Rewatching September 11
The connection between the images of September 11 and Hollywood film production have been explored extensively (O'Donnell 2004; Wheeler 2003). In the era of the ensuing war on terror the nexus between Hollywood image making and Washington war making has never been more apparent. Tina Chen (2004) has recently reminded us of these connections:
In 2001, the Pentagon hired Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of Armageddon, Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Pearl Harbor, and Black Hawk Down, to advise on the primetime television series Profiles from the Frontline, which followed U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001. Moreover, as the satirical newspaper The Onion wryly noted in a September 26, 2001 article entitled “American Life Turns into Bad Jerry Bruckheimer Movie,” we tend to make sense of extreme violence through spectacular film moments etched in our imaginations.
Chen goes on to also note the economic imperatives behind such a collusion, not only has the war on terror been skillfully marketed it appears that it has also been trademarked:
On March 21, 2003, one day after the Iraq War began, Sony applied to register the term shock and awe with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Day 2003). Intended as the basis for computer and video games as well as a broadband game played on the Internet, this application joined many others flled in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 seeking to ensure that profits from products bearing phrases such as “Operation Enduring Freedom,” “9-11-01, lest we forget,” and “Let’s Roll” would line the pockets of the savvy entrepreneur. Companies such as News Max Store then made sure products like the “Deck of Death” and its sequel the “Deck of Weasel,” which depicts the fifty-four worst leaders and celebrities who opposed American policy, lined the pockets of the urbane consumer.