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June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Is Pop King Of Sick Fucking Country

There are no current events that cannot be used as fodder for a critique of U.S. foreign policy and society.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 25, 2009 09:47 PM

This is my favorite scene in one of my favorite movies.

Posted by: saurabh at June 25, 2009 11:27 PM

Maybe I'm slow, but what are you trying to say? That critiques of US foreign policy have reached a point of banality, that they can no longer persuade people, unless they're already predisposed to agree?

I don't know the film, although I'm inclined to agree with the guy with the clipboard about the culture's effect on Jackson.

But by that same token, I get the impression that the scene is intended to make the clipboard man seem unsympathetic to the typical viewer, and by extension to discourage the viewer from identifying with his views.

Posted by: grimmy at June 26, 2009 01:11 AM

Nah, if you see the whole film, the point of this scene is very clearly to make the viewer sympathetic to Iraqis. Quite brilliantly done, to make the guy torturing the hero end up seeming sympathetic.

Posted by: saurabh at June 26, 2009 02:28 AM


The film is "Three Kings", directed by David O Russell. I would admit that it later got tiresome by slinking into Hollywood tripe, but it's still a pretty solid movie about the First Gulf War.

Did anyone see Jarhead? Was it good?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at June 26, 2009 02:59 AM

Was Jarhead a good what? A good sleep aid? Yeah, it was.

Three Kings, OTOH, was a black comedy. That scene was supposed to be darkly funny. Comedy? Remember? Tee-hee?


Posted by: AlanSmithee at June 26, 2009 06:19 AM

Ha! Good one Jonathan. That was too f*cking sick for words.

Posted by: bobbyp at June 26, 2009 08:49 AM

The only thing missing in this scene is the Iraqi interrogator holding and stroking a white cat. Might undermine the point a bit, but classic nonetheless.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at June 26, 2009 09:38 AM

I own copies of Three Kings, Syriana, and Good Night, And Good Luck. Clooney rules.

Posted by: Cloud at June 26, 2009 10:02 AM

Well, I suppose someone has to ask it: "Why do you hate America?"

Posted by: SteveB at June 26, 2009 08:23 PM

cousin Jon doesn't hate America, he just finds people who don't use the space bar kinda annoying.

Posted by: Jethro Schwarz at June 26, 2009 09:06 PM

Jarhead sucked because it was about Marines. Yeah sorry Mike :) But it's a great military movie because it shows perfectly what it's like to be in the military (if you're wondering, "being stupid" is what it's like.) Yea, 99% of it is about being stupid and making time go quicker for each other. Entertaining each other. Jarhead captured that perfectly.

And I liked 3 Kings but sheeet: Arabs love MJ. so that clip is obviously out ouf line with reality... not that I would know anything about that...

Posted by: tim at June 26, 2009 11:41 PM

I love this movie but it's not like this is a documentary. These lines (spoken by an actor born in France) were written by the film's white director (an insolent and angry man if there ever was one). They are clever and funny (which is why I enjoy them) but honestly I only ever hear white people talking about Michael Jackson turning white. I'm sure there are a few exceptions to this (likely proffered by black comedians) but it's usually just white people who love to bring this up. It's like an obsession.

Posted by: RTT at June 27, 2009 12:46 PM

No, black people talked about MJ becoming white. All. The. Time. Then it was kinda a joke about the fact that it was always being joked about. Pretty soon you just said "Michael Jackson" and didn't bother finishing the joke. White people weren't anywhere near as freaked out as black people were, back when . . . it. . . first happened.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at June 27, 2009 11:40 PM

Hey everyone,

I think the ppl who have commented here cannot make informed comments about how this scene relates to foreign policy or what it was meant to convey in the movie b/c this scene was edited by censors. It does not seem that the censors were trying to preserve the message, they were trying to keep the film out of trouble. The full scene, (according to the shooting draft is below, URL: ). Enjoy.

The wire is wrapped under Troy's chin around his other ear.

My main man. Tell me something,
OK? What is problem with Michael

What do you mean?

The King of Pop. 'I'm bad, I'm
bad, you know it --'

Yeah, Michael Jackson.

He is fahking the small boys, man.

What are you talking about?

He come to Egypt with the small
boys. I see picture in newspaper,
always he is with the small boys
in the hotel window. Hello with
the white glove. I am King of Pop
in my hotel with the small boys.
No girls. Just the boys.

He likes kids.

Yeah, he like to fahk them up the


Troy is smashed in the face with a clipboard. He looks
angry, and like he could cry at the same time.

You are the blind bullshit, my
main man. It is so obvious he
like the small boy so he all the
time travel with them.


And if it really true? You say --

I say it's sick.

That's because you got a sick
country, bro, you got no respect
for the children. That's why you
bomb them over here, right?

I don't think so.

Michael Jackson is Pop King of
sick fahking country.


Troy is smashed in the face with the clip board. Blood drips
from his nose.

Bullshit wrong, dude. A black man
make the skin white and the hair
straight. You know why?


Your sick fahking country make the
black man hate hisself, just like
you hate the Arab and the children
you bomb.

I don't hate children.

Do they care, buddy?

Does who care?

Do your army care about the Shiite
children? Do they come to help?

No, they're not coming.

The Interrogator signals someone O.S. and suddenly voltage
races through the wire, causing Troy to gnash his teeth
together so hard they chip. He writhes in pain.

Posted by: Dan Jamison at June 28, 2009 09:46 PM
it's usually just white people who love to bring this up. It's like an obsession.


No, black people talked about MJ becoming white. All. The. Time.

We in the White Community really must insist that all black people speak with one voice on these things. We just don't have the mental energy to keep track of you all having a bunch of different opinions.

In any case, while I don't know enough about Iraq to be sure, I would guess an Iraqi interrogator wouldn't have this type of Frantz Fanon Enlightened Third World Consciousness. I think he'd be more like this guy:

"What I have said to the British authorities is that we are not Africans. We have scientists and teachers and we can do things for ourselves. We are not people with no history."

"People with guns who are killing us! Never believe that we are anything like the other people you are killing! Who frankly probably should be killed!"

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 28, 2009 09:57 PM

virtually the only time hollywood presents arabs or muslims criting US policy or anything for that matter, they are engaged in sadistic behavior. the subext is that if you think US policy or whatnot is bad, you are a terror symp.

Posted by: sam -- err -- osama at June 29, 2009 09:31 PM

what sam husseini said-- that was what I was getting at earlier, maybe less articulately.

presenting the ideas with the clipboard is a little like negative conditioning of a rat in a lab--

the next time he hears anti-american views, the viewer will reflexively think of markie mark being hit with a clip-board.

Posted by: grimmy at June 30, 2009 10:27 PM