I just got back from taking the kids to see a summer movie. We went to Carmike Theater in Huntsville for the matinee of Surf's up. I didn't get to see much of the movie because Henry wanted to run back and forth through the aisle and dump popcorn all over everything. I think the movie was just o.k. though, the kids weren't that impressed.
But this blog post is not about the movie.
What I found very appalling is that before the movie started, during the previews, there was a very long military propaganda video shown. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!!! Emotionally charged video clips were interspersed with short phrases recalling honor, pride and adventure. All of this was shown while a heroic fanfare trumpeted in the background. And, this was not a quick little 15 second blip, it seemed to drag on and on for 3 or 4 minutes. I honestly sat up and turned around, wondering if anyone else thought this was a little weird, but all the other viewers just sat mesmerized, munching their popcorn and goobers.
I have heard of Army recruiting videos being played at Chuck-E-Cheese and was astounded at the rumor but I had never seen these brainwashing tactics in action until today.
The government is selling brands, and those brands are ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES. Anyone in marketing will tell you that the younger you get a child to positively identify a brand, the more likely they will be to develop good feelings about it.
I have never been tempted to throw anything at a movie screen until today. I will definitely remember this the next time we are considering taking the kids to a movie.