|WHEN NERDS COLLIDE|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 06:00|
CLICK THE THUMBNAIL TO VIEW FULL SIZE
Reality TV has gotten seriously lame. Nothing is worse than snoring your way through ANOTHER bad reality game show, so after years of watching thinly-stretched paranormal hunting shows fight for ratings-- Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab, blah blah blah-- this week I laughingly noticed a new show on TV called "Total Blackout." It completely dispenses with any artifice of paranormal investigation; instead (in a supreme act of creative laziness) the producers just stick a bunch of people in the dark and film them with night vision cameras as they stumble around and scare the shit out of themselves over nothing. Admittedly, I can't see much difference between this show and the supposed ghost chasers... I suspect the truth emerges at last.
Meanwhile, regular PBS viewers might be interested to know that starting this month they will be treated to a 4 hour commercial for the Dow Chemical Company, half-assedly disguised as a documentary series. The four-part series-- called "America Revealed"-- supposedly examines such pressing economic issues as big agriculture, big transportation, and big manufacturing. Which, interestingly enough, directly correspond to the commercial enterprises of-- you guessed it-- the Dow Chemical Company. The first episode gives an adoring hour-long tongue-bath to the mutant corn industry, explaining how food production needs "a game changer" in the form of "genetically modified organisms, better known as a GMO." You know, like the shit made by our trusty friends, the hardworking gene-splicers over at Dow Chemical. Big Agriculture is notorious for conflict of interest: several past directors of both the FDA and the EPA took jobs with Monsanto and Dow Chemicals after leaving government service, mostly as high-paid consultants tasked with calling in favors to manipulate laws and bypass pesky Federal regulations.
Monsanto also occasionally pays PBS to offer "unbiased" reports on its achievements. They've sponsored PBS's Newshour, for instance, and PBS has so-far produced seven seasons of the Monsanto-sponsored series "American Heartland," which merrily reports the beneficial wonders of the genetically engineered products of the petrochemical revolution. Hooray! Our Chemical Overlords at Monsanto know what's best for us, after all.
Back in 2003, Mendocino County, California, became the first government to ban the planting of GMO crops on government property as well as on private lands. Under the guise of a bullshit sock puppet group called "CropLife America," Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, and a slew of other biotech companies used it as a test case and spent close to a million dollars trying to buy votes and stop the county from banning GMO products. They lost. Since then, The Farm Bureau, Monsanto, Dupont, John Deere and several other big ag groups have formed the "U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance" (USFRA) and have launched a $30 million dollar ad campaign arguing that GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics in meat, etc., are perfectly safe. Sure they are. These are essentially the same people who lobbied the FDA to rename High Fructose Corn Syrup, insisting it be called by the less frightening code-name "Corn Sugar." It may be sugar made from corn, dude, but it sure as hell doesn't occur in nature and when you feed it to honeybees, they fucking die from it. So, there's that.
I know we absolutely need the bio-food industry to keep us all fed. But when trillions of dollars are at stake, I'll bet there's a ton of pressure to hide evidence of unsafe practices and damn poor judgement. Pink slime, anyone?