Maybe it’s because I have learned so much about the mind, the unconscious mind, and the ways that the media attempts to manipulate us, (or maybe it’s just because I have a clear head and eyes that can see), but I have become hyper-aware of how downright ridiculous our culture and media have become.

I have written articles about how different productions use similar images in their advertisements (see Billboredom, and Billboredom 2: The Billbordening), and I have written articles about offensive gun-laden movie posters, (see I call bullshit on this,  F–K you Hollywood, and Dreamy grandpas with guns). This article will be a combination of the two.

I live in Santa Monica where there are thankfully very few billboards. However, recently I drove across town into Hollywood and was subjected to the usual assault on my senses and sensibilities.

During my drive I couldn’t help noticing that a majority of the billboards were about the FBI. Four separate productions were advertising their new FBI dramas. (It seems we are meant to be so busy watching the FBI that we forget the FBI is watching us). I saw well over 25 billboards for each one which means that my subconscious was bombarded with the word FBI over a hundred times on one little drive to Hollywood and back.

First and foremost was Quantico.

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Look at how sultry she is holding her badge up to her pouty lips. Because nothing says sexy like the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Disney/ABC really spent big bucks plastering this lady’s face everywhere. Apparently the show is about the FBI’s top recruit becoming their most wanted criminal. This plotline is as original as her oral fixation is subtle. It has been used in films like The Recruit, The Bourne Identity, and Mission Impossible to name just a few. The rogue agent thing has been done to death, but this time its a TV show so it’s different. Yeah right.

The next billboard I saw dozens of was for a TV show called Blindspot.

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You can clearly see the man has a vest that says FBI on it. And the woman even has FBI tattooed on her back. Now that’s sexy.

This is apparently a show about a mysterious girl who shows up on the FBI’s front doorstep covered in tattoos that are the clues to a crime she can’t remember anything about. This plotline is also staggeringly unoriginal. I feel like I have seen something very similar to this theme of “Piecing together the past, one tattoo at a time”. If only I had some sort of Memento to remind me. Oh well.

The third piece of FBI propaganda I was subjected to was for the movie Sicario. (In case you were wondering, Sicario is Spanish for hitman or killer)

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Here we see a female agent with FBI on the front of her bulletproof vest.

Sicario is a film about law enforcement agents doing battle with Mexican drug cartels. Now where have I seen something like that before? Oh that’s right in movies like Savages, and Traffic. Benicio Del Toro just so happens to be in Savages, Traffic, and Sicario. Luckily for him the drug cartels are committing these horrendous crimes, because then he gets to play make-believe, shoot fake bullets, and make millions of dollars.

And speaking of millionaires making more millions by glorifying criminals and murderers, that brings me to the last of the FBI billboards I was pummeled with on my trip to Hollywood. (I must say that for weeks before and after my drive to Hollywood I had even seen this advertisement on some of the few billboards in Santa Monica.) This one is for the movie Black Mass.

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There is no FBI badge or vest, but the tag line does say “The unholy alliance between the FBI and Whitey Bulger, one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history”.

Just what the world needs! Yet another movie glorifying yet another sociopathic criminal. Oooohhh but did you see Johnny Depp shaved his head to look bald? Wow! How brave of him.

Here again we have an actor getting paid millions of dollars to pretend to be a murderer, and we the citizenry are forced to look at this fake murderer’s face on dozens of billboards larger than life.

Speaking of life, Whitey Bulger was convicted of 11 murders, not to mention racketeering and extortion. He was sentenced to two life sentences plus 5 years. (Two life sentences? Plus five years? How does that work? Even if Whitey is reincarnated he has to go back to prison for his whole life? And then if he is reincarnated again he has to go back to prison again for 5 years?)

The piece of human garbage Johnny Depp is doing his best to emulate in that poster was a real person who did real bad things. I wonder how Whitey feels sitting there in his prison cell knowing that he has been immortalized in a Johnny Depp movie. Johnny may even win an Oscar for portraying this brutal scumbag. Won’t Whitey (and his victim’s families) be pleased.

And as a Santa Monica resident I couldn’t help remembering that Whitey Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica in 2011. So here I am 4 years later driving around the town where this infamous gangster was arrested, looking up and seeing billboards for a movie about him. What a truly twisted society we live in.

Here is a short list of gangster movies: Good fellas, Casino, The Departed, American Gangster, Donnie Brasco, Carlito’s way, and of course The Godfather. (I understand that by calling The Godfather into question even in the slightest I may lose some good friends, but so be it.)

Our culture clearly has a grim obsession with violence and cold-hearted killers.

And to bring the point home even further, here is one last billboard I have been forced to look at outside my gym for weeks. (It does not say the word FBI on it, but I’m sure they are involved somewhere in the story). It is for a Netflix series called Narcos.

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It is a show about the evil exploits of Pablo Escobar. This guy was a drug kingpin and was responsible for hundreds, maybe thousands of murders. He assassinated politicians, and he even blew up a passenger airliner. These are atrocities and he was a monster. So you know what, lets make a TV show about him. What a good idea.

Watching murderers murder is how Americans kick back and relax. It’s no wonder we have so much gun violence.

Actors cry about gun violence, but they would be out of work without it. If they had any courage they would say no to scripts that have gun violence in them. If they had any morals they would turn down jobs where they make bad guys look good.

But since we can’t count on actors to do anything but pretend to care, it is up to us to make a change. Lets take back control of our culture. It is time we as a society stopped watching these toxic TV shows. If we stop giving money to the ghouls who make these violent movies they will stop making them.

We’ve got to raise our vibration. We’ve got to realize the sickness and hypocrisy of complaining all day about gun violence on the news, and then sitting at home all night watching it on Netflix.