Monday, June 18, 2007

Gas & Oil Expo had a visit from the Yes Men

And boy do I feel all giddy inside!

The Yes Men, if you don’t already know, are globalization activists, they are against globalization just to clarify. To really boil down into an over-simplified version, their message would be that in the way globalization is being used by most corporations, it is just another form of slave labour, stealing natural resources using methodologies that would not be tolerated in their home country and the taking of these resources to an extent that drastically undermines or kills the environmental health of a region. Honestly I couldn’t agree more with them.

Needless to say these past few days watching the Yes Men on TV has made me a little star struck *sigh*

In Calgary they claimed they were members of the Natural Petroleum Council, advisors to the White House on oil & gas issues. The expectation is that they would announce findings on a joint US-Canadian energy policy. Instead they got to hear about how due to impending global disasters that would adversely affect the oil supply, we could supplement it buy transforming all those who died into oil. They even lit candles claiming to be “Vivoleum”, people, or specifically a poor Exxon janitor who died from cleaning a toxic spill. It wasn’t until a video was shown of the janitor talking about how he wanted to be made into candles when he died, that the guys were taken off stage.

In the end they were each fined about $300.00.

If you haven’t checked out their documentary I would recommend it. In fact if you are interested in anti-globalization/corporation documentaries the following are some real eye-openers:

The Corporation – high production value and really easy to watch, listened to a follow-up interview on the CBC of the guy who owns the carpet company, he was looking to use more sustainable technology to manufacture his carpets and he is on target and has found that the although the initial investment was high he was able to recoup costs in a shorter timeframe than expected.

The Yes Men – medium production value, still really easy to watch. Here they are ‘representing’ the WTO, watch their shenanigans that are both disturbing and roll on your ass funny but you just can’t believe that people are taking in what they are saying, especially at the textile event.

Darwin’s Nightmare – low production value, can be difficult to watch but it is utterly interesting. Be prepared to be thoroughly disturbed, it really touches in a very personal way, the loss of humanity that can so be easily tossed aside when making corporate decisions. This is a very honest portrayal of the influence of Western Society’s need for fish and devastation it causes a region in Africa. I do warn you though it is very disturbing, had me crying for quite awhile.

Who Killed the Electric Car – Good production value, easy to watch. Just leaves your shaking your head.

Almost anything by Noam Chomsky, this is one brilliant man who can easily explain complex situations in simple terms. I must confess I have a HUGE brain crush on this guy, have since I watched Manufacturing Consent, (not to be mistaken with Manufacturing Dissent, a documentary showcasing the manipulative tactics used by Michael Moore).

I know there are others but they just aren’t coming to my mind at the moment. We watch a lot of documentaries about a variety of subjects. One way to exercise our minds as we chug along with the day-to-day, and believe me we do, Bones and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on topics and you always have to take into consideration the source. I would not expect unbiased commentary by Ann Coulter or Michael Moore but they sure interesting to watch!


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