Saturday, March 20, 2004

Today I should have been working on my Honours paper. But I didn't. Instead I chose to make the day healthy, fun-filled, educational and gluttoness (in that order).

Healthy = Aerobics.
Fun-filled= tubing at Brookvale Ski Park.
Educational = Watching 'The Corporation'.
Gluttony-ess = 1/2 price appetizers at East Side Mario's

Right, so which turned out to be most shantastic? That's right, the Educational option!

The Corporation is an absolute must -see. I went in with pretty high expectations, they were far exceeded. Where to begin with explaining how disturbing, moving, eye-opening and inspiring this documentary is? I'm not sure I can give the film justice, you will just have to see it to believe it. But here's a bit about it to entice you (I hope):

It is a Canadian film and is out in select theatres now (City Cinema but only until March22!). It's already won a load of awards at fliim festivals including Sundance. A lot of the film is focused on Corporate America, but there is some Canadian content and much regarding the impacts of globalization.

There's a really interesting segment on how two investigative journalists for Fox News were harassed and eventualy fired for refusing to alter their investigative report on Monsanto's growth horomone for dairy cows.

Oh..and did you know that 9 years ago the US patent Office made an official statement that any living thing, aside from a fully-born human infant, can now be patented. And yes, the pharamceutaical companies are patenting human genes like crazy..within ten years a small number of huge corporations will literally and legally own the blueprints to human life.

There's another bit about the privatization of water...I think it was in Bolivia that they started privatizing water..these people who made $2 a day and could barely afford three meals were being forced to pay up to one quarter of their wages to purchase water...They couldn't even collect rainwater,not legally anyway. Huge protests were launched and in the end the power of a united people won, but not without casts - 6 dead and 175 their own government who sided with the corporation. And this was supposed to be the big victory/hope story of the film....Mind you it really was, but to realise that the cost of going up against corporations can be life itself is disconcerting to say the least

The film's commentators include (amongst many): Jeremy Rifkin, Ray Anderson (CEO of's largest commercial carpet manufacturer and corporate do-gooder) and Michael Moore (BTW, he does have the last word in the film)

It's been likened to Bowling for Columbine and rightfully so. They are distinctly different in a number of ways, but in the end you are left with many of the same feelings - outrage, sadness & hope, and thoughts - its the end of the world as we know it, power needs to be put back in the hands of the people, corporations need to be accountable for their actions

A theme throughout the film revolves around looking at the corporation as a real person, since this is what the judicial system has essentially declared it to be. Based on the World Health Organisation's criteria for mental illness the coporation is diagnosed as a psychopath.

OK -well that's my movie plug. There are few films that have affected me like this one. I doubt anyone could walk away at the end of it unchanged in their views of capitalism and the so-called 'progress' it has brought about.

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