Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Friday, October 24, 2008

War profiteering and John Cusack’s War, Inc. – Let’s talk about it

John Cusack’s War, Inc. is a must-see movie. Let’s make sure people see it.

Many of us who have been lucky enough to see this film already know that it’s funny, topical, and offers many levels of meaning, perhaps somewhat concealing its beautiful soul.

If you’ve been following what’s going on in this country, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and if you know your history, you’re also most likely aware that the issues of war profiteering and privatization this movie brings up are very real and very scary.

The corporate media, however, is not very good at informing us about what’s really going on when our reaction to events might jeopardize the profits of other corporations, which may even be linked through common investors or subsidiary arrangements to the media companies themselves. It seems to me the small number of corporate conglomerates that run most of the media companies in this country would prefer that you not see War, Inc. and understand what it’s really about.

I think that if there were an Oscar category for Most Relevant Non-Documentary Film, War, Inc. should win it. But that’s not going to happen. Nevertheless, in some better future when we recognize the history of American war profiteering for what it was, John Cusack may be seen as a hero for helping to bring this issue to light and into the pop culture consciousness.

Some of us who are fans of the movie may know others who are fans of John Cusack, but may think that he’s making all of this up. They may not have heard about this issue before, and perhaps they think that the absurdist extreme to which he takes the issue is just based on some sort of left wing paranoia. In fact, I don’t think he’s exaggerating very much.

I’ve been blogging about this movie more than I intended to, but sometimes I just have to go with the flow when I see an opportunity to make an impact. I’ve been deeply concerned about the state of the world all my life. I tend to go through periods of activism on various issues, followed by periods of feeling like all my efforts have been futile. If you’ve ever done any work as an activist, I think you probably know it’s hard sometimes to stay inspired. Right now, I have to thank John Cusack for making this an issue I have some chance of being able to laugh about, and for inspiring me to believe that we might make some progress on this issue if enough people can see this movie and come to understand it.

As I’ve been blogging about this movie and reading John Cusack’s blog and other blogs, I’ve come across some links we might want to use to talk about the movie and the issues it raises. This is hardly a comprehensive list, but check some of these out and if you know someone who needs to be educated on the issue of war profiteering, please consider passing some of these along.

My categorization of these links into movie-related or issue-related is somewhat arbitrary, since many cover both.

Movie-related links

War, Inc. Official page on MySpace (John Cusack)
IMDB page If you have a membership here, don’t forget to rate the movie!
First Look Studios official page
Watch the trailer on YouTube
The Hour: John Cusack on War, Inc. – great interview on YouTube
Buy it on Amazon.com
Rent it on Netflix – and don’t forget to review it and rate it.
Yahoo movies Rate the movie here!
DVD Talk
War, Inc. – a review that focuses on the reality of the issue
John Cusack’s Latest --- War, Inc. – positive review of the movie by a conservative
My own reviews:
The Flicks Files: War, Inc. (2008)
The Trinity, Redemption, and John Cusack’s War, Inc.
8th House Scorpions and How NOT to Recycle War Profiteers

Issue-related links

Whose Vision – Cusack’s or Bush’s – The Privatization of War
War Inc. 2002 article on the reality of war profiteering.
Dick Cheney: War Profiteer
Halliburton Watch
Iraq for Sale documentary film by Robert Greenwald
Interview with Kevin Phillips on the Bush Dynasty
Democracy Now! interview with John Cusack
Meet the Bloggers interview with Cusack and other bloggers on YouTube
John Cusack’s blog on Huffington Post
John Cusack’s blog MySpace
List of further facts and research links on Iraq for Sale web site

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. I hope it will help you to present this issue to others. And if you see other good links out there, or you post something on this movie yourself, post the link in a comment.

Oh, and here's the takeaway: the next time someone says we should get into a war, ask yourself who stands to make a buck.

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Blogger Laureen said...

on your recommendation, we rented War, Inc. from Netflix. And I am still howling. Not sure if it's from laughter or pain. I'll get back to you on that.

But I can tell you that every time I look at my hot sauce, I wince a little.

Thank you John, for daring to say it. Even if folks do think you're exaggerating. I hope they never find out personally how wrong they are.

November 14, 2008


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