At War with Metaphor: Media Propaganda and Racism in the War by Erin Steuter

By Erin Steuter

At battle with Metaphor bargains a compelling research of our public discussions of the warfare on terror and the binding conceptual metaphors during which they're framed. analyzing the pictures of animal, insect, and affliction that form and restrict our figuring out of the conflict, and tying those pictures to ancient and modern makes use of of propaganda and media filters, the authors discover how information media, together with political cartoons and speak radio, are enmeshed during this destructive, dehumanizing language.

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Extra resources for At War with Metaphor: Media Propaganda and Racism in the War on Terror

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2 The survey’s results suggest that the more knowledge people possessed about events surrounding the war, the less likely they were to take a fierce, aggressive, or militaristic stance. ”3 Propaganda is not concerned with disseminating information but with rallying emotion. Information is a distraction from propaganda’s fundamental work: it is not intended to enlarge our understanding of complex issues but to narrow it, so that we will be both focused and manageable. Propaganda’s intent is not to educate but to generate and direct emotion, to boil the blood while it narrows the mind.

The verbs of war are, frankly, rather exciting: they support a sense of progress and movement, while they negate any undesirable self-picturing of ourselves as hesitant, static, or uncertain. They replace the role of victim with the more potent role of aggressive defender. In this vocabulary, we are defined as hunter rather than prey, warrior rather than victim. Even the adjectives of war have a significant effect: soldiers are strong, active, powerful agents, while civilians are less than this: less experienced, less knowing, less involved in the conflict first-hand, and therefore less deserving of a voice.

The West, in taking the Orient as its subject of study, comes to feel it knows and thus has mastered the East. Said argues that the distorting lens of Orientalism, the organized body of knowledge that creates our definition of the East, is ultimately intended to help us understand the “natives” so we may more easily conquer them. Because the West tells such consistent tales of the endlessly primitive East, it appears eternal, static, and unlike the developed West, can never really change or evolve.

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