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Did the Chinese Military Use Top Gun Footage? 226

Posted by samzenpus
from the stay-frosty dept.
heidaro writes "'As part of its ongoing expansion, has the People's Liberation Army signed up Goose and Maverick? Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using re-purposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill.' Is it just me or are communist nations very skilled at embarrassing themselves?"

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Did the Chinese Military Use Top Gun Footage?

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  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:01AM (#35057054)
    Now you've done it ... just wait for Slashdot to be blocked from China!
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Well let's be honest. This is for domestic consumption and it isn't like any news services in china will pick this up.
      A few people in China will find it because it is so badly done. Those that bother to say anything will simply say that they used some stock footage.
      It is at best amusing to us but will not matter a bit to the Chinese.

      • You all have it backwards.

        Top Gun used secret military spy film of their jet planes, stolen from China.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          While a funny also impossible since the plane shown being blown up was a Northrup F-5.
          To make it work you would have to include how China stole US made F-5s and used them in their weapons tests. To make it even better the F-5s would be piloted by MIAs from the Viet Nam.
          Make some effort after all.

  • by Rinnon (1474161) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:02AM (#35057070)
    Seriously, I don't see what being communist has to do with embarrassing yourself. Capitalist nations embarrass themselves pretty damn often too.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:08AM (#35057146) Journal

      The difference being that most capitalist nations are democracies, and everybody rather expects that impermanent governments are going to bugger things up. I'd say fuck-ups are the life blood of democracy.

      In states like China, where the government asserts that it knows best, these sorts of stupid stunts have somewhat more dramatic connotations. Particularly in this case, it not only raises the question as to what kind of people it has in its military and PR that think it's a bright idea to rip off footage from a Hollywood film, it also raises the more important question as to why they would even need to.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:13AM (#35057228) Journal

        In states like China, where the government asserts that it knows best

        The US and UK governments assert that they no best through a never ending flood of requirements on educational practices, telling Doctors how to practice, how to manage land, what drugs and herbal remedies are legal and illegal, how local authorities may spend their money. There's no end to it really. In the US, it even decides who may or may not vote! All of which are direct assertions that they know best.

        • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:27AM (#35057406) Journal

          By voting for representatives, you are seen as having had your say - it's not "the government" making the rules, it's "the people" doing so by proxy. Or so the theory goes.

          Those in power might well act as if they know best, but at the end of the day they are, to some extent, beholden to the people. We can and do get rid of them if they piss us off too badly. I know it doesn't work that well, but it's still a damn sight better than being told "We are right, if you disagree you are a dangerous subversive, and there's not a thing you can do about it.".

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            In theory they are doing so by proxy. In practice, they are not. Yes, if you piss enough of us off, we could vote out the individuals, but our country isn't run by individuals so much as by corporations. The Democrats and the Republic parties being the two front organizations. Dictatorships, Monarchies, etc. can also have their governments replaced if they piss off enough people. I would guess that it would be a lot easier to raise an army of 100 people willing to take part in violently taking out the
            • small caveat:

              Democracies are designed to replace the people and the laws that make up the government.

              Monarchies/dictatorships, not so much. The only option is overthrow of the entire thing.

              you *can* overthrow a democracy, but its built to be able to do the same thing while still playing by the rules.
              • by Belial6 (794905)
                Small democracies are designed to replace the government without overthrowing it. Ours is not that kind of 'democracy'. Plus, over throwing a monarchy or dictatorship is playing by the rules. The is the rule for replacing those kinds of governments.
                • News to me that democracies of different sizes are in fact different 'types' of democracies. There are different 'types' but that is entirely independent of their size.

                  Our system fully allows the replacing of the gov't within the rules. ie. the Constitutional Amendment process, regular and orderly elections.

                  over throwing a monarchy or dictatorship is playing by the rules.

                  Certainly not the monarch's or dictator's rules...which is the rules of the gov't in question. So this is patently false.

          • by iceaxe (18903)

            The primary problem with representative democracy is that often a majority of the people ultimately in charge (the voters) do not understand the issues at hand. Instead, they vote by 'gut feeling' which is easily manipulated by parties with sufficient resources.

            Nonetheless, in the end the failures of a democracy are the fault of the people, and those failures seem to me to be somewhat less awful than the failures of autocratic systems.

            Also, the success of propaganda lies not in managing to fool the percept

        • by Zeek40 (1017978)
          The difference is, in the US or the UK, if you feel that you have a better idea than the government you can run for office and try to change things. In China, if you feel that you have a better idea than the government, you're sent to a re-education camp to convince you otherwise.
          • by cdp0 (1979036) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:21PM (#35058016)

            The difference is, in the US or the UK, if you feel that you have a better idea than the government you can run for office and try to change things.

