I think of our Paradise Lost.
S.-Dear S.- Bearing in mind what a slow reader you are, I write at leisurely pace. A dated and corny joke comes handy. My way of making sure you are in good mood since what follows is no laughing matter; it is no Pulp Fiction. ‘Why do you Americans do such horrible things?’ you keep asking me, ‘What is happening to your country?’ ‘Are ‘There Will Be Blood’ the only words you have for the rest of the world?’ Your biggest enigma - our passivity in stopping 'madness'; The Madness Of King George, you call it. 'Who does he think he is, The Last King Of Scotland, The Lord Of The Rings!? Is there No End In Sight to his hubris? He runs your country as The Last Emperor. Obviously he’s seen The Godfather to many times!' - your latest insight. Always a movie buff, your dislike for smugness of an average American, American Me, is clear. When you come to visit, it is The Thing you are not to bring up. We resent any complacency in the Funny Games our country plays overseas. The one countryman who dared to raise the issue - The Ugly American – is a marked man, not yet a Dead Man but certainly The Accused. That particularly sordid affair, a real American Tragedy, is about much more than just wrong timing. Partitioning the blame has never generated high ratings at home. Not In My Name, no way, Sir! Your effort to make sense of complicated things, things most complex, to understand Power and foreign policy, to peer into deep Abyss and give Shadows a living form, is The Faculty historically scarce on our shores. Nowadays any attempts at scrutinizing our leaders, our chief public Servant, that get any spotlight, must be 'politically correct', must bear an official stamp of approval, must be adorned in Flags Of Our Fathers. To most of us history has become but another low-ranked cable channel; it is mostly Out Of Sight. After the big war, we find no compelling reason to dwell on the issue of War and Peace - on Beauty and Beast. The results speak for themselves; we are the last remaining super power. After Vietnam, our other military involvements hardly ever get mentioned; Nicaragua, Salvador, Granada, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, Serbia. Each of these countries got their fifteen minutes of notoriety. They all got their serving of Wag The Dog. Talk Radio, the speaking heads, sneaked into our skulls and skillfully sailed our brainwaves working their voodoo - making sure A Face In The Crowd sees what they want seen. Like stepping stones, these countries only figure in your mind briefly as you contemplate jumping from one to the other. Once you are safely landed on the next one, they disappear from your consciences. This unlucky collection of third world countries had a misfortune of their interest colliding with ours at a particular historical juncture. There is no mentioning of David's interests when Goliath is around. The Lives Of Others don't matter. Apocalypto then, Apocalypse Now. Snuggle them up, bundle them together, all of these countries could be comfortably placed in the half of our great state of Texas. With Plenty room to spare. Their combined population, far less than that of Kalifornia. Almost as if at the West Point Police Academy, the introductory course Military Interventions Abroad 101 teaches how to use a magnifying glass! It comes as no surprise then, that, as of late, we have been called The United States of Amnesia. It’s been said that ours is The Attention Deficit Democracy. Our conduct of foreign affairs - Cowboy Diplomacy, our own CIA - Christians In Action. It is not funny; these are not Woody Allen one-liners. Your one comment, a slight remark, stuck in my mind; its echo still carries The Sound And The Fury of an alarm buzzer; disturbingly, we do seem to get further out of lockstep with the rest of the world on how we view and see ourselves. The Others see a Raging Bull; we see a compassionate Elephant. We are much like the brilliant portrait of The Picture of Dorian Grey. The picture of our own reality fully reflects the ravages of our national psyche. At fifty, it was noted, people get Faces they deserve. The Mask we've been wearing over the course of the last decades, has morphed into a disfigured face with unrecognizable features. The face of The Rapture it is not. Narcissistic and intoxicated on our super power Glory, we roam and rage around the globe. With blind determination, with Eyes Wide Shut, we insist on remaking the world into our own image. The Reflection In The Golden Eye, in The Mirror, is not who we think we are. It is by no means the good old chap