Skip to content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Add
About | Wiki | Legacy

Propaganda in TV series and movies?

16 replies [Last post]
memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 16 hours 28 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

Has anyone else noted this?

I think certain american TV series are quite deliberately designed to spread a particular message, to participate in tuning the citizens, even while they may not be fully aware of that, to a certain way of thinking that suits the current government.

Sure it sounds like a conspiracy theory again, but have you seen Jag or 24 for example?

JAG is basically a soap opera about the activities of the Judge-Advocate office in US, but quite a bit of the story is in the time of the Iraq war and there are often certain elements which smell like american propaganda. Although about JAG in particular I'm not sure. It has some intriguing and intelligent stories from what I've seen, but I guess I am always vary about that whole "honor and pride" thing often thrown around about US military. I once thought... pride and honour for what? Really defending your country or defending the interests of the current leaders of that country? They all spark with that shiny feeling of pride and honour even while going into that dirty Bush's war in Iraq.

It's as if they're just brainwashed.

As for 24 it seems quite bent on making people believe how serious the terrorist threat is. We know the story here, make them fear "those dangerous terrorists threatening to eradicate us" and hence condition them to approve of certain actions they otherwise wouldn't approve of.

Anyway, those definitely aren't the only examples. They might not even be the best ones. I just know it smells a bit..

What do you think?

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 12 years 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-09-18
I think that in most

I think that in most countries mainstream media will rarely go against the currently leading party and its policy, especially in extreme cases such as US.

Television companies are encouraged by its viewers to support current policy, because these viewers mostly support it, at least silently. If someone won the elections then he must have had the most votes (should have had would be better here, but that's a different story), so his policy is probably the most popular, which is why it's in the interest of media to support it, or at least not criticize it.

Furthermore, big business is closely related to politics, so big media companies and currently ruling politicians often go hand in hand, because they can greatly benefit from each others. They try to influence each other greatly - politicians want to appear nice in media and media wants exclusive interviews and shows and wants to push some laws (DRM, for instance).

All in all, it comes down to that these companies are after money so they behave in this way to acquire larger market share and possibly push some laws. Unfortunately, most politicians are also after money (or power, these two are mostly equivalent in modern world). Being mainstream thus most often means not caring about or promoting some deeper issues, but focusing on money instead, so displaying things you mention comes as a side effect. And mainstream is the most visible, so you end up noticing it everywhere. Actually, it could be called a conspiracy, but a natural one.

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 19 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
If you look at the new

If you look at the new Hollywood blockbuster '300' which is about a Persian invasion fended off by 300 Spartan warriors you see the 'right-wing' US bias in it. There are 300 perfectly sculpted, steroid filled bodies in their under ware defending somewhere against a hoard of dirty looking Persians in some very dodgy looking clothes. This is a depiction of the West's superiority over Iran (basically Persia), they even get the history wrong so the Spartans win... This is blatant propaganda.

Though it is not all propaganda. Look at Battlestar Galactica, in Season 3 (you might not want to read this Libervisco!) the humans have to use insurgent like acts (suicide bombings etc.) against the Cylons. This gives the public an idea of what drives people in Palestine and Iraq to such lengths, since in BG it is the 'good guys' which are doing it.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 16 hours 28 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
dylunio wrote: There are
dylunio wrote:

There are 300 perfectly sculpted, steroid filled bodies in their under ware defending somewhere against a hoard of dirty looking Persians in some very dodgy looking clothes.

That's a quote of the day. Laughing out loud

But yeah I get the picture. It's something I saw in other movies too... Funny we've just been discussing some americans that came to one of my sister's school for exchange or something, how much they percieved Croatia as primitive. They were asking questions like "do you guys have washing machines at home?". It's borderline insulting the way some americans see the rest of the world as primitive stone-age people. So it's not just about Iran, though I can imagine why their focus would shift that way these days...

Is media to be blamed for this? Sure, and lack of education also (which is another topic coming from another anecdote of some florida people actually wondering that we in Croatia aren't black since they expected Croatia to be an african country, joke or not Laughing out loud ).

dylunio wrote:

Though it is not all propaganda. Look at Battlestar Galactica, in Season 3 (you might not want to read this Libervisco!) the humans have to use insurgent like acts (suicide bombings etc.) against the Cylons. This gives the public an idea of what drives people in Palestine and Iraq to such lengths, since in BG it is the 'good guys' which are doing it.

Yeah I've noticed a few parallels in BSG already, which is not to wonder since BSG really is sort of like a catastrophe story set in space. The setting reminds more of the present than some future I'd like to envision (which is obviously why I am more of a Star Trek fan Eye ). At least, in BSG, parallels are of good quality and gets you thinking, which is good. As long as you don't start perceiving it as a future we should expect or look forward to (cause BSG definitely isn't that).

