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 Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota

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PostSubject: Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota   Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:25 am

Interesting article about the relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon: 25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war

Lots of comment in other media outlets if you want to see what others think.

How can we consider this information from a critical thinking standpoint?


Last edited by Derek on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Pentagon Supports Hollywood's Misrepresentation of War   Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:07 am

Movies, like any other form of media output information, and the motives for the material they put out there ought to be questioned.

Since movies have the advantage of being fictional, they can also go almost anywhere that screenwriters and directors want them to go. Certain tactics are used so that movie makers can make you feel how they want you to feel about whatever they want. When horror movies make you jump, dramas make you cry, and comedies make you laugh -these are the reactions and emotions that you have been set up to feel.

When I thought about this article, the first question I came up with was; "what do the members of the pentagon have to gain" ? For me, the answer came quickly. It does not surprise me that the pentagon would have an interest in utilizing power, such as the powers movies can have over our thoughts and emotions, to gain the desired perceptions of what they stand for and what being a soldier is like.

Movies are the best means of advertising to gain recruits -ever (I would guess that it is the youth who are the biggest targets). Haven't you ever wished that you could just jump into a movie and join the excitement? Now, if that movie is a war movie, to get into it all you have to do is join the army (convenient if they are just outside the theatre), but will you become a hero and fall in love while on tour -probably not.

What does Hollywood have to gain? War is full of action and drama -it's entertaining, and if the pentagon were to throw in a few incentives (hey it's possible) all the more wonderful for them!
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PostSubject: critical thinking   Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:56 am

In the way we view the world layers develop we are either inspired by or encouraged by to participate in a universal truth. Media provides universality to those truths that become self evident by the structures within our culture. Movies not only give us a positive sense of purpose to stand up for our country, but for those also we directly involve ourselves with. Wether it is MASH, NCIS, or the Terminator we watched, we absorb a sense of our own environment by contrast, often deluded only to improve our world. Those who join the military right after watching war movies may have liked the action and fantasize about exercising skill and leadership, yet their intent is often the same. Namely to serve. Let us not forget to evaluate our own bias towards the purpose of film.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota   Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:44 pm

I have no biases "towards the purpose of film".

As I see it, the purpose of films are primarily to entertain people, and to get their money. Please let me know if this is not the case, as I would like to know where my dollars are really being spent, if not for my own enjoyment when I go to a movie theatre. lol!

If you meant to refer to what you perceive as my potential biases towards the pentagon's incentive's for encouraging Hollywood's portrayment of war, and that this is what I need to "evaluate", then I have disagree on that point. Critically analyzing the pentagon's involvement in the Hollywood representation in war (as requested in this thread) demands considering what the pentagon has to gain from it, and the answer (to me) is simple: recruits. If the Pentagon was not aware of what they had to gain, they probably would not have bothered setting up recruitment stands outside the theatre where Top Gun was playing.

The fact that I know young people in the army, and made clear to you that I believe many of them are disillusioned by what they stand for and what their duty entails, is my opinion of those specific individuals.

My bias is actually this: I believe that those individuals are not solely at fault for their misconceptions.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota   Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:17 am

@MrThurs98623

It was not my intention to post my comment in a way that is about the post you made. Rather, I had in my post answered the question asked by our professor. When we ask ourselves how much the pentagon stands to benefit from film we must break this down into layers. Firstly, any depiction of war in print or in the action of war in real time benefits the military. In Canada the sensitivities of involved patrons for the Highway of Heroes benefits our military. Should we necessarily view the memorials of our fallen as a tool for recruitment? I would like to think not. It would be a meme or conceptual viewpoint belonging to an individual or more persons who would decide such a thing. Apart from that, the depictions of war in media do not necessarily have the intent towards recruitment. It serves many things, least of which is to show us what values are held, what culture exists, and that war is a reality in our lives.

No, it was not my intention directly to post my comment towards yours. My comment took yours into account however as it hinted upon something i disagree with. That being an opening statement in your first comment suggesting we should question the motives behind depicting military in media. What it is I believe we should do instead is question the values depicted in military films, and determine if they provide a clear enough message within the context of human rights, military conduct, equality, and the hope for peace.
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PostSubject: Utopian World? Unfortunately not.   Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:26 pm

Sure, if we lived in Utopia.

If you are to question the "values depicted in military films, and determine if they provide a clear enough message within the context of human rights, military conduct, equality, and the hope for peace" (TBThurs337), then you must also question why the pentagon would support the release of such films -that you have deemed questionable (and with good reason).
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PostSubject: Re: Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota   Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:08 am

It is not a reply to any of the previous posts.

I think there is nothing wrong with Pentagon sponsoring only movies it likes. It is the work and the purpose of Pentagon. Important is that the fact of sponsoring by Pentagon should be clearly displayed in the subtitle of the movie.

If the director of a film decided to glamorize violence, to ask for help of Pentagon is only logical. Then Pentagon only corrects small details to fulfill the idea more correctly.
I do not agree that without help of Pentagon a high profile film cannot be made. Good example is Avatar - an anti-violence highly spectacular movie.
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PostSubject: Re: Hollywood supports war - says David Sirota   Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:57 am

Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: How much influence is instigated by the government?   Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:57 pm

Quote :
"Why does the Pentagon treat public hardware as private property? Why does the government grant and deny access to that hardware based on a filmmaker’s willingness to let the Pentagon influence the script? And doesn’t such a practice violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against government abridging freedom of speech?"

It is pertinent to point out, very little is caused by the pentagon. Policy may be set by the government to protect certain interests and to assure public funds are not used to injure the image of those depicted. Hollywood, i would argue, is the influence towards developing a creative interest in utilizing the military for the purpose of telling a story. Where this connects with public funds is simply an access to the image and equipment used in the films, saving the film makers from having to purchase their own, obviously an expensive endeavor. I would continue to argue, it is the film makers who would have identified the need to solicit for access to government resources to tell the stories they tell effectively to convey stories of veteran soldiers and the sentiment of those who served. This is a cross over I feel is acceptable and is pertinent to the conversation. Perhaps in the process, some movies have been more restrictive than others, and this would depend on the number of badges that are involved.

I would like to have a full list of movies that received military funding, although only by looking at the positives within these movies would I be able to tell if apart from a focus for providing a pro-military perspective if underlying issues are conveyed as well in the context of human rights, military conduct, equality, and the hope for peace.

- Tobias
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