Thursday, July 7, 2011
"I’m beginning to find that whenever I see anything written on soft power my brain switches off."
--PD blogger Robin Brown; image from
Революция через социальную сеть. Белоруссия (Revolution Via Social Media: Belarus). See commentary by Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos (also cited below)
Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century - Judith A. McHale, Layalina Review: "Citizens around the world are increasingly driving political, social, and economic trends, and we must adapt. In this rapidly evolving landscape, as we seek to advance our foreign policy and enhance the security and prosperity of our world, our approach must have market-based
public diplomacy—and the citizens it seeks to engage—at its core." Image from
State Department Tweets, but Is Anyone Listening? - Helle Dale, Heritage.org: "The President isn’t the only one engaging Americans on Twitter.
TechWomen in Washington DC (day 3) - katysblog.wordpress.com: "Today, the TechWomen Mentors and Mentees had meetings with the U.S. Department of State and with the Institute of International Education here in Washington DC. The Mentees and Mentors talked at length with Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Ann Stock [sic], ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, and other luminaries.
Following the morning at the State Department, we went to IIE for program feedback discussions." Uncaptioned article from article.
Aspiring Entrepreneur from Africa to Apply Silicon Valley's Best Practices Toward a New Online Coupon Site in Algeria - digitaljournal.com: "A young woman CEO from Algeria has traveled to Silicon Valley to gain in-depth knowledge to help her launch her venture, the first online discount coupon site in her home country, through TechWomen, a U.S. Department of State program. The program, in its pilot year, pairs women from the Middle East and North Africa with mentors at leading technology companies. Loubna Lahmici, CEO of Ideatic, an Algerian start-up, was one of 37 women from the Middle East and North Africa identified as emerging leaders in technical fields who were paired up with their American counterparts for professional mentorship. Launched in June 2011, TechWomen
Young blood to strengthen ties - Aybars Görgülü, Jacob Zenn, Hurriyet Daily News: "From May 27 to June 11, 2011, eight Turks and eight Americans who work in politics, journalism, academia, and think tanks toured Turkey as part of a professional exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State called 'Young Turkey/Young America.' ... [M]ost Turks who visit the U.S. or get to know Americans personally have a positive image of the country. In interviews conducted during the Turkey leg of the project, U.S. participants had the chance to speak to local people in Adana who nostalgically recounted the days when they used to play basketball with U.S. Air Force servicemen. That was when U.S. military families in Adana lived in the same apartment complexes with Turks, but now they all live on base, which has been unfortunate from a U.S. public diplomacy perspective."
Regarding U. S.,study to foreign countries programs a “strategic necessity”: OUGH. S. [US?] official - okstudyabroad.com: "Study abroad programs are not just a chance for students that will expand their cultural and also linguistic horizons, but are very important in promoting long-term foreign stability, according to OUGHOUT [?]. S. State Department Underneath [sic]
Secretary for Public Diplomacy plus Public Affairs Judith McHale. 'From some sort of public diplomacy perspective, we must work to keep and expand our people-to-people connections by any means that we can,' she said within a speech in Washington on Wednesday [date not specificed] with the Education USA Forum." Image from
Just what is a Reaganite foreign policy, anyway? - Daniel W. Drezner, Foreign Policy: Comment by Bubble Buster: "If neoconservativism is a near Wilsonian commitment to righting international human rights abuses wedded to a belief in the efficacy of military coercion then Reagan is not really a neocon. We need a new label for his approach. It combines a healthy belief in the efficacy of US power, a core commitment to the idea of human freedom, but practiced with some restrain. His rhetoric and public diplomacy clearly articulated a defense of liberty (The beating of the USSR with the Helsinki club and the Jewish emigration issue, the speech to Parliament, the 'Tear down this wall' speech)."
