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Academic Idol: Round Eight




To get you guys into supporting your favourite lecturers in the competition prizes are now to be awarded for those who can show me their efforts of publicly getting behind their choice for Academic Idol. Votes again to 021 169 4608.
After a colourful run, it was time to say goodbye to Tony Schirato. Though I think he was jonesing to be kicked off anyhow.
The task this week for the final, furious five was cinematic again, and topical.
Write a treatment for a new Rambo movie. You must come up with a subtitle, and it must involve the Taleban, Osama Bin Laden and be in line with today’s political climate. Everything else is up to you.

Peter Gainsford (Classics)

Rambo returns from a sojourn of meditation and self-discovery in the Yukon. During a nine-hour stopover at LAX he encounters Hans Schickelgruber, an old Vietnam rival. Schickelgruber makes mysterious comments and departs, cackling evilly. Rambo visits his old superior, Colonel Trautman, now in a nursing home and using a zimmer frame.
Trautman reveals that Schickelgruber is under surveillance by the DHS because of some phone calls he made to a taxi company that employs a man whose sister married a pizza restauranteur whose delivery boy knows someone called Ahmed.
They pursue Schickelgruber to Iraq. Rambo stumbles across a cache of WMDs in an abandoned factory; terrorists confront them, and Rambo tearfully has to blow up Trautman along with the terrorists, though not before Trautman discovers a note that shows Schickelgruber to be in Afghanistan, and that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda after all.
In Afghanistan Rambo discovers an ICBM missile base operated by the Taleban and Al Qaeda. He is captured and meets Osama, who removes his false beard, revealing that he is in fact Schickelgruber. At night Rambo is rescued by Trautman, who miraculously survived. They blow stuff up. After a duel with walking sticks, Rambo disarms Schickelgruber and strangles him with his false beard.
John McDowall (Psychology)
Deep in the heart of the Afghanistan mountains, in a place that time has forgotten, where no one can be trusted and where the stench of death pervades the air like a gas leak, one man, John Rambo is on the trail of The Big Man – Osama Bin Laden – whose name curiously is almost an anagram of “Demon Labias” and is certainly an anagram of “I’m on anal beads.” Pretending to be member of the Taliban – the name of which being an anagram of “bit anal” – and adopting the name “Rusivan Gale” – which is, curiously an anagram of “vaginal user,” Rambo manages to infiltrate Bin Laden’s hideout but must first seduce the beautiful but evil gatekeeper “Yo Frig Horny Ho Slut” which curiously enough is an anagram of “For Your Thighs Only.” Confused – and increasingly aroused by the anagrams racing through his head, Rambo sweeps Yo Frig off her feet and into a receptive position. But before he can cement East West relationships he is overcome by the evil tribal warlord ” Suh Gewb Roge”– which Rambo realises to his horror is an anagram of “George W Bush.” Don’t miss this blockbuster starring Sylvester Stallone – whose name, curiously, is an anagram of “Over-talentless Sly.”

David McLachlan (Law)
After his exploits in Rambo III, John Rambo has a great affection for the Afghani people. When the war in Afghanistan comes to an end, he returns to Kabul to assist in the rebuilding of the city. He lives there peacefully for two years until his wife and daughter are kidnapped by the Taleban. They will only be spared if Rambo captures George Bush and delivers him alive to Osama bin Laden. So Rambo returns to the US and persuades the military that Bush will need his protection during the forthcoming state visit to India. Instead, he captures Bush and, after much mayhem and a perilous journey through Pakistan, delivers him to bin Laden. Video footage of George converting to Islam (at hidden gunpoint of course) flashes around the world! Having secured the release of his family and delivered them to a safe haven, Rambo returns to the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, systematically destroys the Taleban forces, cunningly tricks bin Laden into blowing himself up, and of course rescues Bush. Unfortunately, however, both are killed when their US military helicopter mysteriously drops from the sky and explodes on the White House lawn. (Was it the CIA?) The film ends with Rambo being posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!” Hallelujah! No more rubbishy Rambo movies!

Sean Redmond (Film)
John Rambo is called out of an old people’s home to rescue post-9/11 America from any one not white, straight, Christian, or Republican. Filmed in the Yorkshire Moors, Rambo single-handedly takes on the Taliban with just a fork, a can of coke (think product placement) and the biggest fucking self-loading bazooka you have ever seen. Wearing just a thong (barely hiding his unfeasibly large penis) he cuts through the mass of faceless others like a knife through butter (think high concept – now we have a fork and knife). Cliff Curtis will play Osama because Hollywood has no regard for racial difference – if you are not white then you are black and the enemy (think racist movie machine). At the film’s end, Rambo and Osama fight it out with increasingly bigger and more powerful weapons until they both flop out their dicks and have a ‘sword’ fight to death. This, of course, is what war, torture and death are really all about: insecure men exclaiming, ‘mine is bigger than yours, nah-nana- nah-na’. And for this – this – our young men and women die.
As Rambo stands over the defeated Osama he roars, ‘eat shit! Bin Laden’ and then blows his head off with his unfeasibly large… use your imagination. Bush goes on to use the tag line as he justifies his desire to nuke Afghanistan. Luckily, at least for those of us who believe in the sanctity and beauty of human life, when the American people see Bush in a thong they can tell that he has… no penis… the Democrats win by a landslide and Eden (think John and Yoko dressed in virgin white) returns to the world.

Matt Wagner (Theatre)
Fade in on an ageing and tired looking Stallone, in full-on Rambo gear: essentially headband and weaponry. He grimaces, sweats, and lobs a grenade past the camera. Nothing happens. Then, we hear a distant, faint echo of destruction. It has no impact on the audience. Rambo stares at us, and with each passing second, his visage, the muscles, the scowl, the sweat, the weaponry all begin to look increasingly absurd. It becomes pathetic. It is pathetic. Fade out.
The lights come up in the cinema, and the audience feels pathetic for having come, especially under the pretence of talking about September 11th, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, terrorism, politics, or anything that might be even remotely worthy of our sincere attention, our considered thought. When I left the States a year and a half ago, I did so with an unspeakable sadness brought on not strictly by the despicable actions of our governments (mine – the US government as well as the British, the Iraqis, the Israelis, ad infinitum, ad nauseum), but also by the sensation that the people these governments preside over were in support of those despicable actions. Thousands of people are brutally killed on September 11th, Bush and company decide that the appropriate, proportional response is to kill thousands upon thousands more, and we all say it’s ok? This is OK?! Forget Rambo. Fuck Rambo! Can we have a different framework, please, a different mentality for this discussion? If we want to talk, this week or any other week, about global politics, about the terrors and terrorisms of Osama and Bush and all the rest, I beg, I plead, that we do so without the image, the idea, the pathos of the Rambos of the world.