PROPAGANDA: AND THE AWARD GOES TO
THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
It used to be that the changing of public opinion was a gradual process. Most of what people agreed upon was part of a mutually shared experience. The world view was more or less changed over a period that, in some cases, resembled a virtual hundreth monkey scenario.
This scenario used to be considered a paranormal effect where learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. The paranormal aspects of the effect is that even unrelated species of monkeys can find themselves doing the same actions as the others – even when those monkeys can’t relate to each other or even know the other monkeys. It is a paranormal and sometimes debunked method of discussing and predicting change. Not just any kind of change, but change that influences movement of consciousness.
Change so often happens quickly and unexpectedly and the adaptation to that change is a remarkable thing to watch on a social level. Not all things remain the same and some things reach a tipping point or a point of autonomy.
Autonomy can be broadly understood as simply rejecting any large, centralized and hierarchical structures tied to the nation-state. Autonomy should also be understood as a way to be independent from corporate influence or multinational control mechanisms that wish to contribute or support change. Change with autonomy is self starting and should be done without well known political structures that have been proven time and again as being corrupt and divisive.
Change created in a revolutionary way is change without an enabling by political opportunism or corporate support. It is change that is sought independently and it is change that is sought for a benefit of separation and freedom.
Behaviors and ideas are viral. They spread rapidly and any thought of benefit can create a social benefit that breeds empathy for a cause that is just.
That is why it seems that the United States is now awash in propaganda and the scary part is that the propaganda not only is feeding us lies, it is also rewriting history and is also being rewarded for well it is doing it.
The military industrial complex also has a wing that handles propaganda and during wartime the office of public affairs work overtime to ensure that the American people feel good about being at war, they go to great lengths to promote the benefits of the military and in other situations they create a method of opening the dialogue for the use of drones and a military type garrison to protect the country form any extremist threats.
I remember when I was a classic rock radio disc jockey we would play classic artists and also featured oldies.
One song that would come up in rotation was the “Ballad of the Green Berets” by Sergeant Barry Sadler. Being a younger guy at a classic rock station I used to get annoyed when I would hear the song. It annoyed me because it really did not fit in the music rotation and it just seemed to be so dated and so pro-war. I asked the program director why we played it and he said because it was a number 1 hit.
I thought how could a pro-war song be so popular when the hippies of the time were so antiwar? It was not a song you would listen to at parties, the production wasn’t all that great and the message just did not seem to fit. There were hundreds of anti-war protest songs created during the sixties and many went on to fame and fortune. Pro-Vietnam war songs were few and far in between. Rarer still was the commercially successful patriotic song. Barry Sadler’s “Ballad Of The Green Berets” was the most successful song of this type as it topped the American singles charts for five weeks during 1966. The album of the same name would be one of the fastest selling in the RCA label’s history at the time reaching the million mark within the first month of its release.
However, while the popular press will tell you that Sadler made the song work on his own merits and that Americans were inspired by his talent and the war the truth is he unsuccessfully tried to be a country singer after the pro-war hit song was released. The song also got a boost from the Pentagon and other corporate interests. The military branch of the government bought up many of the copies of the song and pro war columnists would extol the virtues of the song. It remained number 1 for five weeks. It also was used in the John Wayne movie “The Green Beret’s.”
Later in life and after serving time in prison for a fatal shooting, Sadler moved to Guatemala City, and it was there that he was fatally shot in the head in a taxi cab. The circumstances involving his death remain a mystery. It has been said that he shot himself accidentally, while some believe he was assassinated while training and arming the Contras.
So goes the tale of selling a war, or an idea, to the American people. To this day the song doesn’t inspire me and my tastes in no way are disrespectful of the veterans who served in Vietnam. If the song inspired hope for people during war – then more power to it.
However, today the propaganda machine is now being used not to inspire Americans to get behind the continued war. It seems that propaganda is being used to sway public opinion about history and current events that seem to be a bit nebulous like the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the Benghazi attacks and the shootings at Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
After the Golden Globe awards aired, I finally got around to watching it on the internet and I was bothered because a lot of the awards that were being handed out went to films and television programs that not only focused on revised political history, but films and television shows that glorify the military industrial complex.
If there was a movie or TV show that glorified the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, military intelligence, black ops, the militarized local police, the prison system – or any of the other agencies I have overlooked – it seemed that an award was handed over, giving a thumbs up for the government hold on the people and their sanitized version of history.
