Just saw Al Gore’s self-important, self-glorifying even, documentary film about global warming. Some good presentations about the complex and often paradoxical and scary chain effective nature of, well nature. If it had not been interspersed with his own claim to fame, if Gory Al-Narcissus would have not dabbled so melodramatically in his own childhood and career as a statesman with “integrity”, it could have been quite a good first half of the film.
But then the trouble begins. In “coming to terms” with answers to the grave problems that he has gathered and presented, Mr. Gore suggests that the solutions lie in Capitalist Light production and techno-fixes. “Just look at Toyota’s growth and lead in the market, and they make small cars”, he ventures and the rest of the film is pretty much, then, praise of the electoral, so-called democratic apparatus that he was born into as a one of the noble men, and which it appears is the real defendant in Mr. Gore’s case. He is more anxious about saving face on behalf of capitalism and the liberal/republican state than he is about “saving the planet”. Needless to day, a neo-con think tank has pointed out that his own massive mansion uses, in a month, twice that of an average USA household in a a whole year. Gory Al also talks about war and missiles – how many, again, was it that you and Clinton the Self-centred fired at Iraq, before Bush declared it, once again, a “real” war?
Mr. Gore lives in this house (20 rooms, 8 bathrooms):
The film has a short “analysis” of media representations – it says that corporate media has a 52% doubt of the climate change facts, whereas zero% peer-reviewed science articles called any of the evidence into doubt. Anyone who has read a bit political economy of mass communication – or consulted the final critical statement on the matter, “Manufacturing Consent” by Chomsky and Herman, will know why these distortions take place. Let me sum it up in one word, capitalism; or perhaps in two/three: the bottom line. The media is dependant on advertising money from the big companies and they are dependant on consent to their profit missions, so they don’t spend money on a paper that also publishes anti-capitalist or socialist, or even just soft-socially conscious stuff. They want a clean, “level” playing field, where they can do what they want. That’s why one can say that Gore is manufacturing and then domesticating, paralysing, discontent, for he denies the intricate relations between the particular economic system or mode of production that we general call capitalism, but which “they” call the “free” market – a system which has been called into question with regards to social and environmental destruction for as long as it has existed:
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs! what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
Had Mr. Gore paid a bit more attention to his own analysis (well, it was a very short inter-mission, it should be said, for obvious reasons, of course), he might have realised that his own film, principally, lands right in the territory that he condemned: it confuses the viewer who is left with clear messages that all that is needed to save the planet is different shopping patterns, Japanese cars (well, really what he wants is or the U.S. producers of cars to improve the fuel mileage) and energy saving light bulbs. That’s it, nada mas!
In other words, all things are left to the individual, the self-interested rational agent, who should shop Capitalism Light in order to safe the planet, simply motivated for her own ends and desires to have a lovely riverside to roam (which is easy of you own a big farm and a limo to get there!). Nothing about collective responsibility and action.
Despite the distortions of the realities of global warming and climate chaos – or perhaps exactly for those reasons – it is nevertheless an interesting film, because the evidence is comprehensively and authoritatively presented, but one has to keep in mind that this film demands no real change in the world, just asks for people to shop differently and to write letters to their representatives. AS a matter of fact, one only needs about 40% of the film, the rest is wanking in public and misleading viewers.
Once you’ve seen the film – get ready to take action, don’t write letters, or by all means do write letters, but get ready to get on the barricades and blockade the perpetrators, throw rocks even, if need be, do whatever with any (decent?) means necessary to stop Shell Hell, Exxon Excess and Chevron Shite.