As I walk through the streets of LA it is difficult to ignore the fact that I am surrounded by myth. Make no mistake, America is the modern day Camelot that believes even in its darkest time it can still light the way forward. We are witnessing the end of this empire yet the country stands proud even as it cocks its head like a dog uncertain why messing up the carpet could get it into trouble. Americans have no idea what has happened. They sense that parts of the world don’t love them but they would be aghast to know the severity of that discourse. They gaze with their perfect teeth and smooth skin wondering why anyone would sneer at them from behind their super sized shakes and fries. The problem is that those in charge of the country, those multi internationals addicted to sniffing gas in far away countries and puppet kings who have their own hope turned against them with savage consequences, have forgotten how they originally conquered the world.
Through entertainment they convinced us their land was the happiest place on Earth. Sure, in America’s past there were tragedies. Leaders of hope and integrity gunned down. Battles in far away lands engaged with little forethought, young men lost on battlefields they had never read about in class. Still America always came out on top as it viewed the world through a camera lens and packaged it in tales of hope and courage. The shadow of Vietnam was embraced once filmmakers lent it innocence. A deposed President found Shakespearean levels of character in a Ron Howard production. When I close my eyes and picture Nelson Mandela I see Morgan Freeman. I hear Lindy Chamberlin speak with Meryl Streep’s Australian accent.
There was a reason Osama Bin Laden didn’t fly his planes straight into the Hollywood sign and the gaping maw of Tom Hanks. The retribution would have been swift, Osama caught within days by the Planet Hollywood special forces of Arnie, Sly and Bruce; the final ignominy being Ben Kingsley playing Osama in a made for TV biopic that wouldn’t be shown at prime time.
If America wants to rescue itself the solution is simple. No more wars. Pull out of all occupied countries. Embrace the comment we all make after a tragedy: “I wonder whom they’ll get to star in the movie?” Give Afghanistan and Iran free cable TV. Remind the world that this is where New York exists in grainy black and white. That LA is where dreams come true. Where Baseball is played next to the golden cornfields of the Midwest. Rewrite the story where America stars as the loving Big Brother. Would terrorists willingly blow themselves up if they knew they wouldn’t find out what happened next to Don Draper? Win the hearts and minds through your entertainment and no one will ever question you.
That’s how they conquered Australia, why wouldn’t it work elsewhere?
9th of January 2011