David Milch of Deadwood (part 6 of 6)

Clip length 8:33
But if I am to rest transparently in the spirit which gave me rise, I have to believe that starting from there, I can get to the spirit. Unless everything I’ve said to you is bullshit. So I went to work. And I said, “Listen, that surfing idea — I love that surfing idea. I love it. I just wanna fool with it a little bit.” They said, “Well… but it’s young. It’s hot.” I said, “And I love that. I love that. But what if this was about… in the aftermath of 9/11, whatever God is, becomes aware that we have been so infantilised, we have been made such children, by our addiction to media which doesn’t sink it’s roots deep, that we have become capable of a genocide.” Now, they sleep through this shit anyway, the bosses. “That’s right!” And they’re going, “What the fuck did he just say? That is beautiful, but you’ll have the surfing, right?” “The surfing is of the essence! The surfing is of the essence!” “What was that other shit? Not shit, I mean, it’s great, but what was it that you said?” I said, “Well, it’s like this: 9/11 — terrible, we can all agree. Right? But let’s say the invasion of Iraq…” “What exactly is the connection between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq? Well they had weapons of mass destruction ba-ba ba-ba-ba…” My sense from watching that stuff was: as I’m watching the going planes into the building, over and over and over and over and over again. I’m thinking, “It’s enough! It’s enough with the planes going into the building! I want my old programs back!” (2:50) “I don’t wanna have to look at that crap all the time.”
So my president is talking to his programmers, and what the president says is, “Let’s give them a 12 episode mini-series. We say: we come up with the villains; we’re gonna go in at the end; we’ll pull down the statue. We’ll give them a whole different program and it’ll be fine. And they are so sick of that entertainment, where those planes go into the buildings, they’ll love it.” So we stage the invasion of Iraq really as a change in programming for an audience so narcotised by their addiction to television, that all of their frustrated patriotism is, y’know, “That’s right!” Now 3100 people, terrible, terrible thing, right? Let’s say that 20 million Tutsi and Hutu have murdered each other since 9/11. “Well, none of that was on my television. God bless’em, they’re black people anyway. They’re savages. Whatever happened, happened. That’s not my problem.” Is the way the programmers encourage us to think. But the planes going into our building, that fucked up our TV schedule. So here we go. We go into Iraq. We stage our 12 day mini-series. Now people start to get sick, “It’s a 12 episode mini-series, now what are you telling me, people are still being killed? I’m done with that! I’m done with that show!” So now we get sick of that show. (5:07)
Now the problem becomes — since the message has been given to us, “We can solve your problem with better programming” — what’s gonna happen the next time, and there’s gonna be a next time, that there’s a terrorist attack? And the next time what is going to happen is there will be a charlatan, who’s gonna make this clown look like Mother Teresa, who’s gonna say, “Do we want to kill every ***** in the world? Absolutely not. But by the same token, they are fucking up our programming! And if what is required is that some innocents die so that we can get American Idol back on the air, with the best will in the world, and enormous regret, let’s find the people that bombed the civilians in Nagasaki and let’s get busy!” (6:13)
So let’s go back now to the idea, that whatever the spirit of the universe is, feels that this civilization is tending towards a genocide, and dispatches it’s representative to try to change the American psyche. And the only way this spirit of the universe feels that the American psyche can be changed is if the spirit manifests itself as a child with enormous powers. And if this spirit begins by addressing the absolutely fucking stupidest people in America — which are the surfers. So that was John from Cincinnati. And, again, what I was trying to get the show shaped up to do… Now you can imagine with what wild enthusiasm the network responded as they began to see this thing going like this. “We love you! We love you! But I don’t understand a goddamn thing that’s going on.” So this is an elaborate preparation for this idiot, John, who is perceived as one of the stupid surfers by the other surfers. And who has mysteriously appeared, renders them unconscious for the first time and begins to deliver subliminally a sermon to them on how the capacity to symbolise, to agree upon the meaning of certain symbols, has allowed us to organise in groups larger than forty-four.

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