REVIEWS: Genocide on parade: “Carnage,” “In the Land of Blood and Honey” onscreen, “Anne Frank” onstage at WaterTower

In Carnage, two well-intentioned, upper-class New York couples hash out the details of a schoolyard brawl between their sons. Ethan, the son of Penelope (Jodie Foster) and Michael Longstreet (John C. Reilly), was swatted in the face with a tree branch by Zachary, the son of Nancy (Kate Winslet) and Alan Cowan (Christoph Waltz), knocking out a few teeth.

Penelope is especially high-strung about the incident — so much so, she can’t help but insert little jibes even as Nancy and Alan (clearly less horrified by the events than Penelope would like) offer pro forma apologies. Their son “intentionally hit him,” she snipes, eventually causing Alan to observe, “Yes, we’ve established it was intentional — what is gained by emphasizing it?”

Penelope clearly wants to live in a world where enemies become friends and we all hold hands around a campfire; Alan, a high-powered litigator, has a more cynical view. “I worship the god of carnage,” he says. Bad things happen, even if not because of bad people. Violence simply is the way.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Anti-gay general refutes Senate testimony

At Senate “Don’t ask, don’t tell” hearings two weeks ago, Gen. John Sheehan was the only witness that tried to give an example of just how gays in the military could lead to disaster. Others just used the same old fear of sharing showers.

Gen. John Sheehan
Gen. John Sheehan

The general cited a conversation he had with a Dutch military commander who blamed gays among the Dutch troops for the massacre at Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

The Dutch military was outraged. Pink Army, a Dutch gay military group, threatened to sue him for slander. The Dutch prime minister called the remark “disgraceful.” The Dutch general he claimed to have quoted called the statement “complete nonsense.”

Now Sheehan has apologized for those remarks and Pink Army has dropped its charges.

But Sheehan’s Senate testimony stands. He has not been called back to recant his fictional account of the events so that anti-gay Senators cannot use his lies as a reason to vote against the repeal of DADT. So far there have been no calls from Senate allies to charge Sheehan with perjury or contempt of Congress.

—  David Taffet