Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Story Behind the Story of Stuff

Do you have children or grandchildren going to public school? If so, I hope you know that this 20-minute video, "Story of Stuff," is being shown in schools all over the country; their website is here. And children are also being encouraged to watch this on the website--so kids have the video available to obsess over on their own as much as they're inclined to do. This video is indoctrination, straight up.  The one posted here is the "critiqued" version, Part 1 of 4. You can see all four of the critiqued videos on YouTube (right-click on the image and click "Watch on YouTube"). Lee Doren is the guy who created the critique videos; he's with a group I don't know much about yet--Bureaucrash.

The version the kids see, of course, is the non-critiqued version without subtitles. Hat tip to bloggers at Missourah.com. This was also discussed by Glenn Beck on his radio program on Tuesday.

The video's creator is liberal Greenpeace activist Annie Leonard, whom Time magazine calls a "hero of the environment." The video is pointedly fear-mongering, anti-capitalism, and otherwise absolute far-Left drivel. At one point, she tells the children this: "It's the government's job to watch out for us, to take care of us. That's their job" [emotional emphasis hers]. This sort of stuff is despicable, since it plays on the emotions of kids who are too young to take a discerning view of the propaganda and the fact that they're being shown only the extreme Left side of these issues. After watching the video, one little boy expressed his worries that it might be bad for the planet if he bought a new set of Legos. What in the name of sanity are we doing to our kids?

The language of the film is used for shock value and fear. The woman says it's a system in crisis. We live on a finite planet, with limits. Here are some of her definitions:
  • Natural resource exploitation: a fancy word for trashing the planet. We chop down trees, we blow up mountains, we use up all the water, and we wipe out the animals. We are cutting and mining and hauling and trashing the place.
  • Production: using energy to mix toxic chemicals in with the natural resources to make toxic-contaminated products. We take our pillows, we douse them in a neuro-toxin, and then we bring them home and put our heads on them for eight hours a night to sleep.
  • Breast milk: the food at the top of the food chain with the highest level of many toxic contaminants
    Our babies are getting the highest level of lifetime dose of toxic chemicals from breastfeeding from their mothers.
    [her emotional emphasis] If you can't tell, those are little skulls and crossbones used as badges on the mother's breasts, I guess to "demonstrate" toxic breast milk, in case you didn't get the subtlety of the language. They go on to say, after destroying the very idea of breastfeeding (who would knowingly feed toxic chemicals to their babies?) --they go on to say that "breastfeeding is best." What??? These people are utter lunatics.

  • Distribution: Distribution means selling all the toxic contaminated junk as quickly as possible.
  • The Golden Arrow of Consumption. We have become a nation of consumers. Our primary identity has become that of being consumers: not mothers, teachers, farmers--but consumers. The primary way that our value is measured and demonstrated is by how much we contribute to this arrow. And 99% of the stuff we run through this system is trashed within six months. Question: Do you throw in the trash "99%" of the stuff you buy within six months?
  • Advertising: What's the point of an ad, except to make us unhappy with what we have. Ads tell us that we are wrong, but it can all be made right if we go shopping.
  • National happiness. The film doesn't define this mushy, fuzzy-headed term, but it does say that polls show our national happiness is actually declining.

  • Disposal: Burning the garbage makes new super-toxics, like Dioxin. Dioxin is the most toxic man-made substannce know to science. Does recycling help? Yes, but recycling can never be enough.

So you see, it is a system in crisis. From changing climate to declining happiness, it’s just not working.

Good Lord, no wonder our kids have "declining happiness," if they are made to watch crap like this video.

Here's a quotation from an article at the Heritage Foundation, posted about the video last May:

We leave you with Portola Valley, California teacher Mark Lukach who says: “Compared to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ it is much shorter and easier to compact into a class segment.” There is still time to save your children from joining a fringe movement that attacks makeup, shaving cream, batteries, legos, radios, technology, toys, our armed forces and anything else that doesn’t fit into their Greenpeace world view.
P.S. And, I hate this woman's chirpy condescending smugness as she tells our children their planet is being destroyed. "I couldn't stop wondering about that," she says, where "stuff" goes after she throws it away. She also tells the kids she gets "obsessed" with her Ipod: "In fact, I get a little obsessed about all of my stuff." That's called "obsessive ideation," lady, and there's medication you can take for it.

Update. The Story of Stuff was funded by the Tides Foundation. The American Spectator says this about the group: The Tides Foundation is a pass-through entity. Wealthy liberals give the charity money, take the tax deduction, and then tell Tides which causes to give their money to. The money is then given in the name of Tides and the real donor's name is withheld.

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