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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: “Kid Rock Warrior Video”

This is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen, and yet, it shocks me not:


It’s like one of those bits of propaganda in Starship Troopers, which — like much of our satire — is looking less like satire every day.

I’m not sure which is more appalling: the likening of NASCAR drivers to “warriors,” or the suggestion that the poor saps who sign up for the National Guard in the hopes that the recruitment bonus will pay off some credit card debt will get suckered into believing they’re as cool as NASCAR racers. Perhaps that will comfort them when they’re getting blown up by IEDs on a Basra roadside.

Oh, and ya gotta love that first line of the song: “Don’t tell me who’s wrong or right when liberty starts slipping away.” Oh, the layers of awfulness wrapped up in that! It’s probably safe to assume that the audience to whom this is intended to appeal doesn’t understand that the only people responsible for liberty slipping away are our own leaders. But that means that that audience is okay with being “wrong” as long as they believe we’re defending “liberty” from “slipping away.”

So, does that mean these folks thinks it would be okay to waterboard Dick Cheney and George Bush?

I guess we know what Kid Rock and Dale Earnhardt Jr. would say about that.



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  • Allan

    ‘Starship Troopers’ indeed! Civilizations are never as weird and wild as they are when near collapse.

  • You know things are going to Hell when Paul Verhoven turns out to be prescient…

    “Take a close look at the track record of this company, and you’ll see that we’ve gambled in markets traditionally regarded as non-profit: hospitals, prisons, space exploration. I say good business is where you find it.”

    – OCP executive Richard “Dick” Jones in Robocop

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omni_Consumer_Products

  • MBI

    Despite me and my friends’ tendency to crack jokes at pre-movie advertisements, I’m always too embarrassed to watch this long enough to say anything about it.

  • MaryAnn

    Paul Verhoven for Prescient!

  • Ryan

    …or for president…we could do worse!

  • VoteRep

    You can shoot off whatever you want behind that computer screen, but bet you’d be pissing yourself if you even visited our brave troops in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    Hell, Obama Hussein wouldn’t even visit them in Germany.

    You SHOULD be thanking our troops for the opportunity to be able to say such ignorant things. EDUCATE yourself!

    Also, I beleive in torture!!!

  • JoshB

    These people can’t even be proper fascists. With all the money they have at their disposal the best propaganda they could manage was Kid Rock strumming power chords in 4/4 time.

    Mussolini is spinning his grave.

  • DavidC

    “one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen”

    Wow. You must not really get out.

    Okay, the NASCAR stuff was, well, bizarre but some of your comments ala “in the hopes that the recruitment bonus will pay off some credit card debt will get suckered into believing they’re as cool as NASCAR racers” was equally as bizarre. Guess I don’t understand the hate for this mediocre video.

  • MaryAnn

    What’s bizarre about the statement of mine you highlighted?

  • Angel

    You make me sick.

    If you cant stand up for our national Guard like Kid Rock and Dale JR do, I hope to GOD if theres a disaster in your town, you get left sitting there while they rescue real Americans.

    Hell yeah they fight in IRAQ. Its the American ideal that innocent people not be slaughtered by a regime.

    I am so sick of the liberal trash in this country.

    You Pussys need to move to France.

  • sugarmama

    stop hating on and get a life

  • Anne-Kari

    Angel – here’s the problem I have with your comment. My husband joined the National Guard upon completion of 5 yrs in the regular army. He was deployed locally in NYC on Sept 11, guarding ground zero and working in the family center for those who went missing in the attacks.

    Later, he was deployed to Iraq for 18 months. His unit lost over 15 soldiers over there.

    And there’s nothing glamorous about any of that. The bottom line is this: If MaryAnn or anyone else wants to criticize artists like Kid Rock for attempting to make being a soldier a glamorous thing, she has that right. If you want to disagree with her on her opinions, YOU have that right.

    But America is not about – or should not be about – wishing ill on those with whom you disagree, or suggesting if you don’t like something about the country, you should leave it.

    Freedom of speech and expression is the foundation of America. Discourse and disagreement is guarenteed here like nowhere else in this world – and this is a good thing, and a necessary thing for a true democracy.

    And from what I read in her post, her problem is not with the troops. It’s with those who would use the images of troops in a way she finds offensive and opportunistic.

    MAJ, correct me if I got this wrong.

