08 January 2012


I chanced upon an episode of an Emmy Award-winning PBS show I hadn't known existed.  It's called Natural Heroes.  The premise is simple ~ each episode contains several short, independent films which illustrate how "all over the world, people are finding ways to bring clean air and water back to their communities, and ensure that their schools and neighborhoods are healthy."  The fourth and fifth seasons are currently airing in the U.S., and you can view previous episodes at the website, as well as a nationwide listing of stations which air the series.

Here is a link to the episode which hooked me ~ scroll down to the screenview titled "The Story of More Stuff" (divided into electronics, cosmetics, and bottled water).  Narrator Annie Leonard explains how our desires for consumer goods are manipulated by manufacturers and lawmakers, how our basic human needs are controlled by suppliers, and the costs we pay in toxicity to our bodies, degradation to the environment, and hits to our wallets.  The tone is informative, enthusiastic, and down to earth, illustrated by animated line drawings.  The pacing is right, and the information is priceless.

And this is just one half-hour episode.  You can browse all episodes from seasons 1-6.  The topics vary widely, but the content is valuable to all informed consumers and voters.  Your children and your grandchildren will thank you for becoming familiar with Natural Heroes ~ you may even decide to become involved in a project yourself.  That's why they call it independent film.

In a similar vein, check out this two-minute clip called Capitalist Jesus ~ the disconnect between the original purity of Christ's teachings, and what capitalism has mutated into, forms a chasm that is profoundly wide and deep.  I have a feeling, though I don't yet have my own copy, that the clip is taken from Michael Moore's 2009 movie Capitalism:  A Love Story.  There are those who dismiss Moore as an overweight mudslinger.  I am not among them.  He has the integrity and courage to take on the most powerful vested interests in the country ~ pulling aside the curtain to reveal that the emporer has no clothes.  From the NRA and the gun industry (Bowling For Columbine) to the train wreck we call healthcare (Sicko) to the egregious web of deceit and fraud surrounding 9/11 and the resulting war in Iraq (Farenheit 9/11), Moore has taken on topics which affect us all, yet about which there is much obfuscation and misdirection by those in political and corporate power.  If the truth hurts, so be it.  

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