Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Secrets of the Goatlab

Last year in my Christmas story about the Noriega Playlist, I mentioned English documentarist Jon Ronson's amazing book The Men Who Stare at Goats, about the contemporary history of paranormal and psychological warfare in the US military, from the spoon-bending New Age underpinnings of the "Be All You Can Be" Army campaign of my adolescence through the punishing blasts of Barney and Metallica in shipping containers converted into makeshift interrogation facilities at impromptu bases in far Anbar and Bagram.

Now, courtesy of the outstanding Daydreamthief, here's Channel 4's full television documentary version of same. Absolutely, mind-blowingly, un-fucking believable.

Like a cross between the X-Files and 24, with a healthy dose of Soldier of Fortune magazine, starring the cast of Monty Python, and filmed by Christopher Guest. Except it's all true.

As in, watch current Special Forces soldiers try to use telepathy to stop the hearts of goats.

Mandatory viewing for postmodern cultural literacy.

P.S. - Speaking of Daydreamthief, check out his wonderful riff on the echoes of Count Zero in the minions of Erik Prince.

I guess that's why, this morning, I can't get that tune from Before and After Science out of my head. It would make a great C-SPAN duet to be sung by Henry Waxman and the Veep, don't you think?:

There were six of us but now we are five
We're all talking
To keep the conversation alive
There was a senator from Ecuador
Who talked about a meteor
That crashed on a hill in the south of Peru
And was found by a conquistador
Who took it to the Emperor
And he passed it on to a Turkish Guru...

"His daughter
Was slated for becoming divine
He taught her,
He taught her how to split and define
But if you study the logistics
And heuristics of the mystics
You will find that their minds rarely move in a line
So it's much more realistic
To abandon such ballistics
And resign to be trapped on a leaf in the vine."

Perhaps they could use that in the made-for-TV movie.

Guess I need to break out the vinyl tonight...

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