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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reason and Emotion 

During the war years.../

Errr... Pardon me. These
are the war years. I meant the real war. World War Two.

During the years our country was entrenched in 'Good Ol' World War Two, Walt Disney's animators made a number of films to help our nation learn why it was important to pay taxes and
save cooking grease. These are wonderful films to watch. The animation is fabulous and the learning experience is unbeatable.
I'd purchased a tinned DVD set over a year ago. It's one of only a quarter million made. I guess that makes it a "Collectible".
I finally started watching it, last night.
The Three Little Pigs explained to Canadians why it was important to buy War Savings Certificates (Bonds).
Donald Fauntleroy Duck volunteered for service (flat-footed though he is) and entertained audiences.
But I was most impressed by some of the more propagandist films they made.
Chicken Little had the none-too-subtle (German) fox turning the chickens against each other.
Der Fuhrer's Face made fun of Hitler, Hirohito, Mussolini, Wagner, and anything German.
The Making of a Nazi turned a innocent
little kid into a killing (and then dying) machine.
But I was truly amazed by a film called, "Reason and Emotion." It explains that each of us has, inside our heads, two miniature versions of ourselves. One is properly dressed and wears glasses. He (or she) is Reason. Emotion, of course, wears caveman skins. For women, reason is a prim and proper librarian (with glasses) and Emotion is a slightly chunky broad who's ready to run into a deli and order a big sandwich and side order of potato salad. (Actually, I thought she was kinda cute).
Usually, Reason is at the wheel in our brains.
Occasionally, Emotion throws Reason (and all care) aside to take over the helm. That's when all Hell breaks loose.
The cartoon is actually quite funny, at first. It's a telling story about a time when we all had to pull together to win the war and think positively.
Then this animation short quickly switches gears. Suddenly, we see Hitler and the narrator explains how Der Fuckhead (my words, not Walt's) used Emotion to brainwash the German people. Sure, he used Sympathy and Pride with unmatched expertise. But he started with Fear... Fear... FEAR!! This way, he could convince the entire country that it was right to kill 6 million Jews and 6 million additional non-Aryans. It was right to attack (more or less) peaceful neighboring countries with designs on the entire globe.
When this chilling cartoon ended, I immediately thought of another leader who likes to use fear to brainwash innocent men into a war for all of the wrong reasons. With his control over the media, he ensured that thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi's would die.
He called forth Fear by claiming there were weapons of mass destruction.
He manipulated with Pride.
He pretty much ignored Sympathy, though.

Reason and Emotion is worth watching. If only to see the parallels.
Was this movie propaganda or an eerily accurate prediction?

We never learn. Do we?

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