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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Psychee wrote:

That may be true, Jon, but as I've said from the start, I'm not aiming my energies at reducing depictions of all violence or eliminating kids' practice at shooter or war games.  We have a thousand years of evidence that even if there is no practice weapon available, kids will make one.  That's all part of being human.  (Besides, I'm a real fan of Stargate :smileyhappy:  )

 

What I'm trying to limit is the "virtual" practice at criminal violence, the lure of criminal violence, the expectation that pleasure can be had through criminal violence.   I'm trying to reduce the innocents who get hurt as a result of kids who have acquired twisted notions as to what is right and wrong.

 

I can't see a war game, in which a kid plays the role of a soldier, enticing a kid to go to his school and shoot up his fellow students.  I suppose it is possible, but it seems way too unlikely to me.  The script of the game is exceedingly different from the crime.  More likely, a kid who is heavily influenced and pleasured by a war game will fantasize going into the military.   He'll probably also go play paintball.  I have no problems with those outcomes. 

 

I also do not imagine that there presently are a whole bunch of games and movies that will fit into the category I defined in my label.  But the problem is that once kids get tired of those, more will be made, each one upping the sensationalistic factor.  I'd like to discourage that trend.

 

 


Pardon but what did you think "Counter-Strike" was? It's a war game, true it's a if China/Russia/Middle East invades, terrorism war game. But that's still a war game.

 

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Psychee
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


TiggerBear wrote:

Pardon but what did you think "Counter-Strike" was? It's a war game, true it's a if China/Russia/Middle East invades, terrorism war game. But that's still a war game.

 


 

Correct me if I am wrong, TiggerBear, but it is my understanding that one can play as a terrorist.  Terrorists are criminals.   When they kill someone, even a soldier in an army, that action is criminal.

 

I don't know much about the details of the game, but it is perfectly possible that if the option to play as a terrorist was removed I would no longer classify the game as falling into the category I'm concerned about.

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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Psychee wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:

Pardon but what did you think "Counter-Strike" was? It's a war game, true it's a if China/Russia/Middle East invades, terrorism war game. But that's still a war game.

 


 

Correct me if I am wrong, TiggerBear, but it is my understanding that one can play as a terrorist.  Terrorists are criminals.   When they kill someone, even a soldier in an army, that action is criminal.

 

I don't know much about the details of the game, but it is perfectly possible that if the option to play as a terrorist was removed I would no longer classify the game as falling into the category I'm concerned about.


Not the focus of the game, you can only be a terrorist in multiplayer. They don't want US soldiers fighting US soldiers.

 

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Psychee
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 
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L_Monty
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Psychee wrote:
Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 

This is a really vague question, because technically lots of what we do in war is a war crime... if we lose. Just as terrorists become patriots if they win. The normative definitions of war crimes and terror are often arrived at through the prism of what we don't desire. So, say, any WWII game where you can carpet bomb a city is a game in which you're debatably allowed to commit war crimes. As (I think) I mentioned in the McNamara thread or the blog post I made about McNamara, General Curtis LeMay once remarked that, had we lost the war, the entire American air command could and probably should have been prosecuted for war crimes. Ditto the British air command. Further, any game in which ground troops can successfully complete mission objectives and move onto the next level without their being some sort of punitive cap on collateral damage kills could be construed as a game in which you can commit war crimes. Ditto ones in which soldiers can indiscriminately heave white phosphorous canisters into buildings without knowing who's in there. Or shelling buildings with tanks despite no fire emanating from said buildings. And on and on and on.
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Psychee
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


L_Monty wrote:

Psychee wrote:
Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 

This is a really vague question, because technically lots of what we do in war is a war crime... if we lose. Just as terrorists become patriots if they win. The normative definitions of war crimes and terror are often arrived at through the prism of what we don't desire. So, say, any WWII game where you can carpet bomb a city is a game in which you're debatably allowed to commit war crimes. As (I think) I mentioned in the McNamara thread or the blog post I made about McNamara, General Curtis LeMay once remarked that, had we lost the war, the entire American air command could and probably should have been prosecuted for war crimes. Ditto the British air command. Further, any game in which ground troops can successfully complete mission objectives and move onto the next level without their being some sort of punitive cap on collateral damage kills could be construed as a game in which you can commit war crimes. Ditto ones in which soldiers can indiscriminately heave white phosphorous canisters into buildings without knowing who's in there. Or shelling buildings with tanks despite no fire emanating from said buildings. And on and on and on.

