- February 10, 2018
Sex and Propaganda
“Sex and propaganda.” That got your attention, didn’t it?
Many people believe they know quite a bit about sex, but how many people do you know who claim to be experts in propaganda?
Just what is propaganda anyway? Dictionary.com defines it as “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.” The act of deliberately spreading such information is also termed propaganda.
The origins of propaganda go back to the beginning of human history, to the story of Adam, Eve and the snake (if you believe in such things). Anytime we persuade or threaten, “to help or harm,” we are employing our own propagandistic techniques.
Some propaganda is unquestionably good. Do you recognize the image below?
Most Americans are saying to themselves right about now, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
Non-Americans might be a tad mystified – because they didn’t grow up with a continuing stream (or sometimes, an out and out bombardment) of advertisements featuring Smokey the Bear reminding us not to toss lighted matches and cigarettes out of our car windows.
But let’s face it: there’s nothing sexy about Smokey the Bear. This was something that master propagandist and top Nazi Joseph Goebbels understood quite well. This one man is the reason that modern propaganda really got going during World War II.
Goebbels realized that, if you want to sell soap or Socialism – or demoralize the enemy – there is nothing as potent as sex to get your message across. The underlying thinking in the military arena is that soldiers, being basically 12-year-old boys at heart, are fixated on food and the fairer sex.
The Nazis were right – and wrong. A very interesting article by Herbert Friedman quotes veteran Bud Winter who was attached to New York’s 10th Mountain Division:
“The Jerries [Germans] shell us with leaflets with a picture of a beautiful girl on one side and a skull and cross bones on the other. One side says Life and the other Death…Well, anyway, it seems to raise the morale of most of the fellows because they hang the side up with the beautiful girl for a pinup say to Hell with the other side.”
That’s Yankee ingenuity for you.
There’s a line from a Cole Porter song called “Anything Goes” that goes like this:
“In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Mr. Porter wrote those lyrics in 1934. These days, more than eighty years later, sexual standards have declined to the point where publicity-seeking performers must strip naked to get some media attention.
Advertising, television, movies, billboards – all are rife with sexual innuendo, at least. Sometimes, the sex is, shall we say, palpable?
Just for fun, while watching a TV show or movie, see if the costume designer plunged every single female actor’s neckline to expose her cleavage. Then look at the men. They are dressed normally. This is true for female detective characters as well as normal housewives.
Remember Janet Jackson’s impromptu “chest exposure” during a Superbowl halftime show? Was it really an accident, or was it planned – to up the game’s viewership?
Kim Kardashian. Did you think of the picture below? Were you shocked when it hit the newsstands? The British Guardian reported that “when [rapper and Kim’s husband] Kanye tweeted ‘the butt cover’ with the hashtag ‘#ALLDAY,’ within a couple of hours, he had been retweeted about 70,000 times.”
That’s some good publicity. But is it art – or pornography? Regardless of your opinion, this is undeniably some brilliant propaganda, and an excellent example of celebrity marital teamwork:
So far political candidates haven’t resorted to sexual propaganda to promote their parties and agendas. This is good news for anyone who doesn’t have the mentality and hormones of a 12-year boy.
Here’s one last piece of propaganda, tweeted by banksy that we here at The Daily Conspiracy would like you to consider:
“The difference between freedom and slavery is one thin line.”