So–what’s going on in the first thirty seconds of my mashup?
I open with a title screen from a World War Two training film (8th Air Force, for those keeping score) called “Target for Today,” which I like because it has two interpretations you can make the first that this is a training film, and we are seeing kids learning how to operate killer drones, and second (bit more chilling) when paired with the next image, we see that the target for today (for the military) is as always, the next generation of kids. This is a bit of paratext.
The next clip is lifted from a news piece on the USMC’s toys for tots program, but I’ve trimmed it down to just Marines lifting kids into humvees, presumably taking them to some sort of indoctrination camp. I’ve culled some images of child soldiers from Africa that I use later and I am building an intratextual reference here.
Straight from 1988 comes a pair of hands playing Nintendo. This is a very iconic controller, and it’s symbolism for gaming is the reason I’m using it.
Then, we have a Predator drone cruising through the air. (I learned during this clip that some operators live stateside, which is really weird to me.) This is supposed to develop juxtaposition-that the controller-hands are operating it. This will be built on throughout.
Following that is a vintage Nintendo commercial, with a really chilling slogan. This idea I thought provides a weird intratexuality/intertextuality for the argument that I’m trying to make.
The final 16 seconds of the clip are a montage, using the controller hands, digital footage of drone strike, and Mario celebrating to make it appear that the drone strike is just a game, denuded of real consequences, an idea I will be exploring more later.