" Heroes: Soldiers get the X-Factor | Madam Miaow Says

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Heroes: Soldiers get the X-Factor



Is popular culture the highest form of expression which humans en masse can achieve? Or industrial product designed to plant false consciousness?

With the X-Factor finalists' video and single supporting British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, it looks like the cynics win. The government’s failing war propaganda has received a massive yuletide boost thanks to Simon Cowell and the release of his army advertorial in time for Baby Jesus’s birthday.

Shame the Three Magi didn’t have modern technology or they could have brought Him gold, frankincense, myrrh and a video knocked up by Pontius Pilate showing “our boys”, the Romans, and all their Good Works in Judea.

Hmm. What would Jesus do?

Dunno, but Irish site, Eirigi, has edited their own version of the X-Factor video with all the pertinent bits added — such as what soldiers actually do out there — just so you can make up your own mind (video above).

No doubt a gong awaits Cowell for services rendered to the Dark Forces.

Madam Miaow says ... Higher Trash is a thing of beauty, wonder, transcendence and joy. Then there’s the Lower Trash. Then there’s this ...

Digg!

Delicious
Delicious

6 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I'm sure the military assignment, will come to the US show as well.

They will get a distorted view of war, from the most guarded and secure areas.

Nobody will throw shoes.

Madam Miaow said...

Ugh! There's a horrible thought.

Let them throw Louboutins. Big shiny sharp stiletto Louboutins, with heavy platform soles and steel toecaps.

Gorilla Bananas said...

That's why only the barefooted can attend my press conferences.

Paul said...

Hi Madam Miaow, I guess it's pretty easy for an artist to retrospectively gush over propaganda like this video. I have actually been to a couple of the places in that video and it is true the situations I faced were tragic at times but the message in that video is nonetheless cynical and disingenuous. But before we dissect the lies, propaganda and rank hypocrisy of this post could you clear up for me a simple matter. As you are protesting about the British Army on behalf of this republican group, just to clarify matters you are on about the well known pacifist organisation the IRA? Those being the guys who killed thousands of mostly civilians in a campaign that they lost. Or remind me when was the victory parade down the falls with a flute band and the tricolour being hoisted over Stormont? As to children being brutalised, who was it who kneecapped them? Figures provided by CAIR (an academic non sectarian organisation) show the IRA actually killed more catholic civilians than the Army did but never mind, just wax lyrical about children sacrificed cynically by republicans in riots, whilst ignoring those who were mutilated for supposedly stealing a car or blown up in shopping centres.

As to Iraq, I'm entirely willing to concede it was not the Army's finest hour. HMG starved the mission of resources and the Army was asked to do too much with too little. Although the Americans at least did defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq. Was the British Army unpopular in Southern Iraq? It depends who you spoke to, I found women and non Muslim minorities certainly preferred them to the Iranian sponsored militias who would drive them off the streets and kill them for not covering up. The tragedy was that until April of this year the city of Basra was effectively controlled by such groups.

Until that was the British trained Iraqi 14th Division restored the writ of the elected government to the place. In the end reasonable governance was instituted and it was an Iraqi solution.

An ironic fact of history I believe may be that whilst the US deposed Saddam and defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq ( who murdered untold thousands), it was the elected Iraqi Government that actually negotiated with the US and UK the terms under which they would vacate the country and we are now leaving.

That video is pretty silly really but it does represent how republicans will always seek to write history for others. A history in which only the much smaller number of Catholics killed by the state form the only victims. It ignores and indeed must ignore the big killers, the killing of off duty coppers in front of their families, the violent assaults upon nationalists who criticised the IRA (including an elected SDLP councillor near Crossmaglen). Or the fact that the whole republican enterprise had by the 80's more to do with a dozen or so ‘farmers’ amassing a fortune through diesel smuggling than uniting Ireland.

I fully understand a desire for a united Ireland, it's when people murder for it, torture for it, achieve nothing and then lie that I object to.

Madam Miaow said...

