I Just Saw a 90 Minute Navy Commercial Starring Tom Hanks


I thought Tom Hanks was doing pretty well with the movie career, but evidently he decided to get into commercials.

Seriously, though, as someone who used to be an adolescent boy, I know the draw of what’s being done with these movies that highlight the military. It’s the biggest conspiracy that I know of that isn’t actually a conspiracy.

In short, the American military is financing and meticulously guiding the portrayal of our military in a staggering number of top mainstream movies.

Notice how the military scenes are strikingly similar between various titles: it’s always the military showing up and everyone in the audience saying,

Oh man, it’s on now!

There are tons of scenes of readying the weapons, showing the firepower, SEALs and Marines suiting up for combat. This are all things that give 17-year-old males from the lower income brackets massive boners.

It’s anecdotal, but I used to be one of those guys—right before I joined the military. And that was before this massive campaign that we’re seeing now, with them basically spewing mass—and I think I can use this word—propaganda upon our youth.

So what?

Why does this matter? Well, because all these wars that we like to complain about are powered not by a draft, but by a volunteer force. And how do you get people to join? You target lower income groups, and you do it extremely intelligently. Notice how much of the advertising they do are now featuring minority actors, and show along side “pimp your car” commercials like the Scion offerings.

I find it rather disgusting.

It’s horribly sad when our main pitches to those struggling in this country are:

  1. There aren’t any jobs out there

  2. Come blow shit up overseas—it’s honorable to do it for your country

A distinction

Look, I proudly served when I was in. And I think that serving in the military, when it’s actually needed, for something like, say, protecting the United States, is honorable. World War II for example—those people are heroes. Without question.

But I increasingly see our current volunteers as victims. Victims of a lack of education. Victims of ignorance of how the world works. Victims of a failed economy. And victims of, ultimately, the corporate/military/industrial complex that requires the duped to carry out its unpleasant landscaping work.

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But that’s not a great pitch:

Come do the shitty work that we’d never let our kids do because they’re too busy going to college to become future finger tent types.

Not enough people who are in the military community, or who are sympathetic to it, understand that those in the upper classes, e.g. our civilian government officials, think people who join the military are basically an underclass. They would never let their children enlist in the services, as it’s considered (rightly?) to be something that poor people do.


It just bothers me to see it happening. To see the ignorant masses confused by the trick. I came out of the movie last night (Captain Phillips) and heard a couple of younger men wearing Raiders gear from head to toe saying,

Did you see that Navy ship? Yeah, that thing was badass…

Score one for the propaganda creators. He might be joining soon–especially since he probably can’t get much of a job anywhere else.

Maybe we can just simplify the whole process. Thanks to the Citizens United debacle the corporations are now free to control influence politics rather directly, and since they are the ones who stand to benefit so much from our deployments overseas we’re really seeing the marketing come full circle.

Either use the universities (corporate trade schools) to prepare their higher-end workers for lifetimes of grateful service, or market Navy SEAL ass-kickery to the underclass during Scion commercials so that they can get shot at doing the unpleasant work.

Anyway, Tom Hanks was good in it. Recommend.

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