A Cautious Man
January 13, 2004
When It's All an Old Black and White Movie ...
I just realized that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, and for a rationale for the Iraq War, is really the plot of The Maltese Falcon. Sam Spade has to solve the mystery of the murder of his partner, but before he can do that, he instead becomes involved with the hunt for the elusive "Black Bird". He allies with, and takes action against, various unsavory foreign types. In the end, he finally has the "bird" in his hand. Instead of containing a fortune in jewels beneath its exterior, however, it turns out that the bird is worthless. "Fake! It's a phony! It-it's lead! It's lead! It's a fake!" shouts the most unsavory of the foreigners, the "Fat Man". After the unsavory types have left, and the real killer is unmasked, Sam Spade cradles the bird in his arms, and when asked what it is, he replies: "The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of."
I don't know if the current movie will have as tidy an ending.