October 20, 2007

Christ Killers, Pt. 2

Here is a different site which is dedicated to analyzing the images which are promoted to manipulate our thoughts:
No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided.
Blackwater, Worldwide, formerly Blackwater, USA—and the change of name is notable in an age of empire and globalization—is a “private contractor” with multi-billion dollar government contracts to train U.S. military and paramilitary personnel and to provide independent security forces who serve, in Prince’s words, as “gap fillers” with the “skills the U.S. government needs to operate domestically and abroad.
“Gap fillers” is a euphemism for “private armies” or “mercenaries,” terms that Prince steadfastly rejects. But there can be little question as to what Blackwater imagines its continuing “mission” to be, as indicated in the poster titled “The MISSION Continues,” available for purchase at the Blackwater Proshop for $15.00…
…the appeal here is not just to an action narrative driven by an adolescent attraction to pyrotechnics, but to a visual aesthetic of color, angle of view, background and gesture that draws directly from the lucrative, fantasy world of single-shooter video games such as Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.
…what should really draw our attention is an increasingly normative culture of war that fuels and enables a world in which entities like Blackwater can prosper as they give new meaning to phrases like “Playground of Destruction,” or in which the fantasy that “global stability” can be accomplished by “gap fillers” is anything more than a surrealistic “field of dreams.” And that is something we all share a responsibility for.

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