Assorted Inaccuracies.

Karen Armstrong's back in the Grauniad today :

During the 20th century, a militant piety erupted in almost every major world faith: in Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Confucianism, as well as in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is often called "fundamentalism". Its aim is to bring God and/or religion from the sidelines back to centre stage, though very few fundamentalists commit acts of violence. Coined by American Protestants who wanted a return to Christian "fundamentals", the term is unsatisfactory, not least because it suggests a conservative and backward-looking religiosity. In fact, fundamentalists are rebels who have separated themselves irrevocably and on principle from the main body of the faithful. Fundamentalist movements are nearly always the result of an internal dispute with traditional or liberal co-religionists; fundamentalists regard them as traitors who have made too many concessions to modernity. They withdraw from mainstream religious life to create separatist churches, colleges, study groups, madrasas, yeshivas and training camps. Only later, if at all, do fundamentalists turn their wrath against a foreign foe.

Thus Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), whose ideology is followed by most Sunni fundamentalists, had no love for the west, but his jihad was primarily directed against such Muslim rulers as Jamal Abdul Nasser. In order to replace secularist Fatah, Hamas began by attacking the PLO, and was initially funded by Israel in order to undermine Arafat. Osama bin Laden began by campaigning against the Saudi royal family and secularist rulers such as Saddam Hussein; later, when he discovered the extent of their support for these regimes, he declared war against the US. Even when fundamentalists are engaged in a struggle with an external enemy, this internal hostility remains a potent force.

In other news, I went to see a film last night with assorted friends - RLex, Lara, Seth, Crash & Judith - with thanks to the last (two?) for dinner. It was a film with boats in, which I rather enjoyed. Turner senior and Jones were both excellent, and it definitely has the silliest swordfight ever committed to celluloid. The Errol Flynn references in the fights scenes generally were rather fun too, but not as good as the Jules Verne joke, which is a hoot. Considerable liberties are also taken with the Flying Dutchman story and the "dead man's chest" itself. It started off a bit lumpenly, but warmed up a enough before long. Depp didn't seem to be playing things as remorselessly for laughs. Maybe this reflects him having the studio (Oh God, I went to see a Disney film . . . ) on his side after the success of the first. Not going to hit my top ten, but a good laugh. I'm looking forward to seeing Keef in the third.

I did, as predicted, start sniggering when Port Royal came into shot. There's a view here illustrating the lack of hills for at least ten miles, as well as some history and information on recent submarine archaeology of the site. Worth a look regardless, in fact.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: awake
  • Current Music: So Percussion : Drumming, part 2 (Reich)
The film was rather good. I actually managed to pay attention to something other than Johnny Depp as well which is an added bonus!
Port Royal was the original Den of Iniquity it seems :-)
Very much so. And later the base for the suppression of iniquity, too. A fairly sleepy place now, I believe.
There is something mysterious about that time and place - galleons and zombies, tropical storms and so on. I need to see the films now, I suppose :-)
Don't expect anything but broad-brush revisionism - it is based on a fairground ride.
I went to see that too. Overlong, and annoyingling leaves us hanging for the next part; but fun in places.

I must have missed the Verne joke, though. What was it?