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.
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.