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In Today's Authoritarian Entertainment News: China Accuses Pacific Rim of Being American Propaganda

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | August 28, 2013 | Comments ()


pacific-rim03.jpg

I forgot which writer said it, though it feels like either a Kurt Vonnegut or Terry Pratchett sort of thing to say, though much better than I’m about to, but the one thing that dictators can never co-opt and can never get a handle on is humor. You can hold the guns you want to peoples’ heads and they might cover their faces with perfect stoicism, but at the end of the day, if they’ve decided that the great leader’s kid looks like a mentally challenged ostrich, they’re going to laugh at him even if only in their own heads.

Humor is chaos, the polar opposite of any tyrant. And so it’s not just that they can’t control it, it’s that they can’t even really understand it.

And so today we have an official publication of the Chinese military (PLA Daily, the comics section is rubbish) with an article by an officer that was immediately picked up by Xinhau and the People’s Daily lambasting Pacific Rim for being American propaganda of the worst kind.

You can read the original article here. Or most likely you can’t. Ah, they published an English language version here so that you capitalist dogs can appreciate your own plans being exposed.

Here’s a fantastic quote:

“Hollywood has always been the best American propaganda machine. The decisive battle against the monsters was deliberately set in South China Sea adjacent to Hong Kong … The intention was to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific area and saving the mankind … [The film pushes] American values and global strategies … Soldiers should sharpen their eyes and enforce a ‘firewall’ to avoid ideological erosion when watching American movies. More importantly, they should strengthen their combat capability to safeguard national security and interests.”

There are so many wonderful things to pull out of this. First, the dramatic accusation of Americans furthering their dastardly plots to underhandedly save mankind. Look dude, you might not want too get to angry about us saving the world, that’s where all your stuff is too.

A commenter over on Blastr actually ran down the nationalities of the pilots in the film and pointed out that through the film there were:

3 Chinese pilots
2 American pilots
1 Japanese pilot
2 Australian pilots
1 British pilot
2 Russian pilots

It’s very clever that in our propaganda about Americans saving the world, we actually included more Chinese pilots than American ones isn’t it? Or that only 6 of the 11 pilots were even white, which granted is out of world population proportions, but this is coming from a country that thinks Rush Hour is a sign of racial progress.

Tune back in tomorrow when we discuss how Legally Blonde was actually an attempt to brainwash Islamic fundamentalists.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Seems a slightly strange target, considering just how much of mainstream Hollywood essentially is sub-propaganda. Aim better, China, jeez.

  • Misomaniac

    If China is so shit hot, how come they had to send the North Koreans to invade us in Red Dawn?

  • Drake

    Repent, Harlequin! Cried the Ticktock Man.

  • koko temur

    You guys are so ignorant. Charlie was obviously nose flairing in morse code all through the movie " USA" "USA!!" to brain wash us all. Wake up, america! I bet you believe the moon landing too!!

  • emmalita

    I can't believe I missed this little gem of faux rage. The Real Americans are outraged by the lack of Real Americans in the cast. Charlie Day doesn't count because he is from that liberal left-wing cesspool Philadelphia. And I do believe in the moon landing!

  • idiosynchronic

    Context and audience usually get lost even before a stinking translator has a chance to turn traitor. I would hazard that the Chinese military is rebutting against the idea that maybe international cooperation is a good thing, and waving the flag of self-sufficient nationalism. Juche ain't a North Korean invention.

  • BendinIntheWind

    "Look dude, you might not want too get to angry about us saving the world, that’s where all your stuff is too."

    Well thanks for making me spit coffee onto my monitor.

  • stella

    God China, go pick on Grownups if you want to object to a Hollywood movie. Leave Pacific Rim alone.

  • Strand

    One of my favourite things about Pacific Rim was that it was set in Hong Kong, not New York. Again. I dug del Toro's rainbow cast. I love how he never made race a character's sole defining characteristic. I love how he refrained from racial jokes and stereotyping in the way Michael Bay can't. Pacific Rim was the most refreshingly optimistic action movie I've seen in a while, amongst a sea of "Dark n Gritty" destruction pornos.

  • JJ

    Exactly. You know what happens when filmmakers try to force New York as a setting? Roland Emmerich's Godzilla happens.

  • Ruthie O

    If I've learned one thing from Orwell novels and history books, you can't really reason with authoritarian regimes with numbers and logic. In fact, reasoning and logic are pretty much frowned upon completely.

  • Real_Irwin

    But it was made by a Mexican!

  • NateMan

    One of the things I enjoyed most about Pacific Rim was its international cast and setting. It was one of the most decidedly un-American movies I'd seen in theaters. Proving once again that the Chinese military and government needs a good, long, hard opportunity to fuck itself.

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    Seems a slightly strange target, considering just how much of mainstream Hollywood essentially is sub-propaganda. Aim better, China, jeez.

  • marigi

    To be fair, the non anglophones don't really get that many lines, even Rinko Kikuchi mostly looks astonished, dramatic (constipated?) or on the verge of tears. That said, I didn't get the propaganda message either.

  • Qualtinger

    And the Chinese Robot gets blown to pieces pretty much immediately after performing some laughable maneuvers, as does the Russian. I don´t believe in a conspiracy behind the script of Pacific Rim, but that part wasn´t very subtle, was it? I immediately thought the Chinese would react this way when I saw it.

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