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The Pacific and Band of Brothers are both HBO miniseries' that focus on the US battle against the Japanese (The Pacific) and the Nazi's (Band of Brothers) during World War II. I am personally a big fan of Band of Brothers and I am looking forward to the release of The Pacific. However, this is an important pop culture artifact to include because it is an obvious example of militarism. These shows undoubtedly present U.S. military forces as "driven by noble ends" and heroism without giving the perspective of the "other side". This helps to reinforce American patriotism while encouraging western imperialism. With Hollywood's stronghold on global film domination, the portrayal of Japanese and Nazi enemies who: do not speak English, come off as evil (without looking at the individual perspective of the "enemy"), are portrayed as "primitive and barbaric" and eventually get defeated by the end of the miniseries helps contribute to the idea of "Empire" and "the war system."
JR Martinez(on the right) is an actual military burn victim who plays a role on the popular soap opera All My Children. My mom has been watching this show for a long time and she has told me about this character. The show wanted a military burn victim for a role in the soap so they set out a casting call. JR Martinez auditioned for the part and since has become a big hit on the show. I believe that the producers did it as a "support our troops" publicity stunt. I think it worked quite well.
The U.S. Special Forces say that a "Green Beret" is a hat and not the person who wears it. However, Pop Culture tends to disagree with that statement. In the 60's they became a fad and started showing up in many pop culture artifacts. In 1982, they were seen in the movie
The above artifact is from the cover of a video game. This game is seeming to be targeted to boys, just like most video games (as we discussed in class). While the U.S. Special Forces may only be referring to a hat when the word "Green Beret" is used, clearly this video game is about the person wearing it.
This is a video of the classic BattleShip Board Game made by Milton Bradley. This could also be an interesting take on popular culture in the children category as well. This is a game that entices children, especially young boys, to be a part of the military. The beginning of the commercial starts with real live batteship explosions. It is almost as if this game is gearing young boys to join the army, well navy actually. The slogan for the game is "A game of strategy." Not only was this game made back in the mid 1940s, when there were still draftings going on in the U.S. military, but it is still prevalent today in virtual video games. I teaches kids at an early age the different types of "battleships," and the "hit-and-miss" strategy of real naval battle.
"There's strong. Then there's army strong." This slogan that has been featured in most of today's Army commercials. I feel that this slogan is an example of a pop culture artifact because this slogan is generated through commercials that flood into the kids' television time. A lot of the time they use this slogan in commercials where the soldiers are almost seen as video game characters. The soldiers are seen as doing other things other than killing people. They are seen learning a trade instead of attending college, or doing something very heroic.All of these messages are compacted into a 1 minute commercial. I believe that this text is also preferred dominant reading because being a "Strong " is great and being "Army Strong" is even better.
Post popular culture exemplars of militarism here:
Although this poster was made nearly a century ago, it still remains a popular culture artifact. Not only does it have the prolific image of "Uncle Sam", it is also one of the many slogans associated with the U.S. military, such as "Be all you can be" and "An Army of One". This text is a
preferred dominant reading
because one is considered patriotic if he/she joins the military or supports the efforts of his/her country's troops, thus it is a hegemonic ideology.
The movie Arlington Road depicts an image of terrorism, albeit very different than what has occurred in the past 8 years since 9-11. Released two years prior to 9/11, Arlington Road tells a story of Domestic based terrorism and how the United States forces/government react to possible threats or occurrences of such terrorism. It is an inflected oppositional text since it reinforces the idea of domestic terrorism whereas the majority of people would associate terrorism with foreign based attackers. Also in this film the antagonist ends up 'winning' in the end.
is a hysterical, bloody, and clever tale about two pot haeds on the run for their lives. Another one of Seth Rogen's great works, this time as Dale, a court-processor clerk who witnesses a drug dealers hit. He retreats to his dealers house, Saul, to only realize that they need to run for their lives. Dodging bullets, stealing cars, and massive amounts of joints. In this opening clip "the man" is testing the effects of item 9 on a soldier, and is asked about his emotions towards his superiors. After making music, and re-lighting his joint, his true emotions come out about the government, and they are not pleasing. The general makes one call, and item 9 is BANNED. This shows how much power we give our military, and how our expenses on wars have brought us into a greater national debt, and inevitably into our current rescission. We are never exposed to how much our country spends and thinks about its militia. This clips deliberately shows us how all it takes is one man who controls the government. It gives more of the, "the man is keeping you down" thought of mind, and that "whitey's keeping me down" in this whole film. They run from the police, and end up in a high speed pursuit with a stolen police car. If you are in the mood for adventure, action, and delirious comedy
is right up your alley.