Yes, I see that some of the determinations of what is a crime could get complicated.  But I'd settle for a "moderate" viewpoint -- letting in some things that might be considered a crime to some while "excluding" those things that most people feel is a crime.  Geneva Convention rules of war, maybe?  Isn't there something in there about limiting civilian casualties?

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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Psychee wrote:

L_Monty wrote:

Psychee wrote:
Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 

This is a really vague question, because technically lots of what we do in war is a war crime... if we lose. Just as terrorists become patriots if they win. The normative definitions of war crimes and terror are often arrived at through the prism of what we don't desire. So, say, any WWII game where you can carpet bomb a city is a game in which you're debatably allowed to commit war crimes. As (I think) I mentioned in the McNamara thread or the blog post I made about McNamara, General Curtis LeMay once remarked that, had we lost the war, the entire American air command could and probably should have been prosecuted for war crimes. Ditto the British air command. Further, any game in which ground troops can successfully complete mission objectives and move onto the next level without their being some sort of punitive cap on collateral damage kills could be construed as a game in which you can commit war crimes. Ditto ones in which soldiers can indiscriminately heave white phosphorous canisters into buildings without knowing who's in there. Or shelling buildings with tanks despite no fire emanating from said buildings. And on and on and on.

Yes, I see that some of the determinations of what is a crime could get complicated.  But I'd settle for a "moderate" viewpoint -- letting in some things that might be considered a crime to some while "excluding" those things that most people feel is a crime.  Geneva Convention rules of war, maybe?  Isn't there something in there about limiting civilian casualties?


Though I agree that aspects of war can be a little this and that with crime.

 

Several parts where your job is to save civilains. A few where your job is to kill the bad guy with the least damage to civilian property. There is at least one spot where your're not sure who the bad guy is, and if you kill the wrong guy you don't stop the bomb.

 

But this is a snipers game. So if your feelings towards that are harsh....

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Jon_B
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Psychee wrote:
Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 

Well that depends on the game, there are a ton of WW2 and other war games out there.  In the latest Call of Duty game for example, the player is for some missions a US marine, and for others a Soviet infantryman.  At no point can you kill civilians.  In one of the Soviet missions there is a point where you are faced with the choice of whether or not to kill German soldiers that have surrendered.  You are discouraged from doing so by fellow soldiers, but you still have the option.  Today this would be considered a war crime however the Soviets obviously did not consider it such and what is depicted in the game is nothing compared to the atrocities they committed in real life.

 

That said, the game displays violence much more intensely and realistically than the "criminal" games like GTA or Saints Row 2. 

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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Jon_B wrote:

Psychee wrote:
Good to know.  In the game, can you do anything as a soldier which would be considered a crime or war crime? 

Well that depends on the game, there are a ton of WW2 and other war games out there.  In the latest Call of Duty game for example, the player is for some missions a US marine, and for others a Soviet infantryman.  At no point can you kill civilians.  In one of the Soviet missions there is a point where you are faced with the choice of whether or not to kill German soldiers that have surrendered.  You are discouraged from doing so by fellow soldiers, but you still have the option.  Today this would be considered a war crime however the Soviets obviously did not consider it such and what is depicted in the game is nothing compared to the atrocities they committed in real life.

 

That said, the game displays violence much more intensely and realistically than the "criminal" games like GTA or Saints Row 2. 


