SHARKWATER AND MAY YOU HAVE THE STRENGTH TO DRINK

“I think the problem is that we don’t really understand what we are. In essence we’re just a conceited naked ape, but in our minds we’re some sort of divine legend and we see ourselves as some sort of God; that we can walk around the Earth deciding who will live and who will die, and what will be destroyed and what will be saved. But the fact is we’re just a bunch of primates out of control.”

“We’re now in the midst of a third World War but this time the enemy is ourselves, and the objective is to save the planet from ourselves. There’s no hope for the masses of humanity to do anything, they never have, they never will. All social change comes from the passionate intervention of individuals or small groups of individuals.”

“Slavery wasn’t ended by any government or institution, women got the right to vote not because of any government, the Civil Rights movement the same thing, India with Mahatma Gandhi, South Africa with Nelson Mandella, again it’s always individuals, you need those individuals with the passion and the energy to get involved. Infact I don’t know any government or institutions that are doing anything to solve any of the World’s [current] problems. All over the world though, I am seeing individuals and non-government organizations that are passionately involved in protecting ecosystems and species. And that’s where I see some optimism, that’s where results are happening.”
—SHARKWATER


Sharkwater

Save Sharks

Now I’m no bleeding heart (maybe just spotting), and being severely traumatized by JAWS 🙂 I have no particular love for Sharks. Though to be candid, I have no particular love for anything that could potentially take a bite out of me. Be it lions, or tigers, or bears, oh my! Or even the neighbor’s poodle.

That said I believe that everything has a right to be, and a place, a part in a design, part of the beauty, the puzzle that makes the world spin. And each species we lose, is that puzzle broken a bit more, the world spinning a bit more haphazardly, and beauty and strangeness and wonders… lost.

And while I have respect for hunting and fishing, I think to kill an animal not for food or survival is a sin. And killing hundreds of thousands of sharks simply so you can cut off their fins to feed as aphrodisiacs or curatives to people with more money than sense, doesn’t count as either food or survival. It counts as an aberration. Sin. A mortal one, if you are moved by such outmoded concepts as sin and salvation.

Part of the… flaw of industrialization, is people stopped hunting for their own needs or even the needs of their village, and began over-hunting and overfishing to meet huge corporate quotas and profit margins. And that way lies in extinction. Short term them-the animal, long term us-the man.

And that said, like most of you I have my own problems. Problems as long as my arm, and pressing, and saving sharks falls pretty low on my list of things to tackle. Way below trying to save people from dropping bombs and starving and otherwise exterminating each other. That said, for a pointedly non-religious guy I believe in some really non-scientific bs.

I believe there is a wisdom that shapes our ends. I believe God puts in front of us maybe not what we want to deal with, but what we need to deal with. I believe in no accidents. For whatever reason I, a broke writer in this day, in this time… watched this DVD, and it moved me, and I’m writing about it.

I’m not a millionaire, or a politician, or a soldier of fortune, so I’m not going to address the problem in those ways. But each according to their strengths. Maybe it was put in my path so I’ll write about it, and someone who never comes to the blog, will come to it this one day, this one time, this one moment.

And maybe he’ll be moved, to move another piece, according to his strength. Part of some chain that binds us all. And something good, will come of it.

I don’t know. But I believe there are no accidents. I believe there are only things that move us, cups that come to us, challenges, and we can either accept and drink deep or pass them by.

Whatever is on my plate, I will not pass by the cup that comes to me. Never have, never will.

And so I write this post.

And I the Shark Hater, I talk of Sharks. And the end of Sharks. A wonderful world is it not.

At the end of the day I reckon all that separates a good man from a bad, is how much beauty we take out of the world contrasted with how much we put in. A good man hopefully leaves the world more beautiful than he found it. I reckon a man whose claim to fame is helping make a species extinct, and litter the oceans with dead carcases, take wonder out of the sea… well I’d guess that’s villainy that will stain a person’s soul, and everything he touches… even onto the ending of the world.

Easier ways to make money I’d gather, at least… less damning ways.

Watch SHARKWATER. It’s worth the viewing. And if it doesn’t move you to get involved, not just in that cause, but any cause, then don’t worry about it. It just means you’re already dead. Or maybe worse, were never alive.

For the rest of you, check the site link above. Get involved. And if the cup comes to you, I wish you… the strength to drink.

Sharkwater


“Future generations are going to look back, and they’re going to think of us as barbarians. They’re going to look at us as barbarians for what we’re doing. The fact that we’re burning all the fossil fuels in a few generations, that we’ve wiped out the oceans, that we’ve driven species to extinction. And worse, this is the worst part, we know what we’re doing. The scientists know, the environmentalists know, the companies know, and the general public knows, and yet we’re allowing ourselves to do it.” —SHARKWATER

Advertisements

WARNER BROTHERS, CASABLANCA, PIRATES, and The Rights of MAN?!

You know, after a hellacious week of giving people what for, nothing relaxes me more than curling up with a nice nature DVD. Attenborough’s LIFE, or in this case the documentary SHARKWATER.

