When I first created my Zero Dark Thirty trailer parody, I was very pleased. For the first time, something I did came out exactly the way I expected. But more than that, I thought this was the parody that the film was begging for. The trumpeting of their good reviews seemed to require replacing them with pointed political commentary that indicated the film was wrong and nefarious. In fact, I thought it was so clear that I searched in depth to see if anyone else had already made it.
People seemed to like the video, but it got almost no traction—not much more than 100 views. In retrospect, I can see why. It’s pretty subtle. If you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t even know it was a parody. I did end up making more changes to it than I had planned to, but the sound is exactly the same as in the original. I just replaced the review quotes with my own and then added a couple of others where they weren’t before.
This morning, I went to check on my videos on YouTube, and I thought something was wrong. My Zero Dark Thirty parody had received a few thousand views. So I figured someone with some traffic must be embedding it. I did a search on “zero dark thirty parody” and an article on The Daily Beast came up: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Parodies: Lena Dunham, 50 Cent & More.
My video is the last listed. It is also by far the shortest. It is the only one that isn’t comedy. And it is the only one done by an amateur. I feel honored, because the other videos are amazing. There are two that most amused me, and I highly recommend watching them. The first was from Jimmy Kimmel, called “Zero Dark Fiddy” about the real story of 50 Cent’s search for bin Laden:
The second is “Zero Bark Thirty,” which is not particularly a parody, but just some very funny stuff about a dog from the bin Laden raid who is suffering from PTSD. It makes fun of a lot of stuff that needs it:
Only one of the videos makes much of the politics: Capture the Flag. But I didn’t think it worked all that well. It does, however, get to the heart of an important matter. Torture isn’t about effectiveness. Those in favor of torture justify it in the same way as those of us against it. One of the strongest arguments against torture is that it makes us the bad guys. “What does it say about us that we torture? It isn’t about who they are; it is about who we are!” Those who favor torture love what it says about us, “We’re badasses!”
Anyway, I am very grateful to Kevin Fallon for including me in his list of Zero Dark Thirty parodies. It at least validates my thinking that it was a good idea. But I do wish that I were capable of coming up with something as brilliant and silly as gunchucks.