July 2006 Archives

I wish I had a Monkey Paw

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Tonight was the best Pat show I've been to in a long time, and that's not just the Smarties talking. The crowd was great and Pat seemed very "on" musically. Plus, there were cheerleader tricks. Coolio.

Beauty Academy of Kabul

A few weeks ago I went to see Beauty Academy of Kabul at the Hilldale Theater. I had swanted to see it when t was in the Wisconsin Film Fest, but it didn't fit into our schedule.

I really enjoyed the documentary, and was greatly moved by the stories of the women who had come to study. The only parts of the film that dragged for me were the interviews with the American teachers. Most of them annoyed the hell out of me--I found them condescending and stupid. However, personal dislike for them didn't shake my admiration for the project.

On the one hand, it may seem fairly ridiculous to open a beauty school in a war-torn country. However, when one considers the options that these women have available to them as far as earning money to support their families, plus the way the Taliban had repressed women and personal expression for so long, it starts to make perfect sense. One of the women was making more money in one day by doing hair and make-up for brides than her husband made in a week.

I was particularly moved by the woman who had fled Afghanistan at the beginning of the war with the Soviets and was just now returning, years later, to help get the school started. Her sense of dismay at the broken state of the country that she had known and loved was palpable, along with a hint of guilt at the fact that she had not been there for the hardship and turmoil.

It had its last Hilldale showing on Thursday, but it will most likely be available on DVD very soon. Look for it.

In a whirl

Life has gotten wonderfully busy. On the up side, that means I have a millions things to write about. On the down side, that means I never have time to write anymore.

Dear lord, I can't get the "Washington" song out of my head.

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