All too often, the phrase "corporate free press" is something of an oxymoron. Whether to maximise sales, to attract advertisers, or simply to promote the interests of their wealthy owners, the mass media open strange, self-serving and grossly distorted windows onto the world.
This website is another window. Here you'll find documentaries, lectures and interviews following a different editorial line.
Mark Thomas investigates the practises and history of the Coca Cola company, uncovering among other things its support for the Nazis, involvement in the murder of Colombian trade unionists, and environmental damage in Kerala and El Salvador – as well as the all-pervasive advertising by which it gets away with it all.
Welcome to a new 21st century year, and how better to kick it off with a bit of real life sci-fi? This 29 minute documentary examines the American establishment’s attempts to consolidate its hegemony through the militarisation of space.
Okay, there’s unintentional hilarity from the low production values – including the worst autocue reading I’ve ever seen, and the old confusion between, on the one hand, Cheney and Rumsfeld’s wildest and most sinister fantasies and, on the other, the real world – but serious points are raised and it’s worth seeing through the medium to the message
I’ve stopped getting spam from eBay about early Christmas shopping, and started getting spam from eBay about last-minute Christmas shopping. ‘Tis well and truly the season, then, to stand up to the relentless pressure upon us to consume, consume, consume through the pre-Xmas rush. Here’s two short films and an even shorter stand-up clip that I hope will offset and allay some of that stress.
The Production Of Meaning
From Adbusters (h/t Openmedia), this is a bit too stylish and unsubstantial for my taste (as is the Buy Nothing Day initiative), but it’s enjoyable enough and should put some of the constant background hum of advertising into perspective. 15 minutes.
The Story Of Stuff
Consumer-capitalism made very very simple, in a cute 21 minute animation by Annie Leonard (h/t ReclaimingSpace). Finally, a TAYT video you can watch with all the family.
Bill Hicks on Marketing
If you only have time for one of these clips, here’s a stand-up gem from the late Bill Hicks that you owe it to yourself to watch – especially if you work in marketing. 3 minutes.
Last week we looked at how our societies were changed by the oil boom, and how they will have to change to cope with the oil crunch. This film (98 mins) is a much broader look at the fossil fuel industry and its effects worldwide.
The (ahem) ‘documentary’ The Great Global Warming Swindle caused a great deal of fuss when it was broadcast. Polluters, various forms of industry and others looking just to have a clear conscience were eager to jump on the ‘evidence’ as proof we should all just carry on as normal.
One strange thing about it is how easily the conspiracy theorists jumped on the bandwagon for this documentary.
However, this excellent piece (43 mins) by Chris Merchant from the University of Edinburgh explains why you shouldn’t take it so seriously.
At a time when the US and UK prepared to level Iraq based on spurious hints at secret weapons programmes, the BBC aired this documentary (44 mins) showing the absurd double standards that allowed another aggressive Middle Eastern country to secretly develop real weapons of mass destruction (h/t Fanonite).
It was a different corporation, then. After it dared question the intelligence that lead to war, its Director General was hounded out of office by a furious government. Critical journalism like this has become a thing of the past – but, on the bright side, now we have Doctor Who.