From the studio in downtown DC, it's Russia on your radio - Jill Dougherty, CNN International: "Changing American hearts and minds about Russia has been Voice of Russia's mission since it first went on the air in 1929, broadcasting from Moscow via short-wave radio. It still does use short wave but with the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, that seems like a blast from the past. Undeterred, VOR
Cuban 5:Terrorism, Spies, and American Justice - HurricaneDean, dailycensored.com: "The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 regulating U.S. 'public diplomacy' abroad—Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio and TV Martí, etc.—prohibits the U.S. government from funding activities to influence and propagandize domestic public opinion, see 22 U.S.C. § 1461. The U.S. government has funneled nearly half a billion dollars into the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami. With an annual budget nearing $35 million, the OCB [acronym not spelled out] and BBG [Broadcasting Board of Governors] put on their payroll domestic journalists to broadcast the same message inside and outside the United States on Cuba-related issues, effectively violating the law against domestic dissemination of U.S. propaganda." On BBG, see. Above image from
RT (Russia Today) and "the strangest prime time news line-up on cable television" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Two RFE/RL journalists (and one from VOA) in the "rarified air" of the Foreign Policy Magazine Twitterati 100 - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
The anti-"SoftPower Inc." - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "[A Belarussian] video [included in entry] sort of speaks for itself. In short, it ridicules the online activists, referring to America's 'Soft Power Inc.' as the perpetrator and the official sponsor of chaos. It labels online activism as 'the best job for an idiot (paid for by the U.S. State Department), while suggesting that the followers/participants are all 'hamsters' in a mob. Most importantly, the video makes it clear that the movement is closely monitored and that the names and photos of the activists are all taken note of. A bad piece of Lukashenka
also. Lukasenko image ("No, I don't sell Belarus") from
Britain Needs To Be On The Side Of Internet Access Across The World - Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Foreign Minister, Huffington Post: "Traditionally, diplomacy was done in an environment of information scarcity. Ambassadors would send back telegrams to foreign ministries, comfortable in the knowledge that their views of a country would be the only source of information the minister would see. Now diplomacy happens in real time, with ministers able to Google most newspapers on earth without leaving their desks, or looking up from their BlackBerrys. And rather than just being about state to state relationships, governments can now have direct relationships with the citizens of other countries: when the US State Department started tweeting in Arabic, it reached half a million people within days. Britain's online strength and creativity should, in the classic Foreign Office formulation, give us the chance to 'punch above our weight' in the online stakes. But, alas, Britain's public diplomacy remains defined by a 'broadcast' rather than 'network' approach. As the BBC World Service and the British Council are having to work even harder as their budgets face significant cuts, they also have to think about how to develop their engagement strategies. They have huge potential not just in sharing knowledge and information but also in supporting 'citizen to citizen' links."
A new multi-polar politics needs new multilateral policies - Douglas Alexander, labour.org.uk: "We need a coherent approach to conducting a multilateral foreign policy in an increasingly multipolar world. ... I want to suggest three aspects of that approach: reassurance for the BRICs, reinvention of public diplomacy, redirection and renewal of our European approach. ... [O]ur public diplomacy needs
to reflect modernity not history. ... [R]ather than just being about state to state relationships, governments can now have direct relationships with the citizens of other countries: when the US State Department started tweeting in Arabic, it reached half a million people within days. ... And that matters for a multilateral approach because the oil that makes the multilateral wheels turn is public diplomacy." Alexander image from article
The Development of British Public Diplomacy 1954-1969: Part 1 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "I’ve been continuing my dig into the history of British Public Diplomacy. It’s an interesting story that reflects the evolution of Britain’s international presence. I think that this sort of work is important because in my mind shows that the evolution of the media environment is only one factor that has shapes current public diplomacy. ... From the perspective of the 21st century there’s a noticeable cycle at work in British public diplomacy. The Drogheda Report recommends pulling resources out of Europe to send to the wider world (particularly the Middle East), the Duncan Report wants a focus back on Western Europe and at the beginning of the 21st century we were pulling resources out of Europe to send to the Middle East." See also (1) (2).
