Just the other day I was remarking how silly it is that I insist on pooping into clean water. What a luxury! If there’s a finite amount of clean water in the world why do I reserve a special amount in my toilet just to poop in? Why can’t we recycle waste dishwater or something to fill our toilets? I guess part of the answer is no one wants a little splash of dirty water in case something goes awry. But this got me thinking about how people use the world’s resources and how difficult it seems to shift away from our crappy status quo (pun intended). The way I buy and use things from electronics to plastic spoons seems like I ignore the fact that world only has a certain amount of stuff to to make all the stuff that I buy, use, then throw away. It’s like pooping in clean water: It’s something I do every day but I when I think about it doesn’t make sense.
While searching for new conspiracies, I came across this interesting documentary which ties in nicely with my concerns (yet doesn’t once mention poop): The Light Bulb Conspiracy.
This 52 minute program deals with planned obsolescence, the business strategy that dictates more money is made by products that stop working and need replacement than strong, durable products that last a lifetime. It begins with light bulbs and goes if into a few other directions touching on electronics, waste, consumerism, and more!
Some things that I found interesting:
- There was an actual light bulb cartel. And it fined companies that made light bulbs that lasted too long.
- Labor as well as big business favors planned obsolescence because if products break, new ones need to be made, and this means jobs. This makes me wonder how we can break away from the idea that having jobs for jobs’ sake will make everything better. Just making up more jobs just seems like a band aid on our bigger problem of depleting resources. Can we have more jobs and have less needless consumerism? Is there any appeal for the capitalist to make things that don’t require frequent replacements and new purchases?
- The documentary shows a dump in Ghana where electronic waste from all over the world is shipped. It’s illegal to ship electronic waste to third world countries but shipping companies dodge this rule by labeling everything as second hand goods. The hills of old electronics is gross and illustrates the growing scarcity of places to dump our shit (pun intended). But the documentary also talks about how young boys go to the dump and collect scrap metal to be salvaged by burning junk so all the plastic bits are burned away from the metal. Not the most healthy thing to do, but some money is being made. What would happen if that was taken away from the local economy? I don’t know if its a large chunk of money but if there wasn’t the waste would poor people lose money? I think the amount of money made from such enterprises isn’t worth the environmental degradaton/health hazards/psychological effects of being the planet’s dump but still I wonder how a change would effect poverty.
The Light Bulb Conspiracy!
Videos cited in the Light Bulb Conspiracy:
- The movie The Man in the White Suit about a chemist who discovers a thread that will last a lifetime is available on Netflix Instant Watch: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The_Man_in_the_White_Suit/60029976?trkid=2361637
- iPod’s Dirty Secret
I let my crackpot flag fly in this set where I pop off a couple 9/11 Truth jokes.
Here is my entry for the Mysterious Universe Fake Whistleblower Contest. Mysterious Universe is a top-notch podcast examining stories of the bizarre, unexplained, and paranormal hosted by Benjamin Grundy and Aaron Wright. They are currently holding a contest for the best “fake whistleblower,” i.e. someone who comes out of the shadows and divulges top secret information. The winner receives a salt lamp.
Conspiracy! Grapple Guns! Fare Evasion! Danger!
Here’s the first draft of “The Night Devil: Evil-9, Episode 2.” It’s part of my “audio comic” line of projects mixing elements of radio drama, music, and still images. I produce this episode using Garageband for all the audio as well as iMovie for putting together the still images. Check it out!
First, let me say that I don’t necessarily believe in this theory, I’m just throwing it out there. Second, I hope the people of Iran receive justice, a decent country, and an immediate end to the current violence .
O.K., so from what I’m hearing: Iran just had an election and Mahmoud “Make Fun of My Policies Not My Name” Ahmadinejad won by a wide margin against his opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi. The citizens of Iran are crying foul and protesting the results. They could teach us a couple things about not letting go of election fraud. Anyway, they’re in the streets and on internet, organizing dissent. The Iranian government is trying to quell the uprising with brute threats, goon squad violence, Gestapo-style arrests, and maintaining the legitimacy of the Bush-2000-esque results.
Here’s my crackpot theory: The United States rigged the election so that Ahmadinejad would win which would pave the way for a U.S. attack. Here’s the play by play: The U.S. via its spy network tips the election to Ahmadinejad’s favor. This unjust result causes mass protests and calls for international intervention. The Iranian government, believing they legitimately won and because they’re thugish despots (who never would have been in power if we didn’t install that stupid Shah), attacks the uprising. The Iranian people and the world are horrified. Cue the United States, Israel, and a coalition of democratic nations to save the day by attacking Iran and installing Mousavi. The invading force would have the people’s support (because the majority did vote for Mousavi) as well as international praise for aiding the freedom fighting Iranians. It’s just like Iraq, except this nation’s people made the first move and we’re seen as helping them, not forcing our ways on a sovereign nation. Not only are we now seen as the good guys again, but Mousavi is indebted to the U.S. for maintaining his authority. And… BOOM! We pulled another one on Iran.
