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How the Mil-Ind-cong complex brainwashed you and your children

   How the military-industrial-congressional complex brainwashed you and your children should be obvious, but I bet you are not protecting your family from it today.


    As if that carrot-stick dynamic weren't coercive enough to aspiring filmmakers, the Pentagon in the 1980s expanded the definition of "cooperation" to include collaboration on screenplays as scripts were being initially drafted. "It saves [writers] time from writing stupid stuff," said one official in explaining the new process.


   Such a cavalier attitude coupled with the box-office success of the Pentagon-approved Top Gun convinced studios in the 1980s that agreeing to military demands and, hence, making ever more militaristic films was a guaranteed formula for success. Consequently, between the release of Top Gun and the beginning of the Gulf War, the Pentagon reported that the number of pictures made with its official assistance (and approval) quadrupled, and a large portion of these action-adventure productions (quickly synergized into video games, action figures, etc.) were for teenagers.


   The short-term impact of the military-entertainment complex was enlistment surges correlating to specific 80s box-office hits. As just one (albeit huge) example, recruitment spiked 400 percent when Top Gun was released, leading the navy to set up recruitment tables at theaters upon realizing the movie's effect. Medium term, of course, is the Red Dawn effect. Contemporary missions are now named after the film (and various other militarist fantasies from the 80s), tapping into the hardwired psyches of the "Wolverines who have grown up and gone to Iraq," as Milius recently called the 80s generation.


   Then there are the standards that were set for the long haul. Today, the Pentagon offers Hollywood just as much enticement for militarism, and just as much punishment against antimilitarism, as ever. On top of the 80s militarism that is now endlessly recycled in the cable rerun-o-sphere, it's a safe bet that whichever Jerry Bruckheimer or Michael Bay blockbuster is being fawned over by teen audiences is at least partially underwritten by the Pentagon, and as a condition of that support, these blockbusters typically agree to deliberately reiterate the morality of the military and war.

By contrast, as the director of The Hunt for Red October recounted, this new reality prompted studios in the 80s to start telling screenwriters and directors to "get the cooperation of the [military], or forget about making the picture."


   This helps explain why for every one decidedly anti-war movie that's made, we see scores of movies made that glorify militarism. Since the 1980s, taxpayer dollars have been subsidizing militarist movies on the basis of their militarist content; at the same time those subsidies are withheld from anti-militarist movies on the basis of their anti-militarist content. That has created a movie market dynamic that then preferences the production of militarist films -- militarist films which have an obvious and ongoing psyche-shaping effect on our larger attitudes about militarist ideology.


2 Replies

The movies demonizing arabs/muslims started when?   How l...

   The movies demonizing arabs/muslims started when?   How long were they preparing their brainwashed flocks for today's imperialist wars of conquest ? ? ?


   I forgot the link--


Re: The movies demonizing arabs/muslims started when?   How l...

Thanks John. I'd forgotten how keenly observant and well thought out Siroda allways is.


And it exposed me to the existence of his new book on the 80s, which I just ordered.


Here's another great Siroda piece concering another another issue that is suffering under the RW proboganda boot: