MAY 28, 2012 8:35PM

‘Avengers’ Indoctrinates Us-Citizen-Hordes for War

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The Avengers movie is based on the comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It was released early in May and broke records by amassing $500 million at the domestic box office. Worldwide it has exceeded $1.2 billion.

According to Joanne Laurier of wsws the movie cost $220 million. A group of superheroes attempt to save the earth from an alien invasion.

Sam Jackson plays Nick Fury, director of SHIELD, a peace keeping agency which secretly is evolving wmds to help do this. How "pragmatic" of it. Actually, I was relieved to see this issue gave at least a couple of the superheroes pause for what disappointingly turned out to be only a second or two or maybe three in the one-hundred forty-three minute movie. Of course, conditions were so dire from the get-go there was no time to really explore any hypocrisy and darker agendae for the “good guy” “American” corporate overlords. Kind of like when 9/11 happened and full throttle anything goes reactivity went into gear and apparently, imho, hasn’t stopped.

The supposedly admirably independent superheroes charge forward to protect the globe and particularly Manhattan from violent overthrow and/or destruction since that is what they can’t help but do. Hordes of hapless citizens – us -- scurry about below the superheroes’ ever-changing perches like deranged ants as the superheroes do their “stuff”. It is all about might for ... well, let’s call it just off the tops of our heads’, "lesser-evil right."

The superhero with the biggest conscience at times appears to be the doctor mode of the Hulk. The Hulk is the most monstrously irrational when he – it – goes into its enraged superhero mode. A mass of formidable aggression, kind of like the US/NATO killing machine in power and in lack of impulse and boundary control.

Laurier elaborates nicely:

Marvel Comics’ rise to prominence had a certain association with the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. Marvel prided itself on presenting the characters’ complexities and even serious failings, in opposition to the more stolid, one-dimensional Superman and Batman of DC Comics.

Thus each Avenger in Whedon’s film has his or her individual dilemma. The Black Widow wants to make up for past misdeeds; Thor has to settle accounts with his fallen, evil brother, Loki; after being encased in ice for decades, Captain America wonders whether there is a place in the 21st century for him and his old-fashioned patriotic gung-ho; Iron Man Tony Stark needs to prove that he is more than a selfish billionaire playboy; Dr. Bruce Banner, who when angry becomes The Hulk, is ministering to the poor in India when we first meet him, an undertaking he reluctantly abandons for the planet-saving mission.

And so on. None of this character development, however, goes beyond a few introductory lines of dialogue or bits of action. The audience quickly learns what to expect from each and every character, even taking into account the plot’s inevitable twists and turns.

The name of this movie game is NON-STOP TITILLATION of visual and auditory mayhem. Laurier:

The film, primarily a series of individual and large-scale combats, is a spectacle of contemporary film technology and special effects. One impossible feat follows rapidly on another, separated by interludes of largely clichéd dialogue, pieces of plot exposition and rather labored attempts at humor.

One hundred and forty-three minutes of head-pounding bombast, The Avengers is an exhausting experience. The filmmakers make certain that the viewer has as little time or space as possible for reflection and critical thought.

It was, indeed, an impressive, eye- and ear-filling rollercoaster ride that never bored. But again the money statement Laurier makes:

The filmmakers make certain that the viewer has as little time or space as possible for reflection and critical thought.

Feel the sensation, America? Especially young and impressionable America? Breathless adrenalin-addicting violence. What a rush!!!! And the superheroes are fighting the mechanized aliens who are not like any other global humans, right? I mean the mechanized aliens don’t look like us enough, right, to fulfill that subliminal role? And could never in a million years represent a demonized set of other human beings of course! (cough, cough … choke!)

Laurier makes some salient points:

The movie’s final segments are saturated with 9/11 imagery—firefighters and policemen to the rescue of wounded and soot-covered civilians, followed by collective mourning. Captain America, a World War II veteran, brings “a little old-fashioned stars and stripes” to the party and tycoon Tony Stark demonstrates that the top one-hundredth of one percent can be a force for good. Whedon’s film omits the fact that Stark Industries is a weapons manufacturer and Stark’s past nemeses have included Arabs and Persians arranged in West-versus-East combat.