  • wow! here i was just getting ready to give “Angel” the whole, “I do not agree with what you say,” speech and Kari-Anne came in with a far better and more effective one.

    i don’t know when it happened in this country that *any* commentary or disagreement with the way the military is run, is suddenly against the troops. i pay my taxes and i want the troops to have the best things possible. my idea of supporting them is *not* to have them blown to smithereens or be used as propaganda tools.

    thanks you Kari-Anne and your husband too. but Angel, you’d better re-read the Constitution… the military is subordinate to, and the servants of, the civilian population – not hte other way around.

  • sorry Anne-Kari! Anne-Kari should be substituted anywhere i wrote Kari-Anne.

  • Anne-Kari

    No prob, bronxbee – happens all the time :)

    Also: “i pay my taxes and i want the troops to have the best things possible. my idea of supporting them is *not* to have them blown to smithereens or be used as propaganda tools.”

    I’m right there with you. Couldn’t have said it better myself, especially since my hubby is still in the Guard and could easily get deployed again. Fingers crossed that it won’t happen again…

  • E

    Talking about satire turning into the way things actually are, I can’t tell anymore when someone comes onto a website to post and spouts those “freedom isn’t free” “you hate the troops” stuff, if they’re just making a joke or thats their actual way of thinking.

    I’m glad Anne-Kari posted, because people who are actually going through dealing with the war in Iraq, either themselves or with family members, are the people I want to hear talk candidly. They’re the ones who know the situation, who deal with it daily.

  • DavidC

    What’s bizarre about the statement of mine you highlighted?

    MaryAnn, well, it is hard to believe you really read what you wrote. What in the video made you believe that they were “believing they’re as cool as NASCAR racers”?? That may have been a video thang, but I hardly believe that is why the vast majority of those men and women are over there; to be cool like NASCAR drivers? Sheesh

  • DavidC

    Well, I went back and watched the video again. The only thing I see it being guilty of is “Pro USA Rah Rah”. And your problem with that is what (other than the weird NASCAR stuff?

  • JoshB

    The only thing I see it being guilty of is “Pro USA Rah Rah”. And your problem with that is what?

    Oooh, you’re a crafty one, trying to corner her into admitting that she’s an America hatin’ commie. Real subtle, Sun Tzu.

    Try this: the song starts with “Don’t tell me who’s wrong and right when liberty starts slipping away – and if you ain’t gonna fight, get outta the way.” It’s like a dictionary example of irony.

    Liberty is slipping away, so shut your piehole! And if you think that blowing shit up might not be especially productive, get outta the way of my Apache gunship!

    I have a problem with being lectured about patriotism by someone who thinks liberty is the right to watch cars go real fast. Pro USA Vroom Vroom.

  • MaryAnn

    And from what I read in her post, her problem is not with the troops. It’s with those who would use the images of troops in a way she finds offensive and opportunistic.

    MAJ, correct me if I got this wrong.

    Of course my problem is not with the troops. It’s with propaganda, and worse, our leader, who are *clearly* the ones who disrespect our troops. What else can you call it when they are sent into harm’s way without the proper equipment or preparation to protect themselves, and if they’re lucky enough to make it home alive, their benefits are being stripped from them by the same leaders who sent them into danger? And if they’re *not* lucky enough to come home alive, their coffins are hidden from public view so that our leaders can pretend that they didn’t die?

    What in the video made you believe that they were “believing they’re as cool as NASCAR racers”?? That may have been a video thang, but I hardly believe that is why the vast majority of those men and women are over there; to be cool like NASCAR drivers? Sheesh

    You’re absolutely right, DavidC. It is ludicrous to suggest that being a solider is as cool as being a NASCAR driver. So why does this video do that? What possible purpose can it serve… except, perhaps, to lure in young people who don’t already realize that it’s NOT cool to be under fire and watch your buddies die.

    Your problem, DavidC, is with the video. I’m just the messenger telling you what the video is saying.

    If you cant stand up for our national Guard like Kid Rock and Dale JR do, I hope to GOD if theres a disaster in your town, you get left sitting there while they rescue real Americans.

    Funny you should suggest that, Angel. Do you know where the Louisiana National Guard was when Katrina hit? In Iraq. And not serving the citizens of Louisiana, as they should have been doing.

    But thanks for wishing a disaster upon me. That’s real neighborly of you.

    You Pussys need to move to France.

