There are few established facts around the recent wave of unrest erupted in Libya and Egypt and spreading further against the anti-Islam film. We know that the trailer of an alleged movie titled “The Innocence of Muslims” has gone viral over the last few months. Yet, nobody is sure whether there is an actual feature-length movie beyond the trailer, and what the context of its production really is. Nor does the trailer hint at any serious anti-Islam propaganda movie, it looks more like an excessively bad taste trashy B-movie produced by people with a rotten sense of humour – and certainly no more rotten than we are used to watch in so many video productions constantly circulating on tv and on the internet.
It is a clear and extreme example of the global society we live in. The production of fiction and imagery creates reality, a reality dominated by images continuously mirroring themselves in a kind of infinite regression. A society of the spectacle, as radical thinker Guy Debord put it more than fourty years ago. Gone horribly wrong, for causes that reach far beyond a viral movie or a perceived Islamist (or anti-Islamic) threat. The response from U.S. officials also well exceeds the need to guarantee “national security”. It seems more in tune with the imperative to protect the sentiments and ideas of “the American nation” around such a symbolic date (the anniversay of 9/11), less than two months away from presidential elections, and pressure on Obama to reassure Americans of his unequivocably “American” qualities.