In the wake of 9/11 and the proclamation of the “war on terror,” and in the midst of a relentless drive to war with Iran, what is the overall message and impact here? There is no reason to impute to the filmmakers deliberately retrograde political motives, but have they thought at all about the implications of their work?

snip

Those who maintain that the population gets “what it wants” self-servingly forget that audiences have no say in the production of the mass entertainment inflicted on them. Giant conglomerates make all those decisions, and work at every point within the framework of their financial and ideological interests

The resurgence of superhero films in particular is the result of various factors and really deserves its own special study. Economic, social and artistic issues come together here.

If it could, presumably each Hollywood studio would make one or two colossal films a year that would earn billions. Intriguing human stories and artistic presentations of life are inconveniences for studio executives, which they dispense with as much as possible in an effort to get to the business of emptying their customers’ pockets.

As numerous commentators have pointed out, film adaptations of comic books have the advantage of built-in popular familiarity and bases of support. In addition, a successful adaptation may generate a vast amount of cash in terms of product tie-ins (clothing, games, fast food restaurant items, toys) and so forth for the fortunate entertainment giant in question.

Taking no chances, the filmmakers have made sure that The Avengers is star-packed, and in numerous cases (Johansson, Downey, Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Jackson and even Gwyneth Paltrow in a small part, Clark Gregg and Cobie Smulders) the performers have a genuine following or popular appeal.

But there is more going on here.

Again, a number of critics have pointed to the manner in which superhero films dress up American reality, brutal American imperialist reality in particular. A 2008 article, for example, at the Cleveland Indy Media Center, opines that “[t]hese superheroes have been harnessed in support of our dying imperial project, promising a renaissance through which our superior strength, and unrivaled human wisdom, are finally and fully unveiled for the world’s adoration and humble acquiescence.

snip

The very nature of the form operates against, although it does not make impossible, the working through of the intensely complicated problems of modern life in a mass society.

Why is it not possible to present an accurate picture of the world and its complexities without legends, superheroes and superheroines? This genre is not working through any serious issues in an honest way. It mythologizes in dishonest ways.

snip

… Its [The Avengers’] view of humanity—at a time when wide layers of the population are beginning to return to the global political arena—is that of a helpless, faceless horde. Clearly, film industry executives in general and the political-media establishment have a less than selfless interest in skewing social reality and diverting people’s attention from it.

Decades ago, superhero movies and television shows were tongue-in-cheek. Today’s films present their comic book characters with a high degree of self-seriousness. They have a different tone and mood than their cartoonish ancestors. Even though it has a certain playfulness, and allows all sorts of physical mauling to go on, The Avengers still treats its characters with undue reverence.

The rise to prominence of the superhero comic book trend in film, putting aside for the moment the question of its artistic value, has an objective significance. It coincides with the global economic decline of the US and the deteriorating social conditions of the population. Unwilling and intellectually too impoverished to look reality in the face, Hollywood increasingly resorts to “solving” America’s and the world’s problems through simplistic fantasy. It makes up for the military fiascos and social disasters it can’t and won’t represent by inventing cartoonish successes and triumphs that should convince no one.

Such films, insofar as they have a major impact, which is questionable, tend to reinforce and exacerbate the wishful thinking and illusions of a somewhat stunned population that has not yet for the most part consciously grasped the real causes of its predicament.”

Alas, the Avengers, super-powered misfits, assemble and try to rescue or at least avenge the world for the one percent "good guy overlords" (cough, cough, choke!), as the 99% population of us represented as ants a/k/a mere collateral damage fodder flash condescendingly on the screen. We are even more infinitesimally-reduced there in our dark audience perches, enthralled by the celebs' athletics (in reality those of their stunt doubles), to reflect on the toxic mirroring by the Hollywood one percenters of how POWERLESS and INSIGNIFICANT we are or, rather, they want us to see ourselves as being!

