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Forum Post: The Military-Entertainment Complex

Posted 11 years ago on July 31, 2012, 3 p.m. EST by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I was going to spend an inordinate amount of time in this post critiquing a single Hollywood film, last year's Battle: Los Angeles and how it plays much better as a Marine recruitment vehicle than as your typical sci-fi invasion flick, but while trying to locate a website I saw in a screenshot, I realized the problem is much more pervasive than just the occasional propaganda piece.

This isn't an indictment of the military, Hollywood, or the games industry, nor the collaboration between the three. It's about the increasing trend toward the militarization of Western society for the express purpose of social conditioning. Many of us think we know what's going on, and, quite frankly, as an individual, I'm torn between what's right from a humanitarian standpoint and what is necessary for sheer survival. I fear they're not the same thing.

The relationship between Hollywood and the military is nothing new; it probably dates back to Wellman's 1927 classic, Wings, starring the 'It' girl of the Roaring '20's, Clara Bow. Things have changed a lot in the ensuing 85 years, to the point where it's now becoming a true social issue, from the millions in taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing pro-war propaganda to the subtle indoctrination of our youth into the concept of perpetual war.


There's now a 'Marine Corps Entertainment Liaison Office" in the heart of L.A., as well as The 'Institute for Creative Technologies,' formed in 1999 with a $45 million grant awarded to USC by the Army in order to "build a partnership among the entertainment industry, Army, and academia . . ." I'm not saying the ICT is a bad thing; its goal was to produce the most realistic simulations possible for use in military training.

We are now exposed to war just about every waking minute of our day, be it movies, TV, games, news, everyday lingo (how many times have you heard "boots on the ground" in the last year?), and music. Everyone from Jay-Z to Katy Perry is increasingly embracing concepts and images of a militaristic or police-state. Perry, a blatant tool, has been getting some heat over her latest video, 'Part of Me.' Naomi Wolf makes some valid points about the video and the situation in general:


Initially, I wasn't bothered by Tinseltown producing the occasional propaganda piece and passing it off as mere entertainment. A number of people have pointed out how both sides have benefited from this symbiotic relationship; Hollywood gets advisers, personnel, locations and equipment, which lends authenticity to their films (at huge financial savings), and the military gets the benefit of painting themselves in a positive light in the eyes of the public. The military has also benefited from the partnership of Hollywood and the video game industry. Ah, video games. Yeah, we'll get to that in a minute. But, like I was saying, it didn't really bother me until I came across this UK site talking about the militarization of their schools:


Camo Day in grade school? Encouraging the military "spirit" and promoting the (undefined) military "ethos" in school children? There's even a move in the UK for the formation of "service schools" staffed entirely by ex-military personnel. No, people. It's definitely getting out of hand and brings into focus the disturbing militarization of society, and it's not endemic to the US, obviously.


More than just being "soft" propaganda and training, there's the issue that a line has been crossed, and that this blatant recruitment of kids, ideologically if not physically, violates international law:


In Johan Höglund's paper, Electronic Empire: Orientalism Revisited in the Military Shooter, he argues, rather convincingly, that games like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and Battlefield are more than just potential recruitment and training tools, but go much further, pushing the ideology of American neo-Orientalism:

" . . . as a part of the Military Entertainment Complex, the games under scrutiny render the Middle East as a site of perpetual war and enlist, both through their marketing strategies and through game semiotics, the gamer as a soldier willing to fight the virtual war and even support the ideology that functions as the game's political rationale."


Don Derian, commenting in 2001 about the relationship between what he coined the "military-industrial-media-entertainment network" (MIMENET) and American cultural and political life, summed it up rather bleakly: "For the near future, I believe virtuous war as played out by the military-industrial-media-entertainment network will be our daily bread and nightly circus. Some would see us as staying there, suspended perpetually, in between wars of terror and counter-terror."




"In the last twenty years, it has been reported several times that Army specialists in propaganda and psychological warfare have been embedded in the staff of television networks." Full story:


For an in-depth analysis of the deep connection between the military and the games developers:




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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 11 years ago

Very interesting and thoughtful post. A lot of truth there.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Thanks. It seems this is yet another insidious beast that has crept up while some of us weren't paying attention.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I may have to quit gLee as it has taken a turn towards the military

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Are you serious? About Glee, I mean.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

don't know

I expect the writers will work it out

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

It's probably coming, if my OP is any indication.

I don't watch it, but I'd bet dancing in camo might just take something away from it.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I was not happy with Lady Gaga - Alejandro

that was probably unfair

Mexico is not a war going country

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Lady Gaga doing an ABBA cover?

I shudder at the mental picture that stirred up.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I think thet're both Swedish or something

Emilie did a cover of Missionary Man God Help Me - Emilie Autumn

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Gaga looks like she could be Swedish. ABBA definitely was.

