Entertainment is eaten up by the human mind in enormous quantities, especially in our fast paced media soaked world. It is the most powerful of tools to those who understand the way that the emotional investment that we place in our entertainment can be used against us. We learn much of our behavior and thoughts through modeling. Especially as children, and even into adulthood we can not do and learn everything through experience, so we learn from modeling the people around us. Now we have multiple layers of media that interfere with a child’s development where at one time only parents and a tight knit community would have made up the world that children have to model.
Media can’t help but introduce lifestyles, beliefs, world scenarios, and numerous other personality traits to a child’s mind that otherwise would have had to only come from those most trusted and closest to the parents. The dangers of this outside force acting upon child rearing is so dangerous because if the child do not learn reasoning skills independent of the media’s point of view it is most likely that these forces will continue to imprint fake impressions of the world and personality well into adulthood.
Without getting into the details of how to imprint ideas into the conscious and subconscious mind through media those who produce at the highest levels are masters at these skills of emotional manipulation and thought insertion. We are into a brand new century that was birthed from the results of two world wars that brought the use of propaganda into the modern age. After these wars the need for governments to use propaganda upon its own citizens became undeniable. With banking and corporations coming closer to the halls of government these methods of manipulating peoples behavior and politics would begin to be used more and more often to ensure the agendas of those with the money and power (it is actually questionable who taught who these skills). Now that most all media is produced by the biggest industry producers with investments from the biggest banks the message and methods of entertainment is easily controlled by the flow of money. Simply put, if the message and medium of entertainment does not support the aspirations of the investors than it will not be produced.
One of the blatant examples of entertainment being molded to the desires of it’s investors is the military involvement in Hollywood. Here is a look at how such involvement brought America’s minds back to supporting the military and forgetting about the scars of Vietnam. Without the excitement that Top Gun gave to war we might still be skeptical of the military and their reasons for going off to war. How different the world could be if our tax money wasn’t being spent to influence our feelings of the military.
By David Sirota,
In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. Then, in recent days, word leaked that the White House has been working with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on an election-year film chronicling the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
A country questioning its overall military posture, and a military establishment engaging in a counter-campaign for hearts and minds — if this feels like deja vu, that’s because it’s taking place on the 25th anniversary of the release of “Top Gun.”
That Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, made in collaboration with the Pentagon, came out in the mid-1980s, when polls showed many Americans expressing doubts about the post-Vietnam military and about the constant saber rattling from the White House. But the movie’s celebration of sweat-shined martial machismo generated $344 million at the box office and proved to be a major force in resuscitating the military’s image.
Not only did enlistment spike when “Top Gun” was released, and not only did the Navy set up recruitment tables at theaters playing the movie, but polls soon showed rising confidence in the military. With Ronald Reagan wrapping military adventurism in the flag, with the armed forces scoring low-risk but high-profile victories in Libya and Grenada, America fell in love with Maverick, Iceman and other high-fivin’ silver-screen super-pilots as they traveled Mach 2 while screaming about “the need for speed.”
Today, “Top Gun” lives on in cable reruns, in the American psyche and, most important, in how it turned the Hollywood-Pentagon relationship into a full-on Mav-Goose bromance that ideologically slants films from their inception.
The 1986 movie, starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, was the template for a new Military-Entertainment Complex. During production, the Pentagon worked hand-in-hand with the filmmakers, reportedly charging Paramount Pictures just $1.8 million for the use of its warplanes and aircraft carriers. But that taxpayer-subsidized discount came at a price — the filmmakers were required to submit their script to Pentagon brass for meticulous line edits aimed at casting the military in the most positive light. (One example: Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing.”)
Although “Top Gun” was not the first movie to exchange creative input for Pentagon assistance and resources, its success set that bargain as a standard for other filmmakers, who began deluging the Pentagon with requests for collaboration. By the time the 1991 Persian Gulf War began, Phil Strub, the Pentagon’s liaison to the movie industry, told the Hollywood Reporter that he’d seen a 70 percent increase in the number of requests from filmmakers for assistance — effectively changing the way Hollywood works.
As Mace Neufeld, the producer of the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October,” later recounted to Variety, studios in the post-“Top Gun” era instituted an unstated rule telling screenwriters and directors to get military cooperation “or forget about making the picture.” Economics drives that directive, Time magazine reported in 1986. “Without such billion-dollar props, producers [have to] spend an inordinate amount of time and money searching for substitutes” and therefore might not be able to make the movie at all, the magazine noted.
Emboldened by Hollywood’s obsequiousness, military officials became increasingly blunt about how they deploy the carrot of subsidized hardware and the stick of denied access to get what they want. Strub described the approval process to Variety in 1994: “The main criteria we use is . . . how could the proposed production benefit the military . . . could it help in recruiting [and] is it in sync with present policy?”
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