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Toward a radical middle

a time for fear
Thursday, February 26, 2004  
Passion of Christ opens in the US.

In Texas, thousands of Christians rose before dawn to view the movie, with 6,000 filmgoers filling all 20 auditoriums at a multiplex in Plano, Dallas, for screenings from 6.30am onwards. Arch Bonnema, the Christian businessman who reserved the theatre, had spent $42,000 on tickets, having told his wife: "Honey, we've got to get as many people as possible to see this film because it's changed my life."

Its subtle blend of sado-masochism, anti-semitism, "Jesus porn" and sectarian fury has moved a country to collective tears of redemption and rage. "Better than Operation Iraqi Freedom" read a notice.

However, this reassured me: Italian reality TV has a certain slasher style

Scalpel - Nobody's Perfect, a programme in which viewers volunteer for cosmetic shown on Italia 1, owned by Mr Berlusconi, who himself underwent a facelift recently.

It's because we Europeans have culture, and history. That's what sets us apart.

3:00 PM

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