Sunday, April 23, 2006


It's a Plot

Security guru Bruce Schneier is looking for a few good plots. Movie plots, that is, like the "movie-plot threats" the Department of Homeland Security keeps announcing the terrorists are plotting, only more interesting, okay?

For a while now, I have been writing about our penchant for "movie-plot threats": terrorist fears based on very specific attack scenarios. Terrorists with crop dusters, terrorists exploding baby carriages in subways, terrorists filling school buses with explosives -- these are all movie-plot threats. They're good for scaring people, but it's just silly to build national security policy around them. But if we're going to worry about unlikely attacks, why can't they be exciting and innovative ones? If Americans are going to be scared, shouldn't they be scared of things that are really scary? "Blowing up the Super Bowl" is a movie plot to be sure, but it's not a very good movie. Let's kick this up a notch. [...] Post your movie plots here on this blog. Judging will be by me, swayed by popular acclaim in the blog comments section. The prize will be an autographed copy of Beyond Fear. And if I can swing it, a phone call with a real live movie producer.
The deadline is April 30, 2006. I've got a plot for a really scary movie: an FBI agent learns about a group of terrorists inside the United States who are planning to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, only she can't get anybody at headquarters to read her reports. Meanwhile, intelligence agencies also have evidence pointing to the plot, but their reports sit unread on the President's desk because he's on vacation.... Oh, wait. A movie plot has to be believable. Nobody'd believe this one. But I think Jodie Foster should play the FBI agent.
Balzac's "Peau de Chagrin" would make an interesting movie. It's a story made for the stage of imperial decay we find ourselves in just now.
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