I can hear you saying, “I get that OPPENHEIMER could be soft propaganda for nuclear weapons use but BARBIE??” And I’m right there with you — because not everything that comes out of Hollywood is propaganda for the U.S. empire’s war machine.
Unless it is.
Bear with me while I notice that a) BARBIE is stirring up controversy over a map that is glimpsed showing a nine-dash line delineating areas in the South China Sea right off the coast of China and
b) U.S. client countries like the Philippines are lining up to ban BARBIE because they object to where the line is.
Here’s the non-fanciful map that NPR (National Pentagon Radio) served up in early July to accompany their article linked above:
Pew Research map shows unfavorable views of China are rather uneven worldwide and furthermore suggests that propaganda works. The highest percent of those viewing China unfavorably are in U.S. client states Australia and Japan, followed by U.S. client state Sweden, followed by the U.S. itself.
Heck, evenfalse stories about the Barbie movie are helping to fan the flames of the map controversy.
It’s evil, but I have to admire the empire’s narrative management strategies.
As for OPPENHEIMER? Don’t get me started. While sheepdogs for the Democratic Party insist the movie is required viewing and sure to turn anyone anti-nuclear, sharper analysts reach different conclusions. From indigenous activists Klee Benally and Leona Morgan:
To glorify such deadly science and technology as a dramatic character study, is to spit in the face of hundreds of thousands of corpses and survivors scattered throughout the history of the so-called Atomic age.
Think of it this way, for every minute that passes during the film’s 3-hour run time, more than 1,100 citizens in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki died due to Oppenheimer’s weapon of mass destruction. This doesn’t account for those downwind of nuclear tests who were exposed to radioactive fallout (some are protesting screenings), it doesn’t account for those poisoned by uranium mines, it doesn’t account for those killed during nuclear power plant melt-downs, it doesn’t account for those in the Marshall Islands who are forever poisoned.
Of course the real power of propaganda is directing our attention, both away from inconvenient truths and toward a version of reality that benefits the powerful.
I’ll leave you with this example from popular culture aimed at young kids:
This is from a picture book for children, Diary of a Spider, published in 2011 by Scholastic. I could do an entire blog post on that corporate entity’s penetration of U.S. public schools with turn key book fairs that sell a myriad of pro-military and pro-empire books.
Soft propaganda starts early and it never sleeps.