Escape to the Movies: Act of Valor

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Treblaine:

If it is, then why is propaganda a pejorative? And regardless of its allegedly non-pejorative origins (disseminating Catholic Dogma) it DOES have pejorative use today.

One can assume as rule of thumb that for something to be propaganda it has to be a concerted effort to influence opinion on a certain issue. It's not a definitive answer, but after re-reading your post a few times I think it is the most fitting one.

For one it does tell us that the Gettysburg Address can be seen as a form of propaganda, as it is part of a larger effort to influence public opinion.
It is less clear whether the speech in the Great Dictator is intended as propaganda, but it easily can serve or be utilised as such, as it is a persuasive piece of rhetoric.

At the end of the day "Propaganda" means exactly the same thing as "Advertising". Social connotation added the idea of propaganda being about social and political concepts.

And as to your actual question of why propaganda is a pejorative term: it is due to all the times it's been done wrong.
Good propaganda is not recognisable as such - it propagates a view that the audience is ready to believe, even if they might not agree with the full implications of the propagated cause.
Bad propaganda, on the other hand, is recognisable as being propaganda. Small wonder the term turned pejorative, when the only examples we are fully aware of are unsuccessfull attempts to sway our opinion.

And to get back to the original topic (by now looming far in the distance): Act of Valor certainly can be used as propaganda. It showcases extremely skilled people performing a job we all have been conditioned to admire from the moment we first heard about the concept of "soldiers". [1]
But, here comes the big "BUT....": It could also well be used for a whole range of other causes, ranging from "War is Awful" to "the US military is spending too much" to "Watch out when you go hiking near military training areas" and everything in between. It all depends on where, how, and to whom you show it.

[1] Whether said conditioning was fully successful is a personal issue.

Act of Valor: in a time when wars are turning out to be major fiascoes the US military's last pathetic attempt at making "killing people and breaking their stuff" look cool is a "real" movie. Lame ass recruiting tool.

Moviebob: No matter how much you suck up to the "heroes" they won't make you an honorary member, so next time just save the tail-between-your-legs, self depreciating apologetic bootlicking and do a straight up review.

Dastardly:
Running PR for an organization like the military must be an absolute nightmare, because even on the best days, you're an organization whose job it is to kill lots of people(or at least stay prepared to do so). Seems to be that job would be impossible without a little "hero porn" and a bit of preemptive damage control.

ppl have said you're not right about insinuating how offensive the us military is in comparison to defensive, but come on ppl. this guy is pretty much right. how often does an opposing military force reach us soil? while the military is trained for defense of an invasion, it is not their initial concern. it's just being pawns for the ppl with $ and power ... mostly money now that i think about it.

btw extra points for your use of 'hero porn'

Zhukov:
I think it says a lot that half that video consisted of apologetic disclaimers.

Yeah...it was REALLY annoying for him to be suck a...

IDK?
Micheal Bay type.

Dastardly:

1. We have a military so that we don't all have to deal with all of the awful things they have to do.

Honestly, the actual fact of the matter is that we have a standing army mostly so that we have somewhere to stick the violent people and those unlikely to get an education, who would otherwise probably be confined to the criminal underclass, and instead have them do something useful instead of the opposite.

Now, when there's a big legitimate threat to national interests as in WW1/WW2, sure, maybe your more optimistic scenario holds, but in general time of not-particularly-war the proportion of our military that would otherwise likely be gainfully employed is... well, probably rather small. I'm not sure why this necessitates the amount of annoying knob-polishing we get from things like this review, but I guess whatever floats your boat there.

Treblaine:
Snip

Is there really that much of a difference to this definition?
Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view

Look all I'm saying is that since you've been somewhat anal about "the correct usage" of the word, you might want to check if you yourself used it according to the definition you chose. Can we be friends again?

In other news

Jegsimmons:

The internet has the advantage of comment sections correcting mistakes and giving detail cable wont, not to mention when you check up on a few of them its easier to piece together whats true or not.

Let me put it this way, I don't trust your internet comment section since they have the notable bias of being chosen by you :P

Jim_Callahan:

Dastardly:

1. We have a military so that we don't all have to deal with all of the awful things they have to do.

Honestly, the actual fact of the matter is that we have a standing army mostly so that we have somewhere to stick the violent people and those unlikely to get an education, who would otherwise probably be confined to the criminal underclass, and instead have them do something useful instead of the opposite.

Now, when there's a big legitimate threat to national interests as in WW1/WW2, sure, maybe your more optimistic scenario holds, but in general time of not-particularly-war the proportion of our military that would otherwise likely be gainfully employed is... well, probably rather small. I'm not sure why this necessitates the amount of annoying knob-polishing we get from things like this review, but I guess whatever floats your boat there.

Wow... You really don't know what our military does, do you?

You hear "military" and you seem to instantly put everyone in the "infantry." And then, of course, everyone in the infantry just points the gun where they're told and when, no thought required, etc.

It would benefit you to look into the extraordinarily wide variety of MOSs (military occupation specialties) available. And then figure that there are thousands of people filling each of those. When a lot of these people leave the service, they are in very high demand in fields that are similar to their MOS.