Colonel Blimp. It is, in fact, the mad, contemptuous face of crazed colonel Kurtz grinning back at us, as if saying 'You've created me. I am you. You've become me.' Dr. Jekyll, you say. Mr. Hyde, an American Chorus sings. I'm talking about our Head-On rush into Crash, into The Heart Of Darkness; about monsters, boogie men, about enemies we create who come back to haunt us. As if after the collapse of communism, after the Reds were gone, with no formidable enemies – Good Bye Lenin - we lost our ways, we took the Lost Highway. We got drunk; after all, we won! It's been reported: All Quiet On The Western Front! A long due Celebration is in order. Besides, a bit of brainstorming - Altered States - won't hurt. Where are we headed next with no one capable of stopping us? A Farewell To Arms? Au contriare, moi chéri Amelie moi petit Mademoiselle! The binge is still going on - unabated. In order to justify its unprecedented stature, our biggest industry hurriedly set on tracing new paths, the Paths Of Glory. The paths weave through obscure terrain in search of new adversaries - give us something, Enemy Mine, Enemy Of The State, whichever, whatever. If nothing, let's get ready; let's prepare ourselves for Star Wars, The War of The Worlds. Anything, Super Size Me, please, just don't put me on a diet. Fast, before we wake up, before we get Clean And Sober and realize there is no need for the obese, bloated complex that spits Fire, Misery and horror. That is mostly Why We Fight. Don't mess with America or else we'll bring democracy to your country. What do I think of it? Very clever, ingenious really, but perhaps a bit long for a bumper sticker. Hold your horses my entrepreneurial, talented, petit Rolling Thunder, my Magnificent Obsession. To be or to have? In my country, having vs. being is not even a contest. having wins hands down. I’m thinking about our biggest divide - haves and have-nots; Rich And Poor, Wall Street and Fargo. Now, more than ever, we live in a winner-take-all society. There is no room in America for second places, for losers. Losers are churned out at assembly line speed; depression looms over our heads, the malady de jour is on the loose. It's not at All About Eve; it is About Schmidt, about The Good Girl; about Dirty Pretty Things we'd rather not talk about. Happiness is elusive in Metropolis of today. A most peculiar phenomenon, you'll see it; haves - skinny, thin and healthy looking; have-nots - fat, obese and worn out. The only similarity between the filthy rich and the homeless, the filthy poor, is the suntan; both are Burnt By The Sun. Crossing the divide, Trading Places, is possible; yet I recommend being born on the right side of it. No. Forbes does not compile the list of 100 poorest Americans. No one does, silly! Out here no effort is spared to convince us that our September's tragedy was an unprovoked attack; it was not, in no way, The Grapes Of Wrath. Revenge is all the rage, but come on, let us look at the facts, let us Analyze This. An action, he says, not a reaction. They hate our freedom! As if our country was run not by a statesman, but by a psychotherapist - by a Medicine Man, by Dr. Strangelove. As if The Statue of Liberty had been targeted. This regretfully simplistic explanation attempted to reduce the causes of a horrific tragedy to psychopathology; It was tailor-made for American public which, in its consumerist zeal, rushes to buy anything from China or from Washington. It was an abstract, inflammatory assessment highly disrespectful of the American mind, the inquisitive mind, the aspiring, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind; a jingoistic remark contradicting our principles and dismissive of overall American Beauty. The era of political correctness is subsiding. Now we are in the midst, a High Noon, of a much more sinister era, the era of patriotic correctness; an ominous criterion if ever there had been one, an Omen. The Age Of Innocence is dead, buried in Shallow Grave. Our Beloved Alice had her childhood full of magic; it was a ball - Alice In Wonderland. She's grown now, the wonderment seized, she moved away - Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore! You either believe the rep served prix fixe, you swallow demagoguery, or you are sided with the enemy, you are on The Other Side Of Midnight. Say-what-you-want-I-love-America badge translates to high ratings and best-selling books; it raises political prospects and kills competition. The opposition gets not a French Kiss, but a Kiss Of The Spider Woman. Dissent is no longer decent - Lost In