More media lessons in learned helplessness! (Heavy sigh)

 

[cross-posted on correntewire and sacramento for democracy]

 

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There is no doubt that the "entertainment" business feeds into the overall blood lust. Similarly, I would posit that the sports industry does much the same with constant illusions to warlike terms to describe the spectacles that keep millions upon millions of americans glued to their television sets, subliminally supportive of the numerous wars we are engaged in.

Until recently, I intended to count the number at six OVERT wars, and today's news brings news of still ANOTHER covert operation, mr. hopey changey has brought into our lives, commandos parachuting into
North Korea.

Yet with all this mayhem and economic destruction, Open Salon, theoretically a progressive site, is still awash with the Stockholm Syndrome band of true believers, pledging their allegeince to the liar-in-chief.
Libby, many thanks for the many thought provoking implications of this film (which I have not seen)! Interesting to note how the 1% makes out in the plot amidst all of the fast moving action and violence.
This has been going on in print an film for many years. Even as a child I could grasp what was being portrayed in "good guy" films that glorified "financial heroes" who saved humanity by funding superheroes who did the fighting while the common man was left as mere spectator and adoring worshipper of these heroes.

These days we call that silly worship our "exceptionalism."


Hot post lib!!
.
allegience = allegiance

OS cut me off. I was going to conclude by saying the post was great but why did You have to mention comic books, he who shan't be named has been awol since his last comment on Your last post, and now will soon be here to harass You.


-R-
Closer and closer to "The Running Man"...

I wish there was a way to get through to people. Too late, they realize that Made in China is not really a better buy. Too late, they will realize that Mark Twain did not write smut and they should have read him.
Special effects were great fun when they were a novelty and even idiotic plots and cardboard characters could be enhanced into acceptability with the magical circus when it was new. But there are only so many different kinds of monsters and the upending of masses of landscape has become something of a ho-hum affair with the ease that digital visualizations have acquired. That people still flock to see these childish bits of vicious nonsense says something of the general decline of public sophistication - or perhaps there never was any such sophistication. Certainly there is little today in mass communication to develop it.
[r] x ten.

(no one asks anymore... about the (jewish or italian) mafias, nor who, currently, might be the chairman of the board?)

Gee, where'd they go... (?)

...Altered States
of Amerika...
This is one of the best movie reviews I have ever read. I will put this on my list if I ever feel the need for NON-STOP TITILLATION.
rated with love
Superheroes address the power and sexual fantasies of boys from 8 to 14... things that go boom, black and white villains and good guys with no greys or nuance are necessary formula for future grist of 18 year old man-boys necessary to fulfill recruitment quotas... note the home towns of the casualty lists, very few from NYC, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles or San Francisco... dozens from Newark, El Paso, Albuquerque, Louisville, Kansas City and thousands more from small towns across America. That's the way it's always been and that's the way it will be...guess where most of the comic books are sold.
Great post, Libby. It's frightening to think how much such films represent the American id these days. TV is filled with cop shows, prison shows, bounty hunters, the whole coercion-and-control corps, presented sympathetically as harried, harassed, victimized, and under-appreciated for All They Do For Us. Do people in the USA really imagine they can eompletely and permanently subjugate and control the 96% of the world's population that isn't American? [r]
The conventional wisdom is that Hollywood produces movies of this genre (with extreme visual violence) mainly for foreign markets. Since the plot development isn't dependent on dialogue, they can be shown in literally scores of countries without subtitles.

They are typically released in New Zealand during the school holidays (in addition to the summer holiday at xmas, we have 3 additional 2 week school holidays every year). They are very popular with Kiwi adolescents but hardly anyone else watches them.
still traveling with intermittent computer access, but gratified to see the interest in this blog and impressed by the depth and eloquence of the comments. thanks!

wsws website always has such provocative articles to find perspective and info from, the one by Joanne Laurier re Avengers among them. I had just accompanied my niece and brother to the movie (was not a typical movie for my taste) and was titillated by it and at the same time very troubled and frustrated.