    Perhaps I shall, if you are exemplary of what America has become. Or perhaps I’ll stay here and fight to return America to those ideals you spout without even understanding what you’re saying.

    It’s really amazing how terrified some people are of anyone who questions anything. And how terrified they are of the French. No French person ever wished a disaster upon me, or at least didn’t have the nerve to say so to my face.

  • Anne-Kari

    MAJ – I hope you understand that my little “Correct me if I’m wrong” comment was totally sarcastic, aimed at those who, for reasons unknown, didn’t understand the point you were making.

    OF COURSE I know your issue was with the manipulative, horrific crassness of the video, and not with our troops.

  • MaryAnn

    I got you, Anne-Kari. I just wanted to make sure the idiots got you, and got me too.

  • I had to make a video response to this… so here it is: “WAFFLE HOUSE WARRIOR” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc0FkrMXISY
    The Military, I believe for the first time, is telling citizens not to protest a policy.
    If supporting the Guard means compromising your beliefs about unfair propaganda with teenagers; if its unpatriotic or apologetic to have concerns about this nationalistic and corporatist kind of message, well then “I’m sorry”.

  • Kate

    Having seen this about four times now in the theatre (not to mention my local theatre shows it on screens in the lobby, too!), I also object to this for many reasons MAJ outlines, but also because, let’s face it, it’s just a sucky, sucky, terrible song.

  • Well, it is a Kid Rock song. What do you expect? :-)

  • Elizabeth

    I understand everything everyone has said and I agree with MaryAnn and Anne-Kari about the propaganda and the lyrics, etc… But I do kind of like the song in the beat and style and I like the parts of the video where the soldiers help those kids and smile- I think it is sweet. I know its not all happy there and blah, blah, blah.

  • Hdj

    This song was my calling, its time for me to sign up.

  • drew ryce

    Just a quick view from the right.

    I think the video is loud and down right stupid. I saw it in the theatre and cringed. Elvis, Jimi and Johnny Cash were all in the service. I do not know how something I believe in got Kid Rock as it’s spokes image. At least in wasn’t Ted Nugent.

    And yes, by the way, I have a son in the Marines currently stationed in Iraq. Second tour overseas.

  • This is the first blog or comment or whatever you want to call it. I surf the internet for information and to learn. Never have I taken my valuable time to post anything but I feel I have to.

    Awwww….Freedom of speech. Yes that is a great right we have here in the USA. There are other things we can do though other that run our mouths or keyboards for that matter. If one doesnt have the desire to defend our rights serving this great nation then why not help in your community to set an example of who you are and what you believe in? Don’t waste your life away. I truely believe, unless you have kicked in a door in Iraq, or restored power to a school in Afganistan, do not ever try to comment on what a servicemember does. Don’t like the policies then get off this computer and get out there and change it. Leave the Honor of making adult decisions to our Defenders of Freedom. Kid Rock videos, Dale Jr. sponsorship is to get the National Guard word out. I have met both and they are proud of being a part of a servicemembers lives. Who cares what the video portrays. I thought it was cool. If you havent been next to a race car then yeah you dont understand. Why criticize a video that might uplift a servicemember online somewhere in Iraq?

    I could go on but in my 18 years in the military, I found one Officer who sums all that I believe in and what motivates me in continuing my service to my fellow Soldiers and this Nation. Thank you to any and all of those that volunteered at one time no matter what service. Thank you to those family members who supported their servicemember as you too have done your service in being proud of your family member. Thank you to those that dont fall into either but put that support the troops sticker on your bumper, thank a servicemember at the gas station, or proudly raise that flag at your home to show that you appreciate your freedoms and way of life.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/08/us_army_infantr.html

  • JoshB

    There are other things we can do though other that run our mouths or keyboards for that matter…why not help in your community to set an example of who you are and what you believe in?

    Isn’t running our keyboards on the internet community about what we believe in good enough for you?

    Obviously not, behold:

    I truely believe, unless you have kicked in a door in Iraq, or restored power to a school in Afganistan, do not ever try to comment on what a servicemember does.

    I’ve never heard a better argument for giving up my right to analytical thinking. Of course, that’s not saying much. Try arguing with the logical, mathematical part of your brain instead of going straight for the guilt trip.

    Don’t like the policies then get off this computer and get out there and change it. Leave the Honor of making adult decisions to our Defenders of Freedom. Kid Rock videos…

    Sorry, but I’m a good and moral person, and as such I can’t stand by while people defend terrible music. Kid Rock is a member of the rocknrollis genericus cheezyis species. It’s an auditory crime.