So here I go, I put in this DVD to relax, while planning the latest update for the blog, and more mundane things like bills, when what the heck should come on the screen than one of those pirate warnings. You’ve seen these idiotic videos, that if anything only makes me want to do the exact opposite just to give it to them for interrupting my damn movie.

However I had not seen this one before.

This one used scenes from CASABLANCA to make an anti-pirating commercial. Excuse me? WTF?

You’re going to use one of the greatest movies ever made like a 2bit whore to sell your political or corporate viewpoint?!!

(And it is worth noting that the FBI warning on these DVDs, having very little to do with any sane legal system. A sane system would say to the studios “It’s not our business to ensure your corporate profits or protect your corporate losses. That’s a civil case… at best.”. Instead in the corrupt America we live in, the FBI warning is a product of studios making their commercial and corporate whims into laws. Using a system, not designed for corporations, to pass corporate whims and lunacy as Federal laws. Such a thing can not be looked at, by anyone rationally, and not see it as something… obscene)

You want to show violating rights is wrong, by using a commercial where you violate artistic rights?

Is the paradox lost on the studios?

Where do we draw the line? Next we use Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s images to praise one candidate for President and put down another? Where do we draw the line?

Both Bogart and Berman were deeply humanistic and activistic people, Bogart stood up against the McCarthy Witch-hunts. Bergman spent her days, after the lights of Hollywood, feeding and fighting for the poor.

I don’t think either one would have signed on in life to do a commercial for some companies new generation witch-hunt. And I don’t think they sign over those rights in death.

Because they did a popular movie, and you own the movie, should not then translate into you re-purposing their images to sell either your political agenda, your new vacuum cleaner, or your poorly made or counter-productive pirating campaign.

Those actors didn’t sign off on that, and weren’t paid for that. And this push to extend ownership beyond the exact product they created… to ownership of their likenesses… reeks. It is immoral. That, if anything, is true pirating.

They purpose not this end, when they purpose their services.

It sets an ugly an abhorrent precedent, an argument that flies in the face of Warner Brothers Anti-Piracy message. Warner violating with impunity the artistic integrity of their own film, and the rights of the actors.

Unless you’re paying them, their images, not their likenesses but their actual images, should not be re-purposed to create a new item, inherently different from the item they signed on to produce.

In many ways it’s like rewriting someone’s autobiography or a writer’s novel. For an actor all they have is the work, the images they leave behind. So to then insert them convincingly in a commercial, is just as wrong as inserting them into a porno.

It’s a violation.

And to not understand that, is to be very young, or very stupid. Or an executive.

Is piracy wrong? First I think it is an idiotic term, unless you’re at sea. Now if you’re talking about the copying of copyrighted DVDs, I think it’s a tempest in a teapot. If Warner Bros and other studios embraced their customers rather than criminalizing them all in advance (which is what me having to sit through an FBI warning or one of those stupid commercials on a DVD I just bought or rented… is doing. It’s saying to the consumer we’re going to treat you all as guilty until proven innocent) they would realize most people are happy to pay and own, a quality and reasonably priced product.

But there’s the rub, quality and reasonable prices. All companies want to do today is give you the least they can, for the most they can.

I’ll tell you what is wrong… Warner Brothers and all the studios like them are wrong, they are dinosaurs trying to survive in a changing technological society where big studios are increasingly superfluous. Rather than try and survive by being better and winning customers through innovation and great products, they instead want to survive by removing from you… choice. By scaring, suing, legislating, themselves as a law that we must fear, and bow down to, and pay tribute to because they are using the FBI and the courts like their personal thugs,

Warner Brothers should be glad people think enough of their work to desire it. Because the alternative is… people stop wanting… ANYTHING from them.

The consumer may start saying “You know what, there’s a lot of choice out there, despite Warner Brothers attempt to eradicate choice, why don’t we just stop buying or supporting anything Warner Brothers?”

Can you imagine that. People just get fed up of being treated like dogs by Warner Brothers, and just say to them, ‘you’re that worried about your intellectual property? Well you keep it then. You keep it all. We already have the memories of all the decent movies, keep anything new. Keep your DVDs, keep your games, keep your movies, keep your books.’

And after a few months of them not having to worry about patron or pirate, I’d love to see how their effing tune changes. They’d be crying for someone to think enough of their movies to sell bootlegs on the streets of Nepal.

It’s about perspective. And the perspective the studios and record companies and media oligarchies must come to, is that of earning customer business and customer goodwill… rather than attempting to lock in customers through terror.

Because here from these subtle fights, do great things grow.

And they are things the studios will not like at all.

As simple a thing, seemingly insignificant a thing as a tax on tea changed the face of the world, Today’s corporate atmosphere of pushing and prodding, with every move a crime, and in every hand a club… cannot do less.

There is a war of terror coming, that much the media ‘talking heads’ have right. But it’s not one of religions. It’s one between the mindless stupidity and greed of corporations… and the very rights of man.

And it is a war, that in the waging the rich will lose. And the poor, who have only lives to lose…and pushed to it… can only win.

So a wise man would say to the rich… ‘now may be a good time to stop pushing’.

Something to think about. :).