Very true as much as the GTA games are hated by critics, very little blood. And with Saints Row it's more comical than anything else. I actually can not think of a let's be the bad guy and the hero, where the violence is much beyond stylistic.

 

The really gory games (Fallout 3 for prime example) if you make the wrong persons head explode the characters around you will either attack you or publicly hate you. Being caught stealing same result. One of the aspects is, are you accumulating good or bad karma. Not that you can't chose to be a bad guy. It's just an awful lot harder to get info, trade, or even complete several scenarios; if you do.

 

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TheRedMenace
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

[ Edited ]

Now I'm struck by how we've come full circle.  When the very idea of this violent content media tax was proposed, it was under the guise that these games were responsible for violence in some.  Presently, the proposal has narrowed to only taxing games based on their realism and the player's ability to commit real life crimes.

 

However, the initial example was the (tenuous) combination between DOOM and Columbine.  Of course, this ignores the fact that DOOM is centered around killing aliens/monsters.*  So, we've now narrowed the potentially offensive media to realistic video games (I assume movies are off the table) where one can commit realistic crimes as defined by our current criminal code.  Here, then, it's not only limiting media based on content, but now based on content that is no more connected to real-life violence than content that would remain untaxed; in essence, it's gotten away from the soft science of correlation/causation and are now really proposing a tax on media that one doesn't like.  This is why there are content-neutral requirements to comply with the First Amendment.

 

*It also strikes me that one of the early examples in this thread of violent media that has a point but may be labelled gratuitous was Starship Troopers, also about people killing aliens (and making a striking point about that  relationship).

Message Edited by TheRedMenace on 07-23-2009 08:46 PM
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Choisya
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Re: Geneva Conventions.

Psychee: This piece from the BBC website on the Geneva Conventions may be useful but note that the US is not signed up to the ICC Treaty.
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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


TheRedMenace wrote:

Now I'm struck by how we've come full circle.  When the very idea of this violent content media tax was proposed, it was under the guise that these games were responsible for violence in some.  Presently, the proposal has narrowed to only taxing games based on their realism and the player's ability to commit real life crimes.

 

However, the initial example was the (tenuous) combination between DOOM and Columbine.  Of course, this ignores the fact that DOOM is centered around killing aliens/monsters.*  So, we've now narrowed the potentially offensive media to realistic video games (I assume movies are off the table) where one can commit realistic crimes as defined by our current criminal code.  Here, then, it's not only limiting media based on content, but now based on content that is no more connected to real-life violence than content that would remain untaxed; in essence, it's gotten away from the soft science of correlation/causation and are now really proposing a tax on media that one doesn't like.  This is why there are content-neutral requirements to comply with the First Amendment.

 

*It also strikes me that one of the early examples in this thread of violent media that has a point but may be labelled gratuitous was Starship Troopers, also about people killing aliens (and making a striking point about that  relationship).

Message Edited by TheRedMenace on 07-23-2009 08:46 PM

The first Doom is monsters, the second demons, third aliens. Just to set the record.

 

Yep "Starship Troopers" The movie not to mention the book is geared around the message of citizenship(voting rights); how it isn't a gift, it requires your willingness to fight and die for it. Loyalty, patriotism, courage under fire, military comradeship, and mostly about growing up to be a man. While fighting alien giant bugs.

 

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L_Monty
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


TiggerBear wrote:
Yep "Starship Troopers" The movie not to mention the book is geared around the message of citizenship(voting rights); how it isn't a gift, it requires your willingness to fight and die for it. Loyalty, patriotism, courage under fire, military comradeship, and mostly about growing up to be a man. While fighting alien giant bugs.

