ready, aim, fire: hold the curser till’ you see the white of their eyes

What Hollywood accomplishes best is to repackage. Like transformed food it strips the nutritional qualities into sugar coated and sodium charged calories that create addiction and dependency. The craft, for though there is no art, is a distilling, filtering and sanitization  into a distorted and context-adjusted mediation in which critical content; the personal, individual and unwashed figures are coiffed like show-dogs on a poop scoop runway.

Dix. The Skat Players. "The idea for the new center, called the Institute for Creative Technologies, reflects the fact that although Hollywood and the Pentagon may differ markedly in culture, they now overlap in technology. In opening the new Institute for Creative Technology Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera said, “We could never hope to get the expertise of a Steven Spielberg or some of the other film industry people working just on Army projects.” But the new institute, Caldera said, will be “a win-win for everyone.”---Read More:

In the case of Otto Dix, this was the complete makeover of Dix’s Weimar Republic into an adult Disneyland quarantined, sterilized and now an entertainment venue with homogenized symbols and archetypes; bobble heads and t-shirts.

Donald Kuspit: Without their critical edge and sting, they are fashionable mannequins on a commercial stage, however ostensibly — superficially — free spirits, as all figures that seem out of the bounds of social respectability, and charged with raw animal instinct — all “transgressive” figures that seem to lift the repression barrier — appear to be. Women in particular, as the risqué, self-destructive, impulsive dancer Anita Berber, depicted in a passionately red body-clinging dress (1925) — a sort of glistening snakeskin (its redness available in the Neue Galerie shop as glamorous “Berlin red” lipstick, a demoralizing triumph of advertising, packaging and commodification, not to say an “esthetic” cheap shot at Berber and Dix) suggests, along with the feline Reclining Woman on Leopard Skin (1927), who stares (glares?) at the male and for that matter female viewer, and seems ready to spring at and tear him or her apart, as her claw-like right hand suggests. Read More: a

Dix. Anita Berber. Read More:

The power of the entertainment technology and its to appropriate in particular cinema, at the time of Dix, was the art of suffocating the liberating tendencies of the medium. Overt fascism could do this more crudely, but as Walter Benjamin and Adorno understood it, the manufacturing of culture as a commodity within a market based economy based on property, including the undervalued “intellectual property” was essentially an assault, a rape of anything that was considered progressive and democratic; a perversion of what was touted in propaganda as American utopianism. The mediated star, celebrity and idol system was almost the same as the “shock and awe” of fascist cinema of the lamb’s bleating before the lion:

” The star system and capital accumulation reestablished barriers between audience and film, just as Nazi propaganda films tried to illuminate Hitler and friends with a flattering ‘auratic’, charismatic glow. In radio and film, as in politics, a new selection by the apparatus was underway – those with the right voice, the good looks and skilled exhibitionism were favoured. The beneficiaries of this were the champion, the star and the dictator. But, at the same time, procedures such as Sergei Eisenstein’s workers’ cinema or Charlie Chaplin’s battles with technology and authority showed that cinema had at least the potential to generate a critical, politically based culture in which negotiations of the central (technological and class) forces in our lives are tackled.” Read More:

---Le Docteur Cherchant Querelle à Ratapoil * Artist: Honoré Daumier, French, 1808-1879 * Medium: Lithograph on newsprint * Place Made: France * Dates: May 31, 1851--- Read More:

Changes in government procurement policies, we argue, led the military to spin off many of its key technologies for simulation and training. Their adoption and further development by the game entertainment industry has resulted in the improvement of tools for designing war games. It has also fueled the growth of the video game industry, which by several measures has reached the level of film and television in its importance as an entertainment medium. During the Cold War it was customary to critique the military-industrial complex as an economic parasite separated from, but living off the free enterprise system. We conclude that the new military-entertainment complex of the 1990s has become a partner of the entertainment industry while transforming itself into the training ground for what we might consider the post-human warfare of the future. Read More:

Otto Dix. "What ya need is what they sellin' Make you think that buyin' is rebellin' From the theaters to malls on every shore Tha thin line between entertainment and war The line had by then grown thin indeed. Today, it hardly exists at all. The military is now in the midst of a full-scale occupation of the entertainment industry, conducted with far more skill (and enthusiasm on the part of the occupied) than the one in Iraq. Perhaps the "front" where the most significant victories have been scored in the military's latest media-entertainment blitz is the one where our most vulnerable population – children -- resides. Through toys, especially videogames, the military and its partners in academia and the entertainment industry have not only blurred the line between entertainment and war, but created a media culture thoroughly capable of preparing America's children for armed conflict. This is less a matter of simple military indoctrination than near immersion in a virtual world of war beyond John Wayne's wildest dreams. " Read More: image:

Tim Renoir, Henry Lowood: …On Independence Day, 2002, the traditional summer blockbuster date in the entertainment industry, the US military released its new videogame, America’s Army: Operations. Designed by the Modeling, Simulation, and Virtual Environments Institute (MOVES) of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, the game, intended as a recruiting device, is distributed free on the internet. Produced with brilliant graphics and the most advanced commercial game engine available (the Unreal game engine) at a cost of around $8 million, the game is a first-person multiplayer combat simulation that requires players to complete several preliminary stages of combat training in an environment mirroring one of the military’s own main training grounds—cyber bootcamp. On the first day of its release the military added additional servers to handle the traffic, a reported whopping 500,000 downloads of the game. The site continued to average 1.2 million hits per second through late August 2002. Gamespot, a leading review, not only gave the game a 9.8 rating out of a possible 10, b

lso regarded the business model behind the new game as itself deserving an award….

