Archive for June, 2011

MUST SEE

Robert Greenwald and Senator Bernie Sanders call out the Koch Brothers, their front groups and their media disinformation apparatus.

The billionaires want your retirement money, make no mistake. If you don’t stand up to them, they will probably get it.

by Phil and Angela Rockstroh
pt. 1

pt. 2

Editor’s comments:

This was a submission, and one I didn’t know quite to make of. It’s a video poem, shot in various urban locations and therefore dissimilar to what we’re used to seeing and hearing.

I’m not totally in agreement with the rant against interstate highways. What’s the alternative? No interstate highways? I find the sentiments more abstract than concrete. The line about travel being diminished nowadays similarly seems to fly in the face of travel over millenia where you might not actually make it to your destination unscathed. It was slower, more fraught wtih peril and less comfortable than what modern westerners experience today.

For these reasons, the piece might have not chosen that title, and edited it down somewhat. There’s also the audio noise that really detracts from the flow of the words due to jumping noise levels from location to location.

Now for the good news… the more I watched, the more it sucked me in to wonder what the hell would be said next, where it was going, and if it could deliver on the promise of the concept. See for yourself.

The nuclear beast reels in confusion. Stopped cold in Germany, then in Japan where he had inflicted so much damage, the Italians have now risen up to put a halt to the big reckless lizard’s reign of terror. Even the Chinese remain on the fence, waiting out this latest monster appearance to observe just how far he’ll go this time.

Born from the uncontrolled atomic experiments of our ancestors, Godzilla remains an ever present threat to human life. He’s been spotted in Southern California near an earthquake fault. Sightings just north of New York City caused some stir when one of the comandeered 9/11 passenger jets flew right over his head.

It seems that weekly some signs of the giant monster’s shenanigans cause incidents and shut down reactors as our valiant Homer J. Simpsons struggle to keep forty and fifty year old machinery on-line, and the great radioactive reptile at bay.

And still the delusional mad scientists make apologies for their creation’s lust for destruction. He’s really not such a bad guy they tell us, once you get to know him. Your kids probably won’t die. The big lumbering, fire breathing juggernaut just loves kids, and what a show he puts on. He even provides much needed jobs — for them — the delusional mad scientists of unnecessary risk and bottomless lies.

But Godzilla and his grandson Fukushima seem to have an agenda all their own. They seem quite oblivious to the blather and trolling of the nuclear apologist crowd. Despite the massive PR efforts of the entrenched interests, the monsters keep breaking out of their cages and flattening Tokyo, or at least threatening its population with one hell of a roar (that is if you wire your geiger counter through an amplifier).

With Italy’s popular referendum overwhelmingly rejecting the monster, he’s no-doubt going to be searching for more lizard friendly lands to call his home. Will Godzilla be nesting near your home? Find out in the sequel. There’s always a sequel, as long as you people keep buying these tickets.

In the end, you moviegoers will have to make your preferences known and say no more Godzilla sequels. Not here, not anywhere.

The mad scientists can put their talents to work building truly “clean” energy, and stop trying to pass off their raging, poison spewing, maniacal beast as some kind of philanthropic girl scout. That plot line is far too ludicrous for any audience to maintain its suspension of disbelief.

Joe Giambrone is a filmmaker and author of Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire. He edits the Political Film Blog and can be reached at: polfilmblog at gmail.

FREE ONLINE at Snagfilms

The heroic decade long fight of Bev Harris (blackboxvoting.org) to get YOUR vote counted in America. The elections are rigged electronically, and can continue to be altered, seemingly with impunity.

It might even matter if real choices could get anywhere in this climate of militaristism, nationalism and empire with shallow distracted populations who care more about hairstyles than mass murder.

Shows the documented record of voting machines whose security is not part of the “FTC standard” according to one of the companies that does the (faulty) voting machine certifications.

Evidence of John Kerry’s defeat in Ohio, 2004, where the machines had been rigged and Kerry knowingly chose to concede rather than to fight the theft of the presidency (again). Great leadership.

Nevermind. Go back to sleep.

This is a guest submission by Rose King

Money, even for those who don’t work in finance, is still a part of everyday life. Every time we buy food, pay bills or go to work, we deal with it. Because money permeates so much of what we do and what motivates us to be both very good and sometimes very bad, it makes a great movie subject. Here are some of our favorite films about the supposed root of all evil, taking a look at greed, generosity and everything in between.

Serious Films

Addressing greed, crime and business, these films take a hard look at how humans interact with money…

Continue

This was too good to ignore. By Ed Waters.


Idiocracy on DVD

 

(Article orginally appeared on Counterpunch)

In a time when one literally has to argue that exploding nuclear power plants really do pose grave risks to human health — against people with letters after their names — the case could easily be made that we’re already living in an Idiocracy.  As Japan finds itself irradiated and helpless to stop the radioactive isotopes escaping from multiple reactors, still the President of the United States refuses to put a halt to expanding the nuclear industry here.

Take that snapshot, that microcosm of what’s wrong with the world today and expand it out to the food chain, the rainforests, the air we breathe, the drinking water we ingest, the chemicals sprayed on our lawns and between the cracks of concrete.  In every facet of our lives compromises have been made for us, often without our knowledge or consent.  In the case of genetically-modified crops the government has long abdicated its responsibility and refuses to regulate.  Genes from God-knows-where co-exist with the natural genes in all manner of foodstuffs.  These foods are deliberately thrown into the food chain in a manner that we cannot know what’s in it, where it came from, or what it does to lab rats.  We’re the lab rats!

It’s unsurprising that the invisible poisons and genetic experiments can be force fed us when people willingly choose to ingest all sorts of unhealthy junk.

Which leads me, hamfistedly, back to Mike Judge’s comedy/sci-fi Idiocracy, a film that takes these trends to their logical conclusions.

There are many factors to consider when a great film doesn’t turn a large profit.  Idiocracy does not appear to have done well financially despite being one of the funniest satires of American consumer culture ever produced.

Idiocracy is so bold and so outrageous that it could potentially have alienated its own potential audience.  The target, throughout the film, could be considered stupid people, even people of “average” intelligence who live meaningless lives of convenience and just getting along.  This may have been too close to home for a large swath of American movie ticket purchasers.  Or perhaps the studio marketing gang didn’t like the message and simply failed to promote it? *
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