Flotilla Activists Jumping Ship: Discouragement from Israel and other governments leaves only the most determined activists on deck - Michele Chabin, The Jewish Week: "Israel’s efforts to paint the flotilla as a Hamas-backed propaganda machine apparently convinced even some of the participants to literally
jump ship. ... Dan Diker, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, believes the Israeli government, from the prime minister’s office to the ministries of foreign affairs and public diplomacy 'did an excellent job under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership.' Specifically, Diker said, 'there seemed to be fuller integration and communication' between the ministries and government offices. 'They understood what they were dealing with.'” Image from
The Flotilla, the Greeks and Israeli Hasbara in Overdrive - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "Had the Israelis simply allowed the flotilla to reach the Gazan shore, hand off the letters and packages the passengers were carrying to recipients, then in all likelihood this would have been a non-event. A non-story or just one of those many headlines that chase each other across the bottom of a television screen. Instead, the Israeli overreaction blew it way out of proportion once again. That’s what makes the story. The worst part of it all, however, are the ridiculous lies being told about the passengers by the Israeli Government from the top down. Did no one ever tell them that that's not what public diplomacy is all about? Of course, tell your side of the story but lying about the opposition ultimately weakens a case, not strengthens it."
Ignorance, Not Radical Islam, Israel's Main Enemy - Julie Stahl, Christian Broadcasting Network: "Israel's primary enemy is not radical Islam but ignorance, an Israeli government minister said. Yuli Edelstein,
minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, spoke to a group of diplomats and journalists in Jerusalem late last week about the challenges Israel is facing -- not only in conveying its side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also in getting the public to understand the real nature of Israel." Edelstein image from article
'Like for Israel' takes on flotilla advocacy - Karolyn Coorsh, Jerusalem Post: "In a sparsely furnished office on Sokolov Street in Herzliya, Niv Calderon and Barak Hachamov are attempting to start a social media revolution. It's Tuesday, and the pair is busy holding closed-door meetings, phones glued to their ears. Outside their office door is the 'Flotilla Situation Room' where volunteers at computer workstations are busy media monitoring, researching and posting information about the 2011 flotilla to proisraeli.org. ... Hachamov and Calderon
are armed with industry experience; Hachamov is a high-tech entrepreneur, while Calderon, also an entrepreneur, has been working in social media for several years. Over the past year, Calderon has also gotten involved in public diplomacy, and ran a similar situation room during Operation Cast Lead." Calderon and Hachamov image from article
Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, talking about social media and public diplomacy @ Herzliya Conference [Video] - socialmediamanagementuk.com: "Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, Founding Dean, Sammy Ofer School of Communications, IDC Herzliya, talking about the battle for the narrative: getting the message out."
Israel-China Relations Growing Deeper - David Rosenberg, Jerusalem Post: "Israel-China relations, which have focused on cooperation in high technology, have shown signs of widening over the last several months to encompass closer defense and security ties, and academic exchanges, people in the small community of bilateral specialists say. ... Last December, a delegation of Likud Party officials led by Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein met with their Communist Party peers in China. This autumn, the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Institute’s Center for Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) will host Chinese scholars on regional geopolitics. ... Academic exchanges with China carry more weight than they do with many other countries because academics play an important role in advising the government, said Carice Witte, executive director of Sino-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership (SIGNAL). SIGNAL has been involved in Sichuan University’s Israel program and the Herzlya conference."
Issues and Studies - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I just received my copy of Issues and Studies in the mail with my article 'Projecting Taiwan: Taiwan's Public Diplomacy Outreach.'