As for the section I've bolded, we would all love to see your data. A link would be enough, I think. That way, we can read the information you took this fact from and make adjustments to our own positions as required by the facts. And don't hide behind the word "probably." That's a pretty gigantic (and empty) claim.

instantbenz:

Dastardly:
Running PR for an organization like the military must be an absolute nightmare, because even on the best days, you're an organization whose job it is to kill lots of people(or at least stay prepared to do so). Seems to be that job would be impossible without a little "hero porn" and a bit of preemptive damage control.

ppl have said you're not right about insinuating how offensive the us military is in comparison to defensive, but come on ppl. this guy is pretty much right. how often does an opposing military force reach us soil? while the military is trained for defense of an invasion, it is not their initial concern. it's just being pawns for the ppl with $ and power ... mostly money now that i think about it.

btw extra points for your use of 'hero porn'

Please don't misunderstand me, though. I think our military should get a lot of the credit for why we're all able to live as comfortably as we do here in the States. Geography happens to be on our side, yes, but our military also does a lot to make sure that conflicts don't spread here. Most of what our military does is good. The bad stuff? It's just easier to make a news story out of, and they're an easy target -- by and large, they can't fight back like we could.

And most of what they do is neither offensive or defensive, it's preparatory. You don't wait until you're in a war to get ready for one -- to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.

maturin:

Treblaine:

It's not like this is Clear and Present Danger, that being US Special Forces going after drug cartels just because they are drug cartels, but in this scenario because their are in allegiance with terrorists (literally) hell bent on mass murder of US Citizens. This is not some political commentary on the so called War on Drugs (wasn't there a War on Littering once?) but the pretty apolitical stance that if terrorists are in the process of murdering a load of people... hmm... maybe the military should stop them?

I agree, it's not really political.

But you have to think about the context of everything. Terrorists sneaking in through the southern border is major talking point in the campaign to secure the border. It's an often-repeated hypothetical scenario that hasn't actually occurred. So far as I know, there's been no announcement of any plot by terrorists to exploit the border situation, or undue concern of one by security agencies. In that sense, it feeds into a sense of threat that has already been used for political purposes.

But I don't think it's a conscious editorial move. It's only natural for a movie about elite defenders of the country to exhibit a worldview that highlights potential threats.

Well at least it's plausible. The plot on the Saudi Diplomat and his family WAS facilitated by Central/South American Drug Cartels via the southern border.

They could have said the attack came via the northern border and gone the way of Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon and said it was via liberal Canadian sympathisers of these element. That would be defying all plausibility to make a ridiculous political point about how Canada tends to have different political leanings from the Untied States that would actually be totally irrelevant on something as extreme as this kind of terrorism that the US and Canadian political spectrum are universal in opposing and being ABEL to oppose.

Mexican government and political system clearly has insufficient ability to stop what these extremely violent criminal gangs do, their military are suffering extreme losses. Violent Drug dealers are just about as apolitical opponents as you get. The political issue of Mexican sovereignty never comes up like in Clear And Present Danger. Which was a film that more explored how such an involvement would be a fucking disaster not to mention get a President impeached.

Kargathia:

Treblaine:

If it is, then why is propaganda a pejorative? And regardless of its allegedly non-pejorative origins (disseminating Catholic Dogma) it DOES have pejorative use today.

One can assume as rule of thumb that for something to be propaganda it has to be a concerted effort to influence opinion on a certain issue. It's not a definitive answer, but after re-reading your post a few times I think it is the most fitting one.

For one it does tell us that the Gettysburg Address can be seen as a form of propaganda, as it is part of a larger effort to influence public opinion.
It is less clear whether the speech in the Great Dictator is intended as propaganda, but it easily can serve or be utilised as such, as it is a persuasive piece of rhetoric.

At the end of the day "Propaganda" means exactly the same thing as "Advertising". Social connotation added the idea of propaganda being about social and political concepts.

And as to your actual question of why propaganda is a pejorative term: it is due to all the times it's been done wrong.
Good propaganda is not recognisable as such - it propagates a view that the audience is ready to believe, even if they might not agree with the full implications of the propagated cause.
Bad propaganda, on the other hand, is recognisable as being propaganda. Small wonder the term turned pejorative, when the only examples we are fully aware of are unsuccessfull attempts to sway our opinion.

And to get back to the original topic (by now looming far in the distance): Act of Valor certainly can be used as propaganda. It showcases extremely skilled people performing a job we all have been conditioned to admire from the moment we first heard about the concept of "soldiers". (Whether said conditioning was fully successful is a personal issue.)
But, here comes the big "BUT....": It could also well be used for a whole range of other causes, ranging from "War is Awful" to "the US military is spending too much" to "Watch out when you go hiking near military training areas" and everything in between. It all depends on where, how, and to whom you show it.

That bold section is ridiculous. So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning or debate is propaganda? That makes the term worthless. In political debates, Obama could give a stirring speech to keep church and state separate and Palin could just put on her troll-face and say:

"hee hee! That's propaganda! Everyone should just keep believing whatever prejudices they brought here! Don't listen to any of us!"