            Do you really believe that ? I mean really, give it a try. Without money, without support from "big business", nobody will ever hear about you. And even if people hear about you, you won't be one of their favorites, mostly because they don't know you. Running for office involves much more than just the will to do it.

            And the kind of people that have the will, the money and the support are in the game for power, for their own benefit, not for ours.

            • by Blade (1720)

              Maybe that's true in the US, I can't comment. It's not true in the UK where it's entirely possible to get 'involved in government' with nothing more than drive and local support. Whether one MP can achieve anything in the House of Commons is another question entirely, and whether being an MP let's you influence much other than your own expenses claim is beside the point.

            • 'Can' doesn't imply easy nor should it.

              But you can't claim that the ability to run for office in US/UK is in any sense comparable to China or other undemocratic govt's.
              • by Belial6 (794905)
                Why, if you want to rise in power in China, you get in and please the party. In the US, there are two parties you can get into and please, but that doesn't make it a whole lot different.
                • Um, no. In China you aren't even 'allowed' to be in a different party. There is only one.

                  We have numerous political parties here of which two are decidedly dominant. That does not preclude someone from outside them getting elected. The Tea Party was a pretty significant phenomena that showed other ideas than those of the two parties can be made into a movement. (not trying to start a 'what is the Tea Party' discussion). Ross Perot showed that independent(ly wealthy) candidates can successfully cha
            • by StikyPad (445176)

              People think they can't affect change because they can't just throw their hats in the ring for POTUS or US Senator, but it's relatively easy to get involved in local and state government. On the up side, these are the places that tend to set policy that affects the lives of people directly, but on the down side, you're unlikely to get your face on national TV unless you're embezzling money or somebody dumps 5 million barrels of oil on your coast. But if you're in it to make a difference and not to become

        • by Myopic (18616)

          Would you say that any law at all is an assertion that "they" know best? Or would you not say that?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Do you really thing that a government body is THAT stupid? Its probably misinformation to look stupid - a very common political tactic, especially if you cross it with the current spotlight on whether or not they created a space plane. Just look at it this way: how does this make you perceive them, as a gut reaction - I know my first reaction was "well if they doctored footage with Top Gun as a basis for avionics propaganda, surely they couldn't have a space plane"

        My tin foil hat has multiple layers - for

      • by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:20PM (#35058006)

        The difference being that most capitalist nations are democracies,

        You're making a false distinction here. China is ruled by a nominally communist party and doesn't have open elections, but the actual form of the economy is quite capitalist. There's huge factories with workers getting paid $10/day to work 16 hours in horrible conditions with no union. The factory is owned not by the state or the workers, but by a billionaire living in Shanghai. For the peasant farmers living in the country, they have little access to electricity, running water, medicine, or education. The state provides them with nothing and sometimes even takes their land to hand directly to real estate developers.
        Nothing communist about it.

        Also, the various dictatorships of the Middle East and South America from the past and present century were/are nearly all capitalist. What's the king of Saudi Arabia? A communist? Franco? Pinochet? Qaddafi? The kleptocrat nepotist Mohammad Karzai? Just a democratic facade. I don't have time to prove you wrong about the majority of capitalist economies existing in democracies, but it's a huge and highly suspect assumption.

        • It looks to me like the PROC has converted the economy directly from communism to fascism while retaining the "Communist" brand name. That rumble you hear is Mao rolling in his grave at 100,000 rpm.

      • by xnpu (963139)

        The dumbasses at CCTV that show Top Gun and call it the Chinese Army are pretty similar to the dumbasses at CNN that show Nepalese police and call them Chinese soldiers.

        The point is that most Chinese won't recognize the Top Gun footage, much like most Americans can't see the difference between Nepalese and Chinese uniforms.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nicholas22 (1945330)

      Is it just me or are communist nations very skilled an embarrassing themselves?

      It's that extra little trolling that gives those extra few more page views and that make me that extra little bit more reluctant to waste my extremely limited time on slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      You mean like the entire presidency of George Doubleya Bush?

  • Sounds like most Western nations, too, if you ask me.
    • Well actually that was footage from the movie Independence Day, but the real laser would be a lot like that. Yeah. scary.

  • First, this seems to be the work of a TV broadcaster, not a nation (certainly not a communist one...) ... does anyone here really think "non-commie" media are any better?

