Propaganda Perspectives

It’s easy to forget,
sometimes that other
societies have a perspective
on things that is very
different from our own.

It’s probably a major reason
why we have so much conflict
in the world.

One way to understand
(of course, that doesn’t
mean you’re going to
agree with it ) things
from the other guy’s
viewpoint is to look at
his sources for information.

If he really doesn’t like you,
based on cultural reasons
alone, there’s a good chance
that he’s been taught that
you’re a big fink by the
educational and political
institutional media of his
society.

Some of the references
are rather random,
but most of it is part of
a larger and tightly controlled
frame of reference-
— a plan, if you will.

That ‘planned’ part is what
we call propaganda.

Most of us are familiar
with our own U.S. propaganda,
some of it made by Disney
Studios, during World War II.

And while we might look back
on it with considerable concern
about the stereotyping and
hate-conjuring that was being
reflected in similar publications
and media, we also should
remember our enemies were
doing likewise –
— and in many cases,
much more so.

The idea is to keep both the
warriors in the field and the
folks on the home front
completely sold on hostile
actions and/or a war effort.

Vilifying the enemy can
take many forms – and one
effective method is by
illustrating the peace-loving,
purely defensive and innocent
nature of ‘our side’ – and a
malevolent, aggressive and
monstrous face representing
the other.

An excellent example of this
can be seen in the Japanese
print art genre known as
‘ Shou Kokumin ‘ –

— very loosely translated
as ‘ Children Playing Soldier ‘ .

There were numerous pieces
produced, and both the term
and the genre was very often
utilized in pre-1945 Japan.

Take this card
for instance:

It was released
commemorating the
Russo-Japanese War and
the Battle of Mukden,
and was part of an effort
to justify the invasion of Manchuria.

The fact that the Japanese
during the Imperial Period
gave children extensive
military style training makes
the image even more startling
to us, and more effective as a
piece of domestic propaganda.

Another example features
a child soldier in samurai
costume standing guard
at the border of the newly
created Japanese puppet
state of Manchukuo –

— a result of the aforesaid
Japanese invasion of
Chinese Manchuria after
the Battle of Mukden.

It’s a distinctive and appealing style, that completely belies the
implications regarding children
and warfare.

Which, of course,
makes it very effective
propaganda, indeed.

1943 Disney Employee Handbook

1943 was a hectic time
for Disney Studios —

It was a little over a year
after the sneak attack at
Pearl Harbor, and like
Disney, most people
were engaged in
war-time production
of necessaries –
from tanks
to torpedoes,
from propellers
to propaganda.

Disney had been very busy
in 1942 producing –

morale films like:
“The New Spirit”,
” Donald Duck Gets Drafted“,
and “ Victory Through
Air Power

– social awareness films
like: ” Know Your Enemy

and training films for the
U.S. Navy and U.S. Army
like: “Aircraft Riveting ”
and ” Identifying Warships“.

And 1943 would be
busier still –
– with a huge lineup 
of technical motion
picture projects
for the military
scheduled:

these –
British Torpedo Plane Tactics” 
” Glider Training “,
” Aircraft Carrier
Landing Qualifications “,

” Rules of the Nautical Road “,
– were just a few
for the Navy alone !

Bringing in new
qualified employees
and putting them as
quickly to work as
possible was essential
to this part of the war
effort, so the studio
started to develop
a new Employee
Handbook in 1942 –
called
The Ropes At Disneys ” .

It was a solid attempt
at communicating the
Disney corporate culture
while gently but firmly
reminding new
employees of the
strict rules that
applied to the studio
during war-time.

Page three and four
is an example
of how this was done:

“This is a no-necktie,
sweaters, and slacks
organization. 

Business-like informality
is an accepted Disney policy 

which has done much to
maintain a friendly
relationship 
between
Company and employee.

‘Company Procedure’ –
– said just like that –
has an 
ominous sound,
and yet, we all know that
the observance of certain
‘shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’
is necessary in an
organization as complex
as ours.

Rules and regulations
are set in,
not to dictate,
but to help you
and the Company
arrive at a
common-ground of
mutual trust
and understanding.

The ‘Ropes At Disneys ‘ is
published as a handbook
of general information.

Naturally, personal agreements
with employees, Union contracts,
and other definite commitments
will control.

This booklet is intended merely
to be in the nature of a pointer.
It will tip you off as far as
to ‘what goes’ – and what doesn’t.

If you unwittingly
slip off the beam,
it will give you
a painless nudge
in the right direction.
Please read it carefully. “

.

There are many
interesting aspects
of this little pamphlet
for those interested
in that era –
– did you know,
for instance, that the
Studio maintained
a members-only
(men-only)
after-hours club
on the grounds called
‘The Penthouse’ ?

( I’m told it’s purpose
was similar to some
Officers Clubs on military
bases – an effort to keep
their key people as close
at hand as possible ) .

Generally speaking,
this brochure is an
excellent example of
labor relations materials –
– and aside from a few
obvious items of era-specific
‘political incorrectness’
would still be useful as a
template for contemporary
companies looking to set
a friendly but
professional
tone in their own employee
indoctrination
packages.

And,
of course –
The art,
is the real highlight.

            ——- HOY !!!! ——- 

Troubles and Worry

I like to think
that my philosophy
of life is pretty
simple.

I mean,
I try not
to worry
about stuff
that I can’t do a
damn thing about.

I usually try to ignore
ignorant, crazy
or obnoxious people,
(as much as I can)
and not let
myself get all worked
up when someone
doesn’t see things
exactly my way.

It’s not about
being a Pollyanna ,
either —

It’s much more
about pragmatic-ism.

Cause nobody
gains anything
by arguing with a fool.

And their opinions are
a lot like their rectums —
you really don’t need
anything that comes
out of there, either.

But, I do like to listen
to my friends about
how they approach life —

Whether I can emulate
their approaches, well….

That’s a whole different
kettle of fish, man.

My old Navy buddy
whom I call
The Ole Philosopher,
for instance —

I asked him for a couple
words of wisdom,
and after accumulating
quite a tab at Crabby’s Grill,
he scribbled a couple piecesetchings
of advice about life
on a stained bar napkin.

Let’s see if I can interpret
his scratchy handwriting:

“Life is a personal war,
one that eventually,
we all are going to lose.

If you’re lucky,
you’ll get to dance
on the graves of
your enemies
before you go.

Don’t forget
who you are,

and whose side
you’re on.

Keep marching,
keep your powder dry,
and sleep when you can.

A bottle of cold
French Champagne,
a hot meal,
and a couple of hookers
always helps.

But, don’t make the mistake
of leaving your wallet or keys out.”

” P.S. : I’ll write
more when I’m thirsty again. “

 

Alrighty….

Thanks, buddy.

Well,

…… while I’m sure
that his very short
and rather laconic note
is more in line with the
philosophy of
Charles Bukowski
than with Auguste Comte,

I can always count on the
Ole Philosopher to give it
to me straight.

Sure, ok–

It’s not the kinda thing
I’d want to use as a
quote for the day…..
surity
But, it does seem to
be a perfect
accompaniment
to a couple of these
vintage postcards
and World War II
era ephemera thrown in
for good measure.

So,
win, win, right ?

!!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!!!