A Proper Gander At Propaganda


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A Proper Gander At Things to Come...

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image source: File:James Stewart on the set of Mr Smith Goes to Washington (2).jpg ...

History staged for your entrainment. Art is the real weapon of mass destruction.

This is the damage controlled tip of the allegorical iceberg:

"William Simpson (28 October 1823 – 17 August 1899) was a Scottish artist, war artist and war correspondent."

"...Simpson went on to become one of the leading 'special artists' of his day, and sketched many scenes of war for the Illustrated London News."

"Simpson arrived off the Crimean peninsula on 15 November 1854 and could hear distant firing. While he had missed the early battles, he was able to record the events before Sebastopol. He made numerous acquaintances who helped him with details for his pictures, but he was also struck by the plight of the common soldiers, "miserable looking beings...covered with mud, dirt, and rags," he wrote. He hobnobbed with many officers including Lord Raglan and Captain Peel; he also met Roger Fenton who took his photograph. In May 1855, Simpson accompanied Raglan on the expedition to Kertch which was captured on the 24th, but was back in time to observe the first attack on Sebastopol in June. On the night of the 17th, he crawled out of a trench to view the attack. He wrote, "It was a wild orchestra of sound, never to be forgotten." He was still at the front when the city finally surrendered, and he quit the Crimea in the autumn of 1855."

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Simpson_(artist)  •  war artist  •  war correspondent

"Turns Out These Famous Snapshots From The Civil War Were Staged By The Photographer"

"Gardner wrote the following in his Photographic Sketch Book of the War to describe one of the images he took. The book was published in 1865-66."

"A burial party, searching for dead on the borders of the Gettysburg battle-field, found, in a secluded spot, a sharpshooter lying as he fell when struck by the bullet. His cap and gun were evidently thrown behind him by the violence of the shock, and the blanket, partly shown, indicates that he had selected this as a permanent position from which to annoy the enemy. How many skeletons of such men are bleaching to-day in out of the way places no one can tell. Now and then the visitor to a battle-field finds the bones of some man shot as this one was, but there are hundreds that will never be known of, and will moulder into nothingness among the rocks." Of course, aside from the visible aspects of the photo, none of Gardner's dramatic narratives could be corroborated. They were merely meant to incite pathos and patriotism in his readers."

source: Turns Out Alexander Gardner Staged His Famous Civil War Photos

"The Bizarre Practice Of Staging Civil War Photographs"

"During the American Civil War, photography was just coming into its heyday. For the first time, civilians were able to see the horrors of the battlefield—days, weeks, and months after the fighting. Photographers, most notably Alexander Gardner, saw their documentation of the battles as a duty to capture the most moving images they could. And when they couldn’t find the right shot, they’d make it by moving the bodies and occasionally adding props."

source: The Bizarre Practice Of Staging Civil War Photographs - KnowledgeNuts


"John Huston’s Fake Documentaries Of World War II"

"Well, no, not really. Huston and his film crew didn’t show up in Pietro until the fighting was over, so instead of filming real-life combat, Huston recreated the entire battle with the help of the US Army. Huston was given actual soldiers and actual weapons to recreate the scene, and military officials even forked over classified documents describing what had happened during the fighting. As for all that bumping up and down, Huston knew he could make the footage appear more realistic if he added a bit of shaky cam. Basically, The Battle of San Pietro was one elaborate fake."

"Of course, Average Joe citizen didn’t know that. When audiences (both civilian and military) sat down to watch The Battle of San Pietro, there was a title card at the end of the film that read, “For the purpose of continuity, a few of these scenes were shot before and after the actual battle.” So technically, perhaps the War Department wasn’t lying when they sent the film to theaters, but they were definitely telling half-truths."

"It gets even worse when you realize this wasn’t the first time Huston totally faked a battle scene."

"Before working on The Battle of San Pietro, Huston contributed to a propaganda film called Tunisian Victory, a documentary about the Allied success in North Africa. Originally, the film contained real war scenes, but unfortunately, the ship carrying the film sunk before it could reach the US.  That made things kind of awkward when President Roosevelt asked to see the footage. Unwilling to admit they’d lost the film, Frank Capra ordered John Huston to recreate the North African battle scenes. Instead of shooting in Tunisia, Huston filmed the aerial scenes in Florida and the infantry scenes out in the Mojave Desert, complete with fake tanks made out of wire frames with a canvas thrown on top. Admittedly, Huston was pretty embarrassed of Tunisian Victory and later described the film as “so transparently false that I hated to have anything to do with it.” However, he never admitted San Pietrowas a fraud. (In fairness, faking documentary footage has been going on ever since Robert J. Flaherty directed Nanook of the North.) Even modern-day films like Catfish and Exit Through the Gift Shop have been accused of being less than truthful, but perhaps the John Huston hoax hurts worse because we expect more from our World War II heroes."

source: John Huston's Fake Documentaries Of World War II - KnowledgeNuts


"'Five Came Back' review: Fulfilling Netflix series on eminent directors, their WWII films"

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

"Hollywood's most revered directors engaged in the gathering, staging (in some cases) and dissemination of wartime propaganda..."