In my youth (and even today, for that matter), I couldn’t get enough monster movies. A classic monster’s monster is, of course, Godzilla. Some of the things that Godzilla represents have widely shared meaning – such as the fear of citywide destruction and helplessness against an unstoppable, malevolent creature that is astronomically greater in size than any person or weapon that could be used against it.
The mythology behind Godzilla can be seen as an allegory of how tragedies can stick with us, and the belief that war never solves anything. The story tells of a creature that was born of mankind’s doing – a direct result of the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan during World War II. The radiation mutated the creature, making it enormous in size, and ultimately enabled it to bring about massive destruction.
War has plagued humanity throughout our history. The idea of mankind paying for its sins, in a way, is both beautiful and terrible. The subtle meaning behind Godzilla is that if we continue to bring destruction on ourselves, a monster will continue to grow inside us. This is something that can have widely shared meaning, because the impulses to destroy what lies between us and our goals are within every human being.
What Godzilla represents is terror and destruction, and yet what his story is all about is how much we need peace. This is a subverted oppositional reading, since Godzilla exists to convince us that we must stop fighting – something we have been doing throughout history, and has really become the status quo.
The series “Army Wives,” which airs on Lifetime is a show about more than just the obvious. The show revolves around five couples who are all of different ages, backgrounds, and ranks. However, they are all brought together by the commonality of either being in the U.S. Army or being the spouse of a soldier. “Army Wives” is filmed in present time and takes place on an army post in Charleston, South Carolina. Being an “army brat,” I was really excited to see a show that represented the struggles and experiences of army wives, soldiers, and their children. I would also have to say that a lot of the show’s content is accurately depicted, coming from my own experiences growing up. The show deals with things such as children being raised by one parent due to the war, trouble with infidelity, the camaraderie that is made with other army spouses, to even dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. There is good amount of America’s population who can relate to this show because they are actually spouses (or even children) of military personnel or in the military themselves. However, I would say that the show is inflected oppositional because most Americans haven’t experienced being “army wife,” let alone a child of a soldier or even been in the military themselves. Plus, I think this show is in existence to give a voice to people who would otherwise be almost forgotten in the media.
I think that the new Call of Duty Modern WarFare video game is a good pop culture artifact in regards to militarism. I've kinda grown up playing these sorts of game. They have evolved over time from your standard 2d video games of the 80's where you where just interacting in a very linear way to a 3 dimensional environment where everything is destructible.
COD MW2 focus on heroism of joining the military and fighting for your country. It almost seen like a recruiting artifact if anything. The goal is the master the weapons and also master the map on which you are playing on. The entire game really is a puzzle that needs to be solved and understood because advancing to the next stage. Failure to solve the puzzle of the map and the cost is your life. These sort of games are aimed towards boys but also, at least now, towards girls. They are including more gender specific role models...The girls are tough and where the hair back and the boys or slim and strong...The girls are smart and the boys have quick natural reflexes. These types of games are contributing to pop culture.
Educational Films were an interesting use of teaching tools. In fact what could be learned in an educational film does not necessary have to lead to good moral results, many educational drug films for example show how in fact to sell, hide, and get rid of drugs before the cops show up and to not be caught in a situation where a person could go to jail. What I find interesting is that most educational films to do with drugs show how the people with drugs do their drugs and find ways to work with drugs and sell them, it seems that this is a teaching tool compared to just showing the actually results that would make an impact on what a person would not do. People who watch educational films should not be interested how this is done, rather the results and not the story matters to the person learning. All the educational films I have watched have done this with sex, drugs, drivers ed, social interaction, and many others. The films always contradict the ideas behind the films because the whole story showing what exactly to do is made, how would anyone writing this know this for certain, because if this is the way all people on drugs work drugs would not be such a big issue a lot of people would already be put away who are involved in drugs someway. I posted some links, if you want to watch some films you can check on YouTube, I couldn’t one that works like I have on DVD. I chose militarism because this may not directly affect the military but the way it’s promoted is effective in its own right like the military messages.
Air Force and Transformers
This movie brings in the Air Force and real life factors to produce it's overall message. The Air Force is rarely shown in movies, and it brought out something
many people have not seen yet. Also by doing this, recruitment percentages will go up, which is mentioned in the video. Using the Air force in the film also
added credibility and realism to the movie that many could relate to. Overall, using the Air Force in the movie was a positive influence to people and the Air
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