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HuffPost blogger Paul Krassner, founder of the radical rag The Realist, has praised good satire as "a way of calling attention to the contradictions or the hypocrisy that's going on officially. That's the function of humor -- it can alter your reality."
And our current reality can certainly use some altering. Enter John Cusack, who has made a powerful new film, War Inc. that pulls off the near-impossible: finding a savage reality-altering humor amidst the tragedy of Iraq. It delivers a wicked punch in the gut, making you laugh, wince, and get outraged all at the same time.
Naomi Klein, whose writings on Iraq helped inspire Cusack, feels the same way. "War Inc. is one of those rare satires with the danger left in," she told me. "It cranks up the dial on the state of privatized war just enough that we can finally see our present clearly. As you're watching it, you can't help wondering: can these guys really get away with this? Are we all going to get in trouble? It's an extremely good feeling. It's what risk feels like."
Cusack has given HuffPost an exclusive clip from the movie at its most uncorked. I asked John why he chose the black comedy route to address such a tragic subject. "This was the only way to stay one step ahead of reality," he told me, "one step ahead of the absurdities wrought by the neo-conservative, neo-liberal experiment in the Middle East and around the world. A lot of people have been feeling what Naomi has brilliantly chronicled and what I'm trying to capture in this movie: the ever expanding war machine is completely out of control and has morphed into something far more dangerous than Eisenhower ever imagined. It is absolutely immoral to profit from making 'defense' policy."
So check out the War Inc. clip below. And if you haven't watched the video of John's HuffPost interview with Naomi about her new book, click here.