Image Image Image Image Image

movies

21

Oct

Vaccine Nation

Vaccine Nation I contemplated getting vaccinations before coming to Korea. Some people said you must get some, others said they have travelled here before and you didn’t need to get any. I decided not to, probably a big part of it being I didn’t have health insurance at the time and no doctors in the states really wanted to deal with a one time, no insurance patient.

So I’m planning some future travels now and wondering if I should get vaccinations before I venture to not so sanitary places of the world. I started doing a little research. The more I read, the less sure I was about vaccinations. After seeing more and more information like the video above, I think I probably won’t be vaccinated again.

I think the sad part is that it all comes down to money again. If these medical companies stand to loose billions of dollars in revenues each year, they will keep wanting to pump you full of something. And if you get sick from it, oh well, you’ll just have to pay a little (or a lot) more. If you want to learn more, or see the source of this video, go here: www.vaccinenation.net.

19

Sep

Hacking Democracy

Hacking Democracy

This documentary exposes the vulnerability of computers – which count approximately 80% of America’s votes in county, state and federal elections – suggesting that if our votes aren’t safe, then our democracy isn’t safe either.

I’m a programmer, this is like a “duh!” thing for me. If you are voting please use a paper ballot. The computer voting machines have many problems. Just go to wikipedia and read up on this a bit as well Premier Election Solutions. But please be aware, a graduate student, Virgil Griffith, discovered that Diebold (Parent company to Premier Election Soultions) as well as the CIA and others have been editing Wikipedia entries to delete information that makes them look bad and conveniently putting more positive information in its place. Read the full Wired article here.

18

Sep

In Debt We Trust

In Debt We Trust

In America’s earliest days, there were barn-raising parties in which neighbors helped each other build up their farms. Today, in some churches, there are debt liquidation revivals in which parishioners chip in to free each other from growing credit card debts that are driving American families to bankruptcy and desperation. IN DEBT WE TRUST is the latest film from Danny Schechter, “The News Dissector,” director of the internationally distributed and award-winning WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception), an expose of the media’s role in the Iraq War. The Emmy-winning former ABC News and CNN producer’s new hard-hitting documentary investigates why so many Americans are being strangled by debt. It is a journalistic confrontation with what former Reagan advisor Kevin Phillips calls “Financialization”–the “powerful emergence of a debt-and-credit industrial complex.” While many Americans may be “maxing out” on credit cards, there is a deeper story: power is shifting into fewer hands…..with frightening consequences. IN DEBT WE TRUST shows how the mall replaced the factory as America’s dominant economic engine and how big banks and credit card companies buy our Congress and drive us into what a former major bank economist calls modern serfdom. Americans and our government owe trillions in consumer debt and the national debt, a large amount of it to big banks and billions to Communist China.

Ah, credit card debt… How many Americans can relate to this? Danny Schechter wrote, produced and directed this film. This is a great film about more “down to earth” topics like personal debt.

With so many large speculative investment banking firms like Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch going under as well as the insurance firm AIG things are certainly going to change. Not only will you be paying off your own debt, but the government (you) will be paying off gigantic sums of corporate debt as well. Well, the CEO’s and upper management got out with all their options before all of this happened, so don’t worry (sarcasm intended).

Many more banks will be collapsing soon. All those high interest rate loans on houses (given something like 60% to minorities) will be agressively collected. Forclosures will increase in the housing market. Housing values will drop. Property taxes will be decreased. Funds for local and state government programs will drop as a result. So in addition to paying your debt, you’ll see your local schools, roads and local infrastructure deteriorate. And the sad part is that the government (you) is bailing out these companies, inheriting the risks associated, without even understanding what those risks are. Don’t you think these companies knew what was coming? Is there really any question?

18

Sep

Walmart – High Cost of Low Prices

Walmart - High Cost of Low Prices

WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Prices is the documentary film sensation that’s changing the largest company on earth. The film features the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to survive in a Wal-Mart world. It’s an emotional journey that will challenge the way you think, feel… and shop.

Released simultaneously in theaters and DVD in November 2005, the film has been seen by millions worldwide. Families, churches, schools, and small busineses owners have screened the film over 10,000 times and the world is taking notice. See the film, share it, and become part of the movement forcing companies to act responsibly.

I saw this movie quite a while ago. I wanted to post it as a way to start narrowing the scope of topics a bit. What I mean by that is most of the films I’ve posted so far have been about very broad reaching things like war, or activities of governments, etc. This movie starts to bring things down to smaller scale a bit. Even though governments and very large scale institutions create these smaller circumstances, it’s good to see some of the more direct impacts. It’s good to take a look at how it affects individuals and people in the society and see how their thoughts, emotions and consciousness is affected. Because I really believe it circles back to the individual again, and what’s going on inside them.

It’s important to focus on understanding yourself and grounding your perceptions and emotions through connection with nature and people. Then I think you can begin to look outside and start to see the connections of things in the outside world. I think it’s also important to consider the things powerful corporations and money driven social structures encourage you to do:

Watch TV
Watch sports
Buy as many things as possible
Be independent

If you do all these things you have less meaningful connections with other people. Spend your time watching other people do things, instead of making meaningful and impacting changes in your own life as well as other peoples lives. Being “independent” isolates you from communities that enable you to share experiences and knowledge and promote social change. It’s much harder to change things on your own right? You’re only one person after all. But if you never talk about things with other people, then no momentum in the form of groups or organizations can flourish. As you buy more and more things, you have to work more and more to pay for them. If you spend all your time working, then you won’t be “tempted” to think about yourself or what your life means.

