Topic: "It's Just a Movie"
In the time before the assaults of September 11th, 2001, Frodo, as he does now, read a lot of books. Some of the subject matter merits his time and some are merely "beach books." Frodo justifies everything from Robin Cook to John Grisham as part of his appreciation for creativity. Frodo has thought often about a nameless paperback he read which encompassed a military assault on Washington, DC, and the eerie feeling he has had about the similarities of that story to the plane which struck the Pentagon on that tumultuous day.
On a cold and overcast day, Frodo spent part of his afternoon tuned into the History Channel. A movie entitled "The Siege," produced in 1998, starring Denzel Washington, Annette Benning, Tony Shaloub, and the disgusting Bruce Willis, was on the schedule. Frodo recalled having seen about 15 minutes of the movie at some point in time, but was fascinated by its' presentation on the History Channel.
The movie refers to the bombing in Oklahoma City, and the background in New York City prominently displayed the "Twin Towers." The setting and the time-frame make the resultant references to suicide bombings (including "One Federal Plaza" in NYC), torture of a Muslim Imam by the CIA and Military Intelligence, the detention of multitudes of Arabic-appearing individuals without charge, and the suspension of civil liberties almost, well, bizarre.
During commercial breaks the very poor replacement for Sander Vanocur questioned some Professor from Purdue, of all places, about the movie, and its' relationship to what actually followed. His comments added to Frodo's fascination by pointing out how well the CIA and the FBI worked together in this fantasy, and how there were actually no villains in the film. Even the Terrorists, who were Palestinian (since even Hollywood had no idea who al Qaeda was in our recent past), were portrayed as victims, as opposed to mindless murderers.
Perhaps, even in spite of the sensationalism of recent history, the world did change. There was a time when Hobbits believed that the FBI, and Denzel Washington, would protect us. It was true that the President would act only in the national interest, and that partisan or political considerations were beneath the office of the most powerful man in the world. No one doubted that the end of the Cold War heralded the beginning of the end for the nuclear threat.
The world did change Frodo supposes, for, not unlike the song, the silhouettes proved only that we had been looking in the wrong windows. Frodo agrees that what was apparently only to be a cheap thriller film, "The Siege" will go on to be a movie of immense importance.
The Bruce Willis role would've been better served by a professional actor. Then again, a real President might've helped reality, too.