Masked and Anonymous: Bob Dylan's Elegy for a Lost
Bob Dylan's new film, "Masked and Anonymous," has met
with almost universal condemnation (or worse,
condescension) from critics in the corporate media.
(...) Not ten minutes after the opening credits I
could see why the film had been marked for
assassination by big newspaper media critics. They are
the villains of the piece! "Masked and Anonymous"
portrays the reporters who wrote the bad reviews as
people who have to wear ankle monitors. Editors hold
the keys that control them. Who owns the editors is
pretty clear, too. (...) All America's chicken-hawk
foreign wars have come home to roost. The horrors once
visited upon El Salvador, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Somalia
and Iraq are now rolling through the streets of
California. All the electoral disgrace of recent
campaigns has been compressed into one presidential
speech. As for the major media as portrayed in this
film, it is impossible not to think of Christiane
Amanpour's recent admission that CNN "was intimidated"
by the Bush administration and operated in a "climate
of fear and self-censorship" during the invasion of
Iraq. When the new president (Mickey Roarke)
concludes his "war-is-peace" oration at the end of the
film with the sarcastic words "May God help you all,"
it is merely what anyone with a perceptive imagination
can hear Bush or Cheney saying when they conclude
their speeches with the formulaic "God Bless America."
Certainly the administration portrayed in "Masked and
Anonymous" is no more thuggish than the one currently
rooting at the trough in Washington.