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For an icon of the puppet-wielding, merry-prankster 20-somethings who march our streets every couple of months, Noam Chomsky might seem a little, well, old. But instead of simply sinking into comfy emeritus status, the gray-haired MIT linguist and political activist has continued to shed light on the dark side of the American empire and its media machinerynot the typical activities of a 74-year-old. Yes, his diatribes sometimes seem recycled and a little oversimplified, but you have to respect the way Chomsky has stuck to his gunser, plowshares regarding the slimy sludge that has passed for American foreign policy all these years. And though his critiques of the U.S. military have drawn opposition at home, Chomsky’s views have won a new international fan base at a time when many nations count Uncle Sam among the world’s scariest tough guys. Chomsky speaks at 5 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia, Building 47, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10 (suggested donation). (866) 860-9311. (Mike Petillo)