In Monday’s New York Times, theater critic Ben Brantley knocks the Tim Robbins play “Embedded,” which he said “examines the making and selling of the war in Iraq with such collegiate energy and earnestness that it feels as if it would be only good form to respond with a chorus of indignant amens…Yet for anyone who has brought an even mildly skeptical eye to the trials and errors of American foreign policy in recent years, ‘Embedded’ winds up sounding like last Sunday’s sermon. Audience members already in sympathy with Mr. Robbins’s political views — the folks, in other words, most likely to attend ‘Embedded’ — will quite possibly go from nodding in agreement to simply nodding off.”
Team Bush’s neocons are “the satanic power center in ‘Embedded,’ a coven of policy makers called the Office of Special Plans. Its members have resonant names like Dick, Rum Rum, Gondola, Woof and Pearly White. They wear sinister half-masks and offer Black Sabbath-style hymns of praise to Leo Strauss, the neo-conservative philosopher. And though they plot their military strategy with icy detachment, they become sexually aroused at the mere prospect of more power.”
Wow, that does sound like a play best described as “collegiate.” Usually it’s 19-year-old leftists who make beer-buzz allusions comparing Leo Strauss and Black Sabbath in the same thought, not to mention the old kiddie-piano-plunking power lust lines.
It reminds me of college in old Bemidji about 20 years ago. After I wrote a contrarian column in the student newspaper in support of Reagan’s Interior Secretary James Watt, someone responded by writing a dopey column imagining Ron and Nancy gyrating suggestively to Watt doing a rock singing act about happily destroying the planet. I was placed in the role of Watt’s concert promoter. Wait, has Tim Robbins ever been seen in Bemidji?