There was also a bit of a tease of a moral dilemma among some of the superheroes so fleeting, getting immediately lost in the non-stop chaotic action. best, libby
hey mark! I totally agree entertainment and sports industries feed into blood lust! I also agree about the mendacity of our current President and seeming obtuseness and/or power-crazedness over the military industrial security complex. the hyper-macho power and control competitive modus operandi of our current government leadership threatened by any efforts for peace (not war, such a bizzarro world!) in their regime changing for puppet leaders all-in, take no prisoners strategizing! best, libby
gotta go -- will have to continue with comments later! tx, libby
Thank you for this educated review, Libby, and what Jan Sand said. R
It comes at your kids from every direction. The hot X-box games now involve killing "zombies." Realistic, heads explode, blood everywhere. Next step, they're in uniform. Commanding officer tells them, "Don't think of them as protesters. They're not like you and me. They're goddamned zombies."
designanator, thanks for visiting and comment. the film actually maybe too accurately reflects the shallowness and at the same time deadliness of the military industrial security matrix. Sans a responsive and transparent and accessible leadership. So much violence, so little intelligent and moral governance. Lesser evilism support essential by the superheroes. Truth, justice and the American way? Not really. Something rather sad when even the superheroes are depressed and despairing and can barely save the world from EVIL. EVIL from extra-planetary aliens? I don't think so. No, we know who the enemy is (well, those not in the bubble) and it is "us" meaning the US government. All plot no moral messaging entertainment. Convenient to the propaganda pouring out this election year. No emotional inspiration just sensory titillation. best, libby
sky, thanks for insightful comment. The Avengers has captured the attention and imaginations of our youth and what is there actually? Sensory titillation acclimating the viewer to scenes of unrelenting violence. Superheroes assembled by the financial elite overlords to fight against impossible and ferocious EVIL and the little tiny hint that is supposed to feed any of us looking for ANY thematic depth at all that the US overlords are compromised in terms of ethics but STILL THE BIG EVIL MUST BE FACED AND THERE IS NO TIME FOR PETTY EXPLORATION OF ETHICS IN ONE'S OWN SYSTEM REGARDING WAR AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOR the "exceptional faux-good guys."

I think of the Jimmy Stewart Mr. Smith movie, in which Smith's network of little kids with red wagons are trying to get the truth out with primitive newsletters and the political and media machine sends out its thugs to rough up the little kids and turn over their little red wagons and destroy their primitive production means. So the truth and reality messaging is so profoundly thwarted! I think of that every time I turn on MSNBC so earnestly fighting the evil of Republicanism when the Dem party has put so many knives in our backs, too many to count and actually directly gutted the bill of rights. But propaganda says, we can't afford to deal with that because it is only lesser evil. WTF??? What a racket!!! Oligarchs win on both sides of the aisle and have been for past 30 years especially.

The status quo is so saturated with rotten-ness but Obama and the Dems have the money and media access to play the CELEBRITY TRUST ME game. And stenographer media is enmeshed with one or the other legacy political party and the oppression and exploitation of the bottom 99% and their children as cannon fodder for US obscene war-mongering never peace-promoting imperialism should have us all outraged but instead as Mark points out above most people are so Stockholm Syndromed and so eagerly lining up for the 2012 game of Lucy and the football with Obama! Geeeeezzzzzzz. Seems the denial and minimization is thickening at times rather than truth leaking through. As I have said, I hope that the vets now who have managed to survive at least physically the horrors they have experienced will leak the truth of the governmental heart of darkness and profound disrespect for the sanctify of human life. We are a zombie and captured nation. The big media is a serious enemy whether Fox or MSNBC!

