12.15.2003

So, this weekend, then.

Sunday morning, about ten minutes after I woke up, I reached out of bed and clicked on the little clock radio I keep on my green dresser. It used to be across the room, but lately, sleeping on the floor, it's a matter of sitting up and flipping the switch.

I keep the dial tuned on NPR, and the news anchor was talking with a correspondent about the capture of someone in Iraq. Someone important, judging by their tone and the way they repeated meaningless details over and over again. One of them, I can't remember which, said "Saddam" and then I knew.

Over the weekend, I'd been reading Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' excellent "Watchmen", a comic so seamless, so excellent, it's difficult to describe. But a key plot point involves the arch-villain (or arch-hero, I can't decide) manipulating news and current events in a subtle way. But it's definitely to his advantage, and through this he stages an audacious act that seizes all the news headlines.

I listened to most of the coverage about the capture of Saddam Hussein, and read that book, and the combination of the incessant news broadcasts focusing on the small details, and the fantasy of the book, and the far-off perception of Iraq in my mind, all of it synthesized to create a strange, dreamlike state. I felt like I was a character in a book or a movie, but far from being the protagonist, I was an extra, a face in a living room who received the action of the plot, a reaction.

That's all I was, a reaction.

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