Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Brunch: "Don't Be A Sucker"

propaganda: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person.

Which is to say, not all propaganda is inherently bad, but it is trying to place importance on one idea over another. It's a fascinating thing to study. It's especially fascinating when one comes across a piece of propaganda that seems to get it right, and that did so well before the ideas it espoused were the commonly accepted ideals of its place of origin. "Don't Be A Sucker" (excellent title, by the by) appears to be just such an instance.

Created by the US Military in the wake of World War II, this informational short talks about the perils of allowing ourselves to be divided by things like race, religion or ethnicity. Referencing what happened in Nazi Germany, it lays out the case that "Here in America it's not a question of whether we tolerate minorities--America is minorities."

The caveat at the end of the film is probably standard to all films created by the War Department, but it's a disappointment. This, certainly, was a message the whole country could have benefited greatly from hearing and taking to heart, in that era especially, but sadly, even now.


George H. said...

The note at the end of the film is curious and kind of ironic when you consider the topic.
There must be a story in how you found this particular film.

Emily said...

George - Sadly, I don't have a good story about how I found this video. A friend of mine simply tipped me off to it as something I might find interesting.

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