‘Homeland won best TV series, best TV actor and actress. The television series focuses on the CIA and al-Qaida and a possible illegal operation that may be a threat to the United States. The series lends itself to a bit of predictive programming but all that remains to be seen. We know that the secret that has been drilled into our minds is that terrorists and even war veterans are a real threat according to homeland security and once again an entertaining television shows that push the themes of military intelligence industrial complex.
Argo won best movie and best director. It glorifies the CIA and Ben Affleck spoke with the highest praise for the CIA. And best actress went to Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty, a movie that has been vilified for propagandizing the use of torture and rewriting the history about Osama Bin laden.
What this tells us is that the military industrial intelligence complex is now playing a bigger role in our lives which proves that the police state is something that with gradual coercion will be embraced by the American people as a normal part of our life.
Soon there will be more movies produced with the blessing of the Pentagon and the intelligence apparatus that will demonstrate a new focus on the use of drone technology in police and spy work and how it is necessary to keep the homeland safe and secure.
There will also be more focus on environmental crisis, the threat of extraterrestrials which of course is another way to recruit young men and women for military duty. The idea of fighting any menace alien or otherwise will be glamorized by Hollywood.
We must question why we are now embracing the glory of the militarized police state because this was the norm for Communist countries and other countries that would parade missiles and military in the public square to show their might in the face of danger.
We may not see this yet but, what we are about to notice is just how pervasive the extended war mentality is creeping into our entertainment.
How easy is it now for the simulation to win out over historic fact? As we question current events and the way they are presented, shouldn’t we be vigilant and aware of how Hollywood will most definitely generate fraudulent stories that they can pass as reality?
I was adamant about asking for the boycott of Zero Dark Thirty; however, it seems that you can’t fight the public that have list their grip of reality and wish to be entertained with torture and lies in a film.
Obama has been quite skilled in getting the Hollywood establishment to sell his ideas on climate change and healthcare and – whether you know it or not – his ideas of secretly expanding the military into Africa.
So I guess the question is whether or not having the CIA and military intelligence in the movie and media business is a good thing for democracy?
I mean movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Les Miserables” send a huge message about the rich being entertained while the poor fight for food and kill each other and we see it as passive entertainment at time where the elite now call humans a plague on the planet.
It reemphasizes a meme: the post-apocalyptic films will be weeded out for the more oppressive themes of the classes battling it out for crusts of bread.
Who will control the food, the property and the water supply? The military industrial and intelligence complex, of course.
I am not the only one who is seeing this as a dangerous precedent.
David Walsh notes that the real winner of the 2013 Academy Awards is the CIA:
“Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s quasi-fascistic glorification of the role played by the CIA in the so-called ‘war on terror’ … was tapped for five awards.” The military has long had a direct influence on Hollywood.
For example, a book published by the University of Texas points out:
“The Central Intelligence Agency has been actively engaged in shaping the content of film and television, especially since it established an entertainment industry liaison program in the mid-1990s.”
Would it surprise you to learn that movies like X-Men and all three Transformers movies were made with the help of the defense department and are considered government subsidized propaganda films?
People always ask me “how do we fight the New World Order?” Well, there is one way to fight and that is not to support blatant rewrites of history in movies like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. If I knocked on the door of most of my listeners and asked them to contribute 8 dollars to my show in my pay pal account I would get a number of people saying that they do not have the money to do it. If I were to ask you to contribute the same 8 dollars to the propaganda arm of the CIA you would slam the door in my face. But offer a film with guns, planes, violence and torture with a hidden message that appears patriotic, people will line up for it and make it a multi-billion dollar success.
That sends a message that you want more.
Of course, pro-torture productions such as Zero Dark Thirty and the CIA-sponsored TV shows like 24 are 100% fiction: the top conservative and liberal interrogation experts say that torture hurts, rather than helps, national security. It is also an effective way of desensitizing Americans to the use of torture and it is also now desensitizing people that would normally find surveillance drones morally deplorable.
Now more than ever, exposing the CIA in the director’s chair is vital to understanding how world view is being bended towards a more militarized America. The question of how far the intelligence agencies will go staging reality is anyone’s guess and many people are starting to question whether or not the stage show ends on the movie set.
The sick irony is found in what the movie Argo is about. It is about how the CIA is capable of setting up a phony film studio, hire fake actors and producers to make a phony science fiction film in Iran. This way in the real world they can fool the observers into thinking that they are witnessing a real event, all this for a political outcome.
Now how farfetched is it to speculate that all of the events we have been seeing in the media lately have been staged or, at least, beefed up so the public can form a reaction – a reaction that the directors want you to have for a political outcome.