Translation. Consequently, the picture has been painted of the reality that unites us as the enemy target. We need Good Night And Good Luck to shake off our ongoing nightmare; we play against Professionals, we need a killer flop, come on, hit me - Three Kings! We should be looking for a U-Turn, before we Look Back In Anger and see No Way Out. Before Once Upon A Time In America takes on a portentous meaning, before all we hear are the Songs From The Second Floor - a Requiem For A Dream. Our super power reality calls for a large canvas, surrealistic approach and cubistic elasticity of viewpoints - The Parallax View. As of late, the atmosphere of perpetual fear is meticulously nourished; our Media - The Hand That Rock The Cradle. The brand new release from Pentagon Studios; Monsters Inc; see it at theaters everywhere! The groundwork for the state of never-ending warfare is laid... the war against terror may rage for decades, we are warned. While You Were Slipping, you Once told me, an idealized, nostalgic Norman Rockwell painting had morphed into Picasso's 'Guernica'. We need Deliverance; our lives beg for a Turning Point. Where is The Illusionist when we need one? Could somebody please find us a Miracle Worker? How did we get here? The most famous dissident in the word today - our own Bobby Fisher!? The Fisher King. The youngest Grand Master in history; The Beautiful Mind, the Maverick. Barred from returning to his country for playing a chess match in a place we were getting ready to straighten up, teach a lesson. Searching For Bobby Fisher was released to wide acclaim but no one could predict, it was beyond belief that it would turn so prophetic. Ridiculous, impossible, not true; FBI - the executive producer!? FBI does not produce movies! Though I can hardly deny the obvious fact that they are the big, The Fast And The Furious draw. Quite often, too fast; conducting too much Infernal Affairs instead of Internal Affairs. Our liberties just about Departed. What a way to get acquainted with loneliness of the very special kind, The Loneliness Of A Long Distance Runner, the solitude of a Pawnbroker. You've played against Fisher as a very young girl, haven't you? Is that why you worry about him? No, I assure you, we would definitely not torture him in case he got extradited. You silly, silly girl! A terrifying sonic boom heralding the beginning of the 21st century, opened a Pandora’s Box. Deafened by its frightening, Deep Impact, blinded by the dust and debris of the collapsing Twins, shocked by the diabolical ingenuity of the attackers, we got hit with collective paralysis, with The Sea Inside. Years have gone by, the dust has not settled down; we are still kept in a deliberate, debilitating Coma. Meet The Fockers: All The President's Men, The Wild Bunch around our CEO who have their Hands On A City. Blood- thirsty and with a Hungry Heart, they could hardly wait! With Hidden Agenda, they seized the chance and jumped at the opportunity to profit on The Wages Of Fear. A League Of Their Own was formed with 12 Angry Men and The Dirty Dozen. With guns at their hip, with a Lethal Weapon drawn, ready to shoot, they proclaimed: 'We are The Angels In America'; with us or against us'. Not what you would call Terms Of Endearment, certainly not Good Will Hunting. No wonder their Election promises were Written On The Wind. C.R.A.Z.Y.! Tectonic movements were shaking the world in the late 1900’s. The newsreel was rolling at fast forward. When it stopped, it was a changed world; Europe formed A Chorus Line, it is no longer a Cabaret; the Empire Of The Sun is way past Seven Samurai; The Russian Ark is wide open - Moscow doesn't Believe In Tears any longer; The Year Of The Dragon is upon us, they’ve cleaned their act, They Eat Dogs In China no more, they did away with Shangai Triad. Yet we took no notice. We were to busy producing the reel, casting, playing the lead; it was a huge production, a massive undertaking. The reel wrapped up on an upbeat note, it heralded the end of history; it was all over, we won – ‘mission accomplished’! Little did we know that what we actually got was Mission Impossible; only a Dark Victory transpired. We were promised City Lights; we got a Dark City, a City Of God in drag, a Sin City of sorts. We are not sure where we are headed, The City Of Lost Children or Dogville? These are not The Best Years Of Our Lives. For the longest time we lived carefree - The Innocents; Big Easy time, all the time! The scary Orwell lived far away, a soul residing in two foreign bodies, one Chinese, the other Russian. Suddenly we heard a knock on