An Interview with Bassam Alkadi, President of the Syrian Women Observatory - Camille Otrakji: "Bassam Alkadi is President of the Syrian Women Observatory, Syria's main women's rights organization. A relentless fighter for human rights in Syria, he has been fired from his job, arrested, jailed, and forbidden from traveling, but he continues to be driven by logic and not revenge. ... Bassam Alkadi: Yes, Syria is capable of maintaining its independence. The regime today has to conduct critical surgery at its most fundamental levels. This, in a way, is the beginning of its demise as the regime that once was -- the end of it as a system, though not necessarily the end of any individuals. One problem which the regime seems to have recently recognized is its need to employ public and open diplomacy, instead of its previously preferred secrecy and non-transparency. Public opinion is now more important than ever before and can only be addressed through open and public diplomacy."
A three party project for improving Kosovo's public diplomacy - ISRIA (subscription)
Indonesia - RI [Indonesia] Needs to Maximize Soft Power - isria.com: "Utilization of soft power, according to Riaz J.P. Saehu, Plh. Director of Public Diplomacy MOFA, can be developed through empowerment
of the role of the youth. The youth are believed to be able to contribute through brilliant ideas and creative solutions in order to solve global issues. 'Youth empowerment is needed and it is important to prepare the future leaders of this nation,' he stated when reading the opening remarks for the DG Public and Diplomacy Information MOFA, Andri Hadi, in the opening ceremony of JMUN." Image from
Public diplomacy 'essential' for conflict resolution - News.Az: "News.Az interviews Irina Ghaplanyan, a graduate student of politics and international studies at the University of Cambridge. ... [Q:] What is the place of public diplomacy in conflict settlement when political leaders cannot find a common approach? [A:] In any conflict resolution, public diplomacy is essential, even and especially when political leaders find a common approach; because in order to prepare the conflicting societies for a sustainable settlement, which in one way or another will require compromises on both sides, political leaders and government work alone are not enough.
If the political leaders fail to find a common approach the role of public diplomacy becomes even more crucial because public diplomacy is not simply the art or practice of negotiations, it is more the provision of a channel through which the societies are informed and educated about the conflict, and about the benefits of conflict resolution." Ghaplanyan image from article
Thailand Festival 2011 in Europe - protectthaicitizen: "การคุ้มครองคนไทย Protection of Thai people: "กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ Ministry of Foreign Affairs ร่วมกับสถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงบูคาเรสต์ With the Embassy at Bucharest. และสถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงสตอกโฮล์ม The Embassy at Stockholm. ดำเนินโครงการส่งเสริมและเผยแพร่ศิลปวัฒนธรรมไทยในประเทศโรมาเนีย บัลแกเรีย และสวีเดน โดยนำคณะนาฏศิลป์จากสำนักการสังคีต กรมศิลปากร และคณะสาธิตหัตถกรรมไทย ได้แก่ การวาดร่ม การสานพัด/ปลาตะเพียน Project promotion and dissemination of Thai arts and culture in Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden by the Department of Arts and Musical Troupe of the Bureau of the umbrella demonstration of Thai handicrafts such as weaving a fan / carp การเขียนเบญจรงค์ การทอผ้าไหม การแกะสลักผักผลไม้ The gift of silk weaving and carving fruits and vegetables. การแกะสลักไม้ Xylography การทำดอกไม้ประดิษฐ์ Making artificial flowers. การประดิษฐ์สิ่งประดิษฐ์ย่อส่วน The miniature device fabrication. และการปั้นน้ำตาล And sugar sculptures. เข้าร่วมแสดงด้านวัฒนธรรมในงานเทศกาลวัฒนธรรมไทยที่ประเทศโรมาเนีย บัลเเกเรีย เเละสวีเดน ระหว่างวันที่ ๒-๑๙ มิถุนายน ๒๕๕๔ โดยมีผู้สื่อข่าวจากนิตยสารคู่สร้างคู่สม จำนวน ๑ คน ร่วมคณะด้วย Participate in cultural festivals in Thailand, Romania, Baltimore Gas Prices in Sweden were between 2-19 June 2554,
U.S. Travel Group Begins $100 Million Agency Search: Organization Aims to Attract More Visitors From BRIC Countries - Rupal Parekh, adage.com: "The U.S. Corp. for Travel Promotion, which bills itself as a partnership between the public and private sectors with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the U.s., is on the hunt for a global agency to help boost tourism to the country. The organization is especially eager to find new ways to draw more visitors to the U.S. from the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), executives familiar with the situation told Ad Age. It's a fast-moving pitch that began last week as a request-for-proposal document was circulated to agencies. The CTP declined a request for comment about the agency search, but industry executives said teams have already held meetings with contending shops, which are understood to be large network agencies."
