Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Babes In Warland"

It's bad enough when military recruiters demand the names of school students. I thought the Pentagon's latest branding attempt is about as repulsive as one can get. But no! I was wrong.

TruthOut's Victoria Harper describes some truly hideous "Hooray! War!" propaganda being fed to our little ones at Chuck E. Cheese. Even the fucking mouse is a sell-out.

When the birthday party settled into eating pizza and birthday cake, a second feature began. A series of large screen TVs came to life to show Chuck E. Cheese TV. The program was, at first, MTV-like. Performers in large animal garb sang and danced through an idyllic scene with herons and alligators. A man clad in a blazing yellow shirt and red vest skipped across the screen, singing and snapping his fingers to the lively music. The scene shifted to a person dressed in a dog costume fishing in the lake with 3- and 4-year-old children and then shifted again from pictures of the children to mothers holding small babies. Although it was disjointed and a bit crazed, it was what one might expect at Chuck E Cheese.

Then my jaw dropped: the MTV segment shifted to a promotional piece compiled by the Department of Defense! The promo showed happy, smiling soldiers in Iraq handing out toys and candies to delighted children. This was followed by a series of scenes showing war planes, tanks and more happy soldiers. This production lasted for 5 minutes of the 15-minute CEC TV show. Throughout the segment, the large animated puppets' eyes shifted toward the TV as they nodded in approval and clapped. Then their eyes shifted back to the children, who were spellbound by the movie.

Thanks to Greenlily for the heads-up.

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