All quotes from today's column:
Why haven't we seen any big pictures about 9/11, or the first World Trade Center bombing, or even some silly gung-ho action picture?
Why, no, I’ve never heard of “The 25th Hour”, officer. Spike who? Oh, you mean the guy who hates white people? I don’t watch his films.
There’s been enough time - “Wake Island” came out in 1942. “Bataan” came out in 1943. “Casablanca” came out in 1942, for heaven’s sake.
Of course, there were no movies about Viet Nam during the Viet Nam War (except for John Wayne’s highly embarrassing “The Green Berets”), but Lileks doesn’t mention this because he really, really, really hates it when people compare Iraq to Viet Nam.
The first Gulf War yielded “The Three Kings,” a flashy flick about corrupt soldiers
And which came out in 1999, eight years after the Gulf War…
there was also “Courage Under Fire,” a movie about whether Meg Ryan deserved the Medal of Honor.
And which came out in 1996, five years after the Gulf War.
9/11 would make a hell of a movie. It’s the most dramatic day of modern times.
For the people who count, at least.
The story lines are clear; it writes itself.
Just like all good movies! They write themselves!
It would anger people anew, and we’re supposed to be past that. It would remind us what was done to us instead of rubbing out noses in what we do to others – I mean, unless you have a character in the second tower watching the plane approaching and saying “My God, this is payback for supporting Israel!” it’s going to come across as simplistic nonsense that denies the reality in the West Bank, okay? It would have to tread lightly when it came to the President, because even though we all knew that he wet his pants and ran to hide, we’d have to pretend and do scenes in Air Force One where he’s taking charge instead of crying help mommy to Dick Cheney, right? I mean the idiots in flyover people believe that stuff, and you’d have to give it to them or they write letters with envelopes that have these little pre-printed return address stickers with flags up in the corner. Seriously. Little flag stickers. Anyway, we would have to show Arab males as the bad guys, and that’s not worth the grief; you want to answer the phone when CAIR sees the dailies of the guys slitting the stewardess’ throats? And here’s the big one: if we make a patriotic movie during Bush’s term, well, it doesn’t help the cause, you know. People liked Bush after 9/11. Why remind them of that? Plus, you can just kiss off the European markets, period.
Ha ha ha! Oh, those shallow phony Hollywood liberals. I know exactly how they think! And one thing they really, really hate is pandering to patriotism. That’s something that just DOES NOT FLY in the entertainment industry. This is how Lileks sees us, folks: a bunch of patronizing, phony, greedy, craven shits who are so knee-jerk that we couldn't possibly come by our politics honestly. For all his crap about how it's possible to have a principled opposition to the war, this is how he sees us.
I think people would like these stories to be told, but we can’t have war movies anymore unless it’s an old war, or one that happened in some place with an oversupply of consonants.
In other words, even though you might think my argument that Hollywood is afraid to make war movies is undermined by the fact that there have been recent, popular movies about war in Somalia and Kosovo, those places don’t count because they have too many letters.
To make a movie about The War admits that there is a war, and sometimes I think a third of the country rejects this notion out of hand. We’re only at war because Bush made us go to war! or we’re only at war because we don’t let Interpol handle it! or some such delusion.
Lileks keeps beating this point to death; in fact, he’s said a number of times that the main reason he’s voting for Bush is that Kerry doesn’t want to admit that we’re in a war. But remember: this is an article in which he’s arguing that we should make some movies about 9/11. AND WHAT THE FUCK DOES 9/11 HAVE TO DO WITH THE WAR? Iraq didn’t attack the World Trade Center! Iraq didn’t crash a plane into the Pentagon! If by “the War” Lileks means the war against Iraq, how does that have anything to do with September 11th? And if by “the War” he means the war on terrorism, when did Kerry ever say that he’s against the war on terrorism? One hundred per cent bullshit, this is, and Lileks knows it, the dissimulating piece of shit.
I swear: there are people who see the conflict in such narrow terms that if Bush on 9/1 had announced he was forcing Israel back to pre-67 borders, and the hijackers had heard the news in the cockpit, they would have hit the autopilot and let the planes resume their original course.
Does this sentence make any sense, either grammatically or logically? No? Okay then.
These are usually the people who think we are at war with a specific group with a hyphenated name, not an idea. These are often the people who realize that these hyphenated foes reside in a particular part of the world in which Iraq is literally the epicenter, and they cannot see the advantage to going there and staying there.
Oh, okay, I get it know. By “the War”, he means “the war on terrorism”, and even though none of the terrorists who have ever attacked America in this history of the nation were Iraqis, and even though there is not even one tiny shred of evidence that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, and even though al-Q’aeda had zero presence in the nation of Iraq until after we invaded it, it is right in the middle of all those other countries which are filled with evil ragheads. And anyone who isn’t a total moron can see how it is to our advantage to invade Iraq and occupy it indefinitely, seeing as it’s so close to all the other bad places. It all makes perfect sense now; I don’t know why I ever bothered to question it. BUSH IN 2004!
(BTW, I left out a whole section where he compares a theoretical 9/11 movie to "The Passion of the Christ" -- it's not pretty, it's awful, but it's something we all NEED to see, NEED to be reminded of. I couldn't really respond to it rationally, so angry was I at his assumption that everyone in America is a Christian and desperately needs for Mel Gibson's Holy Writ.)