The Edward Bernays-PT Barnum School of Public Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "In short, what Eddie Bernays understood is that you don't win hearts and minds through rational information, you do so through irrational, emotional connection. Hence, indirect public diplomacy via soft power and cultural connections (see under: gastrodiplomacy, country music diplomacy, Lucha Libre diplo) work better for long-term public diplomacy than targeted strategic communications. You connect with audiences in the gut and in the tangible sensory interactions.
See also. Above image from with following comment: "'If you can use propaganda for war, you can use it for peace,' Edward Bernays. Tonight, we'll look at a video featuring Edward Bernays, which shows how he took his Uncle Sigmund Freud's ideas in order to manipulate the public mindset related to purchasing power, among other things. In the short film, we're [sic] hear how Bernays was 'the first person to take his ideas about human beings and use them to manipulate (us) into wanting things we didn't need by linking mass-produced goods to our unconscious desires.' Out of this came a new idea of how to 'control the masses' - a beginning of the all-consuming self that has dominated the world in terms of advertising, marketing and PR campaigns to date. Yours truly, Professor Berry."
Berry image from her above mentioned blog.
PD Jobs and Internships - Ren's Micro Diplomacy
2262 Public Diplomacy Officer - vanuatujobalert.blogspot.com: "Australian High Commission ... Location: Port Vila,
Vanuatu ... Applications are invited for a Public Diplomacy Officer. This is a full-time position offered for a period of two years." Image from
U.S. foreign policy: In praise of nation-building: If the U.S. and its allies are to address national security challenges successfully, then there is no choice but to engage in nation-building - Max Boot, latimes.com
The end or American optimism: Two newspapers, one British and the other Irish, provide a sobering picture of the U.S. - Tim Rutten, latimes.com: Britain's Daily Telegraph — a conservative paper and that country's bestselling broadsheet — diagnoses us as a nation depressed, and cites polling data describing alarming percentages of Americans who expect their own economic situation to deteriorate further and that of their children to be worse still. Inthe Irish Times, the voice of that nation's establishment.
Columnist and critic Fintan O'Toole, a recent visitor to the United States, wrote of being struck by the breadth and depth of the damage the recession has done to the most vital engine of the nation's economy — its great urban areas. Image from
Gaza flotilla faces defeat; propaganda wars continue - Bill Weinberg, World War 4 Report: A UN report on last year's deadly Israeli raid on the flotilla vessel Mavi Marmara, has now been leaked—providing further propaganda ammo to both sides. According to findings of the UN commission headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, leaked in Turkey and Israel, the military operation was "premature" and the deaths "unacceptable." However, in what Israel is hailing as a vindication, the Jewish state is only asked to express regret and not to apologise. Turkey is also criticised for not doing enough to stop the flotilla, and for its links with IHH, an Islamist group which helped organize it. The report also apparently concludes that the blockade of Gaza is not illegal, and that Israel is justified in stopping vessels even outside its territorial waters.
Israel Battles Gaza Flotilla on Two Fronts - James M. Wall, Salem-News.com: This year Israel took the job of boarding flotilla ships away from the IDF and gave it to the Greek Coast Guard. As of the Fourth Day of July, as Americans celebrated their Independence, Israel was expanding its Gaza blockade to the Aegean Sea. What led to Greece’s decision to become Israel’s Aegean Sea outpost? Deep Throat could have told you this was coming: “Follow the money”, specifically the $17 billion which Israel and the US knew Greece needed to escape from a monumental economic collapse. One way diplomacy works is through negotiations. Another way, when one side is facing default, is to transfer money from the more powerful nation to the economically-strapped nation, which agrees to give up some of its freedom to let the powerful nation have control over segments of its domestic and foreign policy decisions.