Hollywood, like the government, profits uber alles, especially people. best, libby
will be back! best, libby
Libby, this is an eye opener. My husband is a big fan of the movies made from comic books so I have seen quite a few of them, but I delved as deep into the psychology and manipulation of the genre as you do here. What you say makes a lot of sense, and is also very frightening to me as one of the millions of "ants". Thank you for daring to write this . . .
Fits right into the glove of the deception and hero worship while playing with video games and remote controls Libby.
I guess these are the new/old same faces we are supposed to envy while the whole world rides to hell in a hand basket.
I saw there were several drone strikes killing yet more 'militants' earlier today.
How long till these so called 'militants' become us in this country and we all sit cheering the new/old blood sports of the gladiators arena??
just phyllis, so nice to see you! thanks! never read or saw the Running Man but got a chill with you referencing it.

Yes, yes, yes ... the prospect of "too lateness". I feel all this wasted time as the Democratic party proved to be pro-corporate all the way and to me Obama proved the American Judas, why did we not rebel against it all???? Why did we not push for our representatives to really represent us????

Someone on this site accused me of fabricating Obama's gutting of the bill of rights in terms of removing due process and carrying out assassinations of Americans. Wow. I thought that was common knowledge even to the Obamacrats? Staying away from that truth is more than denial.

What is that branding and cronyism that prevented us from organizing and protesting.? The naivete to stay loyal and put personality over principles, celebrity over responsibility, gamesmanship over statesmanship.

I blame the seductiveness of the media and its blockage of real facts and reality, especially with the faux-progressives of MSNBC ignoring that there are so many of us liberals who are protesting the Obama administration and the Dem party selling out. That is the height of disrespect and cruelty, not even acknowledging a segment of the citizenry. They offer the right far more respect than they offer us by acknowledging and engaging with them.

Looking at the sponsorships of programs on PBS gives me great pause now. And I want to stay abreast of the news and what is going on with the horrible Republicans and Romney but so hard to watch the faux progressives on MSNBC minimize or ignore the unminimize-able and unignorable of the Obama administration! Cherry picking issues so as to induce their audience to vote for Obama by withholding the truth and honest critical analysis. best, libby
toritto! thanks for your comment. You have no idea how often I think of that Kevin McCarthy movie of the 50s. Stay awake or you too will turn zombie! How lonely it feels, like with KM, calling out the zombism and having it denied or minimized!

So well said, t, this:

"This crap and non-stop video game wars makes every red blooded twenty something couch potato male ready to go out there and be a super hero. Everyone is a macho killer - everyone is Army Strong."

"We have idiots running around in costume playing crime fighters."

"Sad culture indeed."

The vulnerability of youth, being mentored by an institution that has institutionalized EVIL, that has created programs to strip the sense of identity of our soldiers, that demonizes the enemy to such a degree to make 360 degree rotational fire a requirement as a rule of engagement upon hearing gun fire or explosives. WTF??? To feed drugs to soldiers who are breaking down physically and emotionally because of the sustained horrors of war. Insanely cruel multiple deployments. The hamburger hill mentality of power abusive safe from the front line ego-maniacal authority figures. The incredible rates of suicides, domestic violence, maiming injuries, alcoholism, addictions, PTSD disorders.

Why don't we care about the troops, them as victims, AND THEIR victims? Why can't we? Supporting the troops is NOT turning your back on the reality of the wars. That is not a generous act to the troops. That is the opposite. That is jingoistic crazymaking. What is wrong with us, the majority of the citizenry? That okays torture and genocide. I see it as genocide, the imperialism sweeping across the globe by the US/NATO killing machine under the enabling of the presidential candidate of 2008 who ran on an anti-war platform. WHY DON'T MORE TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT HYPOCRISY??? MENDACITY???? best, libby

r
Jan, you say it all brilliantly:

"Special effects were great fun when they were a novelty and even idiotic plots and cardboard characters could be enhanced into acceptability with the magical circus when it was new. But there are only so many different kinds of monsters and the upending of masses of landscape has become something of a ho-hum affair with the ease that digital visualizations have acquired. That people still flock to see these childish bits of vicious nonsense says something of the general decline of public sophistication - or perhaps there never was any such sophistication. Certainly there is little today in mass communication to develop it."

