APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 8 September, 2000


Mall Rants

Grizzly Bryan Lee

"Would you look at that." Rico said, snorting, as he pointed to the display that was set up below them. They were on the second floor of a shopping mall and the wide demonstration area on the first floor was visible over the balcony railing. On the first floor a Hunter was posing along with other assorted Northern Guard paraphernalia. A small crowd had gathered and was listening to a couple of gear pilot's talk of the gear behind them.

Naomi, who had been eyeing a shop on the second floor, turned around to see what her friend was pointing at. "So what of it?" she asked as she leaned on the railing.

"That sort of propaganda has no place here in a public shopping mall." Rico crossed his arms over his chest. "We are supposed to be a country of personal freedoms, diametrically opposed to the so-called Southern Republic and yet we have to stoop to such blatant brainwashing such as this. It really makes me mad. This is a Southern Tactic! Who authorized this?"

Naomi looked up at her companion. Both were students at the nearby Walter LeStrange University, Rico studying Sociological-Political Science while Naomi was studying Psychology. It was not uncommon for Rico to be set off by what he thought of as state controlled propaganda. "It's just a gear Rico." She said calmly.

Rico turned to her almost in shock. "Just a Gear? This display is more than just a gear. You have to go beyond the gear and look at the total display. You have to consider all of the factors involved in this. What is the message that the government and the military are presenting to us here?"

"Look at the two pilots. To have ugly or average pilots talk to our youth would not provide the proper enticement. So what we have are two models of physical perfection talking about how great it is to be in the military. Look at the guy. The broad chest and shoulders showing through that T-shirt he is wearing. His large biceps barely concealed by the sleeves. Fashionable haircut and perfect smile."

"Hmmm?" Naomi turned back towards the display as Rico spoke. She hadn't really looked at the pilot before but Rico was pointing them out now and she could not help but begin to stare. As the male pilot turned around, she rested her chin in her hand and smiled dreamily. "And that perfect butt."

"Exactly! He's too perfect." Rico exclaimed. "And that woman standing beside him is not hard on the eyes either. Her outfit accentuating her svelte figure, and I'm sure that hemline is higher than real regulations allow for. Notice how the top button on her tunic is strategically undone, providing a hint of her bosom. Her hairstyle cannot be practical to the rigors of combat and the field. And...look...her smile is even brighter than his! It was truly masterful planning to send these two here."

"Only someone who can understand hidden messages would be able to discern the truth from the false reality that they are showing us. They are similar to the actors and actresses that are in Vid movies. We do not want to see normal or ugly people because that reminds us of the 'Real' world and we much prefer to live in their world. And would anyone want to sign up for military service if they knew that the people that they were serving with had a below average appearance? I think not."

Rico continued his intense gaze. "Yes they are both ideal male and female but they are just part of the scene. They are but eye candy to draw you in and then they tell you of the joys of serving in the military. 'I fight to defend our religious freedoms.' He is probably telling those kids. I've read findings from experiments designed to study the effect that the tone of ones voice has on a listener. By making slight adjustments to the tone of the voice one can change the way that the speakers message is perceived, manipulating the listener. It is almost a form of mild hypnosis. He has probably had some mild psychological warfare training in the techniques learned from those experiments and so he knows how to adjust the tone of his voice to mildly hypnotize people. The woman is probably similarly trained but since he is doing all of the talking I can only guess that he is more efficient. Look at how all those kids seem to hang onto his every word. This guy knows how to work an audience, telling stories with enough of a slant to prove whatever point he is making."

"And look at how the gear itself is standing. Tall, proud, it's rifle defending the weak and its sensor cluster seeking out evil wherever it may hide. It seems to loom over the pilots, almost as if it were defending them from some unseen force. The omni-camera scanning back and forth, keeping an eye out for those who might try and endanger the flock that it is protecting. So they are saying that the gears protect people, that they are noble symbols...no noble tools...no steel clad knights from ancient history. They are creating a parallel between the Heavy Gear and ancient knights from some highly moral kingdom. We see knights as pinnacles of chivalry, protecting the weak and righting wrongs so we overlay those ideals on the gear. Probably a more recent slant on this theme would be the valiant Gears used to repel the CEF in the War of the Alliance. Thus we have a noble gear, when it is just a computer with arms and legs. We see it as more than just a tool. A very clever move."

"Also notice how the uniform display emphasizes the various medals and awards that can be obtained. Become a good state-controlled killing machine and show this by wearing little pieces of artistically shaped metal, we just won't mention the killing part. Just concentrate on how good they look in uniform."

Naomi's dreamy smile grew bigger as her eyes wandered over the male pilot. She took in every detail that she could make out from her perch on the second floor. "What a uniform."

"Exactly." Rico continues. "So they dazzle you with sharp uniforms and shiny medals. They impress you with the gear and stories of guts and glory. While you are in this vulnerable state they then subject you to carefully prepared auditory stimuli designed to either encourage you to enlist and swell the ranks of the Northern Guard or you become a brainwashed peon who truly believes that the NG are this supra-holy band of noble beings who can do no wrong. In either case you are being controlled. For a brief instant you are unable to discern truth from their carefully crafted presentation. Thus the Northern Guard is taking away your freedom to make decisions for yourself, molding an image of the NG in your mind that is not created by your own free thought. And that is the first step towards fascism."

Rico gripped the rail as he leaned over to get a better look. "Son of a....He's calling over that group of teenagers. No! Don't go over! I can't believe he's snagged more souls into his web of lies. Did you see that Naomi?"

"Oh yeah. I'm watching him very carefully." She replied, not taking her eyes off of the male pilot.

Rico looks over at the girl leaning on the rail beside him. Looking at the dreamy stare in her eyes he suddenly realizes something. "Uhm....Naomi? Did you hear anything that I said?"

The End

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APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 8 September, 2000