Kushner on Bush
Tony Kushner on President Bush and military intervention in Iraq:
It’s very hard for me to ever say that I think unilateral military action on the part of United States can be a great thing at this point. The idea of the United States armed forces going in and suppressing and controlling a population of any sort is so fraught with history. . . . The minute we start dropping bombs on anybody, everybody feels very good for five minutes. And there is a fantasy sense that we’re still the number one country on earth because we can go in there and kick this person, and we forget we’re talking about this completely decimated country that was annihilated [a few] years ago and has never rebuilt.
— from an interview with Craig Lucas on January 20, 1993.
Yep. 1993. He was talking about that President Bush. I’ve just begun working through Tony Kushner in Conversation, edited by Robert Vorlicky. Here’s another interesting tidbit. Turns out that the Reagan administration wasn’t all bad. Kushner describing a federal grant that helped to fund the writing of Angels in America:
The application for it was very honest. I said I was going to write a play about gay men and Mormons and Roy Cohn, sent it in to the federal government under Reagan, and thought, this will come back immediately with no money attached. Then they gave us this huge check. . . . It was Washington money with an eagle stamped on the check. So I felt, when I was writing it, that it was taxpayers’ money, and I do think that had some impact on the play’s scope.
I wonder if Jesse Helms — the homophobic, anti-NEA Helms of old; not the kinder, gentler, post-Bono, pro-AIDS relief Helms — ever found out.