Friday, April 08, 2005


Objection! That party-hardy attitude is a registered trademark of the Duff Corporation

So I saw The Corporation last night.

Of course, I recommend that people see it - as I recommend people see almost any movie not starring Jimmy Fallon. Particularly documentaries.

And it most definitely hit some high points in terms of looking at the history, makeup, legal and cultural ramifications, and future of "corporations." And they did pull an amazing feat by getting such high-profile CEOs to appear in their meditation. But obviously it was more than just a meditation, which became clearer and clearer throughout the film. It was an agenda-packed exercize in which the filmmakers had the nerve to put subtitles that belied what the CEOs were telling us without doing the same for the Chomskys or the Michael Moores.

And it was obviously part of this larger "anti-corporate"/"anti-globalization" politics which I have to say - I've read some and watched some and witnessed some of the protests and critiques of this movement and ... I don't quite get it. I get the individual critiques of global capitalism's impacts on the environment; how privatizing water can have deleterious effects; that sweatshops are not beneficial for those who find themselves working in them (even if they may have larger net "beneficial" impacts on the country's economy). But I don't get how they necessarily fit into a larger whole - a seamless garment if you will - and this is what I see as part of the failing of the anti-globalization movement. They don't seem to be providing us with an alternative vision, but instead are asking us to "Just say no" to the pervasiveness of corporate control over our food, air, free time, genes, etc. They say "government regulation" as a good in and of itself without pointing out that governments can be and often are more corrupt than the amoral profit-driven corporations.

But mostly, I am going with my gut (a very anti-intellectual, "conservative" take) in feeling like there is something very fishy about the shock troops of the anti-globalization movement. The anarchist hangers-on, for instance; the fact that they seem to do a great deal of organizing so far below the radar that most Democrats and progressives I know aren't even brought in; their phenotypical similarities to A.N.S.W.E.R. and other ultimately ineffectual and suspect anti-war types... Something about it makes me quite uncomfortable.

Long story short - it was an imperfect movie; it hinted at the larger progressive movement I've been trying to work through in my mind but didn't completely grasp it; but overall it was an important document and well worth watching. See it with a critical eye but if you don't get mad at parts of what they show you, then you deserve to live in a soulless corporate wasteland. Or at least in Celebration, Florida.

(P.S. Anything that adds more insight on who and what the P.R. industry actually is and does, is right on with me. After reading Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, I realize that until we figure out a way to dismantle P.R.'s hold over us, we are indeed lost. They are the true corporate villains with very little to nothing of value added to our world.)

Wished I could have seen Corporation last night, especially since it is so highly recommended.
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