The $17 billion guaranteed, the Greek government issued a blanket order: No flotilla ships may sail for Gaza from any Greek port. The second front where Israel is fighting against the Gaza Flotilla is in its constant struggle to maintain control over the American corporate media. Timed to reach readers before the ships were set to sail, two pro-Zionist columns appeared in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, written by two different academic experts in international law, both of whom concluded that Israel was within its international legal rights to block the flotilla from “invading” Gaza’s waters. The two columns were standard Israeli (Hebrew for explanation or propaganda) declarations. Think Fox News or the Tea Party in this use of a single perspective to push an ideology, and you realize just how far American journalism has fallen in recent decades. Image from article
What can we believe about the Libyan conflict? - Tom Fenton, TucsonSentinel.com: "Gaddafi orders mass rapes," "Obama declares US not at war with Libya," "Libya shows civilian site that it claims was hit by NATO." Can you believe all the headlines on the conflict in Libya? Propaganda is one of the oldest weapons of warfare. All countries use it to demonize the enemy and encourage public support. Still, you would think the Western media might have been a bit skeptical when a story recently emerged that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was ordering his army to rape women. The timing of the story — just as American support for the war against Gaddafi was flagging — should have raised eyebrows. Even more suspicious were the reported “facts” that hundreds of women had been raped and Gaddafi had even ordered shipments of Viagra to be supplied to his soldiers. Nevertheless, the story made news in leading American newspapers and was carried around the world by major broadcasters including the BBC and CNN.
ISM (and Mondoweiss) Demonstrate How to Propagandize with YouTube - blog.camera.org: The Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement (ISM) which sends foreigners to Palestinian areas to interfere with Israeli counter-terrorism activities and is behind the illegal flotilla efforts, and whose mission statement "recognize(s) the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle" features a ridiculously crude YouTube propaganda film on their website homepage. The film is also posted on the radically anti-Israel Mondoweiss site.
Intelligence and Terrorism - Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center: Dozens of organizations participating in the campaign to delegitimize Israel are planning a propaganda display at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, on or around July 8. Hundreds of activists/passengers are supposed to fly to Israel on regular commercial flights to participate in the display.
After the event, activities are planned for Israel, Judea and Samaria until July 16.1 Prominent among the organizers is the ISM, an extreme leftist network based in the United States specializing in sending activists to friction points in the territories. Image from article: Cartoon from the FPM website: initiative to send passengers to Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, the so-called "Palestine by air."
Islamic 'propaganda' machine to be honored in U.S. - Becky Yeh - OneNewsNow: A critic of Islam is speaking out against an American heritage museum in Maine that's planning to honor Al Jazeera, the Arabic news channel that has been labeled "Jihad television." The General Henry Knox Museum will host a gala and reception on July 28 at the Strand Theatre in Rockland to honor a representative from the network. The channel has openly displayed its support for terrorist activities in its broadcasts, including in its coverage of the suicide bombings of Israelis and Americans. "Well, Al Jazeera is basically the propaganda voice for the Islamic radicals cloaked in moderation," notes Brigitte Gabriel,
founder of ACT! For America and author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. "They have a very fancy modern set, very fancy television; but the bankrollers of Al Jazeera are two sheiks, two radical sheiks with links to al-Qaeda." Gabriel image from article
Al-Qaida Communications Knocked Offline, Says Expert - John Ribeiro, IDG News: Terror group al-Qaida has been left without a trusted operational channel on the Internet for distributing its media and propaganda, according to a terrorism expert. "I really can't say for certain how or why this happened, other than that it involved apparently separate attacks on both the domain name and data server used by al-Qaida's trusted forum, Al-Shamukh," Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Partners said in an e-mail late Wednesday. That kind of coordinated event doesn't typically occur by happenstance, he added. Other jihadi forums left online still allow "the rabble" to communicate with others, but none of them are fully trusted by al-Qaida, said Kohlmann who has spent over a decade tracking al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
