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I’m as Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore

7 10 2011

The title will probably be the closest this post gets to a film.  Rarely do I speak bluntly about my personal beliefs or core values on this blog, outside of the spectrum of film/video production.  But, recently, I have been invigorated by the protests that are going on in their third week on Wall Street.  People, many my own age, taking their time to stand up for what they believe in and show that the working and middle class Americans are tired of being treated as second rate, while we continue to line the wallets of those in the 1%.  Being in North Carolina and bound to work commitments and other obligations, I can’t make it to Occupy Wall Street to share in the warmth of the fight for what is truly right.  What I can do is offer my opinions on how to grow this front into something that truly evokes change.

One of the primary criticisms of the movement itself is the lack of focus in what the protestors are demanding.  However, in contrast to many protests of the past, this is not a protest that demands one single point of change.  We, as a people, have not been wronged by one single wrong.  We have been exploited and denied to an amalgam of rights including, but not limited to, a fully integrated healthcare system that provides for one and all, a refund on the billions of dollars from our pockets that bailed out greedy banks, an education that doesn’t set us behind financially before we can even start our adult lives, homes that can be manageably paid off and protection of our valued possessions in times of struggle or need that is beyond our control, the removal of money from our politics, and an equal tax code in regards to taxation on the rich and corporations.

Though the suits on Wall Street laugh and chide over the protestors’ “meaningless” rants and the Bill O’Reillys of the world refer to our cause as “liberal sludge,” what they don’t understand is that we are the true voices of the nation.  These types of people, however, people that are hinged on one thing and one concept: the growth of their material wealth, can only be educated in the same manner.  Hence, to get the true message across and truly incite change in our country without lending to violent behavior, we have to hit these people where it hurts the most: their pocketbooks.  How might we do this?  Who consumes their goods?  Who truly has control over the markets on a day to day basis?  Us, the 99%.  We are the backbone and the foundation of the country that keep everything from completely falling apart.

How then might our numbers truly hurt these people of power?  Shut it down.  That’s right, let’s just shut it all down, press the “off” switch, quit consuming.  A strike that involves this entire nation.  We’re not asking for justice and an economy that works, not only for the wealthy, but for the working class and middle class people as well.  No positive change was ever introduced without the willingness for taking a risk involved.  I’m not saying muddle your lives to the point of misery, but the foundation of a capitalist economy is consumption and we, the United States of America, are the biggest consumers in the world.  Continue to go to work, continue to provide food for your family, and continue to provide the necessities of life.  If we could cut out the “wants”, however, and I mean completely quit consuming or drastically cut down our daily consumption as much as possible, then the markets would start to reflect the degradation in purchasing.  The longer we could stand without, the longer we could hold off on buying extraneous goods/toys/services that are truly not needed for basic survival, the more the companies, the wealthy, the politicians, and the economy itself would feel it.  We need to show that if they will not listen and abide to our appropriate demands, then we will not abide to their greedy desires and continue to line their pockets.  They can either accept a just amount of wealth, or we will strip their capitalist economy to the bone and they will all suffer losses they have never dreamed of.

If you believe in the idea of this post , please pass along and share with others.  If you feel you could elaborate on this idea, please comment and discuss.  I’m tired of how our country is running, this is not the country I love and I want to see positive change happen now so that my children will be able to be proud of the country they live in.

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Inside Job (2010) Review

16 03 2011

Copyright 2010 Sony Pictures Classics. Dir. Charles Ferguson

★ ★ ★ ★

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see this year’s Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job.  The film deals with the events and practices that lead to the economic crisis of 2008-2009 that we are still recovering from.

First and foremost when I watch a documentary, I am interested in how well the film presents the information on the topic it is focusing on.  The shady practices of Wall Street and our capitalist system were presented in great detail in this film from the beginning of Iceland’s financial collapse all the way to our present situations.  Secondly, I watch for how entertaining this educational material is to actually watch and the film’s ability to keep a viewer engaged with the material.  It seems the filmmakers of this film borrowed a bit from Michael Moore with some of the “shock and awe” ways of presenting information and the fun, tongue-in-cheek musical selections interspersed throughout (including Big Time by Peter Gabriel and New York Groove by Ace Frehley).  Some audiences don’t like this approach to a documentary and prefer a straighter, less enhanced presentation of material, but for me personally, I think it helps create a stronger impact and keeps the watchability at a high.

Technically, the film looked great.  It was shot on the RED One digital cinema camera in 4k mode, so the resolution and dynamic range of the interview sequences are quite high for a documentary.  A lot of the “run and gun” segments were shot on the Sony EX-1 which still retains a high visual quality, but not to the level that the beautiful sweeping intro shots of Iceland are on the RED One.  As previously mentioned, I really loved the musical picks they decided to use throughout the film and many of the montage sequences had a nice, machine gun paced editing flow that keeps true to the music video age documentary style we have become accustomed to in the last 10 to 15 years.

Without getting too political in the review, the film’s content is hard hitting and definitely ignited a strong response against how our system is currently run.  However, I will be honest and admit that I am a liberal and this film was made by liberal filmmakers, so there is a certain level of bias.  However, I don’t think anyone could argue after seeing this film that what was happening in our financial markets was right.  Essentially, a few super rich decided to take their greed to a new level which, in turn, has collapsed a global economy.  If nothing else, I think the film wants the viewer to take away one encompassing theme: that the system as it stands today HAS to be changed.  We can’t continue going on in a crippling financial system that, as the Who would say, is “in with the new boss, same as the old boss.”

I haven’t seen many of the other documentaries that came out in 2010, but I can see why the Academy chose this film as the Best Documentary Feature this year.  It’s not perfect and not the best documentary I’ve ever seen, but it’s a good, solid film that deals with a subject that is probably the single most important topic of our time in relation to global tranquility.








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