Dix. "Gary Cooper provides the link to Sergeant York, a 1941 film directed by World War I Army Air Corps veteran (and The Dawn Patrol director) Howard Hawks that was denounced by many as war-mongering propaganda. Hawks went on to direct actor Ray Montgomery in Air Force (1943), a Warner Brothers film about a bomber crew serving in the Pacific, which received assistance from the Army Air Corps. In fact, the War Department even fast-tracked a review of the script because the film was deemed "a special Air Corps recruiting job." That same year, Montgomery also played a bit part, alongside Humphrey Bogart, in Warner Brothers' Action in the North Atlantic (assistance from the Navy). Bogart additionally starred with Lloyd Bridges in Columbia Pictures' 1943 Sahara, a World War II epic made with the full cooperation of the U.S. Army. Bridges would go on to appear with both Van Johnson and Spencer Tracy in the non-military Plymouth Adventures (1952). But long before that, both Johnson and Tracy took off in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, a film celebrating the 1942 "Doolittle Raid" -- a U.S. terror-bombing effort that decimated civilian sites including factories, schools and even a hospital in Japan -- made, of course, with the assistance of the War Department. " Read More:,_the_pentagon_goes_hollywood/

As the military’s new blockbuster videogame illustrates, the military-industrial complex, contrary to initial expectations, did not fade away with the end of the Cold War. It has simply reorganized itself. In fact, it is more efficiently organized than ever before. Indeed, a cynic might argue that whereas the military-industrial complex was more or less visible and identifiable during the Cold War, today it is invisibly everywhere, permeating our daily lives. The military-industrial complex has become the military-entertainment complex. The entertainment industry is both a major source of innovative ideas and technology, and the training ground for what might be called post-human warfare. Read More:


Eric Rosenfield: When the capitalist system starts feeding us emotions, we are in serious shit. There is no thinking for oneselves as every emotion has become a construct of the capitalist system. They will give you any emotion that you want, just to make sure as hell that you don't rebel against their system. Thus, the reason why you can watch twelve hours of T.V. a day and it's not illegal, hell it is encouraged. Perhaps we should consider why the capitalist/fascist state is so damned interested in the production of entertainment. Perhaps it is because pacification through Hollywood and video games is alot more P.C. than pacification through armed guards and prison camps. Why provide your opposition with visual signs of Fascism, such as guns and firing squads when you can focus on a nearly invisible entertainment industry (by invisible i mean, invisible as a form of social control). read more: image:

Recently, photographic portraits of nine World War I vets (all 105 or older when taken) were unveiled at a Pentagon ceremony. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates then noted that, when it comes to their war, “There is no big memorial on the National Mall. Hollywood has not turned its gaze in this direction for decades.”

Max Beckmann. Family Picture .1920. "Let's go back to 1915, when, in response to a request for assistance, U.S. Secretary of War John Weeks ordered the army to provide every reasonable courtesy to D. W. Griffith's pro--Ku Klux Klan epic Birth of a Nation. The Army came through with more than 1,000 cavalry troops and a military band. The film featured George Beranger, who would go on to star with Humphrey Bogart and Glen Cavender in San Quentin (1937) -- in which a former Army officer is hired to impose military discipline on the infamous prison. Cavender had also appeared alongside actor/director Syd Chaplin, Charlie's brother, in A Submarine Pirate (1915), for which the Navy provided a submarine, a gunboat, and the use of the San Diego Navy Yard. (The film was even approved to be shown in Navy recruiting stations.) Syd Chaplin later starred in the non-military A Little Bit of Fluff (1928) with Edmund Breon, who appeared in the 1930 World War I aviation epic The Dawn Patrol. That film was written by John Monk Saunders, who penned another World War I drama, Wings (1927), featuring Gary Cooper. Wings received major support from the War Department (back in the days before it was called the Defense Department) and won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. " Read More:,_the_pentagon_goes_hollywood/ image:

If true, that is little short of a miracle — as Nick Turse indicates below. Hollywood hasn’t been able to keep its gaze off either war or the Pentagon since “the war to end all wars” began in 1914 (and the favor has long been returned). In fact, Hollywood and the Pentagon have been in an intricate dance of support and cross-promotion for almost a century, from a time when the Department of Defense was still quaintly — if more accurately — known as the War Department. Today, however, without leaving Hollywood behind, the Pentagon has branched out into the larger universe of entertainment. Video games, TV, NASCAR racing, social networking, professional bull riding, toys, professional wrestling, you name it and the military-entertainment complex has a hand in it — and don’t forget about the Pentagon’s links to Starbucks, Apple Computer, Oakley sunglasses, and well, gosh in one way or another, directly or indirectly, just about everything that looks civilian in (or out of) your house. Read More:,_the_pentagon_goes_hollywood/ a

---"There's a soldier in all of us." This sounds deceptively similar to a recruitment slogan, doesn't it? Oddly enough, most developers aren't shy about their close collaboration with the U.S. military. In fact, Medal of Honor creator Danger Close boasted about the help their studio received from the Marine Corps during development. Hell, games like America's Army openly admit their purpose as recruitment tools! Maybe we don't need conspiracy theories to explain why people like playing military games. Gamers like guns and violence, and the military has plenty of that. What's worrisome isn't the cause, but the effect of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops. Whatever skepticism academics have, it's abundantly clear that video games have adopted an important role in directing American culture. Among adolescents and children, the multi-billion dollar industry is more relevant as a pedagogic device than literature, film, and possibly even television.--- Read More:


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