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Katy Perry and the military-pop-cultural complex

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A more realistic portrayal of military life might note that no one threw them a parade after the end of the Iraq war, and no one bothered to thank them for their service. It might show how the military machine chews up patriotic young men and women and spits them out. What men and women in the army and navy today tell me directly is that they know they are fighting for corporate interests, not their country's true defense. They say they tell themselves, "I am fighting for my colleagues" -- because they know they can't say that they are truly fighting for their country.

But no one who cares about those issues has the cash to make videos about that reality. No one is going to write a big check to get the message out about some of the hard truths of military men's and women's sacrifice and their exploitation. Yet that is all the more reason to demand transparency if the US military's PR arm is buying up chunks of pop culture real estate.

A glossy, seductive "war is fun when you can't get a date" pop video is over in three minutes. The truth about the darker side of military experience -- trauma, injury, and the loss of loved ones -- endures for ever.

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Author, social critic, and political activist Naomi Wolf raises awareness of the pervasive inequities that exist in society and politics. She encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change. Wolf's landmark (more...)
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