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Get Your War On Get Your War On
David Rees

ISBN: 188712876X
Soft Skull Press

About the book:

On October 9th 2001, David Rees posted 8 comic strips on his website, in which workers talking to (or at) each other: "Oh yeah! Operation: Enduring Freedom is in the house!" "Oh yeah! Operation: Enduring Our Freedom is in the motherfucking house!" "Yes! Operation: Enduring Our Freedom To Bomb The Fuck Out Of You is in the house!"

The response was overwhelming. E-mails proliferated around the country as people, alternately thrilled or disgusted by Get Your War On-as Rees entitled his depiction of the violence of the War on Terrorism begotten of violence of Terrorism itself-forwarded the URL to their friends. Since that night over eight million people have visited the site as Rees continues to add material that responds to the events of the past months including the anthrax scare, the Enron scandal, John Ashcroft's detentions, the establishment of the Office for Homeland Security, the Israeli incursions and the Palestinian suicide bombings...

Although the strip quick became notorious-Rees received a great deal of fan mail and hate mail-Get Your War On is not purely a parody of patriotism, nor is it a simple indictment of U.S. jingoism. Instead, in a voice that combines the indignant, stentorian tones of rapper KRS-1 with the cadences of David Mamet and the boldness of Tom Tomorrow, Rees zeros in on the deep psychic bruise that events in New York, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere has inflicted on our hearts.

The nameless characters are at turns skeptical about the War on Terrorism; scared for their own safety in an age of anthrax scares and terror alerts; hungry for revenge against Osama bin Laden; bitter about the exploitation of September 11th's horrors; and enthusiastic about the possibility of deadening their pain with alcohol. During a time when few were willing to share any but the noblest pieties with each other, Rees's characters are reflections of many Americans' true selves.

Thus by working with a deceptively limited palette of color (red), graphics (clip art of cubicle workers), and language (largely foul), Rees succeeds in depicting a country of grieving, angry and confused citizens, feeling hatred for-and feeling the hatred of-the world beyond our shores. In so doing, he has illustrated better than any artist, politician, or pundit the true state of America's soul...its violence, its compassion.

Get Your War On is therefore a deeply personal diary of the year that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. Much as September 2002 brought an avalanche of saccharine remembrances of the World Trade Center tragedy, Get Your War On provides a different kind of testament to a year of fear, bewilderment, violence and death.

$4.50 / paperback

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