The aspect of budget is never brought up. Anyway, Dollar for dollar Special Forces troops are much cheaper than fighter jets or tanks or cruise missiles, their main cost IS addressed in that the cost is not in dollars but in human lives. And are you saying these highly trained and highly effective people who were created SPECIFICALLY FOR targeted strikes rather than indiscriminate bombing, like in hostage rescue and where the antagonist uses human shields.

Is it really propaganda that you shouldn't hike through areas the military has specifically cordoned off and designated as bombing ranges?!?!? Really? It's propaganda to warn people against such a real danger.

This definition is worthless.

Simonism451:

Treblaine:
Snip

Is there really that much of a difference to this definition?
Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view

Look all I'm saying is that since you've been somewhat anal about "the correct usage" of the word, you might want to check if you yourself used it according to the definition you chose. Can we be friends again?

Sure thing buddy (no sarcasm), this was never personal and I never wanted it to be. I appreciate having someone to discus this with to find insight.

I'd just like to say even if it's semantically correct, I still think it's inappropriate to call Act of Valor a propaganda film due to the pejorative and deceptive implications of that term. And I suppose that's all I have to say on that.

Treblaine:

Kargathia:

That bold section is ridiculous. So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning or debate is propaganda? That makes the term worthless. In political debates, Obama could give a stirring speech to keep church and state separate and Palin could just put on her troll-face and say:

"hee hee! That's propaganda! Everyone should just keep believing whatever prejudices they brought here! Don't listen to any of us!"

It indeed is ridiculous, but no less true for that. "Propaganda" is a term so loose that it in itself means next to nothing.
What is important to remember though that in ethics, politics, and most other sociological debates there is no truth - only consensus.

In your example both Obama and Palin are practising propaganda - one by giving a speech, the other by denouncing the speech as being propaganda (a pejorative term). Neither social view is right, nor are they wrong - we merely agree with one of them strongly enough to think of the other as being a misguided idiot.

"So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning, or debate is propaganda"

Any concerted attempt at persuasion on a political or social topic is indeed propaganda. Reasoning is nothing more than persuasion with facts, and a debate can involve propaganda, can be used for such, but is not propaganda in and of itself, as it is a discussion of pro and con. (Strawmanning, or any other tools Fox news so happily employs can turn it into a propaganda tool very easily.)

The aspect of budget is never brought up. Anyway, Dollar for dollar Special Forces troops are much cheaper than fighter jets or tanks or cruise missiles, their main cost IS addressed in that the cost is not in dollars but in human lives. And are you saying these highly trained and highly effective people who were created SPECIFICALLY FOR targeted strikes rather than indiscriminate bombing, like in hostage rescue and where the antagonist uses human shields.

Is it really propaganda that you shouldn't hike through areas the military has specifically cordoned off and designated as bombing ranges?!?!? Really? It's propaganda to warn people against such a real danger.

This definition is worthless.

What I said was that Act of Valor can be used as a persuasive tool for an extremely wide variety of (possibly utter nonsensical) goals. It merely needs to be spun right.
For example: include price tags every time a bullet is fired or a weapon is shown, and you can easily give a layman the impression they are wasting money by the truckload.
That compared to other, even more extravagant, military toys it's actually very cheap is something you'll not want to mention. After all your job is not to be fair, it is to persuade people, by any means possible.

I'm afraid it's not the definition that's worthless, it's the term that's worthless, simply because it has a highly pejorative connotation, while describing an activity so widespread it makes Captain Obvious look intelligent.

Oh Bob, it was painful watching you trying to walk on egg shells. You tried so hard to not say anything bad about this movie, and when you did you had to qualify it.

Of course any criticism of the movie is not a criticism of an elite military force; that is not your job nor intent, some of us get it (although people are stupid as you said in "Unstransformed"), but you can say what you really mean about the movie. Really.

Fortunately, not all of us are part of an ultra-nationalistic country that asserts itself through military dominance and propaganda, so the backlash should not be too bad... then again...

Kargathia:

Treblaine:

Kargathia:

That bold section is ridiculous. So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning or debate is propaganda? That makes the term worthless. In political debates, Obama could give a stirring speech to keep church and state separate and Palin could just put on her troll-face and say:

"hee hee! That's propaganda! Everyone should just keep believing whatever prejudices they brought here! Don't listen to any of us!"

It indeed is ridiculous, but no less true for that. "Propaganda" is a term so loose that it in itself means next to nothing.
What is important to remember though that in ethics, politics, and most other sociological debates there is no truth - only consensus.

In your example both Obama and Palin are practising propaganda - one by giving a speech, the other by denouncing the speech as being propaganda (a pejorative term). Neither social view is right, nor are they wrong - we merely agree with one of them strongly enough to think of the other as being a misguided idiot.