[-] 2 points by FreedomReigns (72) 11 years ago

What a great thought-provoking thread gnomunny. Great job!

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Thanks, FR. What I'm thinking is, it's not only to get Americans used to a daily military presence, but also to numb us. To casualties and body counts. It suddenly occurred to me while going through those websites that there could be more to 'perpetual war' than just gaining control of diminishing resources, which was my original belief. It could be population reduction as well. I'm of the group that feels even our present population is unsustainable, not just because of the aforementioned resources but also because productivity is increasing due to technological advances while globally, the number of young people reaching the age of employment is also rising. I'll bet this is unsustainable, and I'll bet the big guys see this as well. From a strictly clinical point of view, war is a cheap and efficient tool for population reduction, especially never ending war. That's the concern I voiced in the post. I'm thinking it's the plan.

[-] 2 points by FreedomReigns (72) 11 years ago

I would have to agree with that. Numbing us is definitely a part of the plan. Not only to casualties and body counts, but possibly to KILLING each other as well (Hunger Games comes to mind).One thing I have noticed in children's shows and 'screen games' is the blatant indoctrination of "apathy". Our kids are rewarded online every time they blow a character away. The kids almost 'celebrate' these 'victories'. They want our new generations to blow each other to bits without blinking an eye. Not only that, but the language and symbolism in these shows and games is staggering. There are so many verbal and visual references to the military and the new world order.

I will have to respectfully disagree with the "group that feels even our present population is unsustainable". Its a H-U-G-E and heated subject of course, but there is enough decades long 'oligarchal staging' and fear mongering using the 'unsustainability card' that would suggest it is more of the criminally insane Global elites' plan. Of course the plan invariably ends up with the oligarchs profiting and controlling, because us 'little people' are too stupid to take care of any of the resources. In this case they will profit with land grabs, water, energy, carbon taxes, etc. That's quite the Coup D'etat on he world's people!

I've read various literature on global warming, population control, Agenda 21, the green movement, environmentalism, etc to see that the scientific community, for the most part is bought and paid for by the oligarchs and government, done mainly in the "Tavistock Method" to create a mass belief system and keep it tightly controlled.

I'm not saying we don't need to be very careful with our planet. Of course we do. Our planet and population is not sustainable 'in its current state'. Major changes and immediate action needs to take place to ensure our current population and resources are more fairly used and protected.

If I remember correctly from an article I read recently, that in June or July of 1978, as stated in The Washington Post, the US and Russia signed a treaty agreeing that they would not use existing "Weather Weapons" against each other. THAT WAS IN 1978 !! This technology would be outstanding by now. To my way of thinking then....why would this weather manipulating ability not be ethically used to ensure crops would grow to eradicate starvation and drought during critical times?

There is so much that can be done to ensure our current population lives an abundant life, but the controlling globalist oligarchs inflict one law and ban after the next, to make sure we cannot take care of ourselves and our neighbors. This is designed for total tyrannical control. We are not allowed to grow our own food, collect rain water for irrigation, educate our own children, etc. They work night and day to stop naturopathic products, make sure our water is laced with poisonous flouride (and now working on lacing our water with psychiatric drugs, lithium and mind numbing anti-depressants), and on and on. They want us only on their food, their pharmaceuticals, their water, their education. Christ, don't me started !!

Our population would be far better able to take care of ourselves and our communities if the globalist elite communist scum would keep their greedy little spindly hands from having to profit and control EVERYTHING. They are no more entitled to this planet, than the rest of us.

Do I think the unthinkable is about to ensue. Yes, I do. Hold on to your shorts, its coming...and man, its going to be huge!

A really great business environmentalist guy who deals with the reality of the oligarchs is Paul Hawken.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

An excellent reply. You've certainly been doing your homework! My idea about our population is admittedly unscientific. I haven't done the numbers obviously, but when I heard that more kids are turning 18 (legal working age) every year in the US than jobs are being created, and extrapolate that worldwide, add in the increases in productivity, I just don't see how we'll be able to employ all these people.

I also don't think nuclear war is really on the table either. That's just 'shock doctrine.' Nuclear war is too uncontrollable, plus there's those pesky EMP's to deal with. Not good for communication during wartime, obviously. Consider this, in regards to as war as population control. There's more than just battlefield casualties to consider. That alone is a really messy way to depopulate. But I think, and again I haven't researched the actual statistics, that birth rates go down during war. You have spouses being separated for extended periods of time (although with today's rampant infidelity this may no longer apply), stress-induced miscarriages and premature births, hunger and starvation, etc. I'm thinking they don't plan to 'depopulate,' per se, but plan to fight localized, but perpetual, wars until we achieve negative population growth to the degree their computer models suggest we need for sustainability. I know it's an off-the-wall theory, and I'm not convinced completely this is their plan, but do believe it's an option they've considered.