our door. We thought he'd never visit; he knew he was not welcomed here, he'd be treated like a Stepfather. Who knew he was still in a good shape, he was The Running Man, The Fast Runner!? How could we know he was the Marathon Man!? Our windows were fortified specifically so that he could not sneak in. We believed nothing would happen to us because we have closed our Doors and shut our eyes. Perplexingly and Against All Odds we wide-opened the door to him. It wasn't just shaking hands, we was given The Bear hug. We reasoned; we have a big heart, we are compassionate people, we'll warm him up; give the poor man some Body Heat. Up north we live in Cold Mountain, we are The Winter People. We can shelter him for a while, we have no other Commitments. We rationalized, we empathized. Deep down the poor fellow is almost one of us, Almost Famous. We speak the same language, we shouldn't be too hard on the tortured soul. It must have been hard on him all those years, The Best Of Youth, split between those two horrid places. The Stranger in foreign lands. These are The Days Of Thunder, Strange Days. Orwell's newspeak, the doublespeak of today is the colloquialism di giorno. Our reality can only be seen Sideways. We turn things around, Man Bites Dog; Unlawful Entry is The Patriot Act! We redefine names, we re-invent meanings; dead civilians - Collateral Damage, Department of War - Department of Defense, body bags - transfer tubes. We are the 'coalition of the willing', they are the 'axis of evil' - we let The Fog Of War roll in. It was denied at first, but now it is out in the open - we lost our privacy; our Private Parts have been exposed! They listen to our Conversations. We have a new neighbor; The Peeping Tom moved next door. You've Got Mail! You ain't gonna be the first to read it! We live in Rovellian times. Orwell Turns In His Grave. We are irrational. We get bit by a Rabid dog, we kick any barking dog. Children are our future. Yet, amongst equals, we are ranked as the worst place for Kids. Wars are declared on tactics and issues not on countries. Enemy enters from El Norte, we put up fences to the south! Trials with no lawyers; no Legal Eagles allowed, nor reporters. One way or the other, they say, Trial is A Pure Formality. Only the name of presiding judge is made public - Judge Dredd. Enemy comes from a friendly Kingdom-that-stones-and-beheads, yet publicly, we hold hands with the king, The King Of Comedy. Don’t ask, don't tell; nobody knows - we are Sleeping With The Enemy. Some were warning us; be careful, don't do it in public, those are Dangerous Liaisons. We say ‘democracy’; the world hears 'hypocrisy'! The Verdict; Guilty As Sin. The last declared war we fought was the big war. Yet Yesterday Today And Tomorrow, our deranged vets – The Lost Boys - in Pursuit Of Happiness, crawl city streets and sleep Barefoot In The Park. Support our troops with everything you've got; awareness is raised, there is a push for a very noble cause. Yes, help out, be generous; support our boys for as long as they can carry a weapon, for as long as Johnny Got His Gun. Once they bleed, once they loose their arms and legs, their minds, their homes, themselves, we play a different tune. Sound Of Music changes, we beat a different drum, The Thin Drum. This is a free country, they have the right to be homeless – Butterflies Are Free - they refuse help, they resent shelters. Coming Home is no Picnic. Amores Perros! Is there Trouble In Paradise? How Green Is My Valley? Not as green as our vets remembered it. The particular shade - the one that gives The Field its distinct allure it had Before Sunset, Before The Rain - disappeared. The Rose has become a Pale Flower, the hue which was giving it its spark faded. The Shining lost its Shine; the daylight is bathed in different color. The Patch Of Blue is not there, The Color Purple is Missing. The Color Of Paradise has changed. Lonely Are The Brave - A Dirty Shame, a Repulsion! Violence has always permeated our society, it is a big part of our milieu. Solutions are hard to find. We are exasperated – we are turning out to be No Country For Old Men! We'd do anything to get rid of to the scourge. Incapable of finding a permanent solution, in desperation, we went for an easy fix; export the damned thing, take it abroad, Far And Away for Americans to care. Shielded by our media spinmeisters, we can orgy all we want. We fancy ourselves peacemakers; we invoke cherished words of our Dead Presidents; we bring democracy, prosperity and freedom! Just in case though, we contracted us a lawyer, The Devil's Advocate. We