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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Conspiracy Theorists: Scaring People Doesn't Solve Anything

There’s a lot of documentaries out there trying to raise awareness about various problems in society.  Whether it’s Micheal Moore calling attention to our problems with health care or gun control or movies like Zeitgeist that warn us that the world is run by shadowy organizations with a lust for power and money, they all try to sound the alarm about something.

I’ve stopped watching movies like these.  All they do is fill people with anger and/or despair.  What these movies DON’T do is offer any practical solutions for what can be done.  They do a good job of pointing to a particular problem, but they don’t offer much, if anything, in the way of what we can do about it.

Y’know what I’d like to see?  A complete reversal of this trend.  I’d like to see a movie where they spend 10 minutes informing me about the problem and the rest of the film telling me what we can do about it.

Admittedly, I think there already ARE practical solutions to many of the problems these movies address, but most people can’t be bothered to stop watching “American Idol” and get off their asses and do anything about it.    Maybe these documentarians aren’t to blame for nothing getting done.  Maybe people are so jaded and hopeless they’ve given up.  What people need is to be made aware of these problems AND they need to be told what can be done to give them hope.

I don't discount the possibility that the world is secretly run by shadowy malevolent organizations bent on world domination, but even if that's true, what do you propose we do about it, hmm?  If said organizations are really as powerful as these conspiracy theorists say they are, how do they propose we fight them?  Don't these people think said organizations are powerful enough to anticipate and suppress any potential up-rising?

I still like Michael Moore.  I think he’s doing important work, but it doesn’t seem to be having the effect it should.  It’s good to raise awareness, but people need hope and motivation.  Until then, Moore and his ilk should stop depressing everyone.

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” – Robert Pirsig

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