Ahhh. Sweet Political Rage
It's been a while since Dear Mr. Supercomputer has done the political vitriol thing. After the 2006 Texas Gubernatorial race, there just hasn't been much but more of the same. Iraq is a mess. Clinton and Obama have raised enough money to buy their own country and rule it like a monarch. And there's only so much bitching one can do about Tom Delay. Maybe it just got to be overload. Neo-conservatives are in power and that's the way it will be until 2008. Iraq is a disaster of generational proportions and that's just the way it will be until... umm, yeah. Global Warming is a force that could ruin us all, agreed upon by 99% of scientists and you still get people saying things like, "well, maybe it will be a good thing for Siberia."
So let's just say DMS gave up politics for lent. But lent's over folks. And the past two days have featured a PBS sponsored all-out anger-thon in the DMS household. Let's look at the programming selection.
7:00 PM. Nova: Saved By the Sun.
I love Nova. I eat this stuff up with a spoon. Baby Supercomputer does too. Anyway, it was a nice little program investigating what solar power can do for us and whether or not it's actually a viable source of power for anything but those little four-function calculators.
Fun Fact: Germany is the world leader in solar power. They subsidize the hell out of it and are on track for 30% of their energy coming from renewable sources by 2030.
Vitriol-Meter: 2. Sure, the U.S. doesn't do solar very well, but it's just not that practical or efficient yet. And by the time it is, something better might come along.
8:00 PM. Frontline: Hot Politics
Now we're talking! The environment? Three administrations sitting on their hands while we see the polar ice caps breaking off in Chris Berman size chunks? That's something that gets DMS blood pressure to hike up a few ticks. Yes, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, and Bush Jr. all did little to nothing about reducing America's carbon footprint using the excuse that it would cost us economically. Hmmm... maybe if there was a way we could invade global warming, this administration might be up to it. The former director of the EPA under the current Bush administration likened the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty to, "flipping the bird" to the rest of the world. Bad ass. Screw you, Luxembourg!
Fun Fact: Texas was featured prominently in this film under the category of, "how to destroy civilization." Rick Perry tried to fast track eleven new coal plants before someone reeled the Aggie in.
Vitriol-Meter: 6. I was so pissed I went outside and sprayed a bunch of aerosol cans over Rick Perry's house. Enjoy the 0.6 degree temperature rise, beeey-otch!
9:00. Independent Lens: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
I really don't understand business or economics or anything like that. Enron became one of the premiere companies in the world, simply by lying through their teeth? Meanwhile, everything they did turned to crap? People can do this? No wonder economists throw themselves out of high rise buildings.
Fun Fact: Enron executive Lu Pi ran off with like $200 million and married a stripper.
Vitriol-Meter: 4. Confusion-Meter: 8.
8:00. Bill Moyer's Journal: Buying the War
Brilliant investigation into the penultimate journalistic question of the day: where the fuck were you guys?!!
In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, it was repeated over and over again that Iraq had WMDs and had links to the terrorists of 9/11. Both of these claims were bullshit but almost no one in the press called the administration on it. Instead, for fear out of being labeled "unpatriotic," our most credible institutions of journalism, The New York Times, The Washington Post (who are by no means friends of Republicans), and everyone else beat the war drum.
The most poignant part of the film I thought was the likening to the Bush administration's contention to a marketing campaign. The point was made that advertising isn't effective after hearing something once, but after it is repeated over and over again. And that's exactly what they did. By repeating the same phrases and making the same claims over and over again, the American public just accepted it as fact. If you keep repeating the words, "Iraq," "al-Qaida," "Bin Laden," "weapons of mass destruction," "nuclear," pretty soon you'll start believing it. In fact even after it was proven that there were no WMDs in Iraq, polls showed that Americans still believed there were WMDs in Iraq. Unbelievable.
What happens when the media becomes the mouthpiece of the administration? One of the biggest international blunders in American history.
Fun Fact: Bill Kristol is a dick!
Vitriol-Meter: 9.3. It's a good thing I chased a bunch of blood thinners with whisky or I would have been dead on the floor.
Speaking of chasing, PBS chased Buying the War with John Prine's Austin City Limits. Thank God.