Monday, February 2, 2009

An evil time and place

Think of an evil time or place. Think of some country that we all condemn as wicked villains. Presumably this country was some variety of fascist or communist. They probably sent their troops to invade innocent countries, kill the locals, and steal their shit. Imagine them in their villainous costumes goose-stepping about in big militaristic parades. Perhaps your historical villains were the kind of murderous racists that picked on some ethnic minority and put them into concentration camps. For the purpose of the exercise, the more villainous the better.

So, do you have that time and place fixed in your head? Excellent.

Now go sideways and wonder at the boys and young men in this place. As sure as eggs is eggs the vast majority would have grooved on the thought of their nation as ass-kicking powerhouse. There were no t-shirts back then but they probably had pictures of their weapons of war on their walls - tanks and fighter planes, that sort of thing. And there was probably no TV at the time but they'd have had some equivalent like the cinema, and they'd have gone to see the movies that made heroes of the soldiers that we now view as the greatest villains who ever lived. And they'd have cheered those villains. Because for them, they weren't villains, they were heroes. That's how it is in evil times and places. If you want to call those boys and young men brainwashed, I won't argue with you. They were brainwashed.

But that's no surprise is it? In those evil times and places, everything would have been like this - the movies, the radio, the newspapers, the comics, everything right down to the cigarette and bubblegum cards. Every single form of media that existed would have been this way. And all those kids would have thought that this was normal. It would never have occurred to these kids that what they were doing was wrong. And yeah sure, there would have been other stuff too, boring stuff for girls and for grown-ups. But the boys wouldn't have been interested. They would have been too busy with all that neat stuff with soldiers, cops, and spies, all with tons of gunfights, chases, and action, action, action.

Imagine if you were able to magically teleport back in time and tell those kids that what they were doing was evil. It's a complete certainty that they'd never have believed you. They'd have told you that you were stupid, crazy, a complete bullshit artist. Even the nice ones would have heaped shit on you. They'd have told you that the 'bad guys' attacked them first. Everyone knows that. The 'bad guys' wanted to destroy their country, whether they were a million miles away, or here at home waiting to fill up those concentration camps. And those brainwashed kids would have defended everything their goose-stepping heroes did, whether it was bombing civilians or torturing innocent men and women.

It's also possible that some of those boys didn't like what their evil government was doing. But they still loved their weekly instalment of Stormtrooper Hero, or whatever it was called back then. "You should see it. It's great!" But you wouldn't have the heart for it. It'd be too sickening, watching these fucking villains bombing those villages and hauling those people off to the concentration camps. Even the best of those kids would have had you shaking your head at how they didn't get it.

So with this picture in your head of this evil time and place and of those brainwashed kids, why don't we try a really crazy experiment? Imagine (it's crazy I know, but just humour me) what it would look like if this was your country, here and now? What would that look like? And what would it be like for the boys and young men? How would they dress? Can you imagine them wearing military camouflage and t-shirts with pictures of tanks or gunships on them?

Imagine if everything, from the movies to the computer games were full of our soldiers, spies, and whomever, going overseas and killing the people there. Imagine if there was some minority back home that every piece of media told you were the bad guys. Imagine we were told that they attacked us first.

Imagine that there were TV shows where the hero actually tortured this minority and that no one thought that that was evil, or weird, or any other thing. They just watched it and grooved on the excitement. Imagine computer games that would have fitted right in with the propaganda of that other evil time and place, with whoever was playing being told to go and kill whomever and them doing it and thinking it was the coolest game ever. Can you imagine that?

And one small step now - imagine some guy zapping in from some other time and place and telling you that the whole fucking thing was evil and that when you wore those t-shirts, and watched those shows, and played those games, that you were participating in something really monstrous? What would you say to that guy? Would you think he was nuts? Would you tell him he was bullshit?

You? Brainwashed? Ha! Those other kids in that other evil time and place, sure - but not you, no way. Go ahead, tell me I'm "stupid, crazy, a complete bullshit artist." You know you want to.


Anonymous said...

Much appreciated Nobody, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nobody I do appreciate your choice of tool (Sabre de luxe à la Hongroise) as opposed to mine (4"x2" Hardwood).

Skye said...

I had commented in the above post before reading this one, perhaps I should have waited, but hey, it's still appropriate and it works :).

It's exactly what is happening and it totally sickens me!

*word verification for today: indignit*

Anonymous said...

Personally I wouldn't say anything. I would look into it. 10 years ago I would have called bullshit. Something woke me up.
I do that on the forums to stir shit up. Exactly as you describe it and the shit that flies. Entertaining for a bit.

Great article.


nobody said...

Thanks Tone. And mate, I've often wondered at the popularity of 4x2. It just defies a hand's grip, don't you reckon? To this end, I recommend 3x2. Mind you, for a few dollars extra why not indulge in the luxury of a pick-axe handle? Enough blokes with pick-axe handles and the cops will just freak, shields or no.

Yeah Skye. This shit is so relentless you feel like Canute ordering the tides to turn back. Mind you, Canute was making a point about the fallacy of lording it over the natural world. The shit tide of modern culture in the other hand, is as natural as GMO and every bit as worthy of being sent back to hell.

Dave, you and me both brother. To a certain extent I described myself. Looking back, my problem was that I had no one to explain things to me. Not in terms that made any sense that is. So what I tried here was to put it in terms that I imagine would have made sense to me then. But maybe I wouldn't have got it. Maybe I'd have been precisely as obdurate as today's idiot teens. Who knows?

annemarie said...