Yeah, I was the one who brought that movie up earlier. The reason I did was that, taken only visually, it's a breathtakingly graphically violent movie, almost to the point of being nauseating. And then, as you say, Tigger, it's got a message of loyalty, patriotism, courage under fire, military comradeship, and... growing up to be a man." And, considering that's akin to the content of most war movies, that might not be enough to excuse the gore; after all, you can get the same message about war and personal strength without people being vivisected by pincers. But then when you notice that all the uniforms are patterned after the Wehrmacht, the SS and the Gestapo, and then the crowning moment at the end where literally the greatest thing the human race can do at that point is cause another sentient being to feel mortal terror, it suddenly recasts those messages of patriotism, courage, comradeship and manhood. Verhoeven, who grew up under Nazi occupation, is basically asking what it says about a society if its achievements and its self-actualizations are birthed in blood, asking how we can justify basing the good of citizenship only after enacting the evil of murder and what it says about the worthiness of the existence of a society that defines itself by expansion and domination. Suddenly all that disgusting violence is much more necessary because it's pointing out how unnecessary it is, how the noble warriors you're following are murderous goons walking in lockstep for a bloody, expansionist, speciesist society.

That's pretty much why I brought it up. On its face, the movie is hideous. If we banned on violent content alone, it should be banned. Looked at on another level, if we object to extreme violence, then the violence should just be "toned down" to bring out the message of courage. But at its deepest level, it's a searing satire on Fascism, militarized jingoism, national rebirth through violence, and the fetishization of the soldier as some kind of super-citizen. At that point, understanding that intent, the degree of violence is almost necessary to beat out and obliterate any native impulse the viewer might have to think "war is cool" and "I hope we win" and "these guys are all heroes because they put on the uniform."
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Choisya
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

I have never watched/played the sort of violent, horrific movies/games you are describing here but would of course appreciate the moral you say it is trying to portray.  However, is the moral wasted on the majority of people who view such films/games since they presumably buy them for the violence and horror?  Or do you think it somehow gets through?    

 

 


L_Monty wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:
Yep "Starship Troopers" The movie not to mention the book is geared around the message of citizenship(voting rights); how it isn't a gift, it requires your willingness to fight and die for it. Loyalty, patriotism, courage under fire, military comradeship, and mostly about growing up to be a man. While fighting alien giant bugs.

Yeah, I was the one who brought that movie up earlier. The reason I did was that, taken only visually, it's a breathtakingly graphically violent movie, almost to the point of being nauseating. And then, as you say, Tigger, it's got a message of loyalty, patriotism, courage under fire, military comradeship, and... growing up to be a man." And, considering that's akin to the content of most war movies, that might not be enough to excuse the gore; after all, you can get the same message about war and personal strength without people being vivisected by pincers. But then when you notice that all the uniforms are patterned after the Wehrmacht, the SS and the Gestapo, and then the crowning moment at the end where literally the greatest thing the human race can do at that point is cause another sentient being to feel mortal terror, it suddenly recasts those messages of patriotism, courage, comradeship and manhood. Verhoeven, who grew up under Nazi occupation, is basically asking what it says about a society if its achievements and its self-actualizations are birthed in blood, asking how we can justify basing the good of citizenship only after enacting the evil of murder and what it says about the worthiness of the existence of a society that defines itself by expansion and domination. Suddenly all that disgusting violence is much more necessary because it's pointing out how unnecessary it is, how the noble warriors you're following are murderous goons walking in lockstep for a bloody, expansionist, speciesist society.

That's pretty much why I brought it up. On its face, the movie is hideous. If we banned on violent content alone, it should be banned. Looked at on another level, if we object to extreme violence, then the violence should just be "toned down" to bring out the message of courage. But at its deepest level, it's a searing satire on Fascism, militarized jingoism, national rebirth through violence, and the fetishization of the soldier as some kind of super-citizen. At that point, understanding that intent, the degree of violence is almost necessary to beat out and obliterate any native impulse the viewer might have to think "war is cool" and "I hope we win" and "these guys are all heroes because they put on the uniform."

 

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L_Monty
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


Choisya wrote:
I have never watched/played the sort of violent, horrific movies/games you are describing here but would of course appreciate the moral you say it is trying to portray.  However, is the moral wasted on the majority of people who view such films/games since they presumably buy them for the violence and horror?  Or do you think it somehow gets through?

