You know what the United States really needs right now? Some bold iconic symbolism, blasted from giant billboards and all over social media, that picks up on barely latent hostility and instigates violence.
Case in point: the poster for The First Purge, featuring a red “MAGA”-style hat with the title of the movie on it; with the release date, July 4th, also in (blood) red.
Conveniently, this poster has been released at exactly the same time that Trump and Republicans are demanding a “purge” (exact terminology used) in the FBI & Department of Justice, hoping to shut down the Russia investigation.
But the image also stirs up hardcore Trump fans—some of whom, per Poe’s Law, are probably taking the message, if not as an actual signal to attack people, at least as some sort of “wink wink” to their cause.
Don’t get me wrong, I consider the “Purge” series to be all about biting political and sociological satire. But again I must bring up Poe’s Law:
Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.
Make no mistake, this poster pushes buttons—but buttons have been pushed via our pop-culture towards our present situation for at least a good solid six years now. Not saying that the makers of The First Purge shouldn’t put out this poster, not saying anything should be banned or suppressed in any way…just calling it as I see it. It’s like watching a slo-mo of a continual trainwreck; rinse and repeat.