liberate - but wait! Take a look at the Patterns, take a closer look at The Usual Suspects: we wrestle, look at North Korea; we poke, look at Russia; we kick and scream, look at Iran, we strangle, look at Cuba, we stab, look at Venezuela; we chop, look at Yugoslavia; we lynch, look at Iraq, we Burn, look at Waco; we torture, look at Guantanamo, we shoot in the back, look at Lebanon, we rape, look at Vietnam. We fornicate with addictive aplomb, with no condoms nor vaseline. We are reckless; we drink Tea with Mussolini. Flirting with Disaster, that's our Affliction. From a distance it looks much like Downfall. Hasn’t anybody heard of Spanking The Monkey!? Our latest export, our most recent gift to the free world - we dotted the globe with secret prisons. A Fresh approach to spreading loft ideals. We were expedient; we moved fast, we used Midnight Express – there was a Murder On The Orient Express, we could not board it. In secrecy, under Deep Cover, away from the eyes of unsuspecting public we play Forbidden Games. With us or against us, we made The Proposition to the rest of the world; now we are Home Alone. An Inconvenient Truth, what was kept hidden from us is that we have lost most of The Prestige. We have turned East Of Eden, to The Far Side Of Paradise all the way to The Edge of Heaven. The Eclipse covered our part of the Earth in the mid 1990s when television news operations, by far the main source of news for Americans were gobbled up by one or the other entertainment Giant. A Streetcar Named Desire made the wrong turn, it turned into a Runaway Train. Derailed. In this new environment drama counts more than judicious journalism. Stranger Than Fiction, a novel way of Storytelling; The Truman Show has begun. Definable distinctions between truth and fiction were blurred. 'What leads, bleeds; what sells is right' comprises the advertising ethic that corrupts politics as well as journalism. Imitation Of Life. We are force-fed a non-fat diet of streamlined headlines by reporters with spongy spines, with Devil's Backbone. Shade off some weight, don't be so prudent, Life Is Beautiful, is the journalistic mantra coming down from corporate bosses. Adjust to the new rules of reporting in The New World; lip-sync, keep your mind on Sweet Smell Of Success and your Paycheck. With Terminal Velocity our Press lost steam; it fell down with a terrible disease, it lost its strength, it got chronically dePRESSed. I, for one, pray for its health to Return; for Press with dignity not with a Scarface. A new Matrix. Advertising blitz with killer looks and deadly appeal is primarily aimed at the Boys In The 'Hood, at the Brothers: Join Navy Seals become a Top Gun! Come see the world, be part of a Platoon; be all you can be - become a Hero! But the Heroes are not needed overseas. They are in short supply here, on our own turf, in our own backyard. We need a Braveheart in the White House; not a miscast, not The Extra-Terrestrial Playing God. Not an Alien! A Man For All Seasons not a Caligula. We need All The Kings Men to be The Magnificent Seven; we prey for them to have the integrity of a Samurai, possessing neither the deviousness of Straw Dogs nor the callousness of Reservoir Dogs. We don't want them hiding from accountability, becoming The Untouchables. We need the second-in-command, the chief public servant's Guardian, to be a Cool Hand Luke; Popeye not Pinocchio. I'm Not Scared; still get him away from me - fast. He shoots at random; he is a Deer Hunter and acts as a Psycho – totally out of Kontrol, definitely born under the wrong Zodiac! I don't want my Country run like a Casino; despite appearances it is still not Casino Royale. I don't want them to take my house away from me; I won't allow my home turned into The House Of Sand And Fog. If the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels could only take another look at Adaptation and undergo a complete Restoration! Atonement for The Damned! We were so Close To Eden, not Far From Heaven; but guess what? No one expected it; it was unthinkable but Heaven's Gate got stuck. Our leader, Forest Gump? Where did you get that? But really, come on, how could this be? Is this As Good As It Gets? You ask him if he is a demagogue. His likely response: 'I am a religious fellow, but I wouldn’t refer to myself as demigod’. Ask him about War And Peace, no problem, that's easy, he’s read it - it's about Russia. What does he thing about The Red And The Black. We beat them, we got them defeated; both Commies and Nazis are gone. His thoughts on classical music, on Amadeus, Beethoven? He'd tell you he is a big fan of the music composed by famous dead foreigners. His favorite composer - Barry Lyndon. What does he think of Napoleon. Dynamite, his laconic (luckonic?) response. You are not particularly fond of the name 'Freedom Towers', are you? We could have found a better name. You came up with your own Conspiracy Theory. There is an inverse proportion between true freedom and The Frequency of the usage of the term. Who am I to doubt you? You were Born On The Forth Of July, back in 1984. You grew up in a totalitarian country, not I. 