Sophistication which I see it as intelligence and moral maturity! What impact do the merciless horrors on the screen have on the watchers?

I was watching some supposedly light-hearted home video show the other day and saw horrifying physical accidents going on to people and animals, humiliating and extreme, with laugh track and studio audience having a grand time, maybe money paid out for them, and I was stunned. Each vignette ended shortly after the slamming or whatever without seeing much of the pain and actual injuries inflicted. I wondered with each one what the outcome had been. Ribs broken, short and long term physical damage to fellow human beings and animals. In many I wondered about the photographer who kept taking the video despite the plight of the friend or the family member or animal in some cases in real tragic and vicious crises.

We are being acclimated it would seem to laugh at or ignore or deny the pain of others. Cultivating sadism, even farther than narcissism. Our sitcoms are so often about cruel titillating insults. it is cool to be cruel.

The video gaming does concern me as a preparation for the video game wars now being perpetrated.

best, libby
Inverted Interrobang! :-) always so great to hear from you. Thanks.

You have no idea how often I consider the present proliferating "mafia activity" and assume it is profoundly enmeshed with or actually carried out directly by a good chunk of the one percent ruling class elite! look at the little mentioned heroin traffic going on in Afghanistan. To whom are those proceeds going? Surely not the hapless 99% of Afghanis or even small time war lords or even Karzai. Our US banksters are known for money laundering for Mexican cartels (apparently with no repercussions). The banksters put the hit on Gadaffi for daring to want to unplug from their international extortion and power and control and no doubt are enabling the hits of many other leaders and their civilizations!

This certainly resonates:

"...Altered States
of Amerika..."

best, libby
Romantic Poetess, thanks so much for stopping by. It was serendipitous that I saw the movie and immediately came across Joanne Laurier's penetrating review at wsws to help process the troubled reaction I had to the movie on myself and the concern on what impact it would have especially on the young audiences it attracts!!! And to delve even further into these issues with the wisdom of the comments contributed to this thread. Great to see you! best, libby
hey jmac! Your analysis is profound! thank you.

"Superheroes address the power and sexual fantasies of boys from 8 to 14... things that go boom, black and white villains and good guys with no greys or nuance are necessary formula for future grist of 18 year old man-boys necessary to fulfill recruitment quotas... note the home towns of the casualty lists, very few from NYC, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles or San Francisco... dozens from Newark, El Paso, Albuquerque, Louisville, Kansas City and thousands more from small towns across America. That's the way it's always been and that's the way it will be...guess where most of the comic books are sold."

It reminds me growing up how little boys point guns at each other and little girls (well, in my day) cuddled their dollies. What two different sensibilities! Also, little girls were shamed for showing their anger, little boys were shamed for showing their sadness via tears! Talk about cultural conditioning. Also girls identified with their role model mommies who were more accessible to be copied, whereas little boys often did not see their role model fathers up close for sustained time and learned more sweeping characterized generalizations of what it means to be a man. This was explored well in a book called The Mermaid and the Minotaur by Dorothy Dinnerstein.

Hey, jmac, had chicken fried steak at Dinah's Family Restaurant in Culver City, CA. It was tasty though it was hard to give up their waffle and fried chicken breakfast. Still intending to test the CFS at Virgil's NYC. Still on the road out west! Home soon. :) best, libby
Thanks, Donegal. Strong analysis!

"It's frightening to think how much such films represent the American id these days. TV is filled with cop shows, prison shows, bounty hunters, the whole coercion-and-control corps, presented sympathetically as harried, harassed, victimized, and under-appreciated for All They Do For Us. Do people in the USA really imagine they can eompletely and permanently subjugate and control the 96% of the world's population that isn't American?"