That is brilliantly put. And maybe the reason IS because (as you mentioned) you put yourself in it, or it was yourself (diff time/place) that you were describing.

thanks and btw, I'm partial to baseball bats ;)

p.s. word verifation: lordath


Anonymous said...

Nicely written once again, if you're not too sick of compliments.

You make me reminisce, Nobody . . . I went to China for a year to teach English a few years back, and travelled to Tibet with my girlfriend, who would later become my wife. I am ashamed now of my ignorance, when I spoke brashly of the tens of thousands that the Chinese had killed, the annexation of a sovereign nation, etc. as if there was only one evil entity. We had long and bitter arguments, and I was filled with little knowledge and much propoganda.

But the only thing that saved me, that has always saved me, is my desire to learn, to seek the truth - to self-educate. I googled and googled, looking at first for things to back up my assertions, then learning bit by bit that the history was much more cloudy and uncertain as I went along. I won't go into the details of what I learned here, as I think you know a thing or two about Asia; but suffice it to say, it is shameful for me to look back and see how blindly I repeated one-sided propoganda.

The difference, in the end, is how you were brought up, how you were taught. I can only thank my parents a hundred times over for making sure that I didn't watch 8 hours of TV a day; they promoted lots of interests for me, and enabled me to pursue them; and they taught me, most importantly of all, that it is ok to stand alone in your opinion. To search out the truth. To learn without teachers.

We must all teach our children these lessons, we must pass it on.

We have a shitload of culture to fight against, but I feel it is a noble battle.

nobody said...

Annemarie! Yay. So nice to see you dropping in. You are the sparkling sun of your picture. Kikz, Tony - Annemarie's here!

Slozo, that was spooky. I was in Beijing in 99 when the US bombed the Chinese consulate in Kosovo. The Chinese went nuts. They were even shaking their fists at me in the streets. "Bu Meiguoren, Wo Aodaliyaren!" I'm not American, I'm Australian.

And I get to work and all the staff are gone - gone down to the US embassy to throw bricks. When they got back I told them they were crazy, that it was an accident or something. America wouldn't do it deliberately.

What an idiot! I didn't make it back to Beijing until a couple of years later but when I hooked up with those guys, I told them that they were right and I was wrong. No skin off my nose. The new me would be down there with them lobbing bricks. Hell, see if I couldn't turn Yanjing beer (or the empty bottle at least) into a far more fiery cocktail.

Otherwise, spot on mate.

the Silverfish said...

The last pic in your post brought back some strange memories.

Did you know that the Vietnamese feared the dog handlers and their charges more than they feared the Bombs, Napalm and Guns? Those things they could deal with, but not the dogs. They, the Vietnamese couldn’t hide from the dogs, no matter where they went no matter where they hid the dogs would find them. It was one hell of a way to die being torn to pieces and it happened a lot. A lot more than you have heard. There were a lot of dogs in the military back then, mostly Dobermans and Rotties and they only had one purpose.

The canine patrols used to laugh and call it payback for all of the years the Vietnamese had been eating dog. The dogs ate well back then and developed a certain taste for oriental cuisine.

But of course that never hit the news as it would be just too low tech, much better to burn them alive with napalm or perhaps it was that peeps back in the world would never look at their fife or fido the same way again if they saw what Fife or Fido could really do if they had a mind to.

So at any rate it never really hit the news.

I’ve had and attack trained big dogs most of my life and I mean really big dogs, Like Great Danes and to a lesser degree Dobermans and I will tell you this, that in this world there is little that will terrify one more than what that naked man is going through in that picture. It is truly horrific, but then again much of what the military does is.

Sometimes when I walk through the bush with my hounds it brings back memories, much like this picture did.

Penny said...

God, I don't have to imagine that, I just look around me, and oops, there it is!

The brainwashed morons.
The slanted news media

"gotta kill the ragheads"

and yes, I have actually heard that said.

And when you tell people they have it all wrong, and they tell you, "conspiracy theorist"
And you smile that little smile, because you KNOW, you know, they are the fools. Played for fools, being made fools of, whatever.
they are the fools

nobody said...

Gee whiz Silv,

I think I just received double my recommended daily intake of bad ugliness right there. That's not a criticism you understand.

And on the subject of things that just aren't talked about, I don't know what military recruiting is like where you are, but here it's almost like you join the Forces so you can go and 'help' people. It's like they're in competition with Medecins Sans Frontieres or something. The difference with MSF I guess is that in the army you get to shoot anyone who is insufficiently grateful for your 'help'.

kikz said...

wb annie m :)

annemarie said...

Hey kikz! ta, and take care of yo'self along with yo *babies* :)

read ya around...

Hallo (agin) to nobody and toot la gang lol
I do read plenty here, and much that's interesting, but I don't have much to say these days and it's better that way. "practicing my comprehension skills" hahaha

Ok, ciao

Penny said...

WAs just thinking aloud, but, wondering, television, msm. vido games and it's influence on young minds

Is one benefit of this never allowing kids to learn exactly who they are?

I know kids,that define themselves by fads, they just move on to the next fad, if it is popular they are into it.

Example, they really like the spice girls, then they really like Britney Spears, then they really like -insert fad- whom or whatever?

In this way does television as a medium prevent the young from learning anything about themselves to form an appropriate identity, so when they move into adulthood they are completely fucked.

They don't know who they are, they have no thoughts of their own. They have no morals and stand for nothing.

Because as the matured they should have been learning life lessons that would have strengthened them.
But robbed of opportunities by media and video, they don't.

Making them ultra-maleable?

I don't know, just a thought!