entertainment out.

Comparing Hollywood Trailers : 3rd World Genre 02


Babel trailer

This Babel flic's trailer may qualify as the generic neo-colonial Hollywood adventure (African, Near Eastern, WhatHaveU) as near as a blockbuster film will come to social commentary (a la Hollywood post 9-11). From YouTube - now You can register a COMMENT on Cheap Priceless Editions or you can reach a wider readership with a COMMENT on the YouTube site directly.

Blood Diamond : Is this Flic a 2nd Fiddle to The Constant Gardener?


KPBS Movie reviews » Blog Archive » Blood Diamond:

"Zwick is not content to just tell a good action story or to focus tightly on one aspect of a complex problem — he wants to explore everything. He shows how the guerrillas coerce children into fighting, how diamonds fund the violence, how the west ignores the problems in Africa, the formation of massive refugee camps, and so on. Yet even though the film covers a lot of ground, it never gets to the complexity of the problems. It’s broad in scope but not deep."

Edward Zwick directs Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou.

Reviewer Beth Accomando goes on in the filn review to add negative comparisons of Blood Diamond to the film version of the John ie Carre novel The Constant Gardener (TCG. Toronto, Penguin, 2001 ISBN: 0 14 10.0169 0; Blood Diamond which is not a novel adapted for screen, opened 08 Dec in US cities / TCG ran last year and is available in DVD format for rental).

A newcomer to blogging, S Nathan Lee on his blog Gin House Blues just reviewed both flics and critiques both for offering cartharsis as relief for 'our' White Colonialist Guilt (in a word). Blogaulaire just commented at Gin House Blues to back up Lee's critique because all of these Africa-themed novels and films (including Gil Courtemanche's Sunday by the Pool in Kigali and Hollywood's Hotel Rwanda )arrive on cinema screens at least 10 or more years after the disasters that they describe. This reminds me of Vietnam War films with the obvious twist involved for Africa.

I am nearly certain that the reviewers will go Political Light (and PC) on Blood Diamond and other upcoming additions to this 'bloody Africa' genre while ignoring the background for the stories.

Any reviewer has a right to slight the political realities because this is 'just entertainment' after all. Does the obligatory love story enthral viewers or does it fall flat on the rear-end? Rear ends are as important to this genre as are the tie-ins to corporate crime. And some semi-serious periodicals running Arts & Entertainment reviews keep that department very far away from the World News and International Politics pages -- as all advertorials should be placed apart.

Where reviewers should not fall down, however, is in the zone of film edits. Ex: here in Canada we made much of le Carre coming to Manitoba and Saskatchewan to research background for the his TCG book. Then the director set up what were regarded as key scenes in the Canadian locales. Reviewers of the filmmaking phase (as they often do for local connections that boost local economies) told us that the reason the fictionalised version featured Canada was related to a real-life Canadian medical researcher who had to fight tooth and nail for the right to publish her clinical trial results while the pharma company that contracted the research fought even harder to prevent this disclosure of negative results.

Well and good. Those who had followed the news item about medical publlshing and big pharma were delighted that a blockbuster film might bring down a bad blockbuster drug.

When I watched The Constant Gardener on DVD there were no scenes from Canada. There were credits for the filming in Canada, however. And in the feature section of the DVD those scenes were shown. They were cut from the video (and presumably from the film) version.

Did reviewers at the time TCG came out make the cutting-room floor connection? That the filmed murder of a drug investigator - the hired hit that targets a faculty appointed physician standing up to pharma - was cut frrom the final version of the film? Was the dramatic action from the Canada shoot too dramatically documentary to be rolled out with the romantic and less focussed crimes set in Africa?

I will be checking out some of those older reviews and awaiting a chance to view Blood Diamond in a theatre. Prediction: in 6 to 8 years we will have a book-film rise to the top of the entertainment pile that deals with the crimes and career of US educated US ex-con and ousted Liberia's tyrant Charles Taylor. But even after the delay, the book-film I predict will leave Pat Robertson's evangelic bankroll for phony gold mines to prop up Taylor - all the bits tying African exploitation to the big lobby of Congress in the States - the focus on North Americans in other words will be left unused on the cutting-room floor.

GRIPPING (sic) CONFLICT: Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, and Leonardo DiCaprio star in 'Blood Diamond.'

The last word in this post is reserved for the film reviewer from KPBS, Beth Accomando:

Films from Africa, made by African filmmakers are few and of those few only a rare one ever makes it to American theater screens. All the films we’ve seen recently of Africa — Blood Diamond, Catch a Fire, The Constant Gardener, Biko, The Last King of Scotland, Tears of the Sun—are all very western in terms of their narrative structure. Films from Africa by such directors as Sembene Ousmane or Djibril Diop Mambety have a very different storytelling quality to them that stems from an oral storytelling tradition. It would be nice to see more films from a genuinely African perspective make it to American theaters.