Saturday, August 18, 2007

Comic Books: Tools Of Propoganda?

This is a very interesting read. It seems long, but will really only take about fifteen or twenty minutes away from your day, maybe less if you're a faster reader than I. Still, it's fascinating. The author makes some very relevant connections between the GI Joe comic books and American militaristic patriotism. In his theory, the GI Joe comic book series, and in a smaller part the cartoon series, contributed to the entertainment industry creating an easily-accessible storyline into which the ideas of patriotism and terrorism could fall. He even outlines how the news media worked the events following September 11th into this soap opera framework to create a collective national consciousness of the event.

So were we duped by GI Joe and Rambo and countless other various militaristic fictional stories into supporting nationalistic militilism? It is interesting that military service recruitment has dropped significantly since GI Joe stopped being popular and was effectively cancelled in 1992. I should also note that GI Joe lied to us. When we joined the military, we discovered that you couldn't grow a beard for no reason and wear whatever outfit you wanted. Also, there was no Cobra; the most threatening adversary military members have to fight on a daily basis is governmental bureaucracy.

Still, read this article. It's fascinating.
Imagining Terrorists before Sept. 11: Marvel's GI Joe Comic Books, 1982-1994


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