October 2, 2010

Random thoughts an hour into watching the documentary The Corporation and watching it to the end

(based on notes taken during)

  • Are ads more powerful now or are children adapting better? The movie suggest the former, but the continuum of 20th century history does not.
  • David Foster Wallace (and others') expression of consumerist ennui relates to the idea that children are indoctrinated to be consumers against their natural disposition. That capitalist/consumerist impulse is detrimental to us as we grow older and manifests dissatisfaction as we wonder why we have this compulsion to purchase. I love buying books and music.
  • In the documentary, Noam Chomsky is sitting in for Theodore Adorno to prove that Adorno was correct in arguing that capitalism corrupted us via consumerism.
  • Corporate philanthropy is often/always connected to corporate tax benefits. How much more could we have done with the money if we didn't sink 90+% of the money into corporate tax write-offs?
  • I laughed at the concept of Disney-mediated neighborhoods until I considered that it's exactly what those afraid of "modern society" based on a false nostalgia would want.
  • Regarding the idea that corporations mediate all of our interactions: Facebook scares me even more.
  • In 1980, Warren Berger was the deciding vote in the judgment to allow life forms to be patented. He felt that it was not an important decision. Again, I'm reminded of The Windup Girl. The Berger decision will be the moment in time that is most remembered as when corporations were given primacy over life.
  • Canada does not allow bovine growth hormone. The film stated that it was because of traces of Prosilac in milk, but it was actually because it was detrimental to the health of the cows.
  • Bolivians fought back successfully against corporate control of the water system.
  • At many points in this documentary, individuals point out that democratic governments have no power over multi-national corporations. At the start of the Gulf oil spill, Hugo Chavez said the exact same thing. (can't find citation)
  • Many right-leaning groups long for anger at the government to get so strong that an armed, patriotic revolution happens. Other countries have had such armed revolutions directed against corporate control. World trade protesters sometimes become violent and are castigated for it. Isn't that the same?
  • It was refreshing to see dispassionate, thoughtful, and reflective comments from Chomsky, Zinn, Moore, and Klein. Michael Moore's revelation tyeing his auto-worker roots to global warming was interesting.
  • Ultimately hopeful.
  • The first industrial revolution is not working. It is flawed. It is unsustainable. - Ray Anderson
posted by sstrader at 10:01 AM in Cinema | permalink | comments (0)