5 Pieces Of Recent Propaganda Almost Too Weird To Be Real
Did you know that inflammatory, grossly misleading political videos used to only show up around elections? It's true, there was a time when we weren't being bludgeoned 24/7 by politically motivated lies blasting from every working screen in our home. This is apparently just The Way Things Are Now. And not only is this stuff pervasive, but it's also so clumsy and baffling that it could be mistaken for RoboCop-style satire. Look at how ...
Donald Trump Prepared A Movie Trailer For Kim Jong-un
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are the two world leaders who we can all say, without a doubt, would just wreck a McDonald's -- the food, the bathrooms, the playpen, everything. And after that, they'd settle down, their tummies full and their bodies tuckered out, and we'd put on a movie for them to watch while we go do other, important shit. This is a trailer for that movie:
If you're wondering what the point of an advertisement for two demagogues is, Trump showed it to Kim at their summit in Singapore last year. But rather than do the sensible thing and just, like, bring a PowerPoint with a few graphs on it, they teased a whole fake-ass movie. We get clips of monuments and marching and cheering and things that Trump in no way had anything to do with. (Bridges! X-Rays! General human happiness!) And it's all with narration that sounds like it came from a particularly terrible battery commercial.
Eventually, though, the narration gets to the real meat of the thing: "Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity. A new story, a new beginning. One of peace. Two men, two leaders, one destiny." And you're probably wondering, "Huh, I guess someone got ahold of my slashfic again, but is this a thing? Destiny Pictures? Or is it Trump's team being so stupid that they can't make something about 'destiny' without labeling every possible thing as 'destiny'?"
Well, it's certainly not a real company, as the owner of the real Destiny Pictures had to make clear in what sounds like a panic. And I don't blame him. This is a cinematic blowjob for two of the most volatile people in the world.
A Local New York GOP Video Warned Of A Jewish Takeover
Remember the last big propaganda video that began with a storm brewing? That went well. But don't worry, this one is somehow worse! It's basically 1930s German propaganda, except this one probably isn't going to influence George Lucas.
For those of you who aren't watching the video, or tried to but immediately vomited until you couldn't see, here's what happens: Over scary clouds, we're told that a Jewish Democratic candidate in Rockland County, New York is going to take over and claim the land for his "yeshiva campus" (it's a school). All of this is visually compared to a natural disaster, which makes sense if you're a very specific kind of bigot.
With "What's at stake? Our families," it shows a beautiful white nuclear family. Then comes the money shot: Over a black background are scary headlines about the menace of Jewish people living in places. It closes with "IF THEY WIN, WE LOSE," and I can't imagine a worse way to finish this video -- or hell, any video.
Look, the politician in question may be terrible at his job, and all of his political aspirations may be doo-doo, but as soon as you use "They," you cross from "I don't like his ideas about rezoning districts" to "FLEE THE JEWS!" Even the Rockland County GOP figured this was a bad idea and removed the video from their site. If only they could have somehow detected this was terrible before posting it in the first place.
AOC's Face Hides Flaming Horrors
Elected to congress in 2018, 30-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a favorite target for the GOP for a whole lot of reasons that are obvious if you've been paying attention. So when the party decided they needed to throw out something during the recent Democratic pre-primary presidential debates -- something hard-hitting and biting -- she was an obvious target. Thus we got the "New Faces" ad, which was shown during the September debate on ABC. Sandwiched between commercials for Modern Family and Subway was a warning on THE EVILS OF SOCIALISM. We see AOC's face burst into flame, revealing the deadly nightmares within:
The genesis of this video seems to have been a bunch of Republicans perturbed by how hot AOC is and going, "Yeah, but underneath is death!" Setting fire to the picture of a lawmaker who has already been receiving death threats is, if I may say so, a stellar idea, if your goal is to convince everyone you're the bad guys from Inglorious Basterds and you have literally no second goal.
After lots of footage of corpses, failed Republican House candidate Elizabeth Heng says, "My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. THAT'S socialism." OK, good for her, but also ... what? She never explains what "socialism" exactly is, but does kind of pose herself as an alternative to AOC by saying that she's not "outrageous." Again, what? Is there an extended cut of this commercial somewhere, or did they just decide "Look, we got bones and we got you saying 'socialism' a bunch. They'll get the point."
The RNC Is Hilariously Afraid Of Antifa
America is at this point more politically divided than ever, according to people who have never heard of the Civil War or that time college kids got angry about Vietnam and were murdered in cold blood. But none of that apparently compares to antifa, the malicious group of, um, people who do ... something. We're sure about that. But what? What do they do? Well, the Republican National Committee is here to show you the evil antifa has done:
Over a chorus of Democrats supposedly urging these hooligans on, we see their destructive force full tilt:
Aw shit, oh no, a window at America's sixth most beloved banking chain bank, maybe! And kicking over trash cans? Too far, antifa. Anyway, I'm not going to link to the list of things Trump has said we need to do to immigrants, "traitors," protesters, journalists, and whistleblowers. Nor am I going to mention Heather Heyer, who was run down and killed by a Neo-Nazi. I'm just going to remind you that "antifa" stands for "anti-fascist," and they have killed exactly zero people. That this is how far you have to stretch to make them look like an ominous nationwide threat says a lot.
If you're detecting a theme with these videos, that's because it's not exactly subtle. It's a relentless campaign to make good, God-fearing Americans from the heartland seem like a powerless minority on the verge of extinction. And the amount of exaggeration and twisting it takes to make that case almost turns these ads into self-parody. Which brings us to how ...
Rudy Giuliani Loves To Share Dumb Videos
We open on a dark night, on a street with two sides ready to wage war. On one side, the brave soldiers of our American police state. On the other, a bunch of rowdy protesters, probably antifa, waving around upside-down flags and signs that simply say "BURN IT DOWN." They're screaming in mindless rage, but the cops stay calm and strong. See, because they're definitely, undoubtedly the good guys. A somber voice sings "America The Beautiful" as the tension rises and a protester burns a flag.
And who shared this video? Well, it wasn't your angry racist uncle, but America's angry racist uncle, Rudy Giuliani, who posted it on September 11, 2019 with the caption "GOD BLESS AMERICA!" Honestly, it seems a bit like the opening cutscene of a Batman video game, and it'll be revealed that everyone's angry because of the Scarecrow's fear gas, and then Batman comes down to break spines. And ... that's not too different from what's about to go on here, as the cop solemnly remembers all the times he's seen an American flag, and then breaks his baton out and throws his helm down as the hordes of Antifa rush him. If you feel like that last shot is familiar, it's because it's from the Battle of the Bastards in Game Of Thrones.
But the video makes it seem like this is who you need to be. You're Batman braving the night to take back the city from the filth and savages. You're Aragorn standing alone against the shiftless, dark races. It's a call for all brave Americans to stand up with whatever gear and weapons you have and take back this country from the evil that is polluting it.
Here's where this all goes from traditional fearmongering to "Wait, are we sure we're not somehow living in a corny dystopian satire?" This clip wasn't a campaign ad, or offered in support of any specific candidate or piece of legislation. In fact, it was part of a clothing ad for a "patriotic" clothing line called Grunt Style. The full commercial apparently never ran, so somebody just stripped out the "Buy our clothes" part and made it an endorsement for brutalizing protesters. Then Rudy posted it to .... remind us what 9/11 is about? God bless America, indeed.
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