In case you weren't sure, Starship Troopers is a movie, Choisya.

As for the Fascist elements, yeah, I think it gets through to most. The media saturation of Nazi iconography is such that the similarities are probably there for a lot of people. Between movies and games with Nazis as the bad guys, not to mention history sections in stores with them all over the covers, and channels like Discovery, History and A&E running Hitler specials like every week is Shark Hitler Week, I think it sinks in. Also, there's not a whole lot of effort expended to make the good guys seem good at all. Almost all color schemes are particularly militarized/Fascistic. Gray, black, white, red. The movie takes periodic breaks for government news briefs and commercials where torturous experiments on The Enemy are cheered on, while panel members discuss whether The Enemy is all scum and deserves genocidal annihilation and whether anyone who sympathizes with them is someone who should be exterminated as well. And, like I said, the crowning achievement isn't winning; the cheer line is that the enemy is afraid.

Also, here are some (completely G-Rated safe) pictures of uniforms:
One
Two

Please forgive the Starship Troopers derail. I'll shut up about it now.
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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

The original copyright for Starship Trooper by Robert Heinlein is

Starship Troopers  1959.

 

 

The book itself has always been controversial. Its version of the future, is so not politically correct now, it wasn't when it was originally published.

 

 

 

Now as to the uniforms in the movie. Truthfully the officer uniforms look as much British as anything else, as anything.

 

But as to the troopers themselves the look more of as a futurist version of what our soilders wear now.

 

How many under the age of 30 people do you think watch Discovery, History, and the A&E channels?

 

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Psychee
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

I never had a problem with Starship Troopers.  It was not something that I ever wanted to see a second time, mind you, but at the time I saw it,  I thought it was humorous.  The gore even seemed comical, the kind of icky disgusting stuff young boys get a charge out of. 

 

To tell you the truth, my concern about this subject actually started one day when my sister asked me to meet her at some arcade where her children wanted to play the video games.  Almost all of the games there were benign.  But then I saw my 8 year old nephew playing a live action shooter game, using an electronic gun, wherein the humans he was shooting at were near life-sized, the setting they were in were modern buildings, and the injuries he was giving them were as realistic as the technology of the time would allow.  He was so good at that game it scared the heck out of me, as it obviously meant to me that he had played this game many many times before. 

 

His mother had no problems with letting him play this game.  She believes that if it is available to kids, then it must be OK.

 

Prior to his rewarding experience with this and other shooting games, though, he wanted to be a vetinarian and heal wounded and sick animals.  Now he wants to be a Marine so he can shoot people in real life. 

 

Fortunately, there are no guns in his house, and he gets his real world shooting fix by playing paintball, which he is also apparently very good at.   He is also not the kind of kid who sits around in a secretive world brooding about injustices he has experienced;  he has a good comic streak in him.   But he is still under 15 -- one wonders how he might change when the hormones kick in for real.

 

More importantly, I wonder about all the other kids who were lined up to play that game in that arcade and others around the country.  How many of them changed their minds about what they wanted to do in life so that they could shoot people for real?  And how many of them have guns in their houses?

 

There's more going on here than merely giving kids a place to practice hand-eye coordination and discharge pent up aggression.  A basic tenet in the psychology of learning is that if you pair reward with experience, the subject will seek out the experience again and again in order to feel that pleasure again.  The effect starts to generalize outward, wherein the subject then looks to similar, related experiences, with the expectation that the reward will follow.  

 

It is this last part of the learning cycle that poses a threat to the public.

 

 

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L_Monty
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

[ Edited ]

TiggerBear wrote:
Now as to the uniforms in the movie. Truthfully the officer uniforms look as much British as anything else, as anything.

