Monday, March 30, 2009

Today in International Economy we watched parts of a film called The Corporation. It's basically a documentary about how evil and trecherous big companies are and how they go about destroying everything that the average human knows and loves but also needs to survive. This film is possibly the most biased bit of television that I have ever seen. And of course they asked for donations.

First and foremost, the film included Michael Moore, which by default makes it highly biased. However, I will give credit where it is due and point out that Mr. Moore never once mentioned George W Bush, making this the least biased film that he has ever been in. Michael complained that most corporations are run by "white rich men" and that they are "out of touch with what the majority of the world is", seeing as the majority consists of females of color, along with "the poor and working poor". Well gee, Michael, I guess you are right. Maybe it really would be better if someone poor and "in touch" with the majority was rich and running a corporation, which, by definition, would make him/her "out of touch", seeing as they would no longer be poor. Great idea, Michael! Let's replace someone who is capable of starting and supporting a large company with someone who is not!

Michael then moved on to interview Phil Knight - founder and CEO of Nike. Moore was very generous during his visit and brought with him two first class tickets to Indonesia so that Knight and himself could go over there to visit a Nike factory. Although it was never stated in the film, I think it's safe to assume that Moore wanted to show Knight the working conditions in the factory. For some bizarre reason Phil refused the offer. All day I've been trying to figure out why the CEO of one of the world's largest companies didn't simply drop everything he was doing and fly half way across the world at the invitation of some annoying fat guy. Hmm... Moore did not stop there, however. Phil Knight admitted that he has never been to Indonesia. Michael simply could not believe that "the guy [who] is the head of the company has never walked through his own factories". At this point I had to respectfully disagree with Mr. Moore's reaction. Do you really expect the head of a multi-billion dollar global corporation to travel all over the world and inspect his factories? First of all, he has people in charge of each and every one of them, and second of all, why on Earth would he go to a factory? Would he be able to single-handedly improve the production process? Is he an engineer? Architect? Accountant, even?

One of the things they condemned was the way modern advertising works and corporate images displayed through said advertisement. As the first example, they used Disney. They mentioned how this corporation has created, upholds, and highly values it's image as a company for families that stands for happiness and enjoyment. However, when the executives decided to get into the business of making adult movies (not pornograhic but simply unsuitable for childred), they did so under the name Touchstone Pictures. Well, what exactly is your point? Kids love Disney and everything associated with it, so why on Earth would you want to have rated-R movies marketed under a label that appeals to children? Is there really something terribly wrong about Disney creating a subsidiary for business unsuitable for and unrelated to the younger population?

Then there was a gentleman who boasted of creating "undercover messages". The idea is that as you walk or drive around you see product labels and that makes you want to buy the product. I'm not so sure about that one. See, I keep seeing commercials for Viagra and I have to give them credit, they are creative - "Viva Viagra!" is a pretty amusing slogan. However, I have never purchased any. See, I have this personality quirk, perhaps an unusual one, where I don't waste my money on things that I do not need. Viagra might be a great product for those that need it but their advertisement and endless commercials do little for me because I, personally, have no use for it. I don't know, maybe I'm just weird. I did hear a story recently about a gentleman mountain skier who bought cross-country skis sized for a seven-footer simply because they were on sale. Yep, he is about 5'8" and hates cross-country, but hey! it was a great deal! Yep, I must be a strange fella, since I question his actions.

The film then moved on to talk about General Electric and a certain professor that helped them develop a bacteria that could eat up oil. The idea is that these little bacteria could suck up massive oil spills and prevent serious damage to the environment. The gentleman and the company attempted to patent their invention but the US Patent Office declared that they are unable to issue patents for living organisms. This case kept going back and forth from appeal to appeal but the point that The Corporation was trying to make was that allowing the patent to go through would mean the ability of corporations to "own the blueprints of life". Let me get this straight. Some people worked the behinds off to create a microscopic organism that is able to prevent massive damage to the environment and you are insisting that they cannot have the sole right to it? Really? You don't think that a rival company will just come along and steal this technology that someone else worked on so hard?

Then The Corporation moved on to a water crisis in Bolivia. Apparently some researchers believe that humans will be out of fresh water by 2025. In Bolivia fresh water supply was privatized and citizens were forced to pay for drinking water. As horrible as this sounds, let's take a look at the other side of this situation, the side that wasn't mentioned in the film. We are on the brink of extinguishing a natural resourse that is essential to our survival. We cannot allow fresh water to be wasted, which means that a) someone has to take control of the situation and distribution, and b) wasteful consumption must be prevented. One of the ways (probably not the only one and not necessarily the most efficient way possible) of doing this is to put a price on water. Makes sense, doesn't it?

It is pretty amazing how people with very little knowledge of certain subjects make themselves out to be experts. Michael Moore and company: please stop manipulating facts to prove your highly biased points, stop misrepresenting people and companies, and please stop spreading your highly biased and misinformed left-wing bullshit.

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