'Freedom' was a staple noun given to festivals, soccer teams, factories, squares, cultural centers. Notwithstanding all of your abundant 'freedoms', I bet you, you've never had any ‘freedom fries ‘have you? America, America! The reminder attesting to different, flexible and fluid nature of reality - not all Reality Bites - was the recent meeting of The Non-aligned Movement. You brought the movement to my attention. Your country was one of its founding members, The Fountainhead! Homo Ignoramus! I was barely aware of its eXistenZ, I watch too many movies! Representatives of more than 100 small countries - more than half of the world, - The New World, the Hidden half - demanded that word 'terrorism' be redefined. They made a collective push to broaden the term's meaning to include recent military activities in the desert! The desert which eventually got soaked in blood - The Red Desert. Just Imagine! As we shrug off the notion that terrorism might be the war of the poor and disenfranchised - no one likes to kiss when The Hunger is all around - they poke at our side reminding us that wars are terrorism of the mighty and the rich. The meeting ominously took place in Havana, Cuba. Barbarians At The Gate - we've been long warned. Watch out - they are headed by Conan The Barbarian. A Pavlovian reflex, I can't help it, I shuddered, I was shaken. I heard my inner voice Scream: 'How dare they!?' I am eternally grateful, it was a Blind Chance that my Brother was stationed in Japan when our bombs were raining down on your country. I'd rather he'd gone there as The Station Agent, as The Machinist, Croupier, as anything else. But Wild At Heart, the Rebel Without A Cause he's always been, he wanted to do it his way; he never understood The Warriors that much I know. If ever such times come, if only I could say, once and for all: Once Were Warriors! No more weapons, soldiers, armies - no wars! Then I'd be the first to proclaim: It's A Wonderful Life! A quest for truth And Justice For All is the air your people breathe. Your favorite answer to my many 'And how would you know?' is always 'Poetic insight'. Cool you are my über Baby Doll. As for me, I’ve abandoned poetry right after college when I moved to Hollywood. A minor Professional deformity, there is no room for poetry in Hollywood, I mean, there is no money in poetry. Unless, of course, you are a member of Dead Poets Society. You single-handedly awakened me; Orpheus re-entered my life, I sing again! Talking about 'poetic precision'! The other day I stumbled upon a Kipling’s rhyme: 'If any question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied'. Amen to that! That was for you my Pretty Baby! Our missiles hit the TV station where your father worked at Dead Of Nigh. Being There, watching the monstrosity was no Party. In Europe, in the state capital, in the center of the city, as the whole world watched!? I remember reading about The Killing; I was the Witness of the collapse of the old order. The writing was in small print, the coverage limited. As the new era, the 21st century, was just about to make a grand entrance! The Grand Illusion! You were merely Thirteen when your father got killed, weren't you? A mere Kid! When we met, you were only (oops, already) sixteen, Sweet Sixteen. You are a fast bloomer, you were in full bloom. You most definitely did NOT look your age. Not that I bothered to ask, the slob that I am, The Libertine that I've become. One week before your birthday, you said; you were looking forward to being the Birthday Girl! All the Mean Girls were to come! Soon after his burial, you vowed never to set foot on American soil. Nothing American, never again! For you, an aspiring American film school student!? Three years with no American movies!? War orphans - Heavenly Creatures, - Children Of Paradise - are the Children Of Lesser God. Not exactly our target audience, not Children Of Men. I could not understand, I was not aware; The Lover of cinema of your caliber. Attending a film festival, away on business never turned out