Thursday, 15 September 2011

Phil Ochs, Frakking and Daniel Ellsberg

In Victoria, a nice gem is Movie Monday, where a movie is shown in the theatre at the Eric Martin Institute. Often there is a mental health aspect and after each movie, a discussion is held. Last Monday, the 2011-2012 season began with There But For Fortune, a doc on the prolilific political folk singer of the eary 60s to the mid70s, Phil Ochs. As one who discovered Phil Ochs in the pages of the Pacific Tribune, a paper that then was put out by the Communist Party in Vancouver, I soon found myself collecting all of Phil Ochs albums. With the doc, some of the info on Phil the person was revealing to me,fun to hear some of the tunes again, often live footage. How his life ended had been a bit of a mystery, sadly I now know. Phil Ochs was a good showman, could organize concerts, and with his song on Vietnam and the demonstrations relating to "I declare The War Is Over" showed his love of the absurd.                                                                                                                       Last night (Wed Sept 14), in conjuction with the Sierra Club, the Oscar nominated doc, Gasland was shown. It is about the issue of "frakking" for natural gas in America. Dick Cheney is a factor, and it was disturbing to learn that he was much a Darth Vader to his nation's enviorment as he was with foriegn policy. To put it in a concise way, "frakking" is injecting lots of water and many many chemicals etc into rock shale formations to get at natural gas that would be difficult to do so so in conventional ways. Many Amercans from Appalachia to the mountain west have  felt the impact of this, and Dick Cheney led the charge that allowed oil and gas companies to become expempt for the Clean Air Act, and other postive environmental laws and agencies put in place by a President not often lauded as a reformer, Richard Nixon.  I highly reccomend watching this doc, hopefully you will find it a video store or the library. In the discussion that followed we learned that half of all the natural gas production in British Columbia is done by "frakking" and that large energy firms are being granted long term rights to the gigantic BC Hydro resovoir in Lake Willisoton.   Apparently our two Independent MLA's Vicki Huntingdon and Bob Simpson are calling for a public inquiry into the issue of "frakking" in our province. There is a lot of info on on "frakking" in articles written by Ben Parfit.   Using the BC Legislature website, you can find the addresses of key ministers and oppositon MLA's should you agree with such an inquiry, and in doing so helping our fellow British Columbians in the Peace River country.                                                                                                   Next Monday, again back to the 60s and 70s, with a showing of The Most Dangerous Man In America:Daniel Ellsberg. For those unfamiliar, he was the person who leaked the US govt study of the war in Vietnam, The Pentagon Papers. In a linked article from the UK paper The Guardian,found on the Movie Mondy website, Ellsberg states that the WikiLeaks are the Pentagon Papers of today.  Some of our governments need for secrecy is absurd. For example, the Canadian govt would not acknowledge the presence of our elite commando unit, Joint Task Force Two. A writer for the Ottawa Citizen was criticized by Canadian generals for writing articles that ferreted out the info on JTF2, ironically most of it was obtained legitametly from the UK Dept of Defense.                                                                                                             As stated above, Movie Monday is a gem for our city. Admission is by donation, the popcorn is fresh and the pop is cold. Put the Monday Night Football game on your VCR or PVR it and head out to the theatre at the Eric Martin Institue, adjacent to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. With the snacks, movie, and discussion after, you will have had a night that will give you lots of food for thought.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Rebelboy  says ---30---                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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