The Bush administration has called on the entertainment community
to bolster the propaganda war against terrorism. Jilted during the
election, Hollywood is now being courted - the lonely gal the
quarterback didn't ask to the prom, but calls before final exams. Sure,
it would be satisfying to return the spurn, but, well, it is the
quarterback. So studio heads and production bigwigs eagerly showed up
and excitedly talked about doing whatever needs to be done.
Profitably, that is. I mean, no one's losing their heads here.
But apart from bringing back John Wayne from the soundstage in the sky,
I doubt Hollywood can have the same impact it did on WWII.
Oddly, the government hasn't amassed Hollywood publicists to pick our
brains about the campaign. We're the experts, after all. If we can sell
the public on Pauley Shore and Jack Black, hey, this centuries-old
Middle East squabble should be a piece of cake.
True, it's difficult to gather Tinsel-town publicists in one place at
one time unless awards are being handed out. You should see the pitiful
turnout for our union meetings. I've never seen it myself because I
don't attend either, but I intend to. Soon. Very soon.
So, as the Administration hasn't asked for our advice, I've decided to
I polled several leading entertainment publicists for their suggestions,
but with all due modesty, none were as good as mine. On the theory that
lust and envy of American lifestyles can create antipathy in deprived
terrorist hotbeds, I believe that it's essential to pacify
underprivileged potential extremists by more fully involving them in our
culture. After all, everyone resents the big house on the hill until
they're invited in for a visit. Here's what can be done for
Distribute TV sets along with the food. Many of the people waving guns
and shouting anti-American slogans could be home watching TV. If they
had one. For the price of a few bombs we could provide a set and
satellite programming for every household and cave in Afghanistan.
Make an American action movie in Kabul. Movie productions can bring
together even the worst of enemies. I once did a film in the Baltics
with a multi-ethnic crew that despised each other, especially Russians
Nonetheless, they managed to get along during shooting. (Camera
shooting, I mean.) I believe Pushtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, et al, could be
peacefully controlled by one of Hollywood's hard-assistant
Give 'em an Oscar. Apart from a World Cup Soccer crown, nothing excites
a nation more than having one if its homegrown movies receive an Oscar
for Best Foreign Language Film. We must ensure that an Afghan picture
wins the statue this year. Trouble is, I'm not sure there are any.
Research needs to be done, but by someone other than me.