New Civilization News: Wal*Mart: The Movie Comes To Athens    
 Wal*Mart: The Movie Comes To Athens10 comments
picture13 Nov 2005 @ 12:42, by Richard Carlson

The highest point a man can attain is not knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic, and more despairing: Sacred Awe!

---Nikos Kazantzakis

Whatever is seen by such a heart and mind is a flower, whatever is dreamed is a moon.
Only a barbarian mind could fail to see the flower; only an animal mind could fail to dream the moon.

---Basho

Thank God for the things that I do not own.

---St. Teresa Of Avila

Here we see Dana celebrating her birthday last month at the Japanese Steak House in Columbus, with our daughter and her friend Keenan Huq.

Actually the title is WAL*MART: the high cost of low price, a new film by Robert Greenwald, whose previous documentaries include OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and UNCOVERED: The War On Iraq, both from last year. This week WAL*MART will premiere at 7000 (and counting) different locations across America...and apparently in several other countries as well. What is novel about Greenwald's approach to premieres is they occur in living rooms, public meeting chambers, and union halls...and only in a few movie theaters. Teaming up with MoveOn and the Internet, he began advertising a couple months ago for screening kits you could order. I think he asked 10 dollars or something for it, you typed in your mailing info online, paid with PayPal or the like, and soon a box arrived with the DVD, a couple big posters, and some other brochures. Your name and screening location goes online and people can reserve a seat, depending on your capacity. MoveOn has changed the political landscape of this country using an approach to organize that's both fun and dynamic.

Dana, Ilona and I went to our first MoveOn houseparty, I think, when Fahrenheit 9/11 came out. The same technique was used, and after the movie there was an online chat set up with Michael Moore, as he answered questions from living rooms across the land. Through Jim and Howard Dean's Democracy For America group Dana got involved in MMOB, which stood for Mainstreet Moms Opposed to Bush (but now is called Mainstreet Moms Operation Blue). That group locally, I think (you know how liberals keep changing stuff around), evolved into WORD, which I guess means Women Openly Reclaiming Democracy. WORD decided last month to sponsor a screening of WAL*MART at the Athens Public Library, and that's planned for Wednesday evening at 7:00. Most of the premieres in this country will be Tuesday.

Well, we sent out some notices by email...and took brochures around town. Seemingly within a matter of hours, the signup for Athens at [link] was at capacity already. The room WORD reserved may hold somewhere around 50 people, so now they're wondering whether to try 2 screenings (the film is almost an hour and a half), reserve another night too, or change the location to someplace bigger. Perhaps another copy we ordered will arrive tomorrow, and if there's a second room in the library available we could show them both at the same time. The DVD has a condensed 20 minute version, and I suppose they could show that in 3 or 4 shifts. The library itself has just gotten an addition, which is quite spacious and hasn't been filled with anything yet. In fact, one wit wrote the newspaper last week to suggest the place could house the Bush Memorial Library...but then thought better of it, since the learned and unclassified documents easily could fit into a janitor's closet. There might not be enough chairs to set up in that area, but maybe folks wouldn't mind standing or sitting on the floor around the big TV set. So WORD has to figure this stuff out today and tomorrow.

As for the movie itself, you can read reviews by the LA Times, NY Times, and Salon through the links at the top of that walmartmovie site just above. It has quite a different tone than Greenwald's previous work, but certainly is just as skilled. For one thing, he wants to address a more representative audience. The people who work and shop at Wal*Mart are not the people ready to mock out the Fox News Network. They're probably people who watch it religiously. He does not want to offend that audience this time. There is a quiet, compassionate tone in these stories of business families driven out by the arrival of the big store, of employees who work full time (or as "full" as the company allows) but must apply for WIC, food stamps and Medicaid, and of managers who thought Wal*Mart really wanted to help regular folks. Once we start visiting their unmonitored parking lots and the sweat shops abroad however, the more familiar Greenwald tension begins to build.

You know, I happen to feel that a partnership between a company and government social programs isn't necessarily a bad thing. Big benefit packages haven't been around forever, and given how corporations are having a tough time with them, maybe the concept was a wrong turn. I realize that what they do is raise prices for consumers in order to maintain the profits they want, but particularly with medical and now fuel costs I understand companies are squeezed. Wal*Mart's response to union organizing and benefit talk is swift and tough. The stories from the sweat shops where they get their cheap goods are horrifying, but I guess we have a foreign policy that turns a blind eye to such practices. We don't seem to invade countries over that kind of tyranny. At the same time the US apparently has a tax code that does not weigh heavily on businesses like Wal*Mart. Increasingly I feel like I'm paying, along with the other little guys, for the few social programs that remain. I guess I resent having to pay for my own benefits and for those of Wal*Mart employees too. But all Wal*Mart is doing is taking advantage of the openings and loopholes...and that's the good ol' American way. Is this movie going to change that? Sit back and enjoy the show.


