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The Value of Human Life, or A Strange Form of Diplomacy – Episode 133

In this episode, Dara has further thoughts on the ongoing Middle East conflict after listening to the concerns of a good friend who has a certain amount of skin in the game. He wonders if a peaceful end will ever be possible when key combatants on both sides are so determined to eradicate each other. It raises the existential question of what value one human life has over any other.

The deaths occurred in the last week of a great Irish songwriter and iconic performer, as well as a German-born US diplomat who was instrumental in shaping US foreign policy in the mid-20th century. Dara shares his thoughts on Shane MacGowan and Henry Kissinger, with particular focus on the former’s Fairytale of New York and its recently acquired status as lightning rod for the culture wars and woke revisionism, and the latter’s infamous directive in relation to the deployment of a relentless bombing campaign in Cambodia that began in 1969.

Ending the episode on a lighter note, Dara argues that David Fincher’s recently released ‘The Killer’ might be the best comedy of the year, with a Michael Fassbender’s central performance embodying a jet-black humour that infects the entire film. He also review’s Grant Singer’s ‘Reptile’, a cop thriller that is distinguished mainly by an excellent Benicio Del Toro as the world-weary protagonist. He celebrates Fassbender and Del Toro’s uniqueness as actors at a time when many American actors feel interchangeable.

Note: No chickens were harmed during the making of this podcast, but maybe they should have been!

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