As a child I was subjected to a number of interesting experiences, living in the Amazon being one of the more obvious but it was the reading material I was forced to read in U.S. schools that made me tilt my head to the side and scratch my cranium. 1984, I Am The Cheese, Alas Babylon, A Brave New World, The Metamorphosis, Crime and Punishment – all great novels but all damn depressing – especially for a child of the jungle.
So I turned to movies to find comfort and was again subjected to adrenaline pumping paranoia with the likes of Red Dawn (the remake a friend is in by the way), Wall Street, The Rescue, Flight of the Navigator, even E.T. for pete’s sake!
All these films and books had something in common – government is bad, corporations are bad.
Which left me wondering who the hell do you trust? Family? Not with the divorce rate (a subject coming up here on the Avocado Jungle)– family was not what my generation naturally was trusting. So who do you trust?
The answer was sadly no one. That was the message then and even to this day in popular culture you see corporations and government continually vilified. In the Health Care debate you see Insurance Companies treated like they are comprised of evil sorcerers bent on world domination and then on the right side of the political non-spectrum you see folks acting as if our Government – the one with the beloved Constitution – was some fascist dictatorship bent on taking away your “freedom”.
Neither picture is true and sadly we are all suffering because of it.
Corporations, whether you like it or not, are comprised of people. That’s right. People. And no not like Solient Green, no one is getting eaten here – the people actually run these corporations, from custodial engineers to CEO’s – they are flesh and blood people who mostly pay taxes, buy goods and live next door to any one of us.
Government is ours. It is the voice of the people. Like the document says “Of, by and for the people”. Not sure why that’s never understood. Our government, as flawed as some of it’s elected officials often are, is ours – it is a tool to use to protect us and make our lives easier. To give a comparison – without government we would be a civilization of tribes – forced to barter and provide our own security on an individual basis. I don’t know about you but I can’t fire a gun and as a film maker/writer I’m not sure how I would trade my skills for a gallon of milk. So I like government. Now we could do a better job of electing competent people who care about the job and not the status. (can anyone explain to me how Bohnner was elected to my home district?)
So what’s the solution? Many of you will argue that corporations are bad and government is too big or too corrupt and many of you will argue all politicians are crooked. And many of you would be the ones culpable. You elected them, you work for them, you buy their goods – you give them power.
And you can take it away.
If you don’t lke big banks, move your money to smaller ones
If you don’t like your health care – drop your provider – and yes this means you’ll have to convince thousands if not millions of others to do the same – but no one said living was easy.
If you don’t like your crooked politicians – stop electing them! (hint: they’re not all corrupt it’s just easier to think that)
If you don’t like your government – run for it not away from it. Get involved in the process – it’s built to include you.
If you don’t like the labor practices of a company – don’t buy their goods or services!
In the modern age it is much easier to make a stand – you can do most of it from the comfort of your home computer – Facebook is a wonderful tool to organize large groups of people on a large scale.
I have no problem with corporations – I worked for a large one for a number of years and was treated very well even as an intern. I have no problem with government – it works when the people are paying attention and I believe strongly in what the founding father’s laid out in the constitution.
As filmmakers and story tellers we have a responsibility to focus on accountability rather than creating a convenient and faceless villain – one of the main reasons I started this site and continue to push forward as a filmmaker is to seek the truth – no matter what it looks like when you shine the light of day on it.
The truth is it is up to the individual to speak up when their boss wants to go in a immoral direction, the truth is it up to the individual to stop electing used car sales men and career politicians and undereducated fame mongers, the truth is it is up to the individual to know what laws are being passed and which ones should be stricken down.
The truth is – it’s up to you – the reader, the audience, the citizen.