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10 comments

14 Nov 2005 @ 03:24 by jobrown : Thanks Jazzo!
I just LOVE this concept of Movie Premieres in the Private! Can't tell you how much fun we had here , when premiering the "What the Bleep" and even later, while re -watching it.
I think, this WalMart Movie, just might open a few more Eyes& Minds to see, I mean REALLY COMPREHEND on a deep emotional Level, the fallacy of the money game's (impossible and cosmically incorrect) rules!... maybe even to the point, where WHO is set up to prosper and thrive through the money game is percveied!
Like our friend Vaxen "always" says: Follow the money trail!" And maybe even see the even bigger Pic, which is : how do they do it??? With help of the Social Soceurity Nr, they made us their SLAVES, by WRITING the name our parents chose for us in CAPITOL LETTERS, wich makes us -in their book- to NON-Humans, but their PROPERTY INSTEAD!...and -of course-.... from there on people can then start unraveling the DECEPTION all the way back to the point where they/we can claim our own Sovereignty and Freedom again, the one God gave toALL of His Creation, when not f-----d by other fellow humans, who believe in Poverty and lack and other equally sick MAN-orchestrated concepts! Of course, the money mongers will cry their stoendead hearts out and twine their hands in despair and try to intimidate and wooo us back to ignorance, but it aiont working any more! For every this kind of Movie, we take alittle bit more of our Power back!THANKS, Jazzo, for telling me/us about this Movie.I will defintely get it!

PS. Love the Pic too! Your Big Smile just makes me smile! : )  



14 Nov 2005 @ 10:01 by jazzolog : Wal*MartWatch
Thanks blueboy, and check out this site which really is trying to stay objective as the war against Greenwald shifts into high gear~~~

[link] "Wal-Mart Watch is a joint project of The Center for Community & Corporate Ethics, a 501c3 organization devoted to studying the impact of large corporations on society, and its advocacy arm, Five Stones."

The movie packs its biggest punch as it moves from corporate speeches declaring how much heart the store really has to scenes of executive family estates, their annual incomes---and how much the average employee makes~~~around 13,000 a year. The money trail is all over the film...and in fact there seems little else Wal*Mart really is interested in. Wait until you see the abduction in the parking lot of a female shopper (rape and murder followed) caught on outside store cameras, which only were set up to film any employee union organizing that might be going on.
 



14 Nov 2005 @ 17:05 by jobrown : This whole WM thing
reminds me of something I saw in a Documentary about the (first) Rockefeller(s).
He had all these Coal mines somewhere in the Apalachian Mountains, I think it was, with all the tenament-shacks-with absolutely discusting, illness inducing conditions- for the employees; no running water, only outhouse-Bathroom/s with no place to get really comfortably cleaned up after a day with the black Nasty Stuff. "Homes" ; drafty, leaky; not acceptable by ANY standard!...
The year he made his first BILLION in Net profit (and how much that would equal in today's hmmm...I donnnow... maybe a hundred billion... in on year!) the Workers petitioned for having the thenament baracks repared and maybe a little upgrade in quality could be thought of! But no!!!... Rockefeller said "No, I can't afford it"!
It was EASIER and CHEAPER for him to replace an injured and by now from ill health suffering Worker, with another, usually much younger, like a really young child, than to have any concerns about the ones he, Rockefeller, had worn down to their bare bones!
Dollars to him were MUCH MORE concern and more important THAN LIFE ITSELF! Of course, this happened a long time ago. But, there are people, still today, even active members of ncn, who "SECRETLY" (so they think, these poor deluded bastards! ) harbour this kind of feelings/phiosohpy, the only difference is that people of this Mind- set have learned by now the necessity of not only to conseal their true colours, but to indeed -when under the "Spotlight" , so to speak-, vehemently denyi it and then cover the idiocy up with some cute "Philantropy" with all the Media's Camera flashlights going off, at the Photo Op, eternalizing the "Goodness of their Heart" & willingness to "Do Something Good for Mankind"! How TWISTED and DELUDED can one be?.... Never stops amazing me! 13,000 /year!  