"So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning, or debate is propaganda"

Any concerted attempt at persuasion on a political or social topic is indeed propaganda. Reasoning is nothing more than persuasion with facts, and a debate can involve propaganda, can be used for such, but is not propaganda in and of itself, as it is a discussion of pro and con. (Strawmanning, or any other tools Fox news so happily employs can turn it into a propaganda tool very easily.)

The aspect of budget is never brought up. Anyway, Dollar for dollar Special Forces troops are much cheaper than fighter jets or tanks or cruise missiles, their main cost IS addressed in that the cost is not in dollars but in human lives. And are you saying these highly trained and highly effective people who were created SPECIFICALLY FOR targeted strikes rather than indiscriminate bombing, like in hostage rescue and where the antagonist uses human shields.

Is it really propaganda that you shouldn't hike through areas the military has specifically cordoned off and designated as bombing ranges?!?!? Really? It's propaganda to warn people against such a real danger.

This definition is worthless.

What I said was that Act of Valor can be used as a persuasive tool for an extremely wide variety of (possibly utter nonsensical) goals. It merely needs to be spun right.
For example: include price tags every time a bullet is fired or a weapon is shown, and you can easily give a layman the impression they are wasting money by the truckload.
That compared to other, even more extravagant, military toys it's actually very cheap is something you'll not want to mention. After all your job is not to be fair, it is to persuade people, by any means possible.

I'm afraid it's not the definition that's worthless, it's the term that's worthless, simply because it has a highly pejorative connotation, while describing an activity so widespread it makes Captain Obvious look intelligent.

If (even by YOUR definition) a term is worthless by being too ambiguous, too broad AND Pejorative then DO NOT USE IT!

Why not use the non-pejorative, non-ambiguous term "persuade" to say this? Seriously, why not? Why not say that this film is persuasive? Or a speech is persuasive? And don't try to deny it, you have REPEATEDLY used the term "propaganda" when you act like you haven't. You confirm that Lincoln's Gettysberg Address is propaganda, then that is Palin called a speech by Obama propaganda then THAT ITSELF is propaganda! Everything is propaganda! What Is NOT propaganda!?!?!

"include price tags every time a bullet is fired or a weapon is shown, and you can easily give a layman the impression they are wasting money by the truckload."

Yeah, but that is NOT happening! Why are you talking about how a movie COULD be propaganda if it was hugely and fundamentally changed from what it actually is? That premise alone is deceptive, the assumption that using bullets in training or film production is a waste. A waste would be to dump them off the side of a ship into the ocean.

And what does this mean:

"After all your job is not to be fair, it is to persuade people, by any means possible."

What? Where is this assumption of being unfair, using deception and manipulation?!? You act as if this is pervasive and unavoidable rather than limited to a few unscrupulous individuals where it should not be tolerated. The term propaganda should be limited to occurrences where persuasion is by manipulation through deception such as misrepresentation, fallacious logic and obfuscation.

You are being dogmatic and inflammatory to decree persuasion = propaganda.

A lot of masturbation by Bob over the military in this video.

But then I guess you've got to do something to rationalize away supporting the idea of a professional army, instead of the historically much more sensible citizen army. It's no surprise the US anit-war movement has never recovered from Nixon removing the draft. Everybody gushes over how awesome the soldiers are... for keeping them from being drafted. And we like it that way, so let's keep praising them! If all the voulenteers go away, they'd have to bring back the draft, and we don't want that!

Treblaine:

Kargathia:

Treblaine:

That bold section is ridiculous. So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning or debate is propaganda? That makes the term worthless. In political debates, Obama could give a stirring speech to keep church and state separate and Palin could just put on her troll-face and say:

"hee hee! That's propaganda! Everyone should just keep believing whatever prejudices they brought here! Don't listen to any of us!"

It indeed is ridiculous, but no less true for that. "Propaganda" is a term so loose that it in itself means next to nothing.
What is important to remember though that in ethics, politics, and most other sociological debates there is no truth - only consensus.

In your example both Obama and Palin are practising propaganda - one by giving a speech, the other by denouncing the speech as being propaganda (a pejorative term). Neither social view is right, nor are they wrong - we merely agree with one of them strongly enough to think of the other as being a misguided idiot.

"So you mean ANY attempt at persuasion, reasoning, or debate is propaganda"

Any concerted attempt at persuasion on a political or social topic is indeed propaganda. Reasoning is nothing more than persuasion with facts, and a debate can involve propaganda, can be used for such, but is not propaganda in and of itself, as it is a discussion of pro and con. (Strawmanning, or any other tools Fox news so happily employs can turn it into a propaganda tool very easily.)

The aspect of budget is never brought up. Anyway, Dollar for dollar Special Forces troops are much cheaper than fighter jets or tanks or cruise missiles, their main cost IS addressed in that the cost is not in dollars but in human lives. And are you saying these highly trained and highly effective people who were created SPECIFICALLY FOR targeted strikes rather than indiscriminate bombing, like in hostage rescue and where the antagonist uses human shields.

Is it really propaganda that you shouldn't hike through areas the military has specifically cordoned off and designated as bombing ranges?!?!? Really? It's propaganda to warn people against such a real danger.

This definition is worthless.

