Al Qaeda

Culture Warrior

Warning: This article contains spoilers regarding the ending of Four Lions. You have been warned (hence, y’know, the whole “Warning” thing). Almost exactly one year ago, on December 25, 2009, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 headed from Amsterdam to Detroit. The mission, as we all know, failed. The incident regarding the man who became known as the “underwear bomber” is one that has understandably been met with fascination in the media. The incident proved fodder material in discourse amongst comedians who mutually expressed an inability to understand why al-Qaeda would even take credit for such an embarrassing and silly failure. A mental image perpetuated across culture of a young Muslim fanatic attempting to light his underwear on fire as a show of religious devotion. The actual details of the incident are in fact far funnier. Passengers and flight attendants saw that Abdulmutallab’s leg had caught flame during flight, and used blankets and a fire extinguisher to put it out. His pants were gone, he had burns on his leg, and when he was finally asked by a flight attendant what it was he had in his pocket that caught fire, he simply stated, “an explosive device” as dryly as one would say “chapstick.” As an act intended to induce terror, Abdulmutallab’s attempted underwear bombing is as great an embarrassing failure for his associated enterprise as one could imagine.

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Four Lions

It’s incredibly difficult to take a look at terrorism (especially Islamic terrorism) and laugh at it. Four Lions does just that, and does it with flying colors.

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Bob Wilton is having a mid-life crisis of the marital strife brand so he sets out to prove himself as a journalist by leaving his small desk at the local newspaper and heading for Iraq. There, he runs into Lyn Cassady a man claiming to have been trained as a psychic spy by the U.S. military.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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