better results. It took me five days of persuading; Bowling For Columbine was my lucky deus. It was right up your alley too. Thank you Michael for bowling, for burying a sorrowful vow, for healing a wounded heart, for lifting a virginal veil. By the end of the festival your favorite movie was The Quite American, we both love Michael Caine. Thus, your three-year long boycott of American culture was over. You say things were no better during your war. Prior and during our months-long air campaign, one Very Long Engagement - Nine 1/2 Weeks - your Network TV, your Broadcast News were whipping patriotic hysteria. State propaganda was relentlessly spewed long after we took out your main broadcasting tower. No wonder your mother worried for your dad. The biggest reassurance of his safety was his reliance on the international law and the Geneva Convention. An old-fashioned romantic, your father; an idealist, A Splendor In The Grass. You have to be The Believer, have faith my little Agnes Of God, my sweet Maria Full Of Grace. There will be no consequences, nothing will happen to you once you decide to come. So what if your father was a Moslem and you bear a Moslem name. You were born, you live in Europa. Yours was a secular, communist country. Besides, you are only half-Moslem. Coming To America shouldn't be so difficult; this is not Moscow On The Hudson! Of course your mom worries. Beaurocratic mistakes happen, mistaken identities too. But who told you you'd be scorned, made fun of, harassed even; you'd be called names. Nonsense, you - Jenny Jihad!? You think you'd never get a visa, anyway; let alone the Green Card. You are in our database already, you think. During anti-American and anti-Nato demonstrations the photo of you caring ‘Kill Bill' and 'Blair Witch Project' posters was widely distributed. So what, who cares!? Bill was a democrat, not even an independent, not Bob Roberts. Relax; it wasn't like you planned The Assassination Of Nixon. You didn't care for the film anyhow; it wasn't Tarantino at his Prime. It's all right, you were building democracy, it was your Birth Of A Nation, those were your Days Of Glory. You were expressing yourself, that's what you people wanted most of all, freedom of speech. That whole year after the death of your dad was The Year Of Living Dangerously. I love you my little Soldier Blue! Burning your dad's video library, all but two of his more than 300 treasured titles must have been the hardest thing, a Sacrifice! Soon after The Funeral, your mother at work, you took all of it out in the back yard and torched it. Your Mother found you there sitting, staring at the smoldering fire. She did not reprimand you, she sat next to you and the two of you - The Thorn Birds, Steel Magnolias - just cried. You two were heartbroken - Broken Flowers. You wanted to die; you did not want To Live. Death And A Maiden, how awful, an injustice! Look at The Angel At My Table your dad used to say morning and night. He, the quintessential cinema aficionado, cultivated your American dream. As if foreseeing the tragedy which were still to occur, you fought him, you wanted to go to Prague. But no, he never budged! Nothing but the American film school for his only daughter. He wanted you to see Chicago, Philadelphia, Manhattan; he loved New York. New York Film School, he was telling you, listen to your father, Do The Right Thing! Go ahead; ask your mother, Talk To Her. The only two movies you didn't burn, your two-movie video library, your dad's favorite American movies; Kazan's early 'A Tree Grows In Brooklyn' and Zefferelli's 'The Champ'. Your dad adored you; I grieve with you. I long for my Little Miss Sunshine, my Little Princess. You are so...Turkissable! My piquant Betty Blue, my vivacious Gigi, my melancholic Osama. A Taste Of Honey, that's what you are! You were blessed by your dad with Passion for movies. You two, The Dreamers, had a Game dated as far back as you can remember; you'd create stories from favorite film titles. Your mom was the judge; she'd cook the winner's favorite meal, Babettes Feast. It didn't take long for you to become unbeatable. A week after your dad's killing, you went out and got wasted - your first and the last time. You told me about the weirdest thing that happened during that crazy evening. You were praying for forgetting and forgiving, you didn't want to turn into a hater, into an Intruder; you fought the urge to become Unforgiven. One drink, then another, you stopped counting. Suddenly the game popped in you head. You cried, you drank - another Two For The Road - you couldn't get it out