15 Nov 2005 @ 10:36 by jazzolog : Wal*Mart Movie Update
Thanks Blue. There's a section of the film in which execs encourage employees to contribute to a fund to help colleagues who may get into a financial scrape and how much Wal*Mart cares about such situations. Then there's a comparison between what those working folks have pooled together...and how much management has contributed to it. Don't ask.

I sent out a message Sunday morning to contacts in the Athens area about WORD's premiere showing of Robert Greenwald's Wal*Mart: the high cost of low price. One of the newly-constructed rooms at the Athens Public Library is reserved for tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7:00. In that message I mentioned within hours of WORD's announcement, 50 people had reserved seats online at [link], which was a guesstimate of the room's capacity. We went over to the library yesterday to check things out and do some strategy.

The library people say there is no official capacity, by the Fire Department or somebody, for the room at this time...but they figure 75 can get in there to sit comfortably---although there don't appear to be quite that many chairs. There's lots of standing and floor room though. There are 2 other huge spaces in the library not being used at the moment, but they're a little hesitant to commit we could use them if there's overflow. They said we could stay later than closing time if we want to run a second showing, and that's a remote possibility. WORD reserved the room for a 2nd presentation of the film in early December, if there appears to be a need. Final decision on that will be later.

So all systems (almost) are GO for the Wednesday show, and those WORD women even talked about baking cookies! You might bring a little stool or pillow just in case, because those first 50 probably have got to get in if they show up. The movie lasts about an hour and a half.  



15 Nov 2005 @ 16:35 by Quinty @68.230.135.75 : Regarding Blue's comments
Yes, they're touchy about giving themselves away, more so than they used to be. No secret taping system in the White House. No information emerging whatsoever - if they can - from the White House. All cronies and backscratchers there. "Cabal," as Powell's aid said, is the perfect word.

I've noticed recently that apologists for tortue appearing on TV will emphatically claim they most certainly do not believe in torture. Why it's unAmerican! And then after that disclaimer will go on to describe how necessary it is and how to perform it.

Here a couple of quotes from John Kenneth Galbraith.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

"The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself."

As for taxing the rich? Why not tax the rich? What else are they good for?  



15 Nov 2005 @ 21:12 by jobrown : Right on, Quinty!
Love your quotes!...hheheheh...ohhhh dear! But then we come to taxes: Why tax anybody??????.... sick old thinking/"philosophy, outdated by some 5000 years already! Are we willing to realize something more sustainable /life affirming, that would be for the highest good for all???... as for instance NO TAXES!!!... Trust me, that WILL come -after we taxed the shit ot of the ROBBERS first!... ;) hehehhe... just kiddin!
The necessity of Taxes and Death -as being created and mandated by LIFE / "God" is the biggest scam and "baddest" joke EVER! Within the next ten years ALL Mankind, will know Life to be 180 degrees opposite/ different from we've been force-fed the last 5-6000 years by the Cabal! [link]

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" 1 Corinthians 15-26  



15 Nov 2005 @ 22:38 by jazzolog : Blue, Meet Quinty
I would hand over my copy of 1 Corinthians to be in the same room with these 2---and our respective spouses!  


16 Nov 2005 @ 01:42 by jobrown : Well, here it is
...what WalMart is all about: [link]

By all means, If paying Taxes is one of the major Joys and Past Time hobbies in your life, more Power to you! Who am I to say no to you paying taxes?!?!???... No, no, no! But I personally can see many other ways to have a better and more FAIR society! As in FAIR for ALL - and NO, there will be NO self-proclaimed "Superior" idiots in my world!

"... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
I love that! You are so right on there! wanna know more "how" they do -and have done it for AGES- then, go here: [link] ( don't miss klicking on "Demonic Cabal" . Agatha Christie is really Sunday School boring Read, compared to this! : ) )))

As for taxing the rich? Why not tax the rich? What else are they good for?
Hahahaah....you are funny!

I think I am witnessing one of those major shortcomings with the Net: not being able to have a fast paced fun Brainstorming; tossing the ball back & forth as it were. As you know, I'm sure, that is so much fun and really expands all involved! I feel this could be one of these Golden Moments if we were all in the same room chatting our way. As for now, I will just chuckle and enjoy your comments, Quinty. I do like them!

A 180 degree change IS happening! just not everybody is able to perceive it! It all depends on what vibration -or what 'page' -one is at.  



19 Nov 2005 @ 23:50 by jobrown : To all
Tax-paying-happy individuals : [link]  


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