Although the Americans at least did defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Paul, as any fule kno, there weren't any Al Qaeda in Iraq until the US-led invasion. In the same way that US sponsorship of the Mojahadeen against the Russians in Afghanistan in the early 1980s gave birth to Al Qaeda, US action, supported by the British, in the middle east has strengthened the very forces you seek to crush.

No, the IRA weren't perfect as we know, and there are plenty of examples where they were plain dumb and brutal. But up against the might of a British state that had been brutalising the Catholic population for centuries, they were the underdogs defending a weak community. Have you never seen the footage of Catholics being burned out of their houses? Or radicals strung up by B Specials who were so awful they had to be disbanded?

My objections to the X-Factor video is that it is political brainwashing under cover of entertainment, that it glamourises the actions of soldiers sent in to do a dirty job by corrupt and callous politicians.

F'rinstance, everyone was shocked when we found out about the lack of kit and decent equipment for their own troops. Our governments compel human beings to kill human beings and I wish the participants would ask more questions of what's being asked of them.

Paul said...

I really don't know where you learn your history from Re Ireland and Iraq but I guess it comes from the comfortable confines of a Liberal art house or whatever. For my part I have learnt my versions of both of those histories firstly as a soldier who visited such destinations and secondly as an academic who studied (and still does) those conflicts from posterity.

I think you’re trying to say as 'any fool knows'? Please correct my attempts to para-phase you if necessary. What you say is quite wrong in any case, Al Qaeda were in Iraq in 2003, Zarqawi had bases there near Halabja in Kurdistan. It is true that their presence there was limited by the fact that Saddam would have brutally annihilated any attempt on their behalf to cause trouble, so they did not spread until the chaos that ensued after Saddam was deposed. Still that is certainly something this fool knows. However if you are of the opinion that in order to foster unity in Iraq and deter Al Qaeda that a Stalinist tyrant is required, I would respect however disagree with such a point. We are fortunate indeed however that the brutal imposition of Al Qaeda rule across large swathes of Iraq has now been largely eradicated and the democratic (as opposed to despotic) rule of law is very gradually growing in that country. I welcome you disagreeing with that but leaving Iraq run by either Saddam or Al Qaeda is not in my opinion a good idea and would have seriously harmed our own security.

'No, the IRA weren't perfect as we know, and there are plenty of examples where they were plain dumb and brutal. But up against the might of a British state that had been brutalising the Catholic population for centuries, they were the underdogs defending a weak community. Have you never seen the footage of Catholics being burned out of their houses? Or radicals strung up by B Specials who were so awful they had to be disbanded?'

I really don't know where to start on that as it is nothing short of fantastic. However I would ask you to look at for instance the University of Ulster's excellent CAIR website. That is just one source but as to the IRA being 'underdogs' that might go down well with Ken Loach but ignores key verifiable facts. The IRA killed far more catholic civilians than the British. Not only that but the whole thing by the 80's was being dragged out due to individuals making a huge living from organised crime, particularly diesel smuggling (read Toby Harnden). Were British Soldiers always lily white? Of course not, I would readily admit that but no British soldier ever abducted, tortured and murdered people for often no crime at all. Nor do I recall any squaddie earning millions from the profits of smuggled diesel and using the conflict as an opportunity to eliminate criminal rivals. I do recall however British soldiers being subject to the rigours of the law and paying for transgressions in court (Lee Clegg etc).

You know maybe this X factor video is lousy, I have not bought it but I would support attempts to help the rehabilitation of wounded service men and women. As to it being 'propaganda', that is actually an insult you aim only at yourself, things you disagree with or do not understand you dismiss out of hand.

Finally ‘everyone was shocked when we found out about the lack of kit and decent equipment for their own troops. Our governments compel human beings to kill human beings and I wish the participants would ask more questions of what's being asked of them.' Tell me about it I was there! It's just unfortunate that the latter part of that statement is yet again tempered with smug condescension towards soldiers who endure the unimaginable on behalf of all of us whether we agree with that or not. All the best and happy New Year, doubtless the Champagne corks will be flying in your part of the world if not in Helmand.

ShareThis