What I said was that Act of Valor can be used as a persuasive tool for an extremely wide variety of (possibly utter nonsensical) goals. It merely needs to be spun right.
For example: include price tags every time a bullet is fired or a weapon is shown, and you can easily give a layman the impression they are wasting money by the truckload.
That compared to other, even more extravagant, military toys it's actually very cheap is something you'll not want to mention. After all your job is not to be fair, it is to persuade people, by any means possible.

I'm afraid it's not the definition that's worthless, it's the term that's worthless, simply because it has a highly pejorative connotation, while describing an activity so widespread it makes Captain Obvious look intelligent.

If (even by YOUR definition) a term is worthless by being too ambiguous, too broad AND Pejorative then DO NOT USE IT!

Why not use the non-pejorative, non-ambiguous term "persuade" to say this? Seriously, why not? Why not say that this film is persuasive? Or a speech is persuasive? And don't try to deny it, you have REPEATEDLY used the term "propaganda" when you act like you haven't. You confirm that Lincoln's Gettysberg Address is propaganda, then that is Palin called a speech by Obama propaganda then THAT ITSELF is propaganda! Everything is propaganda! What Is NOT propaganda!?!?!

"include price tags every time a bullet is fired or a weapon is shown, and you can easily give a layman the impression they are wasting money by the truckload."

Yeah, but that is NOT happening! Why are you talking about how a movie COULD be propaganda if it was hugely and fundamentally changed from what it actually is? That premise alone is deceptive, the assumption that using bullets in training or film production is a waste. A waste would be to dump them off the side of a ship into the ocean.

And what does this mean:

"After all your job is not to be fair, it is to persuade people, by any means possible."

What? Where is this assumption of being unfair, using deception and manipulation?!? You act as if this is pervasive and unavoidable rather than limited to a few unscrupulous individuals where it should not be tolerated. The term propaganda should be limited to occurrences where persuasion is by manipulation through deception such as misrepresentation, fallacious logic and obfuscation.

You are being dogmatic and inflammatory to decree persuasion = propaganda.

If you'd care to scroll back a bit, you'll remember that my original post was to answer your question as to what propaganda is. So yes, I'm going to truthfully deny that I favour using the term outside of this very specific discussion about propaganda.

"The term propaganda should be limited to occurrences where persuasion is by manipulation through deception such as misrepresentation, fallacious logic and obfuscation."

It's impossible to always know for sure, but please do realise that most of what can be called "propaganda" is not produced through wilful obfuscation, but by people utterly convinced that whatever twisted logic they spout is truth.

If needs be I'll further explain this later on (I only have a few minutes right now), but the whole notion of "truthful and neutral representation" in politics is so laughably vague that its opposite - being propaganda - is equally useless.

When it comes to Act of Valor I strongly advise to get a second opinion, and to keep in mind that it is made by the Navy - who are obviously not a neutral party.

Kargathia:

If you'd care to scroll back a bit, you'll remember that my original post was to answer your question as to what propaganda is. So yes, I'm going to truthfully deny that I favour using the term outside of this very specific discussion about propaganda.

"The term propaganda should be limited to occurrences where persuasion is by manipulation through deception such as misrepresentation, fallacious logic and obfuscation."

It's impossible to always know for sure, but please do realise that most of what can be called "propaganda" is not produced through wilful obfuscation, but by people utterly convinced that whatever twisted logic they spout is truth.

If needs be I'll further explain this later on (I only have a few minutes right now), but the whole notion of "truthful and neutral representation" in politics is so laughably vague that its opposite - being propaganda - is equally useless.

When it comes to Act of Valor I strongly advise to get a second opinion, and to keep in mind that it is made by the Navy - who are obviously not a neutral party.

Yes, you answered the question, but the answer was inadequate and posed more questions, just as how utterly useless this definition for such a highly loaded term is because it it too broad and redundant.

"I deny I favour using the term "Propaganda" outside of this very specific discussion about propaganda."

But you directly said the Gettysburg Address could be called a form of propaganda! At the time you didn't say it would be unreasonable to label it as such. You have decreed that ALL forms of persuasion are propaganda. So while on the subject of propaganda you will use the term liberally on all things and anything!

Your argument has consistently been Persuasion = propaganda.

So why could or should anyone use the pejorative term propaganda when the word "persuasion" exists? OR... your definition is worthless and Propaganda means more than JUST being persuasive.

"most "propaganda" is not produced through wilful obfuscation, but by people utterly convinced that whatever twisted logic they spout is truth."

Deliberate or not, wilful or not, they are still obfuscating. A creationist may be utterly convinced that the earth is less than ten thousand years old that doesn't mean they aren't distorting the truth to twist science to fit their prejudice by misrepresenting evidence or using endless fallacious logic in their creationist publications.

It is NOT "laughably vague" to expect truthfulness in politics and I never asked for neutrality. Where is this demand for neutrality coming from? People CAN argue a non-neutral point of view without resorting to lying or deception. This "neutrality in politics is impractical" argument IS a straw man argument. It is not relevant. I did not call for politicians to be neutral on political issues, nor that being non-neutral is somehow bad or non-productive. I did not suggest that a truthful persuasive argument that fails to be neutral should be defined as propaganda.

