You would think that by now I would have learned not to watch political documentaries. The only thing that happens is that I get upset at the human population of this country. I don’t know why I keep forgetting that the people of this country, this planet, are a bunch of morons who will eat any slop they are fed without asking where it came from.
This tirade is brought to you today by the documentaries “Occupy Unmasked”, a Right leaning look at the Occupy Wall Street movement, and “The Billionaires’ Tea Party”, a Left leaning look at the Tea Party movement. Both of these films take a hard look at the supposed “grass roots” movements of the other side and expose just how “astroturf” they both really were. Lets start with the first one.
This film (Occupy Unmasked) did succeed in showing me the darker side of the movement, from the violence and rapes that happened internally as well as the planned violence of this “non-violent” group. It also showed me just how easy it is to skew any situation to look they way you want it to look. It exposed how the movement was not just a random group of citizens that got together, but at its core were many Union groups organizing the whole thing. It showed me the hypocrisy of those rich famous people who cheered the movements desire for a more equal society and spread of wealth, all the while themselves sitting on millions of dollars of assets and wealth. Many of the organizers were shown to be young collage students with trust funds themselves. They showed how extreme left-wing leaders believe that non-violent does not mean non-destructive.
It continued to show how the extreme left-wing groups often resort to violence to engage the media, from the social revolution of the sixties to the riots of the Occupy movement, even as far back as the thirties when the mafia switched from rum-running to unions after Prohibition as a source of money and power.
All of this I either already knew, or at least suspected. I’ve never been quiet on my views of any extreme political view, right or left. Primarily it did show my just how “spontaneous” this movement was not. They talked to many people who quickly realized that what they thought the movement was about was not really what it was about. In fact, the organizers were told to keep it’s purpose vague, for a reason.
The other thing this film taught me is that I don’t like the way extreme right-wing people make documentaries. I can’t really place my finger on what I didn’t like about them, but I just got this feeling that they were just finger waving and preaching, not trying to educate.
The other film, Billionaires’ Tea Party, also exposed how fake the “grass-roots” movement of the Tea Party really was. It tracked the Koch brothers, multi-billionairs and owners of Koch Industries, a chemical company, and how they tried to form a Libertarian movement back in the 80’s and were unsuccessful. They went on to found many of the organizations that were fundamental in getting the Tea Party movement started, not to mention funding it. These groups were backed by all the major industries, Oil, Tobacco, Chemical, Automotive and so on.
The host, Taki Oldham, and Australian who was fascinated by the meteoric rise in the power and popularity of the Tea Party, talked to experts on how propaganda was being most successfully used by making people not realize it was propaganda. By using specific phrases and wordings, they would turn something into something else entirely. They used the overwhelming sense of patriotism of the more conservative Americans as fuel for the fires they, the big companies, wanted lit. They would hire people who seemed very “middle america” types to give speeches, to convince the people that corporate freedom was the same as American freedom.
Any legislation that would hinder a company, especially those concerning the environment and health care, they would convince the Tea Party people that they would take away our freedoms, without using anything close to actual facts. Fox News actually has people convinced that it is “Fair and Balanced” news. They were very good and comparing anything they didn’t like to Communism. Nothing gets red
necked blooded Americans riled up more than those damn Commies!
In the case of health care reform, they would call it “Socialism” or a “Government Takeover” of the entire health care industry, while convincing the people the Pharmaceutical companies were not paying them. They would say that limiting oil imports or placing emission restrictions on companies was limiting the people’s freedoms, while hiding the fact that Mobil and Exxon were donating millions to the group.
This film, to me, was much more in an informative style than the first one. It was obviously leaning left, but at least tried to use facts to back up its arguments. It simply pointed out that you never know exactly who your slop is coming from.
I wish most American’s were intelligent enough to realize we are always being fed a bucket of lies and bent truths, by both sides. I’ve never seen a news program that didn’t lean one way or the other. Thankfully, with the left pulling one way and the right pulling the other, we end up in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, we are parked in the middle of the road and going nowhere, and won’t until America realized the truth is in the middle and we have to work with each other to move this country forward.
Sadly, none of us can agree on where we should be headed, or where we are going for that matter. In both films, both sides didn’t like where the country was going and wanted to “take it back.” If neither side has it, then who does?
On a personal note about my political views, I’m always amazed that the side that wants more corporate freedom, and thus American freedom, is the side that wants to hinder the personal freedoms the most. The extreme left, on the other foot, want complete and total freedom, to the point of anarchy. Guess who one of the groups behind Occupy was. Hint: they wear a particular mask related to November 5th, and like anarchy.
I guess it boils down to the companies and corporations. The rich (and rich-ish) want the companies to have the freedom to do whatever they want, even control the government, because they give us jobs. The poor (and poor-ish) believe they are poor because companies are greedy and take more of our money than they need to. Both are right. I just wish I could see a solution. Limiting the companies, taxing them, whatever, will not hurt the companies because they will simply raise prices and get more of our money anyway. (Someone actually told me that if the rich would get tax breaks, they would create more jobs. No, they wouldn’t, they would keep their extra money.) They are greedy, that’s what they do. Giving the companies complete freedom would result in monopolies, pollution, loss of labor laws, loss of pay and benefits, all resulting in a poorer country. If the people can’t afford your products, how long are you going to be rich? Either way, the country loses. Until we can eliminate greed from the human genome, we will continue this tug-of-war to the end of days.