propaganda

If You Were a German Girl in 1939

If you were a German teenage girl in 1939, you would be a subscriber to Das Deutsche Mädel, the monthly journal of the “League of German Girls” (BDM or Bund Deutsche Mädel) under the auspices of the Hitler Youth (see more issues here). Three sections of the BDM accommodated girls from 10 to 21...

Teach Their Children Well

In 1937, the Italian dicatotor Benito Mussolini embarked upon a colonizing war that spread over North and East Africa. Italian forces reconquered Libya and Eritrea and occupied Somalia, subjecting the local populations to massacres and other atrocities. Neutralizing the indigenous people was the job of the army. But since Mussolini claimed to be a...

Brave New World Revisited Once More for Good Measure

Aldous Huxley’s 1958 Brave New World Revisited is arguably one of the most prescient cautionary books on the present and future of propaganda and manipulation—if also an unintended handbook for some on how to manipulate our minds. I wrote about and quoted from it over a year ago, here. But now that the campaign...

State of Deception

What is the role of the printed word and image in collectively inciting societies to brand certain members and groups as evil, and to convince the citizenry to condone—if not incite—murder? During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, I was reeducated in the power of branding—especially as...

What Is Propaganda?

Do you know the origins of propaganada? There was the propagation of the faith of the Catholic Church: The origin of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda has passed through two distinct periods: The first period is that of the cardinalitial commission de propaganda fide (before it had been constituted a definite pontifical department or...

Symbols Don’t Stop Violence

Today is apparently Spirit Day in the gay community, during which we’re all supposed to have a little pep rally and wear purple to show our solidarity against bullying. I’m not wearing purple. American culture has become over-saturated with meaningless symbols like this purple t-shirt affectation, “donating” our Facebook profiles against hunger for a...

Today's Obsession: Adrian + Shane

I am completely bananas over Adrian + Shane’s art right now. I ran across them last year, maybe middle of the summer, and since then they’ve put out a flood of angry, funny work. They’re a couple of artists working as one entity since 1998—a phenomenal achievement in and of itself. Working with another...