Weather weapons? Amazing. You know, if this is the case, are they causing droughts and typhoons instead of using the technology for good? How evil is that?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

War is basically about money/resources/power. As a population control? The war torn country takes a severe beating - loss of life. Those going off to war (?) often get married or otherwise procreate before being shipped out to the battle front. After a war(?) generally speaking - Baby Boom Time as the soldiers come home and look to reaffirm their lives. The survivors of war in the country in which it happened will also look to reaffirm life and have lots and lots of children.

Effective Birth control seems to be rampant capitalism rampant copoRATions as they suck the life out of the population. Births are actually going down among the most ( civilized? ) modern countries - the population increase basically due to immigrants from less modern societies.

Weird - Huh?

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Very weird. Mine is an alternative theory, admittedly, and I have seen that statistic about decreasing birth rates (the water perhaps?). The only kink I see in your comment is the one about, "After the war . . ." Seeing as there may not be one, that's what made me begin to speculate about other possible scenarios.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

We have men and women constantly going into armed conflict - war has changed - but you can bet those going into war/armed conflict and those surviving the conflict are humping like bunny rabbits when opportunity presents itself.

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

True. My theory about birth rates going down could be totally wrong. Hell, it may even be the opposite, although that would surprise me.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I have spent some time pondering the decline of births in modern societies and have come to a fairly strong opinion that it has to do with people getting caught up in work and in trying to be successful there that puts for women ( more so then in any other time in history ) putting off having kids and eventually maybe not having kids cause they waited too long due to the investment in their careers. I think too that some people would rather not bring new life into this mess in which we currently live ( cultural depression ). It is complex to say the least.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I'll bet all those are coming into play.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

There are numerous contributors and all of them having to do with a sick ( dying? ) society. But I think work and wage slavery have a lot to do with it. Sick societies are high in crime and violence as well.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Yep. We're a dying society. It can be saved, but it's going to take some strong medicine. And quick.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

ASAP/Yesterday/Last year-decade. Hhmmmm - yes I think you know as well as I - and that is another reason I am so grateful for the birth of the Occupy Movements and access to the internet.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I am as well. Like I said to shadz a few minutes ago, I find it pleasantly ironic that the same power structure that invented the Internet is now feeling the heat from that very same invention. Now, if we can only avoid them censoring the web until net-independent connections can proliferate. After that, it will be nearly impossible to control the dissemination of info.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Well said - I love it when a product of greedy corpoRATions ends up turning around to bite them in the ass - Karma can be seen to spank the evil from time to time.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Good post.

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Thanks, Richard.

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 11 years ago

my roommate 29 years old, working as a waiter in Astoria Turkish place. She is waiting her paperwork from Bronx recruit center. she wants to join the army... end of the story. god bless army

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Well, like I said, this isn't an indictment against the military, of which I have no problem. I have a handful of family members in the military as well. The militarization of our society is a political move, not a military one.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Okay, I can't resist. A couple admittedly unscientific observations about Battle: LA. Not the movie itself, that would take too long. It's about the opening titles and ending credits. Columbia was the money behind this (actually its parent Sony), and although that's not suspicious obviously, watch how the movie opens. The instant the 'projector' rolls, the audience is literally hit with a flash of light, the source being the torch held aloft by 'Columbia," CP's logo. Columbia, the image, is the female personification of the United States and the symbol of American nationalism.The torch she holds, like the Statue of Liberty, represents enlightenment or knowledge. This is immediately followed by the logo of "Original Pictures," one of the production companies, a fact I find ironic since there's not one pixel of originality in the whole film. So, the audience is hit with a flash of "enlightenment" from Columbia, followed by a line of double-speak, followed by 116 minutes of pro-military propaganda (who's that grinning? Goebbels, is that you?). It's also interesting that the opening day was 3/11, although this is probably just a coincidence (if March 11 would've been any other day but Friday, I'd wonder). 0311 is the Marine Corps MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) for 'Infantry Rifleman.' One more: in the ending credits, the Sony logo appears. Beneath "SONY" are the words "make.believe." Note the period, it's not a typo. Instead of being "make-believe," as in fiction, it now reads as two separate statements: "make" and "believe." As in, "Sony makes it. We believe it." Now, a lot of you are probably calling "bullshit" to these observations, but in an industry with a fondness for symbolism and injecting the occasional 'inside joke' into their products, that IS what you see on the screen. How you interpret it is another matter.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Great 'forum-post' and comment, further to which I append :

caveat ...

