Wednesday, June 27, 2007

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD: The more crap you know, the better off you are

"Although 'Live Free or Die Hard' has one of the most convoluted writing credits in memory -- 'screenplay by Mark Bomback, story by Bomback and David Marconi, certain original characters by Roderick Thorp, based upon the article A Farewell to Arms by John Carlin' -- the result is a shrewd, serviceable premise that feels uncomfortably real," wrote movie reviewer Kenneth Turan in today's Los Angeles Times.

Times Calendar section reporters, if you've read this blog regularly, are comfortably detached from reality. So it's no surprise a movie reviewer would think the "electronic Pearl Harbor" shtick that's the basis for the Willis movie is uncomfortably real to one of them.

"The notion, inspired by [Carlin's] Wired magazine article, is that the more we as a society have our essential systems run by computers, the more vulnerable we are to having those systems messed with by brainy bad guys intent on catastrophic results," continues the Times movie reviewer.

If you read through to the finish of your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow's idiot electronic Pearl Harbor grinches essay on Sunday, near the bottom, you say Carlin was one of the first on the spot with the gold-plated rubbish in 1997.


"Electronic Pearl Harbor" showed up twice in the May 1997 issue of WIRED magazine, both Carlin's "Farewell to Arms."

1. "We will have a cyber equivalent of Pearl Harbor at some point, and we do not want to wait for that wake-up call," attributed to former U.S. Deputy Atty. General Jamie Gorelick.

2. "I-war can be the kind of neat, conceptually contained electronic Pearl Harbor scenario that Washington scenarists like -- collapsing power grids, a stock market software bomb, an electromagnetic pulse that takes the phone system out."

The original e-Pearl Harbor archive from the Wayback Machine.

The essay had well over a thousand readers by Monday.

Since the more crap you know, the better off you are, Carlin's article -- while not perfectly suitable as basis for a movie (who's gonna play Jamie Gorelick? Oh, please ...) -- the second bullet point contained the nut of an idea easily imagined as discussed in Hollywood over a Player-like pitch session. It allows for fire and explosions.

Hey Bruce Willis fans! Don't send hate mail! I like Willis as an action hero and am tickled at anything which has him dispatching evil computer nerds.

Now wait for the deluge of features writers nationwide selling their editors on stories about the plausibility of "Live Free or Die Hard."

If only DD could get someone in Hollywood hooked on an essay from this blog.

Hmmm, the script could be retitled "The Misanthrope."


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