“We Live In Fictitious Times”

I’m working in earnest on my paper for MLA (I’ve been doing some research and reading all semester, of course) and happened to be watching the making-of documentary on the DVD for The Jacket, and the film’s director, John Maybury, mentioned the fact that the Iraq War was launched within a few days (if not the exact day) of the March 2003 Oscar ceremony, a detail that is certainly relevant to the film, which focuses on a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. Maybury describes the surreal experience of watching as ABC cut from Peter Jennings to Billy Crystal back to Jennings to an Oscar acceptance speech.

Until I went back and did some digging, I’d forgotten that the events were so close together, but it’s worth noting that this is the ceremony in which Michael Moore made his “fictitious times” speech, in which Moore asserted that “we are now fighting a war for fictitious reasons.” The World Socialist Website also reports on the ceremony, specifically mentioning Chris Cooper’s Oscar acceptance speech (“In light of all the troubles in the world, I wish us all—peace”), while also emphasizing the jarring experience of watching ABC cut beteween the Oscar ceremony and heavy fighting in Iraq.

Here’s a February 18 BBC article that describes the plans for the Oscar ceremony in light of the build-up for war and the Wikipedia chronology for the invasion of Iraq (amazingly enough I never wrote about Moore’s speech on my original blog, but here’s the month of March 2003, anyway). The CNN article about the Oscar ceremony is also worth noting.

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