Truthfully and reasonably trying to persuade a point should not be labelled by the pejorative "propaganda"!

I said propaganda should be defined by the use of deception and manipulation. I'd like to add malicious exploitation such as to play on people's irrational paranoia and phobias rather than their rational concerns that may be truthful but certainly not the whole truth.

is it arrogant to think the following: they do what they do and i do what i do. neither is more noble than the other. its just what we do.

because i see so many people have that attitude of overwhelming respect for these military guys like they are all their older brothers or something.

i think a military job can you leave you humbled and obedient. but it could also make you power hungry or just plain insane.

i feel like i am just as noble as a soldier. and though you may disagree. i think both a soldier and myself would be fine with that.

Treblaine:

[/quote]

Yes, you answered the question, but the answer was inadequate and posed more questions, just as how utterly useless this definition for such a highly loaded term is because it it too broad and redundant.

"I deny I favour using the term "Propaganda" outside of this very specific discussion about propaganda."

But you directly said the Gettysburg Address could be called a form of propaganda! At the time you didn't say it would be unreasonable to label it as such. You have decreed that ALL forms of persuasion are propaganda. So while on the subject of propaganda you will use the term liberally on all things and anything!

Your argument has consistently been Persuasion = propaganda.

... While on a political topic, and using debatable arguments. Otherwise entirely correct, which is also why I consider it such an utterly meaningless term, for exactly the same reasons you point out here: it is extremely broad, and highly loaded.

So why could or should anyone use the pejorative term propaganda when the word "persuasion" exists? OR... your definition is worthless and Propaganda means more than JUST being persuasive.

- Political topic
- Incomplete, incorrect, or interpreted factual data

Note I added "interpreted", as e.g. the hothouse effect is continuously proving you can very well argue both sides with the same set of data.
Bottom line is: you shouldn't use "propaganda".

"most "propaganda" is not produced through wilful obfuscation, but by people utterly convinced that whatever twisted logic they spout is truth."

Deliberate or not, wilful or not, they are still obfuscating. A creationist may be utterly convinced that the earth is less than ten thousand years old that doesn't mean they aren't distorting the truth to twist science to fit their prejudice by misrepresenting evidence or using endless fallacious logic in their creationist publications.

It is NOT "laughably vague" to expect truthfulness in politics and I never asked for neutrality. Where is this demand for neutrality coming from? People CAN argue a non-neutral point of view without resorting to lying or deception. This "neutrality in politics is impractical" argument IS a straw man argument. It is not relevant. I did not call for politicians to be neutral on political issues, nor that being non-neutral is somehow bad or non-productive. I did not suggest that a truthful persuasive argument that fails to be neutral should be defined as propaganda.

The snag is "truthful". As I said: there is no truth, there is merely consensus in all things political. And the very definition of "things political" is that there is no universal consensus, even when scientific data is present.

This makes it next to impossible to determine what is "truth" while the issue is still contested, and technically makes everyone guilty of obfuscating or manipulating the facts, merely by non-consensual interpretation. In hindsight it may turn out one was right, but that doesn't change the fact that he merely followed what he thought was the right interpretation, without full certainty.

Oh, and to clarify: I never called for politics to be neutral. It would be impractical, and certainly non-productive to be so. I merely pointed out that they are per definition not neutral.

Truthfully and reasonably trying to persuade a point should not be labelled by the pejorative "propaganda"!

I said propaganda should be defined by the use of deception and manipulation. I'd like to add malicious exploitation such as to play on people's irrational paranoia and phobias rather than their rational concerns that may be truthful but certainly not the whole truth.

Agreed. Now consider how often in a political debate you can say unreservedly say one argues "truthfully" without a hint of manipulation.

Some are more guilty of deception than others, but the lack of any clear indication where "reasonable latitude in interpretation" ends and "wilful deception" begins makes "propaganda" a horrendously broad term.
Its highly pejorative connotation only serves to further solidify its status as one of these words full of hot air, and completely devoid of meaning.

EDIT: This all coupled with the problem that we can only point out unsuccessful propaganda, as by definition we believe successful propaganda to be truth.

You've significantly changed your stance on this, but as if you've always held this stance. It's quite disorienting. Anyway.

Kargathia:

The snag is "truthful". As I said: there is no truth, there is merely consensus in all things political. And the very definition of "things political" is that there is no universal consensus, even when scientific data is present.

This makes it next to impossible to determine what is "truth" while the issue is still contested, and technically makes everyone guilty of obfuscating or manipulating the facts, merely by non-consensual interpretation. In hindsight it may turn out one was right, but that doesn't change the fact that he merely followed what he thought was the right interpretation, without full certainty.

Oh, and to clarify: I never called for politics to be neutral. It would be impractical, and certainly non-productive to be so. I merely pointed out that they are per definition not neutral.

Truthfully and reasonably trying to persuade a point should not be labelled by the pejorative "propaganda"!