    Secondly, apparently it was used as a demonstration of effects of their new missile - using a footage of exploding F-5 is even somewhat fitting, might even be not simply a case of lazy TV crew... (even if not lazy, capturing real hits would be extremely hard for little effect, they aren't particularly "cinema impressive")

    And generally
    • by egamma (572162) <egamma.gmail@com> on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:09AM (#35057170)

      First, this seems to be the work of a TV broadcaster, not a nation (certainly not a communist one...) ... does anyone here really think "non-commie" media are any better?

      The difference is that in China, that TV broadcaster IS the government, or at least highly controlled by them. The American media are stupid all by themselves.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes. Big difference. Here the media owns the state and not the other way around.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        The American media are stupid all by themselves.

        If you assume that the people in control of the US media got where they are by being stupid, you're very wrong. And if you think there aren't endless close ties between the mainstream media and the government, you're even more wrong.

        • As a friend of mine remarked, the difference between media and government in dictatorships and democracies isn't that big. Governments lie and the media lie. That's the same, no matter whether dictatorship or democracy.

          The hallmark of a democracy is just that they tell different lies. So watch out when they start telling the same lies.

      • by sznupi (719324)
        So now the government = a nation, even better... (is it really so hard to miss that Chinese people uncovered this? And that government certainly doesn't like this kind of mess caused by their media, which are generally quite used to issuing retractions & corrections of "mistakes" by now? (one could expect they shouldn't be possible with all this oversight...))
      • by StikyPad (445176)

        True for now, but I have a feeling FOX News will be back in power eventually.

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:18AM (#35057294)

      You post appears to be propaganda masquerading as sarcasm. So just in case, I'd like to make the following points:

      CCTV stands for China Central Television which is a state run television network. It is communist.

      CCTV is the main outlet of propaganda for the government. Western broadcasters may at times use film scenes or in-house produced animations to illustrate a story, but they disclose it as a animation or for illustration purposes only. They are a third-party entity reporting an event, not part of the government trying to fabricate the event.

      Your example of Powell's UN presentation doesn't seem applicable, since Powell wasn't the media and that the slide was produced by analysts and not a scene from a movie.

    • by advid.net (595837) <slashdot@advid. n e t> on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:25AM (#35057374) Journal

      PS. BTW, regarding such movies - Les Chevaliers du ciel (aka Sky Fighters), while obviously also with completely redundant plot, is much more enjoyable all-flash-no-substance kind of deal - it has much more spectacular cinematography, nvm lots more minutes of actual flying. Unlike Top Gun (where most flight sequences filming was done from the ground) - in Les Chevaliers du ciel the majority of filming was done from the air, largely via cameras hidden in modified fuel tanks of fighters, to great effect.

      Anyone who like technology, fighters, sonic boom at ground level, real footage from fighters, post-combustion by night, ... in widescreen should see this awesome movie.

      • by vlm (69642)

        PS. BTW, regarding such movies - Les Chevaliers du ciel (aka Sky Fighters), while obviously also with completely redundant plot, is much more enjoyable all-flash-no-substance kind of deal - it has much more spectacular cinematography, nvm lots more minutes of actual flying. Unlike Top Gun (where most flight sequences filming was done from the ground) - in Les Chevaliers du ciel the majority of filming was done from the air, largely via cameras hidden in modified fuel tanks of fighters, to great effect.

        Anyone who like technology, fighters, sonic boom at ground level, real footage from fighters, post-combustion by night, ... in widescreen should see this awesome movie.

        The problem is Top Gun was a chick flick where the leading man happened to be a pilot. I think your "sky fighters" sounds more like an action flick.

        Chick flick - boy meets girl, boy looses his emotional crutch (his RIO copilot died) and questions if he's right or wrong. In the end, boy and girl live happily ever after. They fly around and stuff but its just to give him something manly to do between romantic moments.

        I'm guessing the action flick is just endless chase scenes and explosions like any other a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      BTW, regarding such movies - Les Chevaliers du ciel (aka Sky Fighters), while obviously also with completely redundant plot, is much more enjoyable all-flash-no-substance kind of deal - it has much more spectacular cinematography, nvm lots more minutes of actual flying.

      A movie made 20 years after Top Gun has better effects? Shocking!

      Unfortunately, I'm no longer 10 years old, so I doubt I'll enjoy it as much.

  • by v1 (525388) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:09AM (#35057162) Homepage Journal

    this ought to be good... I want to see the suits show up at a door, knock, and open it to see a tank barrel in their face. (sort of like in the Simpsons episode)

    oh wait I forgot, the RIAA doesn't pick on anyone that can defend themselves.

