Does it give you pause when a true story of psychic warfare is sold as a comedic film?
Not that other serious topics or events haven’t been remade into comedies (e.g. Springtime for Hitler), but what about something both serious and quite incredible that’s first steps into the mass market are immediately satirical?
The author of the nonfiction book upon which “The Men Who Stare at Goats” is based gave this somewhat reality warping interview. To wit:
”Yes. I really believe that to be the case. I think what happened was Psi Ops saw an opportunity. I don’t think you need to be a conspiracy theorist to believe that is true. Just today by coincidence I saw that original Newsweek article that first broke the Barney story back in 2003. I think that Psi Ops could see that Newsweek wanted it to be a funny story, the idea of musical torture, and they just jumped on it as a possibility because when you’ve got a funny, slapstick story about torture that’s so enjoyable nobody’s going to want to try and find a darker story about torture.
I think Psi Ops seized on that opportunity and did a bit of psi ops on all of us. Everybody thought the Barney story was funny at the time, and it was only when Abu Ghraib happened a few months later—I think there was about six months between the Barney story coming out and the Abu Ghraib story coming out—and for those six months American Psi Ops had completely won. Torture was funny and poor old groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were trying to convince people that actually torture wasn’t quite as funny as everybody thought it was. But then nobody wanted to hear that because everybody wanted to have a good laugh.”
Before considering this question, was this something you had given thought to? How does this juxtaposition of concept and tone shake out for you?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.