Why would we do this? Hey, Iran’s been a problem for a long time. The U.S. even bares some responsibility for their current bogus regime. Plus, the Iranian government aids rebels in Iraq, has nukes, threatens our ally Israel, and is the world’s fifth largest producer of oil… Perhaps this was the thinking behind such a folly: The U.S. sensed that the current regime was losing favor amongst its citizens and saw the election as an opportunity to take advantage of this situation. The U.S. would then makes sure (Operation Ajax-style) the country falls into hands indebted to it. This theory fits into the broader theory (which I don’t think is very crackpot) that the whole reason we’re in the Middle East is to stabilize it and maintain a presence that facilitates the oil trade as well as global security. Once we get a U.S. friendly leader in Iran we can control their nukes, perhaps their oil, and not to mention snag some great real estate for military bases (we allegedly messed around with Australian politics to procure military bases in the past). Plus, we might even win over the hearts and minds of the Iranians and which could show the rest of the Middle East that we’re not so bad (despite the repetitive bad press we get for dropping bombs and torture).
One top of all that, the United States has not been shy about opposing Iran. They’re in our (former) axis of Evil. On the shelves we’ve had
all sorts of plans for military strikes against them. Plus, as I hinted earlier, we’ve messed with them before such as in 1953 when the U.S. and Britain supported a coup against Prime Minister Mossadeq because he wanted to nationalize Oil. And, and, and we’ve used all sorts of instigating tricks to get ourselves into war before: check out the faked Gulf of Tonkin attack which justified President Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War. And there’s also the shell game of why we attacked Iraq: 9/11, the weapons of mass destruction, or spreading democracy. Also, we should always remember The Maine!
Who would behind such a familiar ruse? President Obama? I don’t think so. The military? Why would they want another war? Who would benefit from a U.S. controlled Iran? People who could get their oil and/or people who build things or supply services to the military, perhaps the people who President Eisenhower warned us against, “the Military Industrial Complex” (video below).
I’m probably wrong. The current regime in Iran is fully capable of rigging an election. I just see a possible connection between the intense, justified, dissent in Iran and the forces that influence the foreign policy of the United States (i.e., the Military industrial Complex). Could the U.S. not rig the election and still go into Iran? Sure. I’m just sharing the theory that popped into my crackpot head. Is the U.S. definitely going to invade Iran? I hope not. For every military strike in the Middle East their seems to be no shortage of needless civillian (and military) deaths and life-wrecking injuries. Whatever the case, I hope, again, that the people in Iran get the decent leadership they deserve. I also hope the bombs and bullets stop flying everywhere in Middle East.
Carrie Sipple and I won first place in the Uncle Dracula Monster Movie Mashup 48 Hour film race with "Final Discourse." It starred Carrie Sipple , Stacy Mayer , and me with the voice talents of Ryan Stratton , Brent Hankins , and Wayne Henry . We shot, wrote and edited the movie in 48 hours. We were given the genres of horror and documentary to mash together. We also had to use the name "Matt" and yogurt.
Carrie and I came up with the concept Friday night, made an outline of what we wanted the rough plot to be. I also sent an email to some friends to see if they could call my phone number and leave a message like what you would hear on a paranormal radio show such as "Coast to Coast AM" to be used as audio clips. We also shot some brief footage and did some editing. We wanted to make a short about a couple of conspiracy theory podcasters who get in too deep investigating "The Lizardo," inspired by the semi-popular reptilian/reptiloid conspiracy where people believe the world is run by a cabal of lizard men.
Hey, maybe it’s true:
On Saturday we gathered the main props and costumes then shot it with Stacy. We improvised a lot and changed the plot of the film a couple times. We still had wanted to shoot some stuff but the end of the day caught up with us. We decided to save our energy for the mad dash of Sunday. There were some points that we didn’t know were clear such as the logic of my character seeing pictures of himself with The Lizardo then becoming one, but we thought we could make it work in editing.
On Sunday we edited everything together. We didn’t have time to shoot the extra items that we wanted, so we used "title cards" to make up for any needed exposition. We finished it, burned it to a DVD, and dropped it off by 7:30pm. We excluded lots of footage particularly footage of Stacy dressed as a Lizardo and going to the ATM, footage of my chasing Carrie (we thought it would be scarier if it was just footage of Carrie being chased from my perspective), and an intro sequence to the "Final Discourse Podcast."
I gathered some of the unused footage and made this video afterwards:
It was lots of fun and we were excited to win first prize at the screening on the following Wednesday. I think the key to making a succcessful 48 hour film like this is to divide up the labor and be flexible, because you’re not going to be able to do everything you want. Also I would make sure to devote the majority of one of the days to editing. In the end we had a lot of footage we didn’t use, but I think this helped make the movie better because it gave us more to choose from.