I said propaganda should be defined by the use of deception and manipulation. I'd like to add malicious exploitation such as to play on people's irrational paranoia and phobias rather than their rational concerns that may be truthful but certainly not the whole truth.

Agreed. Now consider how often in a political debate you can say unreservedly say one argues "truthfully" without a hint of manipulation.

Some are more guilty of deception than others, but the lack of any clear indication where "reasonable latitude in interpretation" ends and "wilful deception" begins makes "propaganda" a horrendously broad term.
Its highly pejorative connotation only serves to further solidify its status as one of these words full of hot air, and completely devoid of meaning.

EDIT: This all coupled with the problem that we can only point out unsuccessful propaganda, as by definition we believe successful propaganda to be truth.

It's pretty easy to tell what is truth: follow the evidence and weight it reasonably. Science have been doing it successfully for the best part of the least 300 years since the Age of Enlightenment and has lead to an geometric explosion in human productivity and capability.

I've seen plenty of politicians and non-politicians talking on political matters being truthful and non-obfuscating. It's easy to say "all politicians do is lie" but that is anti-democratic as it is to say democratic political discourse is pointless, it is to force us to live under in metaphorical Tower of Babel where we may understand each other but cannot communicate as we cannot depend or even waste time considering their words.

Failing to argue the opposing point of view (i.e. being neutral by balance) cannot be considered deceptive or manipulative. Why should a lawyer have to argue for both the defence and the prosecution?

You seem to be far too cynical that deception is not only unavoidable but undetectable. When it IS. You just have to exercise a critical mind as we have.

"This all coupled with the problem that we can only point out unsuccessful propaganda"

We CAN point out successful propaganda. Look at North Korea. The propaganda is to solidify the hierarchy of power and discourage democratic revolution, and it has succeeded in that. Nazi propaganda worked on the German populace until it was removed by invading armies and people could identify it as propaganda even before it was removed.

I attest that Propaganda DOES have meaning: and that is to persuade by deception and unreasonable manipulation. It may be perjorative but it does have some use.

It is NOT synonymous with persuasion of political matters.

Shagdawg:

Weak arguments. No, most people wouldn't willingly join the military. Just saying 'the military is getting too many applications' doesn't really mean anything.

yah it kinda does

Shagdawg:

It's just a vague argument you're using to defend your bias.

YES ANYONE WHO DOESN'T AGREE WITH ME IS BIASED.

Shagdawg:

And comparing joining the military to taking drugs IS ridiculous. You could use the argument that people join the military for the benefits, social status, etc. and apply it to most any profession (i.e. 'People only become doctors to make money and feel like heroes). Either way its a huge stretch to equate joining the military to taking drugs.

No. You're missing my point, my point was that both have different benefits but have the same risk, i.e. you're putting your health on the line and the fact that you can potentially die, doctors don't do that, so they're not the same thing.

Treblaine:
You've significantly changed your stance on this, but as if you've always held this stance. It's quite disorienting. Anyway.

I merely changed around my methods of how to phrase the same view, as this discussion started with you taking away a completely different message than intended. Probably mainly due to my not-always-crystal-clear ways of expressing myself.

You can point out propaganda successful on others, but you can't point a finger at which piece of propaganda has you currently convinced. It's hard to say anything about North Korea, but there were plenty of people who for a long time believed Hitler to be the salvation of Germany, even though he just started what would be the most destructive war in history.

Persuasion is by definition manipulative, as you're trying to sway opinion. Failing to mention (if only to counter-argument) opposing views is, in fact, deceptive. Not like that's neccessarily a Very Bad Thing, and it is in fact pretty dang normal, but that does not detract from it indeed being deceptive.

While science indeed tends to lead to the truth, it's good to keep in mind that for its interpretation you have to rely on others - nobody is sufficiently versed in everything science-y to be able to interpret the raw data, even if he/she had access to it. Scientists are human like the rest of us, and are thus not fully reliable. Their funders also exert influence in how the message gets relayed.[1]

And while I certainly can be described as cynical, I am not telling you to completely ignore anything that is being said because it might be manipulative. Attempts at deception are indeed unavoidable, but (for the most part) certainly detectable - indeed by excercising a critical mind. Personally I find the cynic approach to help with maintaining said critical mind, but each to their own.

I'd suggest you call out unreasonable manipulation and deception by their own names. Propaganda as a term means next to nothing, and is loaded too much for it not to detract from whatever specific point you're trying to make.

The very fact this discussion derailed to "what does propaganda mean in the first place" is living proof of that.

Kargathia:

Treblaine:
You've significantly changed your stance on this, but as if you've always held this stance. It's quite disorienting. Anyway.

I merely changed around my methods of how to phrase the same view, as this discussion started with you taking away a completely different message than intended. Probably mainly due to my not-always-crystal-clear ways of expressing myself.

You can point out propaganda successful on others, but you can't point a finger at which piece of propaganda has you currently convinced. It's hard to say anything about North Korea, but there were plenty of people who for a long time believed Hitler to be the salvation of Germany, even though he just started what would be the most destructive war in history.

