By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Ultimately, Embedded’s grunts are dull characters because they make no choices. The satire’s journalists do make choices and, for all their pathetic kowtowing, are the more human figures for getting in bed with the Pentagon. As Phillip Knightley wrote about America’s World War I reporters in his book The First Casualty: “The principles of a nation at war demanded control not only of the way people fought, but also of the way they thought. Such influential opinion makers as war correspondents could not be allowed to write freely lest they create unproductive reactions . . .”
But there’s an even darker truth about the Iraqi war that Embedded only hints at — that even if Americans had all the facts before them, we wouldn’t care. Because in a way we do have the facts, or at least, access to them — it’s not as though no one in big media has reported on the administration’s lies or its ulterior motives in Iraq, much less about the hypocrisy of its crypto-fascist pundits and theoreticians.
How else can we explain opinion polls that show people doubt the veracity of Bush’s claims about going to war but believe it’s good to be in Iraq anyway? Americans remain uncurious about other countries and are narcotized by television, sports and celebrity; while much of the world starves, our biggest worry is that we are eating ourselves to death. Into this spiritual void the predatory right wing has jumped, with a cowed or sympathetic news media administering the morphine drip of propaganda to the voters. The neocon ice age will not last forever, simply because nothing does. But that’s not encouraging news — a lot can happen during an ice age.
EMBEDDED |Written and directed by TIM ROBBINS | At the ACTORS’ GANG THEATER, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood | Through December 21 | For information, call (323) 465-0566, Ext. 15.