Sunday, March 05, 2006


A ridiculously absurd but altogether fascinating excerpt from Rolling Stone’s stunning look inside Scientology,
Both of Natalie’s parents are Clear (ridding one’s self of the reactive mind), she says. Her Grandmother is what’s called an “Operating Thetan,” “OT.” So is Tom Crusie, who is near the top of Scientology’s Bridge, at a level known as OT VII. OT’s are Scientology’s elite -- enlightened beings who are said to have total “control” over themselves and their environment. OT’s can allegedly move inanimate objects with their minds, leave their bodies at will and telepathically communicate with, and control the behavior of, both animals and human beings. At the highest level, they are allegedly liberated from the physical universe, to the point where they can psychically control what Scientologists call MEST: Matter, Energy, Space and Time.
I guess this explains that missing clip from Thank You for Smoking at this year’s Sundance. But it doesn’t explain why Tom Crusie hasn’t won an Oscar yet, or managed to control the behavior of Paparazzi.

An aside
: Saw Brokeback. Verged on tears. Will win Oscar. Ledger, I think, was much better than Hoffman, though I did enjoy Capote. Without Gyllenhaal Brokeback is a different film, so I’m going with another upset. I don’t think either Syriana or Good Night, and Good Luck necessarily warrant the type of attention they’ve received – I see them working on a political level, as commendable agitprop, but as strong cinema they don’t cut it for me. (This notwithstanding David Strathairn's superb performance in Goodnight) Aberrations like Munich and, let us not forget the highly manipulative, Crash strike me as wrongheaded in light of Cronenberg’s outstanding A History of Violence. Even considering all its hype, which should work more as detriment to a film of its quality, Brokeback is one of the best films of the last 6 years.

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