The RAF wore blue; the BEF wore olive drab. The Germans wore gray (whereas Else in Casablanca also wore blue); the uniforms in those pictures are gray. The bolt insignia on the shoulder flashes are redolent of the SS double-lightning bolt. The stylized diagonal bars on the lapels also effect that, as the SS bolt ran diagonally down the lapel swatch. About the most Americanized emblem you can imagine is if the lapel bars were straightened and switched vertically, in which case they'd look like captain's bars.



But as to the troopers themselves the look more of as a futurist version of what our soilders wear now.

Yes, I understand that, but as part of a dystopian and Fascist future that Verhoeven deliberately chose to evoke, which is why the officer and intelligence corps for the Federal Forces in the movie look like SS and Gestapo, respectively.



How many under the age of 30 people do you think watch Discovery, History, and the A&E channels?


I have no idea. But I took care to include that in addition to other factors I named, like countless book covers, movies and TV. I wasn't relying on those channels exclusively, but I included them to point up how even educational TV channels will give someone a grounding in their uniform style and iconography. If you want to leave them out entirely, there's still the enormously successful Band of Brothers miniseries, The Rat Patrol, Hogan's Heroes, random episodes of Star Trek and even The X-Files' classic episode "Triangle" for your Nazi iconography needs in television. In movies, you've got Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, two of the most popular movies of all time, reinforcing Nazi uniforms and iconography. Add to that movies like:

 

Schindler's List
Patton
The Great Escape
Enemy at the Gates
Defiance
Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming Inglourious Basterds
Where Eagles Dare
Force 10 from Navarone
Top Secret!
Das Boot
Downfall
Night of the Generals
A Bridge Too Far
The Boys from Brazil
Apt Pupil
and speaking of Ian McKellen movies, there's his adaptation of Richard III
The Producers
Valkyrie
The Sound of Music
Judgment at Nuremberg
The Pianist
and about a hundred different war films.


Basically, a lot of people will have a very good working idea of what Nazis look like by their teenage years, which is what Verhoeven was going for when he deliberately added that to the costume design of the movie. The nods throughout the movie are so deliberate that at times he does shot-for-shot remakes of scenes from Triumph of the Will.

Besides, like I said in the previous posts, games contribute to that familiarity as much as movies. You sound like a bit of a gamer yourself, TB. How many Nazi games are there out there? I would guess scores. My point is, all these diverse media — games, TV, educational TV, movies and books — contribute to a background hum of knowledge that Verhoeven was deliberately riffing off of.

Message Edited by L_Monty on 07-25-2009 12:07 AM
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Choisya
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"

[ Edited ]

Thanks.  I can see that the Nazi iconography, including uniforms, will get through but what I was asking was, despite all the violence and horror, do you think that this universal moral you say Verhoeven is trying to get over, gets through, or is it wasted on those who enjoy violence and horror, particularly those lkely to be affected by it:

 

'Verhoeven, who grew up under Nazi occupation, is basically asking what it says about a society if its achievements and its self-actualizations are birthed in blood, asking how we can justify basing the good of citizenship only after enacting the evil of murder and what it says about the worthiness of the existence of a society that defines itself by expansion and domination.'

 

Apologies if this is a further derail:  I am trying to relate it to Psychee's ideas about whether such films are 'Criminal Training Experiences' and if so should the authorities, or film makers, be trying to do something about it.

 


L_Monty wrote:

Choisya wrote:
I have never watched/played the sort of violent, horrific movies/games you are describing here but would of course appreciate the moral you say it is trying to portray.  However, is the moral wasted on the majority of people who view such films/games since they presumably buy them for the violence and horror?  Or do you think it somehow gets through?

In case you weren't sure, Starship Troopers is a movie, Choisya.