"Propaganda's a dirty word, casting a shadow of fake news and wily psychological manipulation onto shape-shifting political events. America is hardly immune to the word, or its practice. In the World War II years several of Hollywood's most revered directors engaged in the gathering, staging (in some cases) and dissemination of wartime propaganda, some of it thrilling and good for war bond sales, some of it stark and painful, some of it grimly racist."

"Author, film historian and critic Mark Harris explored this propaganda, in all its dizzying variety, and the men who made it in his excellent 2014 nonfiction account "Five Came Back." Now that account has become a three-hour, three-part Netflix documentary series, available for streaming March 31."

"The "five" of the title represent a who's who of patriarchal Hollywood authority figures and iconoclasts, each marked by the war in different ways. At 46, John Ford (haunted by his feelings of inadequacy after not serving in WWI) was the oldest of the group. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he entered the war fresh off the success of "The Grapes of Wrath" and "How Green Was My Valley." John Huston had just made a smashing directorial debut with "The Maltese Falcon." Frank Capra had just finished with "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Meet John Doe." George Stevens, a master of buoyant light comedy, had tried to adapt "Paths of Glory" in the late '30s but was overruled his RKO bosses, who pushed him instead to do the rousing rah-rah war adventure "Gunga Din." The fifth man, William Wyler, was a German Jew who'd gotten out of Europe thanks to Universal head Carl Laemmle, a relative of the director's. Coming off the prestigious "Wuthering Heights" and "The Little Foxes," Wyler was ready to do his part for the Allied effort when the U.S. War Department came calling. ...Inevitably, the most haunting story in "Five Came Back" is that of George Stevens, whose camera units captured footage of D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge — and finally, the release of the prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp. The unblinking Dachau images were used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. Stevens never quite shook the experience, and he never made another comedy"

source: 'Five Came Back' review: Fulfilling Netflix series on eminent directors ...


War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination

"Back in Hollywood, First Lieutenant Ronald Reagan was taking part in what he refers to in his autobiography as one of the major "secrets of war, ranking up with the atom bomb project": creating a complete miniature of Tokyo, so authentic in detail that even top Air Corps generals could not distinguish it from reality. Footage of fake bomb runs on the toy city were then used to brief bombing crews, who were taken by Reagnan’s voice over narrative all the way to his dramatic “Bombs away.” As areas of Tokyo were burned out, Reagan tells how the Hollywood team would “burn out” their counterparts in “our target scene,” obliterating along with the city, the boundaries between illusion and reality.”

source: War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination

The First Motion Picture Unit

"The First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU), later 18th Army Air Forces Base Unit, was the primary film production unit of the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II and was the first military unit made up entirely of professionals from the film industry. It produced more than 400 propaganda and training films, which were notable for being informative as well as entertaining. Films for which the unit is known include Resisting Enemy Interrogation, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and The Last Bomb—all of which were released in theatres. Veteran actors such as Clark Gable, William Holden, Clayton Moore, and future President Ronald Reagan and directors such as John Sturges served with the FMPU. The unit also produced training films and trained combat cameramen. FMPU personnel served with distinction during World War II.

First Motion Picture Unit is also the eponymous title of a 1943 self-produced documentary about the unit narrated by radio and television announcer Ken Carpenter."

source: First Motion Picture Unit - Wikipedia

Lookout Mountain Air Force Station

Ronald Reagan - IMDb

Ronald Reagan - Wikipedia

Twentieth Century Film Technology, The True Secret of Star Wars is Born

The Military Industrial Entertainment, Mental Entrainment Complex™ Presents:

Actors As Presidents & Atomic Age Lookout Mountain Film Studios

"Los Angeles, California is the epicenter of the movie-making industry, so it should come as no surprise that the US military had its own studio in LA. Known as Lookout Mountain Air Force Station, or Lookout Mountain Laboratory, what made this studio special is that the films produced there were all classified."

"The studio was secretly established in 1947, though the Air Force has since stressed that the facility was used solely for the Atomic Energy Commission. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as “atomic” cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. While the Air Force contends that these atomic features were the only movies made, it is believed that some 19,000 “films” were produced on Lookout Mountain between 1947-1969. That’s 500 more films than Hollywood produced during the same period, and only a few dozen of them have been declassified."

"Less scandalous, there is evidence that the military conducted many advanced research experiments for Hollywood studios, such as developing 3-D techniques and Vista Vision. Employees from big studios, such as Warner Brothers and MGM, were also known to frequent the lot."

"Additionally, Hollywood stars like Walt Disney, Marilyn Monroe, and even Ronald Reagan were given special clearance to use Lookout Mountain’s facilities, though the reason for their visits remain undisclosed."

