Pathetic Propaganda

This past weekend I went to the theater to see the newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. The movie was pretty good, very dark but good. The Joker was played by the late Heath Ledger and I must say he did a great job of getting across the psychosis and madness of the character without going all campy. One metaphor I took from the movie is the fact that government could not solve the problems plaguing the city. It took a private entity, The Batman, to get the job done.

This blog post isn’t about the movie or my weekend but rather something I saw before the movie that I just had to comment on. Call me jaded or cynical but I am always looking for the hidden meaning/agenda behind advertisements and messages in general; it can be quite interesting once you get past the high gloss façade. Most of the time these messages are very obvious and other times, more sinister.

During the preview roll an advertisement came on for the National Guard in the form of a Kid Rock song, co-starting Dale Earnhardt Jr. The song is called Warrior and can be found on Youtube. What follows is my unapologetic critique.

I must admit that I don’t really get into Kid Rock’s music though I respect him as a successful musician. That being said, this video is exceptionally bad. It has all the trappings of manufactured creativity: poor lyrics and cadence, clichéd music, over the top scenes of Guardsmen in action and it sounds just like a bunch of other Kid Rock songs.

Factor in Dale Jr. driving around in a car and your left is one big WTF type moment as you sit there waiting for the movie to begin. The word jingoism is redefined by this piece of unabashed propaganda. Even the lyrics are a slap in the face:

“So don’t tell me who’s wrong and right
When liberty starts slipping away
And if you ain’t gonna fight
Get out of the way”

Ok so instead of recognizing the problem and solving it lets just load up some guns and kill brown people. Oh and if you don’t want help me reap the souls of foreigners then kindly step aside.

Here is a knock-knock joke for Kid Rock.

Knock-Knock

Who’s there?

The Government(State) and we are here to take your liberties. Due to the dangerous times it is best if we collect your liberties and put them in a secret location for safe keeping.  Rest assured they will be kept in great condition while not in use…

Oh and we are going to bill you for this service.

More lyrics:

“’Cause freedom ain’t so free
When you breathe red, white and blue”

Actually the natural and relaxed state of being is free. It requires applied force to limit freedom. Just as well the terrorists are not enforcing martial law over trifles.  Or using Tasers to kill people or torture people.

Clearly the National Guard is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to meet recruiting goals. I am sure a lengthy, unpopular and unconstitutional war is not helping bring in the numbers. Well if this likely overpriced pathetic piece of propaganda does not work they can always lower their standards again.


JJ is a former member of the Army National Guard.


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14 Comments

  1. I reaaaaally love Kid Rock! Not only he is a great artist, but he also has a great life! His numerous weddings with Pamela Anderson testify it ;-)! Anyway, I love his CDs… Just check it out, I found'em on the Internet! http://www.deezer.com/en/kid-rock.html Quite nice isn't it?

  2. Great article, JJ.

  3. I was in the Arizona National Guard while in college. We actually got called up to go fight the brown people in Iraq. Other soldiers were freaking out. "I didn't sign up to go to war; I signed up for the college benefits." Well guess what bucko, remember that time in basic training when they taught you to shoot a rifle? Was that a silhouette of a deer or a person? Don't join the guard if can't deal with killing people your government (your opinion doesn't count) doesn't like.

  4. Yea, I was ashamed of myself for even seeing this. I immediately think of the old prole woman from 1984 singing "It was Just a Passing Fancy" while she hung up her laundry. Probably the most blatant appeal to rednecks I have ever seen in my entire life. Keep in mind that is what a significant portion of the world sees as "America" crazy, xenophobic rednecks armed to the teeth, squandering resources on shit like NASCAR.

  5. Mark, "my government" should technically have no likes or dislikes but instead should preform the services expressly spelled out for it in law. When the "government" is conducting a war that 80% of the people it supposedly represents do not want to be in, there is a big problem. If you can see clearly enough to admit this one key point you are on the road to recovery from your Authority Addiction.

  6. JJ,
    I think you missed my point entirely. The national guard commercial promotes itself as a "help the local community" organization, but in recent years has ended up as a back-door draft. I joined the military to get money for college and a chance to hang out in Europe. In return the U.S. Army got long days in army boots. At the time our "enemy" was the Russians. I wore a green uniform so I could shoot people with my rifle without being seen. I signed a contract with the Army agreeing to kill people in return for money, lodging and benefits to be given after three years.

    The national guard is *slightly* different. It presents itself as a cross between Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross for your local neighborhood. If you are suckered into altruism, it sounds like a good deal. Part of the deal when you joined the National Guard is the possibility of the Feds needing some extra bodies to throw at the enemy-of-the-day. Any illusions of joining a feel-good organization should have disappeared when you are learning how to throw grenades in Basic Training.

    When I was "asked" to wear my uniform longer than a weekend during the First Iraq "war", some of my college-mates were upset that their school year was being interrupted on an unjust war. Some thought about running away to Canada or Mexico. I didn't have, and still don't have ANY compassion for them. They weren't drafted.

    I am not sure why you think I have an authority addiction, nor do I care. I openly disdain bureaucrats and mutter "asshole" when I see a police officer. My children know to NEVER speak to a cop OR let them in the house. I "creatively" fill out my tax forms and grudgingly pay property taxes. In the long-run those who don't give the appearance of paying taxes can have a group of men with guns storm into their house. I use the term "disabled veteran" when I can get something out of it, (like lower property taxes in Colorado, cheap graduate school tuition and street cred in a war protest.)

