North America

Mon
5
Jan
2015
New translation available
A peace sign printed on the American Flag is raised during a protest against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Archive / History Channel)
Submitted by Gary

Statement written by Ben Norton, Tyra Walker, Anastasia Taylor, Alli McCracken, Colleen Moore, Jes Grobman, Ashley Lopez / Codepink -

Once again, US politicians and pundits are beating the drums of...

Thu
24
May

First-person Shooter Games, the US Military, and Serial Killers

Nik Cruz, the Parkland shooter, and Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the Santa Fe shooter, uploaded these photos on to their Instagram account of their favorite pastime – First-person shooter games.

Pat Elder - May 23, 2018 - 

Both Nik Cruz, the Parkland shooter, and Dimitri Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the Santa Fe shooter, were emotionally distraught because of girls who rejected their advances. They were both outcasts in their respective high schools. They both played video games that simulated war.  In his Facebook bio, Dimitri showed interest in joining the US Marine Corps “starting in 2019.” Nik Cruz felt more at home with the Army.

This is not a cheap shot. The military recruits gamers from the virtual world.

Tue
03
Apr

JROTC Cadet Nik Cruz

JROTC Cadet abs School Shooter Nik Cruz

Pat Elder

Cadet Private First-Class Nik Cruz was talking to America when he posted his photos on Instagram. Nik takes us inside his world. He wanted us to see his development from a fairly normal kid to a serial killer. Cruz is a product of American culture and he has a message for us, although we may not want to hear it. Cruz’s odyssey from ostracized youth to serial killer is noted for its adherence to a well-documented script. Cruz is the prototype. He is general issue.

Looking through a gun sight

Cruz uploaded this image to his Instagram account.

Fri
02
Mar

Florida Gunman Nikolas Cruz Knew How to Use a Gun, Thanks to the NRA and the U.S. Army

Extended web-only discussion with Pat Elder, the director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, a group that confronts militarism in the schools. He is the author of “Military Recruiting in the United States.” The gunman who fired on students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a 19-year-old white former student named Nikolas Cruz, was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, known as JROTC. Cruz also took part in a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which had received $10,000 in funding from the NRA. “[The NRA] realize that if they can start linking the children with the guns at age 13 in the high schools, it’s a win-win proposition for them and for the sellers of weaponry,” says Elder.

Thu
23
Nov
gdghirardi's picture

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: Can Pop Culture Normalize Militarism/Militarization?

Militarism: Can Pop Culture Normalize Militarism/Militarization?

Selene Rivas - November 23, 2017

Can seemingly innocuous activities such as playing video games, watching movies, or binging on TV shows affect your ways to see the world or how you behave? Could it affect social norms? Is one able to “turn one’s brain off”, and not be affected beyond the most superficial level, by what one is consuming? Much has been written about violence in the media and how it might affect people’s behavior, and indeed, positive correlations with violence can be found1. But beyond these oft-discussed subject, the question is: what role does mass media and pop culture play in normalization? And, more related to this series of articles, what is the relationship between pop culture, militarism/militarization, and normalization? This article will attempt to approximate us to an answer..

Tue
21
Nov

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: How do things become normal?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: How do things become normal?

Last article, we tried to answer the question of “what is normal?” and after a few examples, eventually settled on “normal is what a group of people are used to.” In this article, we’ll look at an example of the ‘normalization’ process, that is, getting used to something to the point where alternatives are forgotten. We’ll conclude by introducing the main topic of this series: how the presence of the United States military in a surprising amount of aspects of American culture has become so normal that it is no longer noticed or questioned.

“Normal” changes, not just from society to society, but also through time. In a single society, what was considered normal before is not necessarily thought of as normal now, and we can't even begin to imagine what things are normal today that won't be normal in the future. How does that happen? And does something becoming "normal" with time necessarily mean that it is "better"?

Mon
20
Nov

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is normal?

Researching Pop Culture and Militarism: What is normal?

"Human beings are consumers of vast quantities of raw materials and fuels. A tremendous amount of waste materials results from this use--individual, societal, industrial, and accidental."1

Is this sentence a fact, or an opinion? When starting a sentence with "human beings are..." or "human nature is...", who determines whether what is being said is fact or fiction? History? One’s own experiences or philosophy? Is there such a thing as normal human behavior anyway?

In the following article, we'll discuss how "normal" beliefs, actions, and practices are not, despite being often assumed to be so, universally defined. They are products of a specific context, and are often used to judge others outside of it.

Mon
24
Jul

Disneyland of War, short documentary

The U.S. government is manipulating children to think that war and violence is fun and glorious.

Disneyland of War, short documentary
Fri
30
Jun

Military Recruiting And How To Confront It

By Pat Elder

Wars start in our high schools and this is where we can end them.

This year the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 active duty and reserve soldiers. The Navy is trying to sign up 42,000; the Air Force is looking for 27,000, and the Marines hope to bring on 38,000. That comes to 187,000.  The Army National Guard will also attempt to lure 40,000.

Fri
28
Apr

Making Your Claim as a Conscientious Objector to War

A training video created for Veterans for Peace by PepperSpray Productions.

Making Your Claim as a Conscientious Objector to War
Thu
30
Mar

Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools

John Moore via Getty Images

By Robert Koehler What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment.

The Pentagon has been eyeing these schools — broken and gang-ridden — for a decade now, and seeing its future there. It comes in like a cammy-clad Santa, bringing money and discipline. In return it gets young minds to shape, to (I fear) possess: to turn into the next generation of soldiers, available for the coming wars.

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