war as spectacle, entertainment

I must have missed this article in the Times the other day. Doug just brought it to my attention. Its all about the point of intersection between war and entertainment. Terrifying stuff. Not unexpected, but terrifying nonetheless. Heres one of the more disturbing quotes:

The first gulf war of 1991, which kicked off the cable-news mini-series form, pioneered this sort of hype, but the coverage of the current war has taken it to a new level. “The characters are the same: the president is a Bush, and the other guy is Hussein,” Erik Sorenson, president of MSNBC, told USA Today. “But the technology the military’s and the media’s has exploded.” He likened the change to “the difference between Atari and PlayStation,” and added that “this may be one time where the sequel is more compelling than the original.”

Making things even more surreally postmodern, heres an internal film company memo which discusses the possibility of shooting footage in Baghdad to use in Hollywood films at a later date… It would, after all, be a shame to let all of that shock and awe go to waste.

(In the same email in which Doug told me about the NYT article, he also introduced me to a new on-line source for interesting war information. Its called 911 Info Interventions. Apparently, its maintained by the folks at Brown Universitys Watson Institute for International Studies. Its a good resource.)

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