As for the Fascist elements, yeah, I think it gets through to most. The media saturation of Nazi iconography is such that the similarities are probably there for a lot of people. Between movies and games with Nazis as the bad guys, not to mention history sections in stores with them all over the covers, and channels like Discovery, History and A&E running Hitler specials like every week is Shark Hitler Week, I think it sinks in. Also, there's not a whole lot of effort expended to make the good guys seem good at all. Almost all color schemes are particularly militarized/Fascistic. Gray, black, white, red. The movie takes periodic breaks for government news briefs and commercials where torturous experiments on The Enemy are cheered on, while panel members discuss whether The Enemy is all scum and deserves genocidal annihilation and whether anyone who sympathizes with them is someone who should be exterminated as well. And, like I said, the crowning achievement isn't winning; the cheer line is that the enemy is afraid.

Also, here are some (completely G-Rated safe) pictures of uniforms:
One
Two

Please forgive the Starship Troopers derail. I'll shut up about it now.

 

 
Message Edited by Choisya on 07-25-2009 03:38 AM
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TiggerBear
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Re: "Criminal Training Experiences"


L_Monty wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:
Now as to the uniforms in the movie. Truthfully the officer uniforms look as much British as anything else, as anything.

The RAF wore blue; the BEF wore olive drab. The Germans wore gray (whereas Else in Casablanca also wore blue); the uniforms in those pictures are gray. The bolt insignia on the shoulder flashes are redolent of the SS double-lightning bolt. The stylized diagonal bars on the lapels also effect that, as the SS bolt ran diagonally down the lapel swatch. About the most Americanized emblem you can imagine is if the lapel bars were straightened and switched vertically, in which case they'd look like captain's bars.

Truthfully All military uniform look pretty much the same way to me. (shrug)


But as to the troopers themselves the look more of as a futurist version of what our soilders wear now.

Yes, I understand that, but as part of a dystopian and Fascist future that Verhoeven deliberately chose to evoke, which is why the officer and intelligence corps for the Federal Forces in the movie look like SS and Gestapo, respectively.

Perhaps. But....Not the message received by your average viewer.

How many under the age of 30 people do you think watch Discovery, History, and the A&E channels?


I have no idea. But I took care to include that in addition to other factors I named, like countless book covers, movies and TV. I wasn't relying on those channels exclusively, but I included them to point up how even educational TV channels will give someone a grounding in their uniform style and iconography. If you want to leave them out entirely, there's still the enormously successful Band of Brothers miniseries, The Rat Patrol, Hogan's Heroes, random episodes of Star Trek and even The X-Files' classic episode "Triangle" for your Nazi iconography needs in television. In movies, you've got Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, two of the most popular movies of all time, reinforcing Nazi uniforms and iconography. Add to that movies like:

 

Schindler's List
Patton
The Great Escape
Enemy at the Gates
Defiance
Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming Inglourious Basterds
Where Eagles Dare
Force 10 from Navarone
Top Secret!
Das Boot
Downfall
Night of the Generals
A Bridge Too Far
The Boys from Brazil
Apt Pupil
and speaking of Ian McKellen movies, there's his adaptation of Richard III
The Producers
Valkyrie
The Sound of Music
Judgment at Nuremberg
The Pianist
and about a hundred different war films.


Basically, a lot of people will have a very good working idea of what Nazis look like by their teenage years, which is what Verhoeven was going for when he deliberately added that to the costume design of the movie. The nods throughout the movie are so deliberate that at times he does shot-for-shot remakes of scenes from Triumph of the Will.

 


 True, but so not what most tweenties and below; either think or care about. Pre Vietnam is beyond their radar.


 

Besides, like I said in the previous posts, games contribute to that familiarity as much as movies. You sound like a bit of a gamer yourself, TB. How many Nazi games are there out there? I would guess scores. My point is, all these diverse media — games, TV, educational TV, movies and books — contribute to a background hum of knowledge that Verhoeven was deliberately riffing off of.

Message Edited by L_Monty on 07-25-2009 12:07 AM

Nazi games

Wolfenstien (all versions)- Nazi's, Zombies, Nazi mutants  and by they way the original the game that Doom copied.

Then you have all the war reenactment games 4 to 6 in current market 

 

Nazi are one of the few bad guys few argue about. So they get used every so often, but your average ork gets used more.