This Might Have Been Chris Cornell’s Weirdest Gig Ever

13 Hours, the new film that purports to tell the true story of the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, had a premiere in front of 30,000 hardcore patriots, none of whom have much love for Hillary Clinton. When it was over, Chris Cornell got up to sing his song from the movie.

Fine, but for full context, read the review on the evening at Gawker:

“Why didn’t we bomb the shit out of them?” a man asked me. “Why aren’t we bombing the shit out of ‘em? Give me a B-52 and I’ll go over there right now.” It was a chilly night in Texas, but his mind was more than 6,000 miles away, in Libya. He and I and some 30,000 other people had come to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas—home of the Dallas Cowboys—for the outsized world premiere of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

The 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi means many things to many people. It is, at its most basic level, an actual human tragedy, one of an uncountable number this country has been party to in the last fifteen years. Lives were lost, and they might have been saved, and it’s hard to say why, or what good it did. It is also a meme, a punchline, and a political cudgel. For the people who care most about it,Benghazi is less shorthand for a historical episode than a concept, an abstract descriptor of a feeling shared by an uncountable number of people in this country that the nation’s leaders are traitors, by way of incompetence or malice or both.

But on Tuesday, people lined up by the thousands to see Benghazi begin a new life as something else entirely: an entertainment product. Michael Bay, the auteur who brought you Pearl Harbor and Pain & Gain, had brought the premiere to the stadium’s 180-foot-long high definition video board, with an enormous on-field stage and red carpet below. The audience filled most of the north half of the stadium. There was complimentary popcorn, one bag per ticket.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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