corporations (2004-11-11 - 1:33 p.m.)
I just saw The Corporation (£2.95 with a student card for an early matinee!!) This film actually made me cry. No wonder my generation tends so far towards cynicism - it's becoming increasingly evident that not only is the world in huge trouble, misinformation is so rife that it's very difficult to know what's going on, let alone do something about it. I thought the film was extremely well-done (and it's Canadian! so a bit of Maple Leaf pride there) but it was also very, very depressing. Despite the slightly more positive bit at the end, I was left with the overwhelming feeling that horrible things are going on all around me and I'm powerless to do anything about it. Not a feeling I relish.
The point, of course, is that in theory I'm not powerless. I can and do vote (even from the UK, thank heavens) and I can try to make my own life just that little bit more sustainable. I was surprised to note that things I took as a matter of course, like the availability of recycling depots, are very difficult to find over here. I suppose I've been spoilt, as Edmonton has one of the best recycling programmes in the country. Here in Edinburgh I can recycle paper in a wee bin across the road, but I haven't yet found out if there's any way to recycle tin cans, glass, plastic or cardboard.
Anyway... I suppose it all comes down to the idea of living my life with as little negative impact as possible. It seems like a small thing but I'm hoping it's not completely insignificant. The trouble is that the bottom line is not just for money-hungry corporations. It matters to me as well. Money has always been so tight with me that it's very difficult to justify eating organically if it costs more, or not shopping at Wal-Mart (Asda here, I suppose) if it costs half as much as buying somewhere else. I suppose this proves that I'm not a complete convert to "living lightly", but I'm hoping that doing what I can within my constraints (mostly financial, sadly) doesn't make me a complete hypocrite.
Anyway, yay for the tree-huggers and the people trying to make a difference. Even if I'm not always one of them.
I found I was most interested in the middle bit of the film, where they were discussing the pervasiveness of advertising and the media. The more I think about it, the more facinated I am with this whole phenomenon. Advertising now has become so sneaky - the whole point of it is to get it past peoples' defenses, make it such a part of their life that they don't notice it's there. They compared it to product placement in a movie, only this is real-life product placement. The meme, as it were, of using the product is spread from someone hired by an advertiser to the unsuspecting consumer, who then passes it on to other people for free.
The trouble is, grad school deadlines are very soon... and a). I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water as it is, trying to get a decent job, get a life, get some friends, and get to know the city and b). If I go back to school in September, the wandering is over. Eventually I'll want that, I'm sure: at the moment I just never want to give it up. I suppose we'll see how it plays out... perhaps I can go to school starting next January.
By the way, the interview with the U of Edinburgh yesterday went well. Easy as pie, not surprisingly - it's only a three-month temp job. Don't know if they'll offer it to me, and if they do I'm not sure if I should take it. However, I am DESPERATE to get away from the golf course, so at this point I will probably say yes to anything.
Got a library card this week! Free internet & free reading material! I have been reading up madly on Edinburgh, which is the most fascinating place I've ever seen. The history here is unbelievably interesting. The whole city centre is to this day a warren of tunnels. Every time you take a step, you are right beside another piece of history. It is incredible.
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