Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008) – documentary

Since I posted Zeitgeist, the Movie here and admitted I kinda liked it, I feel obligated to include the sequel. Zeitgeist: Addendum was released (also free of charge to all) in 2008, and this one, too, got the Best Feature Activist Spirit Award.

But I would rather disagree. In the first part of the movie, the process of money creation is described in detail. The second part is basically a long interview with John Perkins who wrote Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – a wildly controversial and criticized book. And it goes downhill from there. Then The Venus Project is described, as a possible solution to all humanity’s troubles.

The Venus Project is basically a utopia, a society where all energy problems are solved with geothermal energy, there’s no money since energy is abundant. They call it “resource based society”. I fail to see how it’s different from communist utopia, with no money or markets/buying/selling so avidly described by some Soviet science fiction writers. Supposedly, if it wasn’t for corrupt oil companies, financiers and politicians, we all could live in such heaven, since we already have the technology to build it.

I got interested in this Venus Project. I surfed their website in search of answers. How are they going to distribute resources however big they are? What about geothermal power disadvantages? Its net energy? They claim there’ll be no crime – what about latest findings of cognitive science on the nature of violence? Well, as I suspected: nothing. The whole website looks like a pretty glossy paper advertisement brochure. Looks like a fine futurology/design experiment, nothing serious. How can you put it in a documentary? And talk about it as a “solution”?

I’ve always been wary of conspirologists, and the more I live the “warier” I become. Here’s the video:

Maxed Out (2006) – documentary

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders is an independent documentary film by James Scurlock that chronicles abusive practices in the credit card industry. The film got the Special Jury Prize award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. This film isn’t available online, but I would highly recommend renting a DVD. For those who have Netflix subscription, it is currently available for instant play free of charge. It’s not really about the current economic crisis, or the credit crunch, or the national debt. It’s more about such facts as that most of the profit for credit card companies comes in form of fees and interest from those who pay late, or even eventually can’t pay at all.

The following video is James Scurlock giving a talk at Google about his movie. That took place on April 23, 2007.

freedomOf5peech counts Kent Hovind lies

freedomOf5Speech, another YouTube activist whose channel I highly recommend, decided to count Kent Hovind‘s lies. Here’s from the video description:

I watched 30 minutes of Kent Hovind, and found 82 lies or false statements.

Many videos debunking Kent Hovind exist on YouTube. I felt that it’s pointless to make YET ANOTHER commentary video with details about Kent’s lies… it’s been done, and if you still believe Kent’s bullshit, search YouTube and you’ll have hours and hours of debunking to watch.

Instead, I wanted to make a quick video (without commentary) that moves quickly, and shows just how often Kent lies… and it’s fucking hilarious!!! I hope you laugh as much as I did making it!

Yes, he repeats his lies, and I counted them. Yes, some of the lies are not obvious, but they are lies, and if you have a question about a specific lie just ask and I’ll answer it for you. Some of the lies are just humor, but technically still lies (like when he claims his Creation Museum is the best place on earth).

Very funny. 🙂 And disturbing. 😐

But wait, there’s more! This little contest got a very recent development, as VenomFangXD (not to be confused with VenomFangX!) posted a reply video on November 8th counting 102 lies in under 42 minutes. I like this one even better, though they’re both funny:

DonExodus2 analyzes “List of scientists rejecting evolution”

The obnoxious Discovery Institute posted a list of scientists rejecting evolution, roughly a hundred souls – here’s the link to this document. DonExodus2 whose videos I posted before dissected the list, and emailed its signees. As expected, creationists had no better ideas than to fall back on the proven tactics of misrepresentation and deception.

From the video description:

The truth of the matter is, DI lied repeatedly when constructing the list, and, by their own admission, even IF the numbers are skewed hugely in favor or the creationists, this still leaves .0027% of scientists in the US rejecting evolution.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004) – documentary

If you’ve been long suspicious that “Fair and Balanced” slogan of Fox News channel is nothing but propaganda, you will enjoy this one. This documentary is harsh critics of the channel, exposing its huge right-wing bias and predatory journalism tactics. In my personal opinion, Fox News is anything but a “news channel”. Please see a list of Fox News Channel controversies on Wikipedia, I especially enjoyed the “photo manipulation” section.

“Outfoxed” official website.

Zeitgeist, the Movie (2007) – documentary

This pretty famous documentary was released free online in June 2007. Its main three topics are religion, the attack of 9/11 and the Federal Reserve bank, and views presented are rather conspirological. It won Best Feature Documentary at Activist Awards in 2007.

Although I am not a great fun of conspiracy theories, I must admit watching it was rather entertaining, so here it is:

It can be downloaded as AVI from here, but strangely not from the movie official website.

[Russian translation below]

Этот достаточно известный документальный фильм был выложен для просмотра бесплатно в июне 2007-го. В нем обсуждаются три темы: религия, террористическая атака на США 11 сентября, и Федеральный Резервная Система США, причем в довольно конспирологическом ключе. Фильм получил награду “Лучший Документальный Фильм” на церемонии Activist Awards в 2007 году.

Несмотря на то, что я критично отношусь к всевозможным “теориям заговора”, должен признать, что фильм смотреть было довольно интересно. Вот русскоязычная версия фильма на Google Video:

Shame on you, California! – Proposition 8 passes

My tears of joy from hearing about Barack Obama winning US presidential election had not yet run dry, as I was shocked and crushed to learn that Californians voted “Yes” on Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in this state. I find it amusing that “Proposition Eight” and “Proposition Hate” sound so similar. 

It is my belief that the “Yes on Prop 8” campaign was based on lies, fear, bigotry and intimidation . Oh, and don’t forget appeals to God and Jesus the Saviour. Just take a look at their ads and videos of their supporters on YouTube. They want you to be scared of turning your kids gay through education and more public acceptance of gay couples, which is just laughable. Here’s a great video that goes into details on the Prop 8 Poll on IProtectMarriage.com:

The most shocking part is question #8 where they propel an old myth that homosexuality is a choice, despite most scientific research suggesting it is not, massive evidence of animals homosexual behavior (do they choose their lifestyles, too?), and plain logic – if it’s pure choice, why so many choose “the hard way”? They also seem to be quite scared of gay couple adopting kids, although, existing research suggests that neither it does increase chances of children growing gay, nor it strangles their social development and aptitude.

One of “Yes” campaign’s strongest arguments was that children would have to be taught about gay marriage in public schools. Although, I personally do not see anything wrong with it, it was also false, according to California Superintendent of Public Schools Jack O’Connell:

Here’s a great little parody on these lines of thinking:

When one of the smartest states falls victim to appeals to ignorance, stupid, God and religion, tactics of fear and intimidation, I am quite surprised (though relieved!) that the country as a whole withstood McCain’s campaign that pretty much employed the same strategy:

I’m heterosexual by the way, and I don’t even have any friends which I’d knew were gay. But sometimes I’m ashamed to be one. 😦