I think this is the goal. You are meant to go to work, watch TV, be quiet and die some day. It’s up to you to determine your own path. It’s up to you to change the reality. It all circles back to you, your consciousness, your choices, you. What do you want from this life? Ask yourself this right now: and then do it.

17

Sep

Uncovered: The War on Iraq

Uncovered: The War on Iraq

Uncovered: The War on Iraq, filmmaker Robert Greenwald chronicles the Bush Administration’s determined quest to invade Iraq following the events of September 11, 2001. The film deconstructs the administration’s case for war through interviews with U.S intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts, and U.N. weapons inspectors — including a former CIA director, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and even President Bush’s Secretary of the Army. Their analyses and conclusions are sobering, and often disturbing, regardless of one’s political affiliations.

In studying and watching the various political documentaries on the Iraq war I came across this film. Robert Greenwald also made the film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, which you can see here. It doesn’t seem as polished to me as some of the others, and reiterates some of the same messages, but I thought it was still interesting. All these films fill in missing pieces or new perspectives that the other doesn’t. Many of these films obviously have a more “left” leaning perspective. Again, I don’t really consider myself “left” or “right” or any of those politically contrived, and in my mind, meaningless distinctions.

I consider myself a part of the world, a part of human kind, and therefore what happens to the world and its people, is a reflection of myself. I know this may sound too “new age” for many, but then again, I think maybe you are projecting your own judgements and preconceptions.

It is circular, until you reflect on your own self, who you are and what is going on in your own consciousness, I don’t think you can even begin to look outside of yourself. Once you start to consider your own consciousness and existence, many of the beliefs and judgements you have about the world and those beings in it, start to crumble into dust. What is born from those ashes is a much different view of the world, one that many won’t be able to understand or accept. And how can they? How can you understand or know about something if you’ve never experienced it? It’s not that a being is “better” than you, they have just gone on a different path. Every path we choose has benefits and difficulties in this world. But until you are open to looking at and changing yourself, I don’t think you can hope to affect changes in the outside world. Simply by changing yourself inside, you will undoubtedly change the outside.

17

Sep

Darwin’s Nightmare

Darwin’s Nightmare

Some time in the 1960’s, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world. Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent. spacer This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.

This is another good film that bridges many of the issues that I’ve been talking about: environment, food/animal use, politics and war. It’s not a very easy film to watch, but is very impacting. I gives a very down to earth portrait of how and why people end up in different circumstances. This film certainly deserves your attention.

16

Sep

Tibetan Book of the Dead

I thought it was important to get back to the spiritual element of a discussion on politics, environment, animal usage, etc. This film talks about the Tibetan book of the dead. It discusses some of the beliefs Tibetan Buddhists have about the dying process and what comes after death. I think my interest in Buddhism stems from the fact that it focuses on self discovery and self awakening. It doesn’t rely on a God. You may see giant Buddha statues and think, oh that’s the god Buddhists pray to, but in fact you’d be wrong. The statue is you in essence, the enlightened mind in all beings. I wouldn’t say that I’m a Buddhist, but I do like many of the ideas they have about the nature of consciousness. I think it also relates the to teaching of C. G. Jung as well.

16

Sep

Black Gold

Black Gold
You are probably thinking this post is going to be about oil. ZZZZZZ… This is about fair trade coffee. I’m a big coffee drinker and passionate about it. When I have the choice I always choose fair trade and organic. Sadly South Korea (at least Jeju-do) has very few options in those regards. Although I think things are slowly changing here. You can get organic coffee served to you at a few places, but I haven’t found anywhere that you can purchase whole beans. And fair trade seems to be unheard of here.

This movie called Black Gold addresses many issues surrounding the environment, world economics, corporate interests and coffee, of course. If you drink coffee I think it is a must see. Even if you don’t drink coffee I think it gives a good perspective of issues related to developing nations and corporate and economic impacts in those nations.

16

Sep

An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth is an American Academy Award-winning documentary film about global warming, presented by former United States Vice President Al Gore and directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. A companion book authored by Gore reached #1 on the paperback nonfiction New York Times bestseller list on July 2, 2006. Earning $49 million at the box office worldwide, An Inconvenient Truth is the fourth-highest-grossing documentary film to date in the United States. An Inconvenient Truth focuses on Al Gore and his travels in support of his efforts to educate the public about the severity of the climate crisis. Gore says, “I’ve been trying to tell this story for a long time and I feel as I’ve failed to get the message across.” The film closely follows a Keynote presentation that Gore presented throughout the world. It intersperses Gore’s exploration of data and predictions regarding climate change and its potential for disaster with Gore’s life story

I wanted to post the more American media familiar Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth. I think this film is a good primer on the issues surrounding global climate change and the impacts associated with it. I think this movie is a good compliment to Earthlings which you can see in a previous post here. Animal use and environmental impact are tied together very closely. One affects the other. Consider this:

The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization has issued a stunning report on global warming. Livestock production is responsible for more climate change gasses than all the motor vehicles in the world.

The source for that quote is here.

16

Sep

The World According to Monsanto

The World According to Monsanto
The French documentary, called “The World According to Monsanto” and directed by independent filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin, paints a grim picture of a company with a long track record of environmental crimes and health scandals.

This film has very similar information to “The Future of Food” which I posted here. I think “The Future of Food” is more concise and better wrought in some ways, but I still think this is an excellent film and deserves your viewing. The whole video is embedded above.