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September 2002   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Still Flying
Flight Attendant’s Association international secretary Johanna Brem looks at life in the air since last September’s terrorist attacks.

International: President Gas
NSW Firefighter’s president Darryl Snow sent this missive to his members on the anniversary of a day when 343 of their colleagues died in the line of duty.

Politics: Australia: A Rogue State?
ARM director Greg Barnes argues that September 11 has summoned a new era of isolationism and international lawlessness.

Unions: Welfare Max
Maximus Inc is big, American and controversial. Right now its knocking on the door of Australian welfare delivery and there is every chance the Howard Government will usher it inside, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Welcome to Telstra!
A Telstra call centre has joined the race for Bad Boss after sacking a pregant woman who had the audacity to need to use the toilet.

Health: Fat Albert: The Grim Reaper
Workers Online's cultural dietician Mark Morey chews the fat over this week's conference on child obesity

Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Saddam Hussein has launched a pre-emptive strike on the United States to prevent it from pre-emptively striking Iraq first.

Poetry: A Man From the East And A Man From The West
Resident Bard David Peetz has penned this ode to the sacked Hilton hotel workers

Review: The Sum Of All Fears
Tara de Boehmler checks in to see that America’s cultural cringe is alive, well and sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes

C O L U M N S

Legends
Gough's Plaza
Labor's living legend challenged NSW Labor to lift its game as he attended a renaming of 2KY House to Gough Whitlam Plaza.

The Locker Room
Support The System That Supports You
This system is a certainty, a moral, a good thing and a knocktaker; well, at least according to Phil Doyle

Bosswatch
RIP Chainsaw Al
One of the heroes of corporate downsizing has been cut down but his memory lives on with golden handshakes for leaders of failed businesses still thick on the ground.

Awards
The Importance of Being Ernie
It was the tenth annual “Ernie” Awards for sexist behaviour and Labor Council’s Alison Peters was amongst the noisy punters

Week in review
Lest We Forget
You can’t help a sneaking suspicion, Jim Marr writes, that George Bush is conscripting the dead of September 11, 2001, to lead his push for another war in the Gulf…

Activists
Workers Out!
Gay and Lesbian trade unionists are organising an international conference to develop a global response to homophobia in the workplace, writes Ryan Heath

E D I T O R I A L

The Legacy of 11/9
From the orgy of righteous indignation that has enveloped the ‘Free World’ this week a more chilling truth is emerging: if the suicide bombers were attacking Liberal-Democracy they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

N E W S

 ‘Robbed Generation’ Seeks Stolen Wages

 One Year On: Ansett Crash Still Hurts

 Cole Exposed By Immigration Scam

 Car Workers on Howard Hit List

 Mystery Windfall for Hilton Workers

 Shock: Abbott Backs Workers

 Union Billboards Censored

 Track Grab Ignores Lessons of Glenbrook

 Casual Approach to Air Safety

 Bosses Say No Living Wage For NSW Childcarers

 Pastry Workers Tell Boss To Get Puffed

 Injury Toll Mushrooms

 Victorian Zookeepers Down Buckets

 Pride and Safety for Workers Out!

 Activists Notebook

L E T T E R S
 The CFMEU Race Debate #1
 The CFMEU Race Debate #2
 Keeping it Clean
 Sue the Leaders?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Review

The Sum Of All Fears


Tara de Boehmler checks in to see that America’s cultural cringe is alive, well and sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes

When President Bush's chief political advisor last September called for Hollywood to contribute to the "war on terrorism" he probably did not mean it to achieve this end by terrorising moviegoers. But that is exactly what Phil Alden Robinson's The Sum Of All Fears achieves.

It all starts in 1973 when Egypt and Syria launch an attack on Israel. The US steps in but accidentally loses a nuclear missile in a sand dune when one of its air jets goes down. There it stays until 29 years later a poverty struck family uncover it, dust it off, and sell it for US$400 to a wicked terrorist with shifty eyes and an appetite for evil.

His plans to drop it on the US Super Bowl gives the producers mega opportunities to include scenes of American flag wavers, baseball stars, cheerleaders, product placement courtesy of the tobacco and sportswear industries, and even a heartfelt rendition of Star Spangled Banner. When it comes to self-promotion the US remains unbeatable.

But will they be able to beat this guy? Craftily disguising his attack as a Russian government initiative, he pits the two presidents against each other in a battle of wits across the miles in which neither knows who is telling the truth.

"We must demonstrate the strength of our weapons," an advisor whispers in the Russian president's ears.

"Mr President, we are now in a state of de facto war with the Russians," an advisor informs the US president.

"I spent my entire life wanting to be president and now this is my presidency," the US president sulks back.

Thankfully however, a humble historian (played by Ben Affleck) has a reliable hunch that all is not as it seems, gains access to the CIA headquarters and gets on the blower to Russia.

What happens next? Does the world, as we know it, cease to exist? Does Ben save both the day and the planet? Has Hollywood finally lost the plot beyond all retrievability? And save a thought for all the embarrassed Americans out there who must surely have overtaken Australians long ago in any cultural cringe stakes.

Without wanting to give the game away, it is quite a revelation see that coming within 30 seconds of the end of the world as we know it could be so dull.

But as for representing the sum of all fears, though the title would suggest this movie is a little scary, the most frightening thing was that I was that I had actually paid to see it.

Rating: one out of five (Recommended viewing only as a sedative)


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