  • MaryAnn

    Apparently, freedom of speech only exists as long as you don’t say anything critical about anything, ever.

    do not ever try to comment on what a servicemember does

    I would be delighted to have you point out where I criticized what members of the service do.

    Who cares what the video portrays. I thought it was cool. If you havent been next to a race car then yeah you dont understand.

    So, you’re suggesting that those who have been next to a race car understand how being a NASCAR racer is like being in the National Guard?

    Why criticize a video that might uplift a servicemember online somewhere in Iraq?

    The purpose of this video is not to “uplift” current members of the National Guard: it is to recruit new ones who do not understand that being a soldier is somewhat different from being a race-car driver.

    If you would like to explain, however, how the analogy “uplifts” men and women who are thrown into situations they are not prepared for without the proper equipment or training, and without the proper support they will require should they be lucky enough to survive the experience, I would be delighted to hear that as well. If you would like to explain how the analogy is not condescending and offensive in the extreme, I would love to hear that, too.

  • thetang

    This movie was an assault on my intelligence. What is the National Guard doing in Iraq? Oh wait… I guess they are there to build schools/buildings/bridges instead of in America.

    Seriously, Angel you and your ilk are so ridiculously ill informed about life in general. As to the poster who said they believe in torture. How does that support the US troops? America used to stand for something greater than our ability to extract information (which is widely criticized as unreliable) from illegal sources. On so many levels we undermine the national security of this country.

    My only question is how can you allow yourself to be so blatantly ignorant? You have the internet right in front of you… all you have to do is read.

    This worthless propoganda piece played before my movie. I was so astonished and appalled that I wanted to throw up. Fake patriotism is such a joke in this country.

    Sad
    Sad
    Sad

  • cdkusmc

    man seriously, so what if it is a recruting video? And correct me if I am wrong, there may be nascar in it, but isnt there a clip of them being in Iraq as well? I dont see any deceiving in that. I want to let you know one thing though, out of all the people I have met that is in the military, they are proud of what they do, whether they like it or not.

    And if this video could seriously decieve anyone into joining, I doubt they can score high enough on the asvab to be allowed in. If your wondering what that is its kinda like an IQ test but more for the military.

    Theres much more i wish i could say, but I doubt its worth the time.

  • Jurgan

    cdkusmc: I’ve seen the ASVAB: it’s a joke. Passing it doesn’t make you particularly smart. And please don’t equate bubble-in standardized tests with IQ: such tests have very little connection to actual intelligence (not that IQ tests are perfect, either, but they’re a lot closer).

  • MaryAnn

    And correct me if I am wrong, there may be nascar in it, but isnt there a clip of them being in Iraq as well?

    Hey, that’s right! Being in Iraq is all about tossing soccer balls back to adorable and adoring wide-eyed children! Hoorah for America!

    I want to let you know one thing though, out of all the people I have met that is in the military, they are proud of what they do, whether they like it or not.

    Oh for fuck’s sake, why is that ALWAYS the response when someone criticizes the abuse and misuse of our soldiers: acting as if it’s the soldiers themselves being criticized?

  • drew ryce

    “Oh for fuck’s sake, why is that ALWAYS the response when someone criticizes the abuse and misuse of our soldiers: acting as if it’s the soldiers themselves being criticized?”

    Is it always the response or is it that there is always at least one person that responds thusly?

    MaryAnn, I supported the war, supported the surge and fully support the efforts and voices of those that did not. I fully understand the difference between supporting the troops and raising hell with the government. I encourage you to act and voice your conscience at all times. I do no less. On three occassions I have had the opportunity to rip into a congressman about the poor equipment our soldiers are forced to use (in particular an M16 that chokes up on sand while a replacement weapon that does not have this problem waits in the wings).

    Regarding the video: it is an obvious and ineffective piece of propaganda that doesn’t pretend to be anything else. I’m not offended by the soccer ball scene. I doubt there exists in this country a 19 year old that thinks signing up for Iraq means playing kickball and driving in NASCAR but I could be wrong.
    The part that makes me shake my head is that a malignant dwarf like Kid Rock is the best celebrity the NG could come up with.