"Though the studio employed over 250 people, its existence remained unknown to the general public until the 1990s. The studio was decommissioned in 1969. Today the 2.5-acre studio is a private residence and belongs to actor/musician Jared Leto, who is known for throwing parties in the area that echo the 1960s Laurel Canyon vibe."

source: Lookout Mountain Airforce Station – Los Angeles, California - Atlas ...  •  Lookout Mountain Air Force Station - Wikipedia

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"Bill Clinton in his 2004 autobiography ‘My Life’ recounts how an old carpenter had told him he didn’t believe in the moon landing for a minute and that “them television fellers” could “make things look real that weren’t”. He said he wondered - once he’d been in power for eight years in Washington - whether the old man hadn’t been ahead of his time."

Of Presidents, Life Actors And Scripted World Theatrical Fictions: Historical Hoaxes Exposed

History Has Long Been Not Much More Than Manufactured Myth

"It has been suggested that perhaps the biggest fake marketing stunt of all time was the moon landing. Let’s look at the evidence. Teams of PRs and marketing people were hired by NASA for a national awareness campaign. On 20 July, 1969 at 20:18 UTC, 94% of all Americans turned on their TVs and were led to believe Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle landed on the moon. Bill Clinton in his 2004 autobiography ‘My Life’ recounts how an old carpenter had told him he didn’t believe in the moon landing for a minute and that “them television fellers” could “make things look real that weren’t”. He said he wondered - once he’d been in power for eight years in Washington - whether the old man hadn’t been ahead of his time."

"We’re supposed to believe that back in 1969 we could just pop out to the moon like popping round to the corner shop and yet, nearly 50 years later, Sir Richard Branson is still struggling with his childhood dream to take tourists into space. Or could it just have been a ‘Big Swinging ....’ attempt - all orchestrated from a Hollywood sound stage - to outdo Russia at the height of the Cold War and convince America that spending four per cent of the national budget on NASA’s space programme was a good idea?"

"The PR industry has long resembled a Carry On film of fakery for vested interests wanting to influence and control an unsuspecting public. That aspect of the business was depicted brilliantly in the 1997 film ‘Wag the Dog’ starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. Its cynical swipe at PR was less fiction, more fly-on-the-wall documentary."

"In a recent paper published in Europhysics News four respected physicists struggled to understand why and how the unprecedented structural failures of the World Trade Centre towers on 9/11 occurred other than through a controlled demolition. George Bush was facing an election. Subsequent fears for national security rallied support for the status quo and helped ensure victory. For an insight into how fear industries control and manage swathes of the population, watch the 2004 film ‘The Village’."

source: Fake news? There's nothing new about it | The Drum

"The Early History of Faking War on Film"

By Mike Dash, smithsonian.com

"Early filmmakers faced a dilemma: how to capture the drama of war without getting themselves killed in the process. Their solution: fake the footage"

"Georges Méliès, the pioneer filmmaker, shot faked footage of the war of 1897—including the earliest shots of what was claimed to be naval warfare, and some horrific scenes of atrocities in Crete. All were created in his studio or his back yard in Paris."

source: The Early History of Faking War on Film | History | Smithsonian

Things To Come: H.G. Wells, 1936:

“This is a Powerful, yet spooky and somewhat cheesy science fiction film made in 1936, produced by Alexander Korda based on the H. G. Wells classic book & brought to the silver screen as a vision of what warfare will bring mankind in the century to follow.”

via: Lushscreamqueen - Schlock Treatment.

The Ghost Army Attacks!

"May 17, 2013 - During World War II, the Army called on soldiers from artistic fields for a ... illustrators, designers and architects — men with high I.Q.'s — were to use their ... The idea was that they would create convoys of fake tanks and trucks ..."

"Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified."

"The Ghost Army was an Allied Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (Operation Quicksilver). The 1,100-man unit was given a unique mission within the Allied Army: to impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy. From a few weeks before D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretence. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified. The unit was the subject of a PBS documentary The Ghost Army in 2013."

sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/fashion/the-ghost-army-of-artists-and-designers.html •  Ghost Army - Wikipedia

Propaganda defined:

"Propaganda in the United States is spread by both government and media entities. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. It's used in advertising, radio, newspaper, posters, books, television, and other media."  -  Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia

"A man without a government is like a fish without a bicycle.” Alvaro Koplovich

"The rise of modern print culture The printing press and the relatively wide availability of printed materials further undermine the importance of the 'local community' in ... Feudal societies based on face-to-face loyalties and oral oaths begin to give way to nation-states and to nationalism based on a shared printed language." Marshall McLuhan: Theoretical elaborations

"The printing press gave rise to nationalism and nation states while the Internet is helping to create a world community."  Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan

Black propaganda - Wikipedia  •  Grey Propaganda - Wikipedia  •  White propaganda - Wikipedia