Persuasion is by definition manipulative, as you're trying to sway opinion. Failing to mention (if only to counter-argument) opposing views is, in fact, deceptive. Not like that's neccessarily a Very Bad Thing, and it is in fact pretty dang normal, but that does not detract from it indeed being deceptive.

While science indeed tends to lead to the truth, it's good to keep in mind that for its interpretation you have to rely on others - nobody is sufficiently versed in everything science-y to be able to interpret the raw data, even if he/she had access to it. Scientists are human like the rest of us, and are thus not fully reliable. Their funders also exert influence in how the message gets relayed.(Illustrating example: BBC article digging to the truth behind a statistic)

And while I certainly can be described as cynical, I am not telling you to completely ignore anything that is being said because it might be manipulative. Attempts at deception are indeed unavoidable, but (for the most part) certainly detectable - indeed by excercising a critical mind. Personally I find the cynic approach to help with maintaining said critical mind, but each to their own.

I'd suggest you call out unreasonable manipulation and deception by their own names. Propaganda as a term means next to nothing, and is loaded too much for it not to detract from whatever specific point you're trying to make.

The very fact this discussion derailed to "what does propaganda mean in the first place" is living proof of that.

"Persuasion is by definition manipulative"

Not the way most people use the term "manipulate".

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/manipulate

No one says "I was manipulated to rent this movie because my close friend said I'd like it". But they would say "I was manipulated by the government into signing up for national service, now I regret it".

"Failing to mention opposing views is, in fact, deceptive."

That would only be the face if it was impracticable for the counter-argument to make it's case. Like presenting lots fact without the ability to make a counter point. Part of a propaganda ministry's job is to censor opposing views and ideas as well as misrepresent them.

A court of law allows council to give equal time for argument and counter argument and back and forth between the defence and prosecution. Most miscarriages of justice come from corrupt evidence from the police, or from a legally incompetent defence.

Science is peer reviewed. That means it is simultaneously and anonymously assessed by other experts to publicly pick holes in findings and theories. The testing of peer review in brutal but fair. Some attempt to falsify evidence but never get far as an essential element is repeatability. That means completely unbeknownst to them a third part will secretly take their published paper and copy the experiment. If they don't get the same results then it is investigated further to see if one or the other made a mistake or is lying.

Right now the speed of light experiment is being repeated in laboratories around the world to see if they made a mistake of if the effect is repeatable.

PS: I didn't derail this with discussion by starting a debate on the definition of Propaganda. That to spite people's insistence it very clear for a COLLECTION of deceptive, Fallacious and censoring practices to sway public oppinion. It's a useful term.

Dastardly:

bravetoaster:

Dastardly:
As the saying goes, "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." People can cry about the horrors of war, and how awful all of it is, but it's easy for them to forget that the reason they're free to do so is because we've got men ready to bear that burden for us.

Elaborate, please, or provide a few examples? While the quote may be applicable in some places and/or circumstances, I fail to see the actual relevance to modern Americans (i.e., who/what would keep me from being able to sleep safe and sound at night [aside from local criminals, maybe] and who, outside of Washington DC, threatens or takes away American freedom?).

I'm not here to play the obvious little game you're setting up here, sorry.

It's not a game, it's just asking for you to offer support for your claim. You made a very broad, strong claim, but offered nothing to support the claim. I thought it fair to suppose that you had some support for your argument and sincerely would have loved to hear it, especially if it was any good. If you're making an argument that disintegrates the second anyone asks "Why?" then you're just wasting everyone's time (your own included) ... unless it's funny, at least.

Eh, sorry Bob but I had my earphones out and was scrolling down to the comments section by 1:50.
I don't really have an interest in watching an endorsement, especially when I thought I was geting a review. A note to the tune of: "I wish to preface this review by saying that I have the utmost respect for the Navy SEALs and anyone who would risk their life for the security of their country and their fellow man." would have been perfect. I think you came off as "a fan of the Navy SEALs" first and foremost in this review and obviously that's hardly professional in your capacity at The Escapist.

TL;DR - Fanboyism can ruin many good things.

Maybe there was some misinterpretation, and glorification is a more appropriate word than propaganda (or, if you prefer the more innocent variation: advertising). I have nothing against NAVY Seals, or the army in general; but this movie felt like it was catering to the COD generation more than anything and, by doing so, was advertising the army far more than most movies (and yes, I count the Transformers movies there too).

Its hard to argue about that when there are several first person scenes and kill cams. Maybe a screened version can make MovieBob more impervious to it, but there were several scenes where 14 years old were cheering, applauding, cursing and laughing at several of the deaths. I get that in John Rambo, Expendables or other exaggerated action movies, but do they ever realize how screw up and uncomfortable it looks when the movie tries to "be real" about it? I get that MovieBob is a grown up man with nothing but respect for another profession, but do people think its so far for a teenager to go from "this is awesome" to "I want to be there? Do you think is accidental? Would you be so comfortable thinking that the kids that insult you online on XBLA today are the soldiers of tomorrow?

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