Archive for the ‘videos’ Category

Alright, here’s a bunch of videos for your viewing pleasure.  With the passing of black friday, and people being killed to buy things, I found it appropriate to continue with the consumerism theme.

The first is Chris Jordan talking about his art.  I already posted something on Chris Jordan but I just found it interesting to hear him talk about his work.

The next one is a kind of creepy video.  It’s not fantastic, but I think it is important to show consumerism’s effect on people as a drug.  It is an addiction that destroys oneself and has taken away our focus from the things that we need and find important in life.  I do think we need to value simplicity.  Sure, it is difficult to sometimes see the connections between consuming and the effects of “globalization” institutions and policies, but it is all linked.  I think we need to start focusing on food, and other necessities and work from there.  If we structure our lives and society around that, perhaps our views on goods and trade would change.

This last one I found really interesting.  As our resources for information increases we still are not all that informed.  We are being fed “information” particularly from corporations and resources with agendas for profit.  There is one part that talks about children getting more information from entities whose goal is to sell them something more than from schools or houses of worship.  We are in a downward spiral that focuses on the self while defeating self-esteem.  Corporations have redefined beauty to be corporate.


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Nader on the Economy

It is unbelievable the amount of corporate influence over the two major party candidates.  Both candidates agreed to give this money give-away to corporate crooks with a 700 billion dollar bailout.  Ralph Nader has been very critical of this and offers his own 4-point solution as described on his website votenader.org.

One of his main points is to make the speculator pay for their own bailout.  With a one-tenth of one percent tax on security derivative transactions, 500 billion dollars would be easily raised in one year.  Now why would the two major party candidates not implement something like this, rather than making the American tax-payers pay for coporate greed?  It's simple, both candidates receive billions in dollars from these corporations, and Obama receives more from Wall Street than McCain.

Nader also brings up a great point that while the candidates talk about the middle class, they never mention the poor.  The poor is only going to increase.  They are the overworked and underpaid in our country.  I also find it important to note, as Nader mentions, that this speculation excess was pushed forward with Clinton and his deregulation in the late 1990's.

I think it is important for people to be critical of the two major party candidates on this matter.  Even if your vote is going to either Obama or McCain, rather than letting the candidates receiving your vote as a "better of the two" decision, accountability should be demanded and the real issues focused on.  This is what Ralph Nader and the other third party presidential candidates are demanding.  The debates are even corporate sponsored and put together by two former heads of the Democrat and Republican National Committees.

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I remembered this movie I saw less than a year ago in Seattle stumbling through some Democracy Now! videos.  This is a great interview with the filmaker talking about the situation in the Niger Delta.

This is examplory of the relationship of government and big corporations and those effects on human rights and the environment.  This is a continuation of our colonial practices, using resources in foreign lands, for means of export.  The people of the Niger Delta are made dependent now on this trade in order to receive money for their children, their food, their rights, etc.  But this does not happen.  As the movie says, the people of the Niger were given broken promises…where the oil industries of the West and China take 40% of profits and the Niger government the rest.  The problem is, the money does not trickle down.  The government itself is corrupt and does not serve its people.  But this is the government that our corporations support in order to get away with the drilling of oil resources.  This is the game of free market.

It is no wonder that people want to take up weapons to protest and gain international attention.  That was the only way for these people to even get noticed by Western media.  Immediately though, they were declared terrorists, or violent gang members.  Nevermind, the desperate situation of blatant drawing of these people’s resources, while they are left with polluted waters and acid rain, damaging their fishing food supply and farming abilities just as an example.  Now why would their be such social unrest?  Hmm.

MEND, or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta demands that the money being made go to the infrastructure of the people.  This group is a response to the strong military that will put down any protest to the oil industries, and it is a response to the apparent poverty, lack of human rights, and environmental degradation.  This is now the desperate situation there.  These are the people that have to deal with the effects of our addiction.  These are the standards that the West creates with our money lending and the World Trade Organization.  Our economy allows, if not encourages, countries to have weaker environmental and human right laws.  Western corporations such as Shell and Chevron, with the blessings of our government trade laws and bank loans, and the cooperation of militaristic governments, are more powerful and have a greater control over resources than the actual people living on those lands containing those resources.  This is the Niger Delta.  MEND is looking for international solidarity in this struggle or a global resistance.  As the movie “Global Village or Global Pillage” talks about, we have to realize that this is even in our own interest… it’s about everyone’s quality of life.

The documentary is called Sweet Crude.  The website is: http://www.sweetcrudemovie.com/.

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I stumbled across this video as I was searching through Adbuster’s website.  I found it extremely impactful to show side by side a lifestyle that we sometimes forget affects those around the globe.  It is simple to purchase something like our shoes, something we find necessary, without a thought to what went into that process.  The same lifestyle we build for our children and for ourselves, often degrades (directly and indirectly) those families, those children, in some strange sort of opposite way. I find it interesting that economists can argue such things that our foreign investment raises living standards or “lifts all boats.”  How is sweatshop labor justifiable?  How can we, as consumers, or simply as citizens that expect our own rights, keep allowing this?

I think we often forget the impact we have in the world.  I don’t know who to blame…the media, the government, the corporations, ourselves?  It’s a difficult answer because I think it does put responsibility on our own shoulders in some sort of a way.  But how can one even know of this responsibility unless you actually search what globalization causes, and how that links back to our consumer goods, our businesses, our government?  The fact that economists, especially right now, claim that these practices are justifiable, and argue that these myths (globalization lifts all boats, free trade benefits consumers, etc.) shows that they must not be here, right now.

“The race to the bottom,” or the downard spiral of national outbidding for cheap labor, will not end until we  take some kind of responsibility, and part of this means evaluating everything we consume.  I appreciate this video’s simplicity, something I find more impactful sometimes.  To see those comparisons side by side truly shows the widening gap between the rich and poor; the fact that “In 1999, the wealth held by the world’s 475 billionares was greater than the combined income of the poorest half of all the people in the world.”(Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Thea Lee-The Field Guide to the Global Economy).  I think this is  something where most people agree on.  Most people would find this intolerable and unjust.  I guess it is easy to forget, or not even know when the picture on the shoebox, or the tag on our clothing does not tell us exactly what went into making that product.

I highly recommend that people check out Adbusters when they have a chance.  It is a sort of journal about our product-obsessed cultures…a “journal of the mental environment.”  There are more videos along with this one if you search through the site.  http://www.adbusters.org.

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