Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later... Here We Are.

You know the routine.

Overload, overdose, memories.

All twisted to justify the madness of the past five years -- which had nothing to do with 9/11, save the excuse it gave for this President and Administration to impose their new world order.

They pretend it's all cause-and-effect, though there is no logic at work:

Saudis with boxcutters -- still the reality of 9/11 -- though Saudi Arabia remains our ally, boxcutters are not banned, Osama Bin Laden is still at large and the Iraq War has only served his goals (heck, he's celebrating the anniversary with his own home videos).

Whatever logic was at work to lead us into war in Afghanistan was inverted and perverted once war was launched against Iraq. The Iraq War has nothing to do with 9/11, as President Bush himself brashly asserted as a curt retort in the summer's final press conference -- and yet, here we are, 9/11/06, with the same on-task on-message 9/11 links and rhetoric and claims being hammered.

The kid gloves were never on -- now, even active denial is a thing of the past. Within one week, we've heard/seen our President and Vice-President actively advocate and campaign for, via speeches and personal appearances, the new American obligation and right to practice illegal seizure, interminable imprisonment, and torture. Guilty until proven guilty is their new reality, sans the "proof" (sorry, state secrets!). Vice-President Cheney openly talks about the "dark side" on television this week, with that pragmatic boardroom shark bravado of his, having successfully plunged us all into the dark side while claiming time and time again no, it was 9/11 that put us here.

It was bad in the early '70s, with Nixon & Agnew in power and Vietnam ripping Southeast Asia and our country into shreds -- but at least Nixon & Agnew and the Pentagon were publicly denying atrocities, abuse, torture.

We're so past that -- we are worse, so much worse. Bush & Cheney aren't just condoning torture, they are relishing its justification, bragging of its efficacy, daring anyone to stop them.

They have made terrorists of us all, wrapped in pious righteousness and our bloodied flag.

Welcome to 9/11, five years later.

Re: Path to 9/11. Hey, Mark, I wasn't calling for anything to be denied us. Hell, I'm dying to see the complete miniseries -- as it was originally edited, prior to last week's reported last-minute panic "corrective" edits, with every twisted anti-Clinton factoid and invented conceit.

Since the days of goona-goona films, mondo movies, "based on a true story" exposes, hate films and horror pix (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, anyone?), the ol' "based on a true story" exploitation spin has been part & parcel of ballyhoo. TV movies have been spinning heavily-fabricated docudramas based on true crime and sensational news for over four decades -- but not during election seasons, as part of government-sanctioned campaigns against opposing parties.

Was Path to 9/11 any different, really? To my mind, no -- as a movie -- but the promotion of the series was presenting it as fact, with nothing in the print ads (the flag torn by a hand, a pair of eyes peering out from the tear) indicating the film was anything but a documentary, and its timing amid an election season tilted the scales.

Disney & ABC were presenting a politically-charged exploitation film, promoting is as a documentary, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 in an election year amid a carefully-planned GOP campaign to forcefeed the US another heapin' helping of pro-War, pro-torture jingoism.

ABC's planned broadcast of the six-hour opus on this weekend, promoted as fact, was something I thought worth speaking out against. The broadcast, not the film, was the issue for me.

(Do I champion the right of Path to 9/11's makers to make it and for it to be seen? Yes. Do I support Ruggero Deodato's right to make Cannibal Holocaust? Sure. Do I want to see it? Damn, I own three copies, Mark, three different edits. Bring on all that stuff, political and apolitical: Birth of a Nation, Ingagi, The Eternal Jew, Triumph of the Will, Child Bride, We Will Bury You, Red Dawn, Men Behind the Sun, etc.. Should it be presented as factual and shown on prime-time NBC, sanctioned by network stations, or serialized on the Disney Channel between The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and That's So Raven? Fuck, no.)

Hell, the filmmakers' work isn't going to be denied venues. Path to 9/11 will be everywhere -- and would have been -- whether it was broadcast on ABC or not this past weekend. The Reagans was the model: that film was pulled from its network slot and later shown on cable, it was and is available on video and DVD -- as will be The Book of Daniel, the TV series that so pissed off the religious right, in a couple of weeks (streets 9/26) -- and so will be Path to 9/11. Personally, I'm as eager to see it (uncut and complete, please) as I was The Reagans and ABC's Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America TV movie (streeting on DVD on Halloween, appropriately enough -- booga, booga!).

I wasn't calling for a filmmaker's work to be censored, I was calling a spade a spade: corporate Disney/ABC publicizing propaganda docudrama "as fact," which is what their ads were doing until the backpedalling of the end of last week. By all reports, there was considerable deviation from the actual 9/11 Commission report source material, with a partisan spin in place; it was a docudrama with an agenda (most of them have one, nature of the beast). I didn't call for it to be cut or censored, I called for the 9/11-timed broadcast to be reconsidered, and for Disney/ABC to 'fess up to their corporate partisanship.

You want to talk, let's talk.

Have a great 9/11, folks.