I am waiting for the continuation of the Pegasus episode. Man that is dramatic...

SF in general seems to be less susceptible to propaganda it seems, although not entirely free of it. I'd say we should just keep our eyes and ears open at all times. Smiling

stojic wrote:

Being mainstream thus most often means not caring about or promoting some deeper issues, but focusing on money instead, so displaying things you mention comes as a side effect. And mainstream is the most visible, so you end up noticing it everywhere. Actually, it could be called a conspiracy, but a natural one.

Indeed, well said. Unfortunately these days "mainstream" is basically a synonym for shallow, gulible and even corrupt, which is why it is so important for everyone to step back and take a second look at the whole "stream", from another perspective.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
Agreed
libervisco wrote:

They were asking questions like "do you guys have washing machines at home?"

I'm not saying this WAS the case, but I have friends in Britian and I was kind of surprised to find that dishwashers are still not considered a "basic" part of an apartment, like a refrigerator. A lot of times,questions like these are made out of ignorance, not arrogance.

That said, I agree with everything you said. America has historically had a habit of propaganda. America has a history of dehumanizing the "enemy" and making them seem barbaric. I've always found it ironic how much damage "barbarians" can do with their "archaic" technology (like rocket launchers, planes and bio-chemical weapons).

Ironically, I was discussing this with my wife last night on the drive home. Her car was in the repair shop, and while there, she overheard an older man, perhaps in his mid to late 70's saying how he believed that the Draft should be re-instated. "Every young man" he said, "should see how the rest of the world lives.". I'm not sure what the man's intent with this was, but I personally think it was "See how the rest lives to see what a good thing we've got."

The problem is, the older generation don't realize that the America is no longer the best at everything. Hell, there's not to many things we're particularly good at at ALL. Britian exceeds the US economical. Almost every member nation of the EU has a higher rate of literacy. Even the "remote" nations that the US had to "aide" 50 years ago are industrial super powers now, with the same technology and a bigger workforce.

The younger generation (me and my wife) have already filed immigration papers elsewhere.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
Not sure
stojic wrote:

I think that in most countries mainstream media will rarely go against the currently leading party and its policy, especially in extreme cases such as US.

I disagree, to a certain extent. And this indicates a deeper, more frightening part of life.

Media companies don't give a crap about the current leadership, they care about the opinions (and viewership of) the public. TV shows don't reflect what Bush wants people to see. The sad and scary part is that the PUBLIC wants to see those things.

The majority of the American public WANTS to see movies where young Arab men murder people while shouting lines from the Qu'ran. If they didn't, they'd not watch. Media outlets know this.

Americans live in this odd dual society. On one hand, it is considered a social mess up to wish someone a "Merry Christmas", because "not everyone is Christian" but at the same time, they demand a scapegoat. They demand a social underclass that they can fit into a stereotype and dehumanize.

Anonymous
Did you actually see it?

First of all, the point of 300 was that the Spartans were professional soldiers and that the majority
of Persians were slaves. They were just normal people forced to fight. That is why they were dirty and
ragged, except for the professional sub groups who were dressed pretty sharply. And the
Spartans didn't win in the movie...all 300 were killed. Just like Rocky and the Alamo,
the point is that you can lose but still win. Do you always get your facts wrong....or
do you just make them up to support your argument?

And just so you know, the stereotypical American hero isn't a perfectly sculpted steroid filled
body, but an "everyman" hard working or caring person. Again, see Rocky (vs the Russian). Or see
Spider-man. Even in Superman, the point is that a geeky reporter can be a hero underneath. If you
see otherwise, then perhaps it is your own bias or propaganda?

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 19 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
reply
Anonymous wrote:

And the Spartans didn't win in the movie...all 300 were killed. Just like Rocky and the Alamo,
the point is that you can lose but still win. Do you always get your facts wrong....or
do you just make them up to support your argument?

I stand corrected, as I rarely see Hollywood made films, anyway I go on what I read in the press. All of which seem to concentrate on the messed up history and the guys in under ware. Just like British films during the second World War, people died but they were always the 'good guys' despite such appalling acts as the bombing of Dresden.

Quote:

And just so you know, the stereotypical American hero isn't a perfectly sculpted steroid filled
body, but an "everyman" hard working or caring person. Again, see Rocky (vs the Russian). Or see
Spider-man. Even in Superman, the point is that a geeky reporter can be a hero underneath. If you
see otherwise, then perhaps it is your own bias or propaganda?