The "American id" is the perfect coinage. I for one have been trying to figure out what back to back Law & Orders for years and years have done to the American psyche. They are quality shows often, for sure, but dear God, they are all over the dial and we are inundated with the arc of arrest to prosecution in one packed hour. Along with as you point out the rest of the coercion and control shows with their subtle and not so subtle varying authority flexing sensibilities. As for the entitlement to subjugate the world population, I got a chill reading the truth of that applicable preposterousness, what should be preposterousness, but given the bloody clipboard of the US and NATO the addiction to war and power and control is in evil hyper-mode. best, libby
Thanks, Stuart! I did not begin to consider the lack of plotting and sustained dialogue an advantage for foreign audience profitmaking. Of course. But dear God, what we are doing IRL to foreign countries, then we have to show the chaos and mayhem on the screens as well? With the exceptionalism and righteous spin of course. Talk about salt in the genocidal wounds.

And the role-modeling by hot young American actors of aggression and violence as SUPER COOL and admirable is another troubling dimension. So much yang, so little yin.

best, libby
Thoth, thanks for commenting once again!

Chicken Maaan, well expressed! Yes, the demonization of fellow Americans has been practiced with the gaming and with the boot camp exercising. I remember hearing a vet activist telling an audience that the troops are trained not only to kill foreign insurgents but Americans as well if it comes to that order. Look at the toxicity of the military enthrallment. Look at those willing to torture strangers under orders. It is more than chilling. If there is no reckoning of the profound moral crimes they will continue to escalate despite the pr spin or media minimization. And our police will become more and more militarized and violent in their behavior.

best, libby
GREAT to see so many rating and comments for You, Libby - You, certainly, deserve it for Your tireless dedication to truth and facts.

Hat tip to Inverted for his tasteful new avatar. Kudos to ALL who have made this a GREAT thread.
Erica, thanks for commenting. Yes, the "ants" metaphor is really telling, isn't it? We are reduced so much already by media as passive and impotent audience and voyeurs of celebrities as well as consumers not thoughtful citizens.

You know the more reality tv I watch, the more it seems the one percent hollywood overlords are putting ego-driven types into the reality shows, rather than spiritual role models. What titillating drama would that be, after all? What is that mirroring to impressionable American youth I wonder? Narcissism and opportunism and often a perfectionistic judgmentalism resulting in titillating humiliation of others, inviting schadenfreude in the viewers, the opposite of empathy! The war on empathy continues.

Mission, thanks for comment and visit. Yes, the remote control X-box drone war, so useful to our Nobel Peace Prize president willing to ambush across the boundaries of sovereign nations. War crimes with the latest obscene diabolical ability to annihilate humans.

I got chills also reading your statement:

"How long till these so called 'militants' become us in this country and we all sit cheering the new/old blood sports of the gladiators arena??"

We desperately need a paradigm shift to humanism from the horrifying power and control and competition patriarchal paradigm. Partnership and cooperation and empathy is what the world desperately needs now. What do too many denying citizens do? Enable supposed "lesser evil" that hides so much that is sub-basement evil!

best, libby
thanks, mark, wrapping up my trip soon. hope to become a more frequent reader again of the blogs of my fellows. i really appreciate the collective validation and wisdom within the comments on this and my last thread! best, libby
This is nothing new although the technology makes it more effective than in the past. One of the first modern comic book writers was a psychologist that was doing it for war propaganda during WWII I think. If I remember correctly it was the person who created Wonder Woman.

Newer technology makes it much more effective and enables them to keep kids glued to the TV. At least when they did it in the comics the kids had to take the time to read it and the writers included some positive messages. Even then they avoided telling children that the most effective solutions aren't this dramatic and they involve learning to understand the problem.

They've been studying how to increase the effectiveness of propaganda and the American Psychological Association has at best turned a blind eye to it, at worst some of the leaders of it are active in the research.

This should be taught to the public so they learn how not to fall for it.

We can't trust the establi8shment to do this or they would have already done it so it has to be done by people like, well, you!

Thanks

On the plus side there are a lot of other people that have learned to recognize this crap.
Zachd, well said, once again. Thanks for coming by! best, libby
Thank you, Libby.
R♥