of your mind. The films you loved were racing through your head. Titles started flashing by - in English. You never used to play your game in English. Although yours is, by no means, Broken English. You couldn't help it, it was beyond you. You started playing chess with the titles, arranging the pieces, criss-cross, yet another drink, you tumbled everything around. The contours of a story appeared, the thrill of the game took over. You hated it; you did not want to think thoughts in the language of the Killers. A mosaic started to emerge. The Day After you wrote it down on a piece of paper that you gave me the night before my return home. The pouring of your heart, magnified, are now Graffiti on the wall of my condo. Before I met you things were altogether different. Looking back it looks like I lived My Life As A Dog. At rare instances I was a Leopard or a Wolf, but for the most part it was An Ordinary Life. I never heard The Magic Flute before we met. During our Se7en days together you teased me quite a bit; you came up with all kinds of silly pet names. I was The Crazy Stranger at first. Daytime I was the Urban Cowboy, at night, in my hotel room I became your Midnight Cowboy. I'd told you I collected rare books and old movie posters. Yet in your Untamed Heart I'll always remain the Collector of old masters and young mistresses. I felt your presence before I laid my eyes on you. I was standing in front of a theater when a strange sensation overwhelmed me. I turned around and spotted you. You were with a bunch of girls, Seven Beauties. You stood out. The sight of you was soothing. I saw things I know, I'm familiar with. Your looks was polished Melrose Avenue. You’re short Hair was vintage Lois Brooks, the Polyester mini-top was real short, teenage short. The Red Shoes, The Rose Tattoo, your Dark Eyes. Your Perfume had a scent of Magnolia. I am forever impressed by the simplicity of your ambitions. You would like to spend a whole weekend Sleepless In Seattle; a Roman Holyday is an unfulfilled dream; learning Dances With Wolves is on top of your spiritual agenda; you enjoy Trainspotting and always look forward to Singing In The Rain. I am a happy dude, I feel like Big Lebowski; I have my own Diva in my life. My last night was all planned out by you. I was leaving early in the morning and you needed your mom's permission for an all-nighter. From my hotel we went to your place for a Dinner At Eight. Afterwards a Taxidriver took us to KINOTEKA where we caught The Last Picture Show. We couldn't miss Kieslowski’s The Double Life Of Veronique. I thought I'd never meet a girl who likes my favorite movie as much as I do. Then, desserts at a restaurant with gipsy music, Time Of The Gypsies; I still remember the band – Mambo Kings. That was electrifying, the exuberance, the joy; truly Something Wild. The singer opened the set with a wild announcement: ‘Soy Cuba’, and then the room erupted in ecstasy. A brief stop at an Underground club where I watched you dance – Dancer In The Dark. The dj was playing faith no more, disturbed, public enemy, suicidal tendencies, rage against the machine. There sitting alone watching you on the dance floor, I had a Murmur Of The Heart, I panicked, I was loosing my mind. I thought there is no way I get so lucky; I'll eventually loose you for sure. All I could think while the deafening music blasted was how times had changed. It was crazy; I couldn't help thinking of the bands I grew up with. There, sitting alone, it seemed as if all I was listening was the animals - Monkeys, Turtles, Eagles. Before you saw me off to the Terminal, we took a long walk along the Danube River. It was right Before Sunrise and you couldn't stop crying and kissing. You thought you'd never see me again, you’ll end up Seduced And Abandoned. I was selfish, I savored the moment, I was drinking your tears and couldn't get enough of your sticky, chocolaty, bubble-gummy kisses. You are my Notebook, my walking love poem; my exquisite verse, my favorite rhyme, my sole line, my only word; you...leave me Breathless. My Turkish Delight, a virginal Taboo and a secret tattoo - my sweet tabttou! Just got your IM. But that is so silly. No email, a Letter is better. They read emails. So what if I am an anti-war protester!? If I were a Moslem and suddenly died, I’d only get 69 virgins. Oh, sweetheart, I miss you so! I’ve been yearning for your yin forever! I miss your cherry jubilee. Come, come, my little butterfly. Ciao, Bella, my little one, my one and only Lolita! Your Roman Polanski, The King Rat and forever yours, dirty old Jewish prince.