Wag The Dog

by Precious Logue, June 2014

600 words

2 pages


In spring 1999, a variety of TV commentators tried to pass the American movie Wag the Dog, released over a year before as doubly prophetical. They stated that it not only predicted the scandal surrounding sexual escapades of Bill Clinton, the U.S. President at that time, but actually predicted the war in the Balkans. Actually, this story is old as the hills. Does the art influence reality in a good or a negative sense? Does it change anythis in human mind? Can the secondary become the primary? In short, does the tail wag the dog, and were the chicken before the egg? However, any generalization is misleading, and in each case we cannot definitely say that the psychological "thought forms" that were in the air and materialized in individual creations of screen masters, can be instantly recognized as the manual and guidelines for action.

The authors of the film Wag the Dog first of all guessed that modern war implemented by super technology, produces a virtual impression - as the latest video game, as the "shooter", and its true image transmitted on all television channels, may be perceived as "a staged picture."

This movie is a cruel political satire. It is a scientific manual on PR, which is embodied here by duping hundreds of millions of American voters. Barry Levinson, the director \ producer of the film, gives a clear answer why in the late 20th century there were so many political wars. The very truth of the movie is that today's wars are not real – they are fake, virtual, as well as the elections and honest politicians.

This film unveils the biggest ethic dilemma of the modern society – why thousands of people die every day in many corners of the world in contemporary wars? What do they protect, what for do they give their lives? Only to save the reputation of their corrupt political leaders?

In the middle of the action are the emergency situation expert Conrad Breen and Hollywood producer Stanley Motss. What is the shame: the president had a sexual affair with the young activist 11 days before the election!

The main heroes of the film decide to arrange a war in Albania to divert voters’ attention from the scandal around sexual escapades of the president.

“Why in Albania? – Do you know anything about Albania? – No! – This is why, Albania!”

This war began and ended solely on TV, but it made Americans empathize with their soldier allegedly forgotten on the front, which did not even exist. The main heroes reveal a serious policy and turn it into a show where the winner will the one who is able to lie on time and skillfully.

The entire idea of intentional, fake wars is expressed in the words of one of the characters:

“Why does a dog wag its tail? - Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog.”

These words can be the cynical motto of contemporary politicians and their …

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