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I'm thinking there's actually TWO shadz, 'cause there aren't enough hours in the day for one man to dig up all this stuff. ;-)

Interesting link, which of course brings up the question of the militarization of civilian police forces. At what point in the future do they begin to merge, in what will undoubtedly be called 'cost-cutting' to eliminate 'redundancy?' We are, after all, now part of the 'battlefield.'

Peace, my friend.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Well, I used to be schizophrenic - but now we're not sure any more !!! Your 'forum post' about the 'normalisation of ultra-violence' & the above article seemed to have a natural but frightening fit !!

fiat pax ...

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

What, no opinion on my query below?

Just kidding, I just logged on and this was an obvious and shameless self-bump.


[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Dude, I saw your comment below & then got distracted ! However, I do know this ...

fiat pax ...

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I know, I'm just f--ing with ya.

In regards to your link, . . . . . . I have bookmarked it, though.

Remember I told you I had a Cadillac for sale and was going to use some of the proceeds to get this other computer going? I sold it to my nephew's son who absolutely promised to pay it off at the beginning of June. I probably don't have to finish the story to tell you how this fiasco is turning out.

Family. Gotta love 'em!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Sorry mate ! I forgot again !! The link was for an absolutely beautiful live rendition by Curtis Mayfield of his excellent song "We Got To Have Peace" !!!

I get the family story but all you need is a half decent 2nd hand video card & someone reasonably clued up ! "Family" -- where'd we be without 'em, eh ?!!

errare humanum est ...

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Actually, my computer problem (I think) has to do with processing power (lack of) and the fact that, since I'm stuck with Windows2000, I can't update Flash, among other things. My driver's are quickly becoming fossils.

I'm stuck with Win2000 because I have a specific program (AutoCAD) that I can't afford to upgrade. I also can't do without my CAD, it's an incurable affliction.

I love my family (with one exception, sadly).

And Mayfield is an icon, certainly (Well, that may be an understatement).

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Get some RAM asap bro' - I should know - as I'm often posting from an old Dell LT with 256k of RAM !!!

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I'm RAM-maxed. Can't fit no mo'.

A Dell LT with 256k! You're driving a Model-T, man!

Or, perhaps in your case, a Vauxhall?

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

I am a happy tech-retard & still need to manually crank up my abacus sometimes !!!

"Model T" - you're joking dude - I ain't giving up my 'Penny Farthing' any time soon !!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Take a cue from the steampunks, shadz. Steam power that abacus! Not sure about powering up that 'boneshaker,' though, although if you ever do, I'd sure like to see a picture of it!

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Yo 'g': Whilst rattling along 'shaking my bones', I was wondering : IF using photovoltaic solar cells ; the Electrolysis of water gives Hydrogen & Oxygen ; & that is 'de facto' Rocket Fuel ; thus this - combined with wind ; wave ; hydro ; geo-thermal & other such tech - then why don't we all have free energy yet ?!!!

I think Free Electrical Energy, perhaps utilising Nicolai Tesla's ideas to be both possible and desirable !!

Finally therefore, consider that the 'buying ; selling ; speculating - paradigm'', as espoused by The Usual Suspects - 'The Prophets Profit and Purely Personal Pecuniary Gain' combined with Austerity & Public Penury is so clearly antithetical to Sustainable Human Development, Evolution & Progress !

Thus and perhaps a bit 'geekily' from "Star Trek : First Contact" (1996) :

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard : "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century."

  • Lily Sloane (21st Century Earthling) : "No money ? You mean, you don't get paid ?"

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard : "No. We work to better ourselves."

multum in parvo ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

YOU R on a Roll today. {:-])

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I try to take C-T's with a grain of salt, but I do believe energy production technology is being withheld/suppressed for glaringly obvious reasons. That's all changing as well, apparently.

One thing I find cheerfully ironic (although the cheer may be a bit premature) is the fact that the Internet was a product of the very same monster that the net is now beginning to weaken. Cracks are showing. As technology continues to improve net-independent communications, their desire to censor the web will be rendered impotent.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Heh heh heh. You're not fooling me, you're still sure!

Also see my response to FreedomReigns for my hypothesis. What's your take on it? I see it's happening in its own ways over there as well. I noticed they're playing to their strengths depending on what part of the Atlantic they're talking about. With us, get to us through video games, of which we're very fond. On your side, it looks like it's schools.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

The 'thin of the wedge' as regards 'Fascism' is my take along with - "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance", further to which, I also append :

  • "Full Spectrum Dominance : Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order" (Video Interview) - William Engdahl on his book 'Full Spectrum Dominance' : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23006.htm ;

  • "Fascism Anyone ? Fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for." by Laurence W. Britt : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4113.htm &

  • "Dick Cheney’s Song of America : The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful." : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1544.htm .

e tenebris, lux ...