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nate stearns

nate stearns's Public Library

10 Oct 08

Body of Lies (Warner Bros.), the new Ridley Scott thriller about Iraq, is virtually indistinguishable from The Kingdom or Rendition or any number of terrorist-themed recent thrillers in which interchangeable Arabs in kaffiyehs do horrible things to the luscious physiques of A-list Hollywood stars. Certain moments are contractually required to happen in a movie like this: Camels will plod across the horizon as a woman's voice wails in Arabic on the soundtrack. An expensive-looking aerial shot will soar over CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., as a legend on the screen's lower left spells out, "Langley, Virginia." Jeeps will explode in the desert. Leonardo DiCaprio's forehead will perspire in extreme close-up. I will consult my watch.

15 Sep 08

It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working — bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming — all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned — reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone — one mind less, one world less.

06 Sep 08

Politicians eager to keep up with the latest fad need more than a flag pin this election season; the hottest accessory of the 2008 campaign is the reversible raincoat. That's the nickname speechwriters have given to the rhetorical device in which words are"><meta name="keywords" lang="en-us" content="antimetabole, Democratic convention, John Mccain, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Republicans, Obama"><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8"><meta http-equiv="Content-Script-Type" content="text/javascript"><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://img.slate.com/css/slate_global_1_1.css"><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://img.slate.com/css/slate_article.css"><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://img.slate.com/css/special_section.css"><script language="javascript" type="text/javascript

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