Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Evil Just Wrong –- Okay, Maybe A Little Evil

There was a little publicized but potentially game-changing event on the Internet last night.

Big Hollywood”, a site you can link to from my list on the far right – and to some also far right in their own show business outlook, held what they billed as the largest movie premiere in history, streaming Irish documentarians Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney’s “Not Evil Just Wrong”.

McAleer and McElhinney’s film is a response to Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar winner, “An Inconvenient Truth” and was made after the filmmakers challenged that film’s “facts” in a British court, eventually receiving a High Court ruling that 9 key points in the Gore film were patently false.

“Not Evil Just Wrong” details those falsehoods as it explores what McAleer calls “The true cost of Global Warming hysteria”. And despite what you may think, it is a long way from the work of somebody in the habit of wearing a tinfoil hat.

The film features respected activists such as Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, now fighting against what he sees as the growing immorality of the environmental movement as well as a long list of legitimate scientists, including the two Canadians who discovered that Gore’s now famous “Hockey Stick” graph of spiking world temperatures was the result of a mathematical error and not actual Global warming.

However you feel about the Climate Change debate, “Not Evil Just Wrong” offers arguments worthy of being discussed. But despite months of trying, its producers had been unable to find an American distributor willing to buck the prevailing Green mood in Hollywood and bring it to your local Cineplex. 

Therefore, Big Hollywood decided to cut through the Big Media blockade and make it available free online. The stream I was watching hit well over 9500 by the film’s end and the overall response for all streams offered was just North of 46,000 good enough for Big Hollywood founder Andrew Breitbart to announce the debut of a sister site “Big Environment” at the Q&A that followed the screening.

And that’s one of the reasons I think this was a game-changing event.

In his book, “Here Comes Everybody”, Internet Guru Clay Shirky predicted that we were at the end of the era where content could be controlled by the gatekeepers of the media, and that day has clearly arrived.

From the struggles of politicians with news outlets they don’t like to broadcasters angling to save their skins by suddenly pretending to care about local television we’ve entered a world where nobody can control who hears what anymore.

Perhaps Al Gore really is a selfless crusader desperately trying to make sure there is a planet for his children and grandchildren to enjoy. But perhaps he’s also somebody making sure his privileged position in the world isn’t undermined by having too many others seeking to enjoy the same lifestyle.


Last night, what was screened for anyone who cared to watch, was a fairly persuasive argument that many in the Green movement either don’t know what they are talking about or are trying to soft sell the enormous world wide problems their agenda may create.

Who knows, next week, somebody might start telling people the truth about the Canadian “Save Local TV” debate that has both broadcasters and Cable companies pitching half-truths and outright lies to what was once, but is no longer, a captive audience with no other alternatives for learning the real facts.

And just maybe that might lead to more people than just the Bloc Quebecois asking where all those Millions Canadians invested in Cinar actually went and why nobody in Ottawa wants to open that scary can of worms.

And perhaps the week after that, some Canadian movie the taxpayer funded and no distributor will spend money to promote will be made available to its investors, who may enjoy it and start asking for the real reasons nobody wanted them to see it.

No financial return in that last prediction? Well, we’ll see. Because last night’s stream of “Not Evil Just Wrong” also marked the launch of a DVD marketing campaign hoping to benefit from word of mouth arising from last night’s presentation.

Y’see, we’ve reached a point where its harder to shut people up, harder to withhold the fruits of their labors or to scare them into doing what you want with predictions of flooded planets, drowning polar bears and swarms of killer bees.

Remember the Killer Bees? Are they still coming? Shouldn’t they have been here by now?


Where all this moves from a free speech and access to information issue to one with a darker shade and larger implications is the major point made in “Not Evil Just Wrong”, a point that makes you realize the title is an outright lie and the filmmakers know it.

It’s a point brought home in a moment featuring environmental spokesman Ed Begley, who chokes up on learning of someone else’s innovative Green project and later in an interview assures the filmmakers that he was truly moved by his colleague’s initiative. After the camera is turned off and the filmmakers have walked away, Begley’s still live microphone picks him up chortling about being an actor and thus able to realistically fake an emotion.

The film then details past environmental initiatives and how their well-meaning intentions resulted in millions of third world deaths and doomed countless others to lives of hopelessness and poverty.

In the process, it becomes patently obvious that many in the Green movement are well aware of what has been done in the name of or resulted from their work and that for a few of them Cap and Trade, emission controls and promoting organic solutions are just one more way they’ll get rich while others suffer.

The Climate Change debate is not over. But control of the media most certainly is. And the parallels between one attempt to dupe the public and others being perpetrated by those who own and control Big Media are impossible to miss.

Like many in the Green movement, there are those in Canadian television who are also well aware of what has been done in the name of or resulted from their work.

And despite the fact that the Canadian Media Fund and others in our government may not have realized that online initiatives and Internet content are no longer merely “experimental” in nature, it’s clear to many of us that they are rapidly becoming the only option for Canadian creatives who seem to have no place in a system run primarily for the enrichment of people who don’t care about much beyond their own wealth and well-being.

The day when we can be easily played on any subject may soon be over.


DMc said...

To be fair, a smaller but no less significant event happened several years ago when the band WILCO had their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot rejected by their label.

They streamed the album for free on the Net, got it back, got it released and the exposure of that album stream made it their best seller to date -- in fact, it kicked their career onto the next level.

That's a classic Gatekeeper not being the end all, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the doc just isnt that good. Not every film gets a theatrical.

MaryP said...

This doc sounds really interesting, both for its subject and the way it was released - except for the Ed Begley Jr bit.

That sounds like the kind of joke I'd make on myself moments after exposing my more tender feelings - at the very least it's hardly conclusively damning.

The camera, or in this case microphone, can give so many banal things undeserved significance (coughRealHousewivescough) - could this be one of those moments where a filmmaker chose drama over truth?