Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Bad Night At the Theater

Now that the Iraq War has effectively been won - and art depicting US soldiers as (1) psychopaths (2) losing a war has been soundly rejected by the public - the artistic left is desperately searching for ever more jaundiced ways of looking at the defining events of the last 8 years. The latest is Time Stands Still" by David Margulies, who says "This is not an Iraq play." Well, let's roll the tape: 
James (David Harbour) is a principled war correspondent recovering from a breakdown occasioned by an overexposure to the misery and gore of armed conflict. Sarah (Anna Gunn), his injured lover, begins to question the ethics of her profession as she recuperates from the explosion that killed the Iraqi driver with whom she happened to be having an affair.
Sounds like fun! Lest you think this is some kind of underfunded coffeehouse production, be aware that Alicia Silverstone is featured as the "bubbly" lover of a friend of the Miserables. Ahh, the spirit of youth! Here's a picture from the production:

There's a word for what's going on here: ACTING!

The woman on crutches was a photographer in Iraq, and apparently the play spends a lot of time discussing "why Sarah does what she does, and whether it is a moral act to bear witness to suffering, or an abdication of human suffering"
“The camera’s there to record life,” Sarah says. “Not change it.”
I'm thinking this means they come down on the side of "it is a moral act to bear witness." I assume no one asks whether it is a moral act to go to a warzone; loudly trumpet every piece of news that reflects badly on the US military and underreport any good news; publicly declare the war "lost" and demand that the US military withdraw immediately, regardless of the consequences for the people left behind; and then, when victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat, do little more than write crappy little plays about the pity of it all. 

Next. please. 

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