Let the Hurting Begin

Published: March 3, 2010

By Jim Lichtman
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The Hurt Locker opens with a quote that sums up the ideology of its central character. “The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

With few modifications, the quote could easily apply to some Hollywood producers that express a win-at-any-cost attitude. Maybe some politicians, too.

If director Kathryn Bigelow’s suberb 2009 film The Hurt Locker wins an Oscar for Best Picture, one of the film’s producers, Nicolas Chartier, will not be there to accept the award.

Chartier has been barred from attending “Sunday’s Academy Awards because of e-mails he sent urging academy members to vote for his movie,” the Associated Press wrote. “The executive committee of the producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences imposed the penalty on Chartier, who violated Oscar rules that prohibit mailings promoting a film and disparaging another.

“Chartier sent an e-mail Feb. 19 to some academy members asking for their support for ‘The Hurt Locker, not a $500 million film’ – an obvious reference to blockbuster best-picture contender Avatar.

Campaign fever is rampant around awards time due to the fact that any film that wins one or more coveted Oscars, receives considerable recognition in the form of box-office revenue.  “The academy keeps a tight rein on awards campaigning,” the AP says. “Its rules prohibit ‘casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.’”

“My naïveté, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first-time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it,” Chartier said in an apology.

We’ve seen a blistering amount of public apologies recently; from David Letterman to Tiger Woods, John Mayer to Mark McGwire, Akio Toyoda to Charlie…

Wait a second, did Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel apologize for ethics violations in “accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008” as reported in the New York Times?

Rangel:  Common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff unless there is reason to believe the members knew or should have known.

Sounds like Charlie didn’t get the memo about confession being good for the soul.

About a third of the way into The Hurt Locker, an emotionally spent JT Sanborn asks his staff sergeant Will James to explain why he takes so many unnecessary chances in disarming the numerous IED’s left by insurgents.

“How do you do it? Take the risk?”

“I don’t know,” James says. “I guess I don’t think about it.”

Rangel seems to have adopted the same philosophy.

Someone’s in for a big load of hurt.


Rangel announced that he will “temporarily” step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“In order to avoid my colleagues having to defend me during their elections,” Rangel said. “I have this morning sent a letter” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “asking her to grant me a leave of absence until such time as the ethics committee completes its work.”


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