December 11, 2003
Symmetric Warfare

About a month ago, Metafilter posted a link to a series of pictures shot by a US soldier in Iraq.

I rummaged through them, most of which were as banal as you would imagine them to be. I pulled one or two onto my drive, because of that Collier Brothers impulse to own what you see.

shutthefuckup.jpg

There was one anomaly in an otherwise predictable set of images, and that was this poster that someone had photoshopped to send a message to Hollywood, (which spends a lot of time listening to the Army, after all.) It looks like one of the MeFites found it interesting as well, because he linked directly to it. If you follow that link, though, you'll notice it's bad, as are most all the ones that MeFi linked to, even though the site is still up. The images have been trimmed down quite a lot, and the reasons for that can be as prosaic or perverse as you care to imagine.

I grabbed the poster-image because it triggered some half-memories that just got completed today. It's obvious that the shutthefuckup poster is a remix of an old World War II poster, but it was only today that I remembered that it's actually a sampled extended remix, layered on layers.

shut-up.jpg

This off the "Propaganda Remix Project," which I came across maybe a year earlier. Ain't neither side more clever than the other on this one, or any more clever than, say, sports mascot hijinks. But what's interesting to me about this is what's interesting to me about all this, which is the open source nature of everything, including propaganda.

We remix the remixes, I know it's old news, but there's a different kind of pleasure in imagining that taking place on a laptop just outside Baghdad.

Posted by kevin slavin at December 11, 2003 01:04 PM
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