Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 92

deployment of weapons, as well as from archival footage of the blasts. As a general rule, government documentation cannot be copyrighted, and is available for private use; the Department of Energy has publically released approximately 100 military films to date. Two recent atomic documentaries, Countdown to Zero and Nuclear Tipping Point also use archival images, arguing that the proliferation of atomic terrorism is on the rise. The result of the open access to this footage is a surge in fiery images on television and movie screens. While the above bands are Nordic, one of America’s most outspoken metal bands, Megadeth, released a series of videos engaging in similar concerns to accompany the first singles from their 2016 album Dystopia. acclaimed as their greatest album in a decade. Singer/lyricist Dave Mustaine has often come across as a conservative, anti-globalization alarmist, so this example serves as a counterbalance to the previous videos. The visual narrative suggests that total destruction is imminent, and that the war against outside threats has already begun. The first two singles/ videos are essentially Part 1 and Part 2 of an animated film, visual renderings of the anxieties and fears of contemporary politics. “The Threat is Real” and “Dystopia” 11 present a post-apocalyptic New York suffering under the encroaching threat of terrorism – in fact, a heavy metal Lady Liberty, fighting for America’s freedom, is kidnapped and beheaded in front of Vic Rattlehead, the band mascot, who goes on a rampage to bring her killer to justice. The racially specific terrorist depicted here, clearly of Middle-Eastern origin, is on a nefarious mission to kill Lady Liberty herself, which he rather graphically does via the style of ISIS’s frequently filmed beheadings. The overall sense of these videos is not just of impending nuclear doom, but also the post-apocalyptic landscape of an America without liberty and freedom. This is not limited to “homegrown terrorism,” per say; the video alludes to 11 Megadeth, “The Threat Is Real,” “Dystopia,” official videos, 2016, directed by Blair Underwood. 92