Two media-themed movies capture our era

  • Article by: John Rash , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2013 - 6:22 AM

‘The Bling Ring’ and ‘Dirty Wars’ question what people pay attention to.

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eman2001Jun. 22, 13 7:00 AM

And apparently the US has been in Syria for months already. A proxy war that we have little chance of winning in any meaningful way. A war never declared or approved by Congress.

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pumiceJun. 22, 13 8:24 AM

Re: "A war never declared or approved by Congress." Congress has long since abrogated its power to declare war, eman2001: In 2001 Congress declared that the President has broad Constitutional authority "to take action to deter" and to "prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States" without geographic restriction against any nation which "support[s] and harbor[s] terrorist organizations." The original red line was the 9-11 attacks on the USA. The later red line was possession of weapons of mass destruction. The current red line is using chemical weapons.

Moreover, the Authorization to Use Military Force has no sunset date. AUMF and the PATRIOT Act (which Congress re-authorizes without much objection) made the US a true daddy-state. In combination this Joint Resolution and this Act have been used to justify everything from warrantless NSA wiretaps to drone strikes. Congress gave, the question is "Will Congress take away"? Alternatively, the question is "Will Congress use its Power of the Purse to rein in the Daddy State"?

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Thom HainesJun. 22, 1310:21 AM

Mr. Rash takes a look at what those in the US pay attention to and what they don't. A related subject is the film interests of those in the US compared to other places in the world. The film "Gold Fever" (a documentary by the creators of "Pond Hockey") was viewed by less than 300 at two screenings at Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in April. 2,000 showed up for a screening of the Spanish version, "Fiebre de Oro" in Guatemala City at about the same time. Interested readers might want to view the movie trailer and think a bit more about "what's hidden in plain sight" and why we are content to let it stay hidden.

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pumiceJun. 22, 1310:51 AM

Thanks for the suggestion, Thom Haines. The trailer for "Gold Fever" ends with a chilling question, "Should the American people know something about this?" On this issue and so many others, that's the question for our time. Citizens in a democracy can't make informed decisions if they don't have information.

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anneblJun. 23, 13 9:16 PM

I saw Dirty Wars last night. In my view, it's got a very poetic feel to it. Film seems to permit Scahill the leeway to paint with the artist's brush. Not even the most progressive journalists have addressed whether this president has as much agency in his dealings with the military/intelligence communities as previous presidents. I have wondered that a lot since Obama has been in office, and I wonder it even more after many of the visuals in the movie. Some tough spots.

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