  • “Oh for fuck’s sake, why is that ALWAYS the response when someone criticizes the abuse and misuse of our soldiers: acting as if it’s the soldiers themselves being criticized?”

    That is not what i meant. I meant its a good thing to join the military, you shouldnt see it as a bad thing. But you do. And if you havent noticed by my name, I am a marine, Infantry, and i dont feel misused or abused what so ever.

    “Hey, that’s right! Being in Iraq is all about tossing soccer balls back to adorable and adoring wide-eyed children! Hoorah for America!”

    I am trying to be respectful as possible, but it is hard to do so when you are being clearly unprofessional, and mocking me. They were wearing gear in the hot Iraqi desert, in humvees, which makes it even more hotter. And yes they actually do play soccer with the iraqi kids out there, but you wouldnt know that you probably think we just kick in doors killing innocent iraqis hmm? What the news doesnt say is the good weve done out there, say building schools, roads, and offering protection to families who are being hasseled by the terroists. Oh and how a wonderful job we are doing training their army and police. Dont believe me? Recently Iraqi civilians came forward to the Iraqi Police, because now they can trust them, of an IED cache of over 10,000 munitions.

  • Anne-Kari

    Here I am, wading into it again hip deep:

    cdkusmc and drew: MAJ’s first quote you took issue with reflects the enormous frustration of a reality. It’s shockingly common (drew, it’s CONSTANT) both on comment threads and in everday conversations that any criticism of the USE of the military is construed as criticism of the troops, not the policies being discussed. It’s happened to me over and over, and I am the wife of a serviceman who served in Iraq.

    cdkusmc, that’s what your comment appeared to be – at least to me – so I’m glad you took the time to make yourself clear. However, from my take on MAJ’s original post here and her follow-up comments in this thread, she does not state anywhere that joining the military is a bad thing in and of itself. She has a problem – and so do I – with the recruiting methods used in the Kid Rock video to ‘entice’ people to join.

    I am proud of my husband, I support him and his unit. I am also very aware of the good – and the bad – being done in Iraq. And every time we go to Arlington cemetary to pay our respects to his KIA friends, I am reminded of the terrible price that is paid every day for our involvement in this war. I believe that last sentence could be uttered by anyone, on any side of the issue.

    It’s a seriuos subject, and a major decision to join the armed forces. The Kid Rock video, to me, insults the gravity of such a decision.

  • Anne-Kari

    Please excuse my crappy spelling typos: cemetery, not ‘cemetary’; serious, not ‘seriuos’.

  • MaryAnn

    I meant its a good thing to join the military, you shouldnt see it as a bad thing. But you do.

    I do not think joining the military is necessarily a bad thing. I think joining the military under the wrong impression about what the experience is going to be is probably not a great idea. I think the fact that so many people today join the military because they have no other economic options — or because it’s the only way they can afford higher education — is a situation we as a nation should be ashamed of. And I think lying to potential recruits is a bad thing. And I would imagine that anyone who cares about the military and those who serve in it would also think it’s a bad thing that someone in charge thinks we have to mislead young people into signing up.

    And for the record, my father is a veteran. He didn’t have a choice about joining, though: he was drafted.

  • So many of you don’t like Kid Rock or his music. I think that the fact that he supports our military speaks highly of his character. What’s wrong with him supporting our country. All the people on the left love free speech just as long as you agree with them.

  • drew ryce

    James Short:”So many of you don’t like Kid Rock or his music. I think that the fact that he supports our military speaks highly of his character. What’s wrong with him supporting our country. All the people on the left love free speech just as long as you agree with them.”

    Kid Rock never served in the military. He has a long history of getting druged up and starting fights that get finished by his bodyguards (citations below).
    In short, he is an ass.

    The ‘left and free speech’ red herring you raise has no basis in fact, at least not on this forum.
    Kid Rock is not being lambasted because he is exercising his right of free speech in support of our country.

    I for one am of the right and have a son currently serving in Iraq. I am lambasting Kid Rock because he is an out of control ass and his music blows chunks.

    The Associated Press (2005-06-16). “Kid Rock sued for $575,000 over assault at strip club”.
    “Kid Rock Cited for Misdemeanor Assault”, Moono.com, UGO Networks (2007-09-11).
    The Associated Press (2008-07-22). “Waffle House brawl costs Kid Rock $1,000”, CNN, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
    “Kid Rock to Attend Anger Management Classes”, Now Magazine (2008-07-27).

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