Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum...Is it Real?

The Bourne Ultimatum: Fantasy Meets Reality
Steven Barrie-Anthony at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2007.

Steven Barrie-Anthony: The most compelling aspect of this very compelling film is that the premise doesn't seem very far-fetched, at all.

This post, written by Steven Barrie-Anthony, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

In The Bourne Ultimatum, amnesiac superspy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) finally confronts the CIA schemers responsible for erasing his memory and reprogramming him as the ideal assassin.

Audiences flocked to watch Bourne on opening weekend -- it was the biggest August opening ever, taking in over $70 million -- and the most compelling aspect of this very compelling film is that the premise doesn't seem very far-fetched, at all.

Indeed, the story's only major fictional element is its depiction of successful CIA attempts to create a hypnotized breed of remote-controllable super-soldier. The rest -- the torturous "brainwashing" process, the ruined lives, and eventually, victims seeking answers and retribution -- has all happened before. (Read the Alternet article)

But the point the Alternet article makes about government "brainwashing" is not my point in bringing up the Bourne film. Further into the Alternet article there's this:

Whether or not audiences are aware of the literal truthfulness of the Bourne premise, the notion that an authoritarian-leaning American administration and intelligence agency might abuse the trust of its public and trample the constraints of its charter is clearly more fact than fiction. For the latest Bush administration trampling of civil liberties, check your newspaper of choice. So there's some primal satisfaction in watching Bourne wreak havoc on the government that wronged him.

The film has the feel of truth. All of the technology that we see is possible: the room full of men at computers, tracking individuals movements by their cell phones and cameras on the street. I said so to my husband when we came out of the movie theater.

The film left me exhilarated, but it also left me thinking: How much of this is happening in the CIA and FBI today with impunity? How far does our government go, without our knowing it, to, in the name of fighting terrorists, track down individuals, seize them, question and torture them, terminate them. Is it happening right now?

The Bush government makes me think so.



Anne said...

Scary, and we've all heard some frightening stories. The ever-present question that never seems to get answered is HOW exactly do we go about regaining control and returning our government to a state of being by the people and for the people?

the teach said...

Oh god, Anne, I don't know. It is all very scary but can we say that the resignation (ousting?) of Karl Rove is certainly a step in the right direction?

What's wrong with our Democratic politicians? Why are they sitting on their tushes and doing exactly nothing about Iraq, illegal wiretapping, habeas corpus, etc.? What are they afraid of?

Anne said...

What are they afraid of?
That's a really good question. Makes me wonder...

the teach said...

They are afraid of each other and the American people...if they say one wrong thing they get jumped they do nothing and are soooo careful about what they say. I'm not saying they shouldn't be careful, like Richardson's stupid flub the other day, but they should be speaking from a heart that is kind, sympathetic, liberal and free.

raymond said...

"So there's some primal satisfaction in watching Bourne wreak havoc on the government that wronged him."

Interesting take on the Bourne series. You could also apply this to our daily lives and our desires to wreak havoc on people who have wronged us, not just the government. I'm not so sure that I would actually go and wreak havoc (I haven't yet, I think...), but the desire is certainly there. Also, you could argue that the government was in fact the cause of all of the havoc, because if they had just told him what he wanted to know in the first place, he wouldn't have had to fight for it.
But I'm thinking to hard. It was a spectacular action movie. Michael Bay could learn alot from it.

"speaking from a heart that is kind, sympathetic, liberal and free."

Well, that leaves Hillary out.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Its her fault, you know. She makes it too easy for me to make fun her. If only she'd make it more difficult by DISAPPEARING, all of this jabbing would stop.

Same goes for the Tom Cruise.


the teach said...

Hi raymond, thanks for the comment. Bourne Ultimatum was a fantastic movie. How the government could track him and others was indeed scary.

Like the jabs at Hillary and Tom Cruise.

RC said...

hey thanks for directing me to your post...

I haven't yet seen this 3rd installment, but look forward to it.

The unassured notion of how little or not the government is in control, what they know and what they don't know, who know's what and has what power (on and off-the-record) is a very curios and scary thing for sure.

great post.

the teach said...

Thanks, RC, for responding. Every one of the comments agrees that's it's d____ scary. Keep in touch. I check in at your blog periodically.

James Steerforth said...

Scary, yes, definitely.

One step further: who are actually the ones that pull the strings behind the anonymity of "government"?

the teach said...

I don't know, James, but it all comes down from the top, Bush&Co.