I know the stereotypical American hero is not a steroid filled body, I have seen Rocky, Superman and Spider-man which agrees with this. But this is beside the point, those people are Americans, while the Spartans are not, so are depicted by the muscle filled chaps they show.

Anonymous
Kevin Dean wrote: The
Kevin Dean wrote:

The younger generation (me and my wife) have already filed immigration papers elsewhere.

Ignoring everything else, and I myself being part of the "younger generation" I ask you what good does it do to abandon America and move someplace else. How is anything ever going to improve if all of the intelligent young idealistic people move to another country?

---

The biggest problem in America is the intersection of government, business, and entertainment. Big multinational business and big "mainstream" entertainment are increasingly intersecting with advertisements increasingly becoming the focus of so many television shows. In the same way business and government intersect with companies making sure that whoever gets elected supports them. This makes voting in America become increasingly a non choice. Business is fueling political corruption at the highest and mid levels of American government. Finally we get to the intersection of entertainment and government. The various intellectual property laws that have been passed at the behest of the RIAA and MPAA are designed to reduce competition and ensure the continuation of the current entertainment system.

Cheers
Tim

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 16 hours 28 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
You've got a point there..

You've got a point there.. It's always a choice between "leaving" or "staying to try to make it better". Sometimes just leaving can have an impact though, as if enough people start leaving, giving specific reasons for doing that which are all mostly common, the ones who stay and continue with the bad flow might get the picture.

In other words, those who are leaving loudly could make some of those who stay become changers.

Many have been leaving this country (Croatia) too even after the war because of corruption and not such a good economic system. However, it looks like this is changing as we're becoming economic leaders in the region and approaching EU.

Still, as we continue growing there is no assurance that this increased economic power wont turn into corruption at a later point, just as it happened in US. It's hard to keep governments and businesses separated, when businesses grow to a point of being almost as powerful as governments in certain ways.

Anyway, although I had these kinds of desires before, I am lately more inclined to stay here. Situation is improving, and I might just be able to contribute a bit to it not going awry in some other way.

Thanks

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 7 years 16 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
Tough Love worked for Ireland...

In the early 80's when I left school, interest rates were over 20% and unemployment not far off, income tax was at 60% foreign debt was colossal and growing and the EC were threatening to take over the administration of the country. Vast hordes of our brightest and best were leaving for the UK/USA/Canada/Australia, and political/business corruption was so bad the Boomtown Rats recorded 'Banana Republic'. The humiliation and outrage prompted decisive action, and through austerity and the FDI strategy we've made 'a little progress' since then.

But it's not all rosy, no sir. We have one of the worst health systems in Europe, huge sums have been squandered by the government, and lucrative elitist tax breaks fueling their alliance with the construction industry and investors have brought a property boom that has saddled a generation of families with debt whilst scattering them far from the now unfordable communities in which they grew up. Not since the famine has there been such upheaval.

The perception of the Celtic Tiger has raised expectations beyond the reality, which is this: the headline economic figures are largely irrelevant, FDI brings jobs and that's about it, some entities make out like bandits but that's not all for government spending on services for joe public. We're a lot better off than we were nonetheless.

Also competition is all we hear about at wage negotiations. India/China/eastern EU/CROATIA (that's you libervisco - why I oughtta!) and so on all want 'OUR' jobs so we shouldn't expect great rewards, but ever harder struggle for a livelihood. So every nation across the globe is over the barrel of competition for footloose and fancy free corporate fdi, we must all tell our kids to fight against the kids of all other nations for jobs. Work, harder, longer, smarter? Brilliant. We can all simultaneously out-compete each other. Somehow. Or everyone gets a turn of having more than their fair share.

But wait, a fair share is defined under the principle of competition as whoever grabs the most isn't it. And before anyone dares ask how we can have ever increasing consumption and pollution on a finite planet that's why we're off to the moon, and mars. New frontiers, no worries, the size of the cake is not fixed it can grow indefinitely, no one is being greedy or selfish, there's plenty to go around if only people would get off their butts and do an honest days work. People choose their own future according to libertarian wisdom don't they.

The real game of the corporates including private media and their puppet politicians is to keep us fighting each other while they cream in the loot, and distracted by pesky tv shows (what the HELL's going on in Lost?) and endless ads for crap we don't need so the number of transactions required for wealth concentration are maximised. I guess I'm not as far to the right as what you might see on Fox./rant

Wasn't all this high-tech supposed to give us worldwide prosperity and a three day week? And where's my robot butler and private skyjet? My silver suit is gathering dust in the wardrobe.

What's the answer folks?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.