  • by kerskine (46804) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:10AM (#35057174) Homepage Journal

    ...Maverick Gooses You

    • The one major fact I find myself fascinated with is that it was various Chinese locals that spotted the pirated footage first. "TOP GUN" as a Chinese cult film? Amazing. Chinese locals taking the moral high ground with their Big Business, and Government? China? What's going on over there?!
    • Maverick Gooses You during a 2008 presidential bid.

      (Maybe that's why McCain chose her as his running mate)

  • by Novus (182265) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:11AM (#35057200) Homepage

    The Wall Street Journal has a report including a comparison video [wsj.com].

  • Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:14AM (#35057236)

    I was looking forward to a video of a Chinese pilot lip-syncing You've Lost That Loving Feeling.

    • Re:Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

      by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:19AM (#35057298) Homepage

      "You've rost... dat ruvvving feering... whoah dat ruvving feering...."

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Tablizer (95088)

        "You've rost... dat ruvvving feering... whoah dat ruvving feering...."

        -1 Twoll
           

      • by hduff (570443)

        If the Chinese government is spun around and around, does it become disoriented?

      • by martyros (588782)
        Funny, but Chinese have an "L" sound. You're thinking other asian languages, like Japanese / Thai. [/nitpick]
        • by jdgeorge (18767)

          Mmmm.... English has a "short e" sound and a "short i" sound, but that doesn't mean you can tell if someone with a Texas accent dropped her pin or his pen.

          Having an "L" sound is not the same as pronouncing an "L" sound. This effect does, in fact, occur for some Chinese, as do various other peculiarities of pronunciation that are effects not of the language or dialect, but of accent/regional pronunciation.

          Many people do not speak their languages the way they are explained in a textbook. This is as true in Ch

    • Just be happy they didn't use the volleyball scene from Top Gun.

  • Volleyball Scene.

  • Riceman? (Score:5, Funny)

    by locutus53 (578585) on Monday January 31, 2011 @11:20AM (#35057314)
    Riceman?
  • Top Gun unless you've watched it in the original Klingon.

    • by blackbear (587044) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:18PM (#35057990)

      I would have written:
      You haven't fully experienced Top Gun unless you've watched it in the original Chinese.

      With the above you allude to the original joke without hitting us over the head with it. Thus giving all of us who "get it" a chance to look down our collective noses at those of less depth in Sci-Fi pop culture.

  • They just wanted us to know they've lost that lovin' feeling.
  • That tolerances on fighter jets and A2A missiles have gotten so tight that every explosion is so repeatable and deterministic. Kudos to the engineers, mechanics and of course the pilots I say.
  • In Communist China, state owns media!

  • That's brilliant. All government should punch up their official communications with movie and tv show clips. The state of the union address would be much more exciting dubbed over a couple old episodes of the A-Team
  • If they had only taken Kenny Loggins too, nobody would have complained.
  • It only matters whether their own people believe the video.

    If some do not, what are the chances that news of their blunder spreads? And if this really blows up in their face, what are the chances that the government won't push the blame onto someone else?

    The bottom line is that this kind of stuff can be effective propaganda: How would the Chinese people feel about going to war if this video were presented as proof of a foreign invader or spy being shot down by valiant Chinese defenders? Manufacture a few mo

  • Let's hope for all our sakes that when China visually documents research into new surgical techniques, they haven't got hold of "Human Centipede".

  • "la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas!"

    Or, as Keyser Söze would put it: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist."

    It is classic misdirection- act vaugely bumbling and inept in insignificant matters to distract people from putting serious scrutiny on you.
    • It is classic misdirection- act vaugely bumbling and inept in insignificant matters to distract people from putting serious scrutiny on you.

      The Inspector Gadget Strategy?

  • I doubt that they are embarassed. The Chinese have chosen to have a limited grasp of IP and If you don't believe in Intellectual Property rights then why would you be embarrassed by the repurposing a film for other uses without permission?
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Well... its about more than IP. The major, military rival of the chineese is the US (whether any war scenarios are actually realistic is besides the point. Military might is generally mostly symbolic anyway).

      So they were caught, using footage of a movie that was intended to... be a story of a number of US pilots, and what bad asses they are.

      Having been caught using movie footage, much less of a movie intended to make their rivals look like badassess, could be pretty embarrassing, "IP Rights" aside.

  • I resemble that comment
  • You are also very skilled at embarrassing yourself.

  • That movie deserves more love.

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