Militainment, Inc.: Militarism & Pop Culture

Militainment, Inc. offers a fascinating, disturbing, and timely glimpse into the militarization of American popular culture, examining how U.S. news coverage has come to resemble Hollywood film, video games, and "reality television" in its glamorization of war. Mobilizing an astonishing range of media examples -- from news anchors' idolatry of military machinery to the impact of government propaganda on war reporting -- the film asks: How has war taken its place in the culture as an entertainment spectacle? And how does presenting war as entertainment affect the ability of citizens to evaluate the necessity and real human costs of military action? The film is broken down into nine sections, each between 10 and 20 minutes in length, allowing for in-depth classroom analysis of individual elements of this wide-ranging phenomenon.

Written, produced & narrated by Roger Stahl

Sections: Introduction | Spectacle | Clean War | Techno-Fetishism | Demonization | Reality TV | Sports | Toys | Video Games | Dissent | Outro

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Praise for the Film

"Highly recommended, especially for courses on mass communications and popular culture."
- Educational Media Reviews Online (full review)

"Roger Stahl's Militainment is a real eye-opener. In a highly engaging and well-documented film, Stahl shows how the media have largely functioned as instruments of propaganda in recent U.S. military interventions, and he documents as well the culture of militarism in popular entertainment, ranging from TV shows, sports, and toys, to video games, all of which present war as entertainment. This development is both shocking and dangerous and contributes to a militarization of our culture and society that makes us more likely to go to war, despite our traumatic experiences in Iraq (and now Afghanistan). Every citizen should awaken to these dangers and Stahl's documentary is an important tool of enlightenment that should be widely used in the classroom and public spaces."
- Douglas Kellner | UCLA | Author, The Persian Gulf TV War and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy

"Teddy bears in camouflage fatigues? A computer game based on a joint-chiefs-of-staff training scenario? War news sans body bags? If you've noticed that it's harder and harder to tell the difference between U.S. news coverage of war and its depictions in movies and video games, you're not alone. In his documentary Militainment, Inc., University of Georgia communications professor Roger Stahl compiles striking examples of pop culture's infiltration with military motifs. Distributed by the Northampton, Massachusetts-based Media Education Foundation, the film takes aim at a guns-and-buttered-popcorn approach to war and suffering, and asks whether news-as-entertainment affects U.S. citizens' ability to evaluate the real human costs of military action." -- Peace and Justice Center -- Burlington, VT