December 26, 2006

An Army of Narcissists? No Way

Army of One

A tremendous example of the societal narcissism I wrote about in my Time article with the funny cover.    If there was any one organization that I would have thought was in direct opposition to narcissism it would be the military, yet here it is, being specifically promoted.

I understand the practical necessity of this approach, of course; trying to tap into a listless and apathetic populace who get their current events from clips of the Colbert Report on YouTube-- they can't even be bothered to find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map, let alone enlist.  But mark my words, when a military cannot effectively appeal to any higher beliefs at all, and must resort to patronizing illusions of self-fulfillment only, then this society cannot last.

Look at the evolution of the slogans, and tell me I am exaggerating (from Army Times:)

“Today’s Army wants to join you”: 1971-73.

“Join the people who’ve joined the Army”: 1973-1979.

“This is the Army”: 1979-1981.

“Be all you can be”: 1981-2001.

“An Army of one”: 2001-2006.

Look at the grammar, the semiotic connotations.  A question for the historians would be whether or not a civilization in decline was aware that it was declining; and if not, what did they think was going on?

But perhaps all is not lost.  The Army just announced their new recruiting motto, which has apparently tested quite well:  "Army Strong."

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As an aside, the "Army Strong" campaign was created by the Army's new advertising firm, McCann Erikson.   They're responsible for the MasterCard "priceless/there are some things money can't buy" campaign. Of course, this cost the Army one billion dollars. 

I'll go back to psychiatry now. 







Comments

your email keeps bouncing b... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2006 4:45 PM | Posted by Philip Dawdy: | Reply

your email keeps bouncing back....so:

thanks for your comment. and for your original post. mine got linked on some geek site because i had the temerity to bitch about google and its lack of wisdom, etc. many many hits. many many irrelevant crybabies. does that article you wrote in 92 exist on the net anywhere i can find it? (and no i won't use it to give up your i.d.) hey the naked cheerleaders are all on myspace now. it is amazing what parents let their kids do now.

so when will your new blog launch?

cheers

philip

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It refers not to an Army of... (Below threshold)

February 25, 2013 3:02 PM | Posted by Larry: | Reply

It refers not to an Army of narcissists, but to an Army of people whose identities have been stripped of all unnecessary idiosyncrasy.

An Army of Borg, if you will.

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Great online backup saved m... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2013 3:45 PM | Posted by Charlie: | Reply

Great online backup saved my business more than once

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I think you're off on that ... (Below threshold)

April 26, 2013 12:06 AM | Posted, in reply to Larry's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think you're off on that one. I was a high school student interested in joing the Marines when that whole "Army of One" campaign was going on and I hated that slogan. If it was such a huge turn-off for me (as a member of the target demo) I'm sure my peers in the same boat felt the same and that's probably why they changed it. We were in no way interested in an "Army of One" and the people who were into that concept were too old and flabby to join.

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