the holistic radical

August 18, 2007

Required Viewing and Reading

Filed under: Uncategorized — sesame seed @ 5:10 pm

Required viewing: Jesus Camp (hosted by Google Video)

75% of homeschooled kids are evangelical Christians.

This scary statistic makes me glad that we have public schools available in this country, plagued with problems though they are. Kids are so easily brainwashed, and homeschooling is apparently an integral part of the brainwashing process. These parents socially isolate these kids, and then the only social activities they are allowed re-confirm, or center around, religion, further reinforcing those beliefs. These kids are not allowed to be kids and have their own thoughts. This is truly frightening, because these kids also come to inherit capital, occupy the middle and upper middle classes, and then impose their morality on the majority of the world–which is poor, non-white, and non-Christian. Parents should not be controlling their children’s thoughts. These evangelical parents are censoring their children’s souls. When these children grow up and find out that there’s more to life than blind faith, that they have to think and work and meet people who aren’t like them, they’re going to face a devastating nervous breakdown. I pity these isolated, starved children. They’re only doing what their parents shove down their throats because they want to be loved. Instead, these parents show their “love” for their children by making them fearful of “sin.” We already had this once in this country–the evangelical puritans. People couldn’t take the strain of being told that they were constant sinners, and that everything they did was wrong.

I hope these children featured in the film can see themselves in ten years and have a good long cry for all the shit their parents put them through and made them say in order to receive the love they deserve unconditionally from their parents. In my opinion, these children were abused psychologically. What these parents imposed on these children is psychological violence. These children are taught to hate themselves unless they follow god in the exact same way as their parents. They are not allowed to feel their own emotions or live their own lives. One can only hope they will overcome this veil and see themselves and choose their own way to live, instead of blindly spreading and parroting the same words to others. Maybe someday these children will realize that they are being horribly manipulated, and will want to end their desire to manipulate others. Personal faith is one thing, but when any “religion” crosses into “fundamentalism” or “evangelicalism,” then it’s not religion or even a way of living. It’s a way of controlling and condemning others. It divides people rather than helps them, forcing morality down their throat.

Second scariest thing in the film: a “pledge of allegiance” to the bible.
We need to work together in this world. Isolating your children, evangelical parents might as well do us all a favor and make your own “utopia.” Why don’t these people go off and make their own country and leave the rest of us, who know how to think and reason independently, alone? You know, the rest of us who believe in “science,” methods, cooperative ways of working for all?

In theory, we have separation of church and state. In reality, we don’t.

Required viewing: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price (hosted by Google Video)

The Waltons (the founders of Wal-Mart) think that they’re “good Christians,” too.
A short run-down of what they do in the normal routine of business operations:
–Pay their workers so little that they have to turn to the state to get health insurance benefits, food stamps, WIC, and other state benefits
–Destroy workers’ spirit by indirectly coercing them to work overtime that is unpaid (well, they don’t have to–unless they don’t want to get fired)
–Harass workers who wish to start unions
–Shake down local governments to give this multibillion-dollar corporation generous tax subsidies and zoning permits to come into new areas cheaply
–Actively works to put local stores out of business, so that they can monopolize all the profits in a given area
–Destroys the environment by polluting the products of their stores all over local landscapes–Wal-mart is one of the largest polluters in history
–Enslaves foreign producers in many countries, including China and Bangladesh, committing serious human rights violations, including establishing cramped housing, unsafe factories, and grossly underpaying its workers

Two caveats about this film:
1. Everything bad that can be said about Wal-Mart, especially its exploitation of foreign labor, its intimidation of its domestic workers, and its yen for putting small mom-and-pop neighborhood stores out of business, can be said about any mass-merchandiser, any Big Box retailer taking over America and turning America into a strip mall. I’m talking about Sears, Best Buy, Circuit City, K-mart, etc. If you’re serious about change in this country, you really can’t support any of these stores. You really just have to change your lifestyle. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Buy secondhand clothes (preferred) or American Apparel (sweatshop-free clothes; check online store for sale items).
2. Capitalism clearly provides no incentive for any company–Wal-Mart is just the most visible–to provide health insurance or other benefits for its employees. Health insurance must be nationalized. The workers paid pittances by Wal-Mart who are forced to go to Medicaid, CHIPs, etc., in their states aren’t even benefitting from the highest quality of care. Why? Because far more tax breaks are going to corporations like Wal-Mart, instead of taxes going to fully fund health programs that would help everyone. If health coverage extended to everyone, administrative costs would drop tremendously. If the argument that health care is a human right is not enough, the efficiency argument should resonate. Capitalism just can’t do it. Capitalism is designed to keep the majority of people as disempowered laborers who work 20-30 years, reproduce, and die, and then let their children become laborers, and keep them too busy to think and too poor to cry out against the jobs that are working them to death.

And let’s not forget that McDonald’s is the largest real-estate holders in the US and rapidly taking over the world. Starbucks, Subway, and every other chain business, retail or food, all operate the same way. They aim to take over communities and dominate the profit base and virally infect their way around the globe–and when they’re out of natural resources to exploit, they’ll jsut invent chemicals to warp our already polluted brains, our brains which have been ruined by their chemicals already. They want to turn the world into an economy-of-scale according to their profit motives, not what’s good for the people or the planet.

Americans don’t seem to understand that going to one store for everything, from tools, to clothes, to dry goods, is not a good idea. It’s monopoly, and then when a company has a monopoly, they don’t have to have “low prices.” It’s bad enough we have capitalism, but capitalism without competition is just a coddamn prison, a stranglehold on any illusion of freedom you might think you have.

It’s really sad that people who can afford to shop elsewhere can’t look beyond themselves and their selfish holding on to money, they don’t see the harm in buying a shirt, for example, that would pay a living wage to the worker–because they need to take their vacations every year, because they have to consume a certain number of movies, etc…
by the way, it’s often their 37th shirt in their closet, which they’ll wear maybe 5 times before throwing it out–or maybe they think they’re “enlightened” and not part of the problem if they give it to a thrift shop instead…

On the flip side, it’s just as sad that so many people are overworked and held hostage to their small, crappy apartments because of the greed of landlords that they can’t afford to pay any more for the basics of life, and so have to shop at stores like Wal-Mart, selling cheap but crappily-made products that keep people coming back to Wal-Mart?

Americans just have to lower their consumption of material things in general, and then they will have a better quality of life. As disparities in wealth increase and natural resources become more scarce, we have a choice: increase the profits of a few, or look for the well-being of the many?

see these and many more documentaries at TV Links: tv-links.co.uk (legality of which is unknown and at own risk; I use it to find stuff from Google, as Google video could be easier to navigate)

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