Thursday, July 30, 2009

I hate Greenpeace pt. 2 and HOME MOVIE

Perhaps a few of you read my recent post about an obtrusive Greenpeace "frontliner" and how she concreted every opinion about the monstrous enviro-organization I'd had in the past twenty-seven years of my life. If not, at least one person did, a slap-happy fellow named BGT86 who was completely unhappy with curt dismissal of the organization. He literally posted the a two page comment, minutes after I aired my grievances, as if he'd been trolling the interwebs searching for Greenpeace haters.

I'm not going to post the entire thing, just a few of his thoughts and my reactions:

GP: "Your opinion about Greenpeace is unfortunate in that it is based on a lack of knowledge for the organization and an interaction with a Greenpeace frontliner."

NS: True, I do not know that much about Greenpeace. All of my information was garnered from the obnoxious lady who harassed me at Dolores Park, the supposed "frontliner" who's supposed to fill me with enough pertinent facts that I feel so positive about the organization that I actually throw money in to her waiting arms. Sure, I could research the organization, but after such a negative first encounter dear BGT86, why would I?

GP: "When Greenpeace decides to take action they do so with a dedication to non-violence. They do not spray paint hummers (you may be getting confused with Earth Liberation Front) or throw smoke bombs onto whaling ships (that is Sea Shepherds my friend)."

NS: Again, as per usual, I'm a bit ill-informed about a few things, but my thoughts on the actions Greenpeace has taken in the past prove me right. Just from a brief perusal of Greenpeace's Wikipedia page I've already found nods to "spraypainting of whalers" and "chipping of nuclear chimneys" and the dropping of "150, 2 to 3 ton boulders in to the North Sea". I'm sorry, maybe I said Hummer instead of whaling ship or smokes bombs instead of boulders, but my opinion stands, a good deal of Greenpeace's direct action borders too heavily on violent action for my taste.

GP: "A global organization that has a presence in 40+ countries is likely to have some ill representatives at times (that is how the world turns my friend)."

NS: This is a good thing and bad thing. A global organization in 40 countries that supports enviro-friendly causes makes me smile. On the other hand, an organization this big has to have holes the size of the sun in their ability to control what exactly is going on. I don't want to give my money to a group of people who barely know where these dollars are going. If they're letting aggravating folk like my un-friend at Dolores be a part of their organization, who knows who's leading the charge up top.

GP: "So please, before you pass judgment and voice your hatred become aware. I am sure if you did that you would find that there are many things you would support about Greenpeace - even if it is not all."

True, true true. I need to be better informed, and I'm sure I would agree with Greenpeace on a lot of their ideas and concepts. I just personally think my semi-hard-earned dollar does better in the grubby mitts of another organization.

Wow, I'm actually pretty shocked at the maturity and research put in to that. Somebody quickly pat me on the back. Ahhh ... better.

Alex is a documentary nerd. Any night we spend together in the presence of a movie, especially when we're fairly clueless about what we're watching, we almost always end up snatching a documentary from a local video store or from the sorely lacking vaults of Netflix Instant. She's a wonderfully quirky lady, so when we we're stumbling about the other night, unable to decide upon, well, anything, Home Movie leaped out of me.

Home Movie, of course, is the follow up film from Chris Smith (director of American Movie, a classic that I've never seen). It's a slight little bit of filmmaking that focuses on five unique people and the absolutely crazy houses they live in. There's a tree house in remote Hawaii, a floating home in the swamps of Louisiana, a suburban "future home", a house dedicated to, sigh, kittens, and a hippy home in a reused missile silo.

The film clocks in at 66 minutes, so don't expect an in-depth peek at the lives, or even the homes of these five folk. Instead what Chris Smith does, quite admirably, is allow us a look at the more obscure side of America, something on a day-to-day basis is sorely overlooked. There's a wild, wacky, strange and beautiful side to this country that we pass by everyday, rarely acknowledging. Chris Smith brings it to the forefront.

Which brings a sad counterpoint to the idea of America's hidden wackiness: this sort of thing is dying. The future home is a shoddy mess in this film, and though it was popular in the 60s and 70s, nowadays it's a joke, an old man's pipe dream come true. The folk from the cat house seem so obsessed with the idea, that they might never leave their home. The three remaining homes (bayou, remote tropics, and silo) seem happy and well-adjusted to a certain degree, but they live on the very outskirts of society. Perhaps they aren't even looking to be a part of "normal" society, but it makes me a bit sad to see this sort of ingenuity and excitement only allowed on the fringe.

I for one found this movie, on second viewing, even better. It doesn't have the depth or insight of a more intricate documentary, but it isn't trying to. Home Movie just wants to expose a little bit of the wackiness we forget to see each and every day.

Friday: Finally, the end of The French Connection II

1 comment:

wescoat said...

I think that—as with food and many other commodities this day and age—"buying local" can apply to your friendly nonprofit support too. When I lived in Portland, I tried to support BARK, a cool local outfit dedicated to protecting the woods near Mt. Hood, as well as Our Ocean Coalition, a group trying to educate people about the wondrous Oregon coast and legislators to pass bills protecting it. Now, here in LA, I'm looking towards the wonderful California-based literary nonprofit, 826, to volunteer at and other stuff. With all three organizations, I know exactly what their mission, I know where my money goes, and I know exactly who to talk to if they do something with my money I don't like/send annoying reps to my door. Of course, none of these guys would actually do something like that in the first place, and that alone is part of the reason I support them. Also, they focus on SPECIFIC causes that I can get behind and feel passionate about. Whatever. The point is, Greenpeace is the Microsoft of environmental organizations and I say screw 'em. Even a small amount of research into local nonprofits can hit on well-managed, focused groups that will spend your money right and not waste your time.