a couple of days ago rick bennett tore himself away from his charming domestic and engaging bureaucratic responsibilities just long enough to recommend the writings of matt taibbi.
although i’ve only read a small portion of taibbi’s work, i’ve already been completely scandalized by one piece* and deeply intrigued by another. the latter article, fort apache, iraq provides the most searing and irreverent take on the us military exercise in iraq that i have yet to read.** this article introduces the twenty-something soldiers who spend their days dodging IEDs and nights watching the O.C., exposes the overwhelming contractor-driven opportunism that is forever escalating the cost of the war and explores the bizarre suburban landscapes (cinnabon, anyone?) of the forward operating bases that we’ve strung across the country.
i was particularly struck by taibbi’s confession that:
“Any journalist in Iraq who does not regularly feel the urge to puke his guts out from conscience-sickness is probably not in the right line of work, because increasingly, almost anything he does here is a gruesome betrayal of someone or other -- the soldiers and their mission if he tells too much of the truth, himself and the public if he does not.”
as you read the article, you will realize that although he carefully counts the cost of his reporting, taibbi never hesitates to betray the intentions and actions of both institutions and individuals in order to reveal and openly reflect upon the implications of the truth. i hope that as i continue to chronicle my experience of the church and my searches for the Kingdom, i can find the strength to walk taibbi’s line.
last week you noted balmer’s new book and this week you turned our attention to taibbi. your fidelity to the stereophonic sound of the smalltown poets aside, you have a great taste rick. thanks!
*NB: do not bitch at me if you are completely offended by this piece. consider yourself forewarned.
**NB: if you are easily scandalized by dick jokes, personally offended by profanity or currently work for halliburton or any one of their subsidiaries, you should think twice about reading this article.