Episode 862: Propaganda

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3 Responses

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    The Italian political analogue for Trump was not Mussolini, but Berlusconi. Anybody remember the time Mussolini got elected as head of the Italian government, then lost an election, was replaced by a member of an opposing party, and then just kept complaining about it? Trump’s claim that only he could fix things was a marker of his poor character, but because it’s narcissistic rather than fascist. And precisely because he’s a narcissist rather than fascist he had no interest in movement-building, and little interest in doing anything once he was in charge (seemingly more comfortable as a complaining member of the opposition). Others have suggested that he’s better suited to being America’s constitutional monarch, receiving media attention due to his position but not having any actual responsibility.

    Taken was a popular movie about trafficking.

    There are trolls who have explicitly said they want to take away things like the “OK” sign from normies. People have to be really pathetic to give such goons what they want, but that’s the world we live in.

  2. Caleb says:

    I recently watched a really incredible Hong Kong movie from 1990 called ‘Farewell, China” that I hadn’t considered propaganda until literally the last few moments.

    The entire film follows a husband (Tony Leung Ka Fai) as he tries to find his wife (Maggie Cheung), who has not returned to mainland China long after her visa to study in the U.S. should have expired. Leung explores a crime-ridden, dirty, and confusing New York City where an old friend throws him out on the street after proclaiming “What’s mine is yours!”, people are left to live in musty basement apartments with no locks on their doors, and demonic death metal shows start performing at just the moment when Leung feels like he is literally going through hell.

    After a series of flashbacks told ‘Citizen Kane’-style via various people he encounters who knew his wife, Leung finds Cheung. She seems to have some kind of mental block about him and her past (like the newborn baby they both left with grandparents in China), and apparently makes a living grifting older Chinese immigrants out of their money. The real kicker is when, after one last desperate confrontation, Cheung stabs Leung in the heart, killing him. The new generation, wanting the modernity of the Western world, has become so lost that they not only abandon, but forsake and murder their past, their family, their heritage and culture.

    I interpreted it that way at least.

    The movie has some great melodrama, which is part of why I find it so memorable and effective as propaganda. When the word propaganda gets used I tend to think of movies that – if they’re going for actual drama – tend to feel inauthentic (Tyler would know what I mean from the many Christian dramas he’s endured). Farewell, China – to me at least – felt very believable. The drama felt authentic to the world of the movie.

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