You only live once

The US and British chiefs of staff leading strikes against Iraq do not seem to have realized that the war is not itself a feature film, code-naming their sieges with the titles of James Bond action movies. The truth is that the average person forms an image of the enemy from the way the latter is portrayed in the movies. Of course, there are reputable, self-critical films (notably about the annihilation of the American Indians and the Vietnam War) but they are too few and too «marginal» to challenge the standard story line of mass-produced cinematic entertainment. For every «Apocalypse Now,» there are 300 Rambo-type «saviors.» So, the average viewer concludes that the «American Indians» are nothing more than untamed beasts, while the «cowboys» are the heroes of civilization, of Christianity, of freedom. The choice of James Bond, the hero of the one-time «free world» is no coincidence. In his many adventures, and thanks to a string of tragicomic exaggerations, the super-smart secret agent exterminates a dozen «bad guys» – except that he has the blessing of the scriptwriter and director, rather than that of God, like President Bush. The bad guys are always enemies of the «free world,» and the «good guy» – James Bond, that is – never loses because that would threaten the collapse of an entire system behind the spectacle, an entire system of values and ideologies.