Rising Tide versus the Avengers? The Culture Industry and the NSA

7 Aug

By Earth First! News

In a stomach churning development from the frontiers of the American media void, the culture industry recently vomited up a new TV show called  “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”— a spin-off of the Marvel Avengers Franchise.

Among the arch nemesis of the protagonist organization—S.H.I.E.L.D.—will be cyber-terrorist group, The Rising Tide, whose logo looks surprisingly similar to the logo of our very own, dear old Rising Tide.


The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are naturally a lot like the NSA. They wear suits and pose behind their own insignia of a sheer, steel eagle. The image they give off is very cold, sterile, and corporate.

According to Time Magazine’s James Poniezowik, “it occurred to me that it’s weird, after the controversies around Edward Snowden and the NSA’s surveillance, to debut a show in which the heroes are a secretive intelligence organization with seemingly unlimited data on everyone, whose members at one point abduct a suspect on the street by throwing a hood over her head.”

The first story in the series tries to play with the notion that the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have superhuman powers, but for producer-director, Joss Whedon, the focus ought to be on “the people who didn’t get the hammer, who didn’t get the super soldier serum. The idea that everybody matters.” The notion is that S.H.I.E.L.D. are the 1%, but they can shepherd the 99% through this difficult and dangerous brave new world—even if it means not everyone will like them.

Portland Rising Tide correspondant for the Newswire’s Cascadia Office, Mike Losier, identified the setting up of grassroots organizations against the “advanced” patrician order with what he calls the “‘security spectacle’ in hollywood movies, where militarized state security institutions, their agents, and technologies are having greater presence and integration in the worlds portrayed.”

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