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BOB LEVIN The Pirates and the

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yarn lhat", what a federal .J.rdg<: had to ilelrbmate T)‘."tl Hi the case of lit/alt i)rsney air-"arr, thr: Arr l’irates, a l‘rr'frs lrtrgatron that brought rnto relief the American counterculture revolution and its battle With the establrshrrrent.

lhe Arr l’rrates was a collectrye of underground comrc creators who, rn the explosrye (:lrmate of Vretnam. eron, Watergate. student rrots and domestic terrorrsm, took on the establrshment. l or ringleader l)an ()‘Nerll and hrs Sari l rancrsco based l’rrates. eyewthrng bad about (tonser\./atl\./e America was crystallrsed rn Mrckey Mouse. lhus therr parodrc comrcs had Mrckey indulging rn sexual abuse. drug runnrng and corporate (:orruptron and unsurprrsrngly. [)rsney responded Wrth a lawsuit. dernandrng vas compensation and tart tune for the Pirates.

Lawyer. comrc fan and tuned rn-but not dropped'out author Bob I eyrn's account of the case rs fascrnatrng and exhaustive. Beyond that. l eyrn paints a yrvrd prcture of a tumultuous perrod of Amerrcan history, by turns outrageous and arnusrng. Utterly compulsive reading. (Miles Frelden

COME DY RLFLRL'NCF. JIM HEWITSON Astonishing Scotland! (Black & White $7.99) 0...

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Many of these are laugh out»loud funny. such as the revelation that. rn lE)‘11.ltalran newspapers reported that bornbrng rards on Scotland had been so frerce that Nessre herself had suffered a drrect hrt. Some of the connectrons are a wee brt tenuous (Burt lancaster and Deborah Kerr, who happened to harl from llelensbur'gh. shared the best‘known screen krssl. but overall. thrs rs an entertarnrng tome full of tables to r'egale your friends. (Allan Hadclrffer

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Regarding the Pain of Others ' O...

When a super-smart egghead like Dr Jonathan Miller calls someone ‘the most intelligent woman in America', it's hard not to feel somewhat puny in the brainpower department when casting a critical eye over her work. After all, that body of work contains acres of startling analyses of everything from illness to war photography.

And with Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag is back on a war footing by discussing the images (in magazines and on television) that have brought conflicts through the years slap bang into our front rooms. Against the odds, it actually starts off rather poorly with less than staggering insights about men being the architects of all this carnage and how the technology available to war photographers has made the horror of the battlefield more real. But once she gets into her stride, you can see what

all the fuss is about.

Sontag has intriguing theories about why video will never replace the still photograph in reportage, and why there are more memorials to horrors in

foreign lands than to the home-grown terrors in the USA. The shots of the battered Hussein brothers is the most recent example of her argument that the war image is all we feel that we need in our search for the whole picture. How many read the full reports on the loathed siblings‘ demise, settling instead for repeated, gratuitous viewings of their bloodied faces?

(Brian Donaldson)

War gives Sontag enough rope

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salesman. rs stranded rn Berrut when hrs plane runs out of fuel. lle phones hrs grrlfrrend. orin to discover that she has been (:heatrng on hrm, And to make matters worse. he rnrsses hrs connectrng flight. l uckrly, that very evenrng, he meets and falls rn love wrth the gorgeous Maya. and gurckly makes some Palestrnran and Lebanese friends.

Cue a love story. set against the backdrop of an enrgrnatrc warvtorn crty. Just before the lsr'aelr Wrthdr‘awal from South Lebanon. Perhaps. rf rt was remotely well wrrtten. Sadly, the plot rs wrldly rrnprobable. there rs no depth of character and rt rs atrocioust edrted. Its only rnerrt rs being set rn Beirut. where you have to ask after every member of someone's famrly before discussing business and the women are “better dressed than the ones in the fashion magazines. HOVJC‘JUL Lone/i Planet: Lebanon seems lrke a good read. rAnna Shrpmanr

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