    Is there anything else about me you want to attack?

    Mark

  7. Ah yes I see now what you were trying to say.

    I apologize for the remark I made as I misinterpreted your meaning.

    Yes the National Guard has become quite federalized and serves as a body reservoir for the "Global War on Terror". I think those calling the shots are a bit disappointed that they can not create soldiers out of thin air like they can money.

  8. I was on campus the other day and stopped by the recruiting office to see if I could get a bumper sticker for my 9 year-old son. He wanted another one for his door. You used to be able to get "An Army of One" in a cool shade of green.

    I'm 43, 200 pounds and couldn't run around the block without getting winded. From the military perspective, I'm also disabled. (Wont' go into the details here.) He finds out I'm prior service and asks me if I wanted to go back in the military. I laughed, but it turned out this recruiter was serious. He gives me the spiel about all the great benefits of military service and how the fact that I have a Masters degree would qualify me for the Officer Corp.

    I was dumbfounded, the military is so hard-up for bodies they are willing to take a 43 year-old with known medical issues? What is this World War I in Germany? I told him I'd pass. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I opposed the war and thought it was immoral; even more so that they have lowered their standards that even I could get in!

    Didn't Groucho Marx say "I wouldn't want to join a club that would let me in?"

  9. I just saw this POS tonight while going to see "burn after reading". There was one part when Iraqi kids playing soccer let their ball roll out into the street right as a humvee loaded with machine gun carrying thugs pulled up. Naturally the kids were scared shitless when these guys came out of the vehicle. The army guys threw the ball back and I was digusted. It was like they were trying to portray the army guys as nice guys just there to help.

  10. I love this line: the natural and relaxed state of being is free. It requires applied force to limit freedom.

    Please put a digg button on your blogs. I think this would have made it to the top.

    Very cool post.

  11. I agree with with all of you. But, what do you expect. It takes more resources to hold a country, than to take it. History will prove me right. Besides, we missed our opportunity during the first Iraq war. But I admit the goal was to regain Kuwait.

    Reference National Guard or Reserve. What did people expect when they stated down sizing the military. In the 90's, they started closing installations (which I agree, some deserved. But if you do your research. They (I'm not going to mention names), stated the military would be reduced to say 750, 000, then months or year later 550,000, etc. My point is the military was significantly reduced with no back plan. People complained of warehouse full of supplies nobody used. Well, guess why soldiers didn't have enough supplies when they went to war. The warehouse was no longer there, the factory that manufactured those supplies are now over seas (if the company hasn't gone belly-up).

    So, here we again. The only choice is to call up National Guards and Reserves. Which by the way, also had their fund cut. Not to mention like the previous post. They only signed up for the education and a 9:00 to 05:00 job.

    Then of course, you have B***** (won't name the education institute) or City in California not wanting recruiters on their campus or city. But is more than willing to take tax payer money for …(I can't say what) projects for the government. But I wonder who they would be expecting to help, if they had some kind of emergency. I really, wonder, wonder…who.

    I think you have an excellent site. Please keep up the good work and excellent rants!! lol

    P.S. Just food for thought:

    We are now going from economic battle in this global market. To energy and material resource battle. And I truly wonder how many people would be true to their convections, when they have no fuel to keep them warm, or no food on the table. And paying $18.00 dollars a gallon for fuel for there 40,000 SUV's. Not to mention, waiting in line when fuel starts being rationed. We will see how well there conventions hold true.

    P.S.S. One last thing: Find out the significants of the country Georgia. Look above it, look below it and then 2 the left…and then 2 the right. And thats my version of the HOKIE POKIE! Lol

    – Peace – and think you for your time!

  12. I apologize for the poor spelling/grammar. 2:30 in the morning, And first time using your site. Please forgive me ..oh great one's..lol

  13. Hi, Robert. No problem. I could read your post just fine. You asked about the importance of Georgia – the *COUNTRY*, not the state, right? That's the home of a man perhaps more evil than Hitler – Joseph "Stalin". I wrote "Stalin", because that was a "fake" name he adopted. It was "shiakshsvillieski", or some such "Russian" name…But, yes, Stalin is from Georgia, and Russia is just trying to flex it's muscles, expand it's territory, etc…stir up some crap over there…UM, cause *ALL 2000* Georgian troops in Iraq, to be flown back to Georgia? Can you say "forced retreat"??? Putin is fucking w/Bush-shit, & bush-puppet is too stupid to see that…*THAT'S* the real danger of a "bush-puppet-piece-of-shit"…All he *CAN* do is hurt AMERICA. (I love my country & her people. I fear and despise the government…so it goes…what hurts one hurts the other. What helps one, helps the other. That's why I sometimes say I'm a "Neo-Federalist". I want to eliminate *state* gov'ts! Just have old Uncle Sam, & the American people. No "City of Keene", "County of Cheshire", **OR** "State of NH"…they would just be *administrative bureaucracies*, w/no real power…&Abolish the "2 party system", also…think about it…where in the Constitution does it even mention the republicrats & democan'ts???…IT DOESN'T! Keep reading & writing, & please, *GET SOME SLEEP*! *grin*…~E~.

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