Wednesday, September 28, 2005



What can the citizens of Afghanistan read in their free newspapers? They can read about how American academics are urging them to "consider the views of Al Qaida." The article goes on to list and quote a number of stalwart tenured Americans with indoor plumbing and long life spans on how the Afghans are blowing their future by opposing the terrorists who have devastated their land for over a decade.

Meanwhile in Prague an editorial explains how, even though many franchises are foreign licensed, they remain locally owned and a boon to Czech businesspeople and workers. A photo of a sassy Czech beside a McDonald's accompanies the article. There is no sign of any angry Frenchmen with tractors.

Enough politics. A play now sweeping South Korea takes one of the dwarves in Snow White, who the playwright names Bandal, or Half-Moon, as its main character. The audiences thrill to his valour and heroism:

"The youngest of the seven dwarves, Bandal, who is born mute, loves Snow White from the first time they meet. Every time Snow White fell into the evil trap, Bandal throws himself in to rescue her. And each time she kisses him lightly to thank you it makes him the happiest.

"Now no one seems to blame Kwon for the role, but she sheds tears almost everyday, whenever she becomes the dwarf on the stage, so emotionally connected with the role. 'In a sense, Bandal represents the outcasts of society,' Kwon said."


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