Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum recently criticized this sort of vague intelligence warning. After the State Department cautioned on Oct. 3 that “Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests,” Applebaum wrote that Americans abroad hear these alerts and “do nothing because if the language is that vague, then nobody is really sure why the warning has been issued in the first place.” Exactly.
It would be nice if Hollywood in general and Clooney in particular painted a more accurate domestic picture. But they fail on the home front as well.
Clooney’s played essentially the same character twice in recent years. In 2007 he portrayed stoic lawyer Michael Clayton, the “fixer” for a major law firm. Clayton’s loyal only to the bottom line. “I’m not the guy you kill. I’m the guy you buy,” he announces at one point, after a major corporation has attempted to bump him off. So that’s what corporations do? Kill people?
Or at least fire them.
In 2009’s “Up in the Air,” Clooney plays a corporate hitman of sorts. He makes his living flying around the country downsizing people. Some take it well. Some kill themselves. Clooney is above it all, focusing only on his goal of piling up ten million frequent flyer miles. Everywhere he goes there are empty offices; it’s amazing he has anyone left to fire.
This must be what most of the country looks like to Hollywood: A bunch of unhappy people being fired or killed every day by American corporations. No wonder they’d rather fly over it than live in it.