Tom Fontana’s Impressions from "Strip Searches…"

“The Forum gave me an opportunity to once again review my work — and the reactions of others. When a writer takes on a “serious” issue, he or she hopes to provoke discussion and the night provided that. Basking in the brilliance of Sidney Lumet is always a thrill. And Thane asked tough questions, which were both stimulating and terrifying. At heart, I’m a writer, not a speaker. I sometimes wonder if I should let the work speak and then keep my mouth shut — A lesson I never seem to learn.”– Tom Fontana

Audio Recording of "Strip Searches, the Body Politic and the Price of Post-9/11 Security"

Available at: Thanks to Fordham’s Information Systems and Planning Department and Time Warner, Inc. for this recording. (NB: If the audio will not play via the hyperlink, cut and paste the URL into iTunes, RealPlayer, or any other digital music player. Feel free to contact James Peiser if you need assistance.)

The Artist and the Duty of Patriotism

One question that emerged from our conversation with Sidney Lumet and Tom Fontana was: Does the artist have a duty of patriotism during a time of national crisis and emergency? “Strip Search” is a cautionary film about the consequences of the Patriot Act and the erosion of civil liberties. Yet, doesn’t the artistic community have a responsibility to assist in the war effort; indeed, must they be patriotic so that the reasons behind the Patriotic Act–the defense of this nation from the threat of terrorism–not be undermined or trivialize? Lumet and Fontana did not, in any sense, believe that they had a responsibility to support a war that they did not believe in personally. Fontana, in fact, believed that the most important obligation of the artist is to expand the conversation acheter viagra and the scope of public debate, to “keep people talking,” which is not unlike the overall purpose

Patriotism and the Artist

One question that I asked Sidney Lumet and Tom Fontana was: Does the artist have a duty to be patriotic generic viagra in a time of national crisis and emergency? “Strip Search” is a deeply complex film, but it is mostly a cautionary film–the Patriot Act and the erosion of civil liberties are examined as morally destructive. But in asking that question, I wondered whether the opposite conclusion is also possible: The moral corrosion might be necessary, at least for a temporary time, because the business of national security demands it. And if that is the case, if terrorism threatens us more than the loss of all of our freedoms–applied to some people and hopefully for only a short time–then shouldn’t the artist sign on and assist in the war effort? Artists very casino online much did support America’s involvement in World War II. Why are so few artists unwilling

The Moral and Spiritual Toll of Torture on the Torturer

One idea that was discussed at the Lumet/Fontana Forum was the spiritual and moral consequences that the torturer must inevitably endure by having to engage in acts of torture. The torturer, invariably, becomes less human. Even if one accepts the argument that torture, in some limited circumstances, can be justified on moral grounds cialis vs viagra because it might save the lives of thousands more viagra without having to actually kill the person who is being subjected to torture, it is not without a moral cost to both the torturer, and to the society who has granted him the license to engage in such acts.

Torture and the Possible of Saving Lives

One of the more provocative moments of the Lumet/Fontana Forum came when I asked them whether they believed that torture was ever morally permissible. For instance, what if you knew that torturing someone for an hour, as despicable and grotesque as that experience might be, would save the 3,000 lives that were lost on 9/11? Both of our guests rejected the premise. Tom Fontana argued that all the evidence seems to suggest that information obtained by way of torture is nearly always buy finasteride unreliable and untrustworthy. Sidney Lumet found torture, under any circumstances, equally odious. He concluded that online pharmacy while he can’t imagine ever supporting torture on any grounds, if it had to be done, he would have to be pretty well certain that the hour of inhumanity would, in fact, most assuredly save lives.

Lumet and Fontana, Live at the Forum

Sidney Lumet and Tom Fontana, as a tandem, and individually, were simply sublime last night. They were smart, funny, witty and charming, with a great chemistry and raport. Their comments completely reinforced the spirit of and purpose for the Forum–artists in conversation about the way in which the legal system inspires the creation of art. In this case, in screening their film collaboration, “Strip Search,” we focused on the competing moral and legal tensions between security and freedom in a post-9/11 world. In an age of the Patriot Act, with 9/11 anxieties everywhere, and with the reminder of Ground Zero just a few short miles from where the Forum was held last night, at the Time viagra canada Warner Center, what moral canadian pharmacy without prescription compromises are necessary in order to defend ourselves against terrorism, and what are the moral implications in doing so? We will have an MP3