Happy Christmas, the war is over.
Thank you, George W. Bush, et al, for this suckhole of American blood and dollars. It took as long as World War II and the Civil War laid end-to-end. (Not as long as Vietnam, though!) We removed a dictator, killed tens of thousands of civilians and tried to impose Maryland’s motor-vehicle codes on Baghdad traffic jams. We made millions more for Blackwater, er, Xe, er, Academi. Sent a few more items onto the underground antiquities market. Inspired some truly awful pop music. Spread our special kind of American magic, broke a few pots, and now, we’re outta there.
God bless Pottery Barn, for giving us the central metaphor for this particular adventure.
Many great books have come out of this war, I’ll say that. Fiasco, The Good Soldiers, and the one from which I learned that wonderful detail about Maryland traffic laws, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which I highly recommend. Just the first chapter will cross your eyes and boil your blood, detailing how we went into a Muslim country on the grounds of helping them shed a dictator and establish democracy, then set up our command center with imported workers who dreamed up Barbecue Night in the mess hall. Yes, a celebration of pork in a Muslim nation. So the Americans don’t get too homesick.
I recall relocating to Ann Arbor in late summer 2003. Fort Wayne was dotted with yard signs, provided by the local GOP office, reading GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS. In A2, the signs read NO WAR. A useful reminder that I was not alone in thinking this as a bad idea from the get-go.
What are your war memories, from early-middle-late stages of it? I recall friends who stopped speaking, a few who simply grew obsessed. Alan put himself on the shit list for saying, in a story meeting, that it was dumb to pretend the war was over just because GWB had pronounced mission accomplished; we’ll be there for years, he said. Scowls from the managing editor.
I recall being hopeful this idea would work, but believing it would likely not go anywhere near as well as we were promised. When the only guy who’s actually been a wartime soldier says we shouldn’t be hasty, I’m inclined to believe that guy. Not Dick Cheney.
OK, time for some bloggage:
In keeping with our war theme, a short film that I worked on is doing a Kickstarter for festival entry expenses. There’s a 5-minute video at this link, which includes a trailer with a lot of the visual FX our very talented team created, as well as stills from the production. This was a micro-budget deal, in the very low four figures, most of which went for a two-day insurance policy so we could use SAG actors. (You might recall our lead, Scott Norman, in his gripping part as That Guy Who Got About Three Lines in a “Detroit 187” cold open.) Worth watching for the fabulous-ruins shots alone.
Perhaps security cameras will make stealth campaigns like this beside the point, but who cares, because I love them anyway: The yarn bomber of Ann Arbor.
Last week I queried my Facebook circle about what is an appropriate holiday-season tip for a newspaper carrier. I guess now I should make sure I’m dealing with the right people, eh? (I think I am. None were this tacky about sticking their hands out.)
And now Thursday awaits. Enjoy yours.