Communist Party Drags China to Propaganda Film Flop, Netizens React - Li Chen, Penn Olson: Beginning of the Great Revival, the movie commemorating the 90th anniversary of China’s Communist Party, has been the hottest topic among Chinese netizens for the past few weeks. To reach the intended box office goal of 800 million RMB, China postponed Transformers 3,
supposedly the biggest rival during this period until late July; government staff, SOE workers and school children are being mobilized by their higher-ups to go watch the movie. Most critics are saying that the movie is nothing but a star-stacked craptacular, with no story line or clear narrative. But there are quite a few positive ratings and comments too. Image from article, with caption: Bumblebee wishes the Party happy anniversary
The Round Up: crude propaganda - Pablo Luis González-Rueda, cinema-architecture.blogspot.com: Quite simply, Rose Bosch's The Round Up is no more than crude Zionist propaganda, using, and abusing, the fate of the Parisian Jewish men, women and children who were rounded up by Pétain's collaborationist government in occupied France during 1942, to be exterminated in Hitler's gas chambers. Rose Bosch throws into it all the clichés already in vogue in Holocaust films, by now an industry in itself, such as the tear felt reunion of survivors after the war, the separation and partying of families, the hopelessness of their situation, the young lives cut short, the good French people, the bad French people, etc. Nothing new or special here.
Just scriptwriter's tricks. They may be based in witnesses accounts, but still, tricks in the manner that Bosch dealt with them. The Round Up has, however, one redeeming feature: the depiction of Jewish society in the French capital in 1942, which we have not seen much before in the big screen, when Paris had become a kind of refuge for all those Jewish families escaping from occupied Poland, mainly. The acting is also quite good, particularly from the kids. Other film-makers have dealt when the fate of the Jewish people in occupied Europe in a much more sensitive, and effective, way. Image from
Neubaufahrzeug Nr 3-5 in 1/35... - Robin Buckland, militarymodelling.com: The Nebuafahrzeug was the German adventure into multi-turreted tanks for the 1930s. We built the Independent and the Russians built both the T28 and T35, while the Germans did this one. Very few were built,
but were used for propaganda purposes. In 1940 the 3 armoured examples, as opposed to the mild-steel prototypes, went to take part in the invasion of Norway. So they did see operational use, though one was blown up by engineers when it bogged to the extent of being unrecoverable. The others were later returned home and later scrapped, so there is no surviving example. Now Dragon have sent through this release poster which shows it covering prodution numbers 3 - 5, the 3 examples that did see operational service. Image from article, with caption: release poster from Dragon Models
How They Live’s Alien Propaganda Infected Shepard Fairey - wired.com: $1 video rental of John Carpenter’s They Live had a giant impact on artist Shepard Fairey’s work, as he explains in this video. Shepard Fairey's They Live variant poster goes on sale Thursday. “The film, though it’s somewhat silly, has a rather profound concept,” he says, “which is that people don’t realize they’re being manipulated because they’re so caught up in consumption…. They don’t realize they’re being controlled by aliens, who are the authoritarians.”
In the 1988 sci-fi film, the aliens’ subliminal messages, delivered in a graphic style similar to artist Barbara Kruger’s work, can only be seen when humans don special sunglasses. Words like “consume” and “obey” appear in advertisements when viewed through the cheap shades. “Really, the phrase that stuck out the most for me was ‘Obey,’” Fairey says in the video. The rest is history: Fairey’s Andre the Giant Has a Posse and Obey Giant street art eventually led to the creation of his iconic Hope poster, which became the unofficial image of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign (and landed Fairey in some legal hot water with the Associated Press over the artist’s use of a news photograph). Image of Shepard Fairey's "They Live variant" poster from article