October 06, 2006

LinkNews Digest [10/06/2006]

Iraq Neighborhood Offended by "Buddy Jesus" Pamphlets

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi Shiite residents of Baghdad's Sadr City have expressed anger on over a picture of a grinning Jesus they mistook for a Shiite holy figure that appeared in the area after a joint US-Iraqi operation.

Residents found a picture of "Buddy Jesus" from the 1999 film "Dogma" posted in the streets, accompanied by a badly photocopied pamphlet bearing a crude approximation of a US military crest and outlining a US "plan" to subjugate the neighborhood.

"That picture abuses our Imam Mahdi and his holy character, and mocks our sacred figures," said resident Abu Riyam Sunday, apparently mistaking the satirical movie still of Jesus for one of Shiite Islam's historical imams, whose images adopt a Jesus-like iconography.

The grinning, winking model of Buddy Jesus giving a thumbs-up sign appeared in the comedy film as a fictional attempt by the Catholic Church to present a kinder and more accessible image of Christianity.

"If it wasn't so serious it would be funny," said a coalition spokesman, Major Will Willhoite.(LINK )

HELL YEAH: "Dark Crystal" Sequel for 2008!

Award-winning animation director Genndy Tartakovsky, who created the hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory, will direct Power of the Dark Crystal, the much anticipated sequel to The Jim Henson Company's 1982 classic fantasy film. The announcement was made today by Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company and a producer on the film.

Additionally, Tartakovsky's newest venture, Orphanage Animation Studios, has been brought on board as a producing partner to head up the CG animation elements that will be incorporated with the film's live-action animatronic characters. Legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud, designer of the original film, will return to design the new characters. Odyssey Entertainment is representing worldwide sales and distribution on the film.

Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, Power of the Dark Crystal follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet.

Genndy Tartakovsky said, "The original 'Dark Crystal' was one of the most inspirational and imaginative pictures of its time, so it's a real honor for me to be able to bring the world of 'The Dark Crystal' to a whole new generation." (LINK )

Canterbury Cathedral Held Together with Duct Tape

Canterbury Cathedral is falling apart at the seams, with chunks of masonry dropping off its walls and a fifth of its internal marble pillars held together by duct tape.

The extent of the building's disrepair was revealed yesterday at the launch of a global campaign to raise £50 million over five years for urgent and long-term renovation and conservation.

The cathedral, the mother church of worldwide Anglicanism which was founded in 597 by St Augustine, was the scene of the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170 and has survived extensive bombing of the city during the Second World War.

But Allan Willett, the chairman of the trustees, says it is now facing its biggest challenge: serious corrosion and pollution. The picture postcard image of the cathedral belied its true state, he added, and if nothing was done, parts of it might soon have to be closed to visitors for safety reasons.

John Burton, the surveyor of the fabric, said that the stonework was now deteriorating too fast for the cathedral's regular maintenance and conservation programme, which cost £1 million annually, to keep up.

"We don't like to admit that we have had to tie bits of the columns together because we are proud of the building, but we do," he said. (LINK )


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