Monday, December 29, 2008

Documentary Roundup

My BFF was in town last week and is currently infected with a fetus growing in her womb.  It's her first.  Because she and the Mr. have very demanding jobs, childcare is an issue and she'd optimally like to get a nanny.  Of course, as it would any new parent in her situation that wishes there were more hours in the day, this makes her feel guilty and she blindsided me.

"Don't you find that the time you have away from the kids when they're with their dad is good for your mental health?"

Had I known what she was really asking (Should I feel badly about bringing my first child into a world where I already have so little time?), I wouldn't have said, "NO!  I hate it when they're not home!"

That said,

I've turned to Netflix in my time of need.  Not only do I almost always have two DVDs at home (usually the kids pick those), but I can use the "Watch Instantly" feature whenever I'm too bummed to get out of bed.  This has led to an addiction to the documentary.  I've watched about six in the last two months and have decided to start reporting on them.

King Corn
Filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis head to Iowa to grow an acre of corn from genetically modified seeds and follow it all the way into the food chain to show us that corn is literally in almost everything we eat.  It was actually quite fun to watch.  I especially liked the part where they begin to harvest their corn and each take a big bite, spitting it out all over the place when they are reminded, through it's non-traditional taste, that the corn they've grown is not to be eaten, but used as an ingredient or to feed cattle.  Which leads to the part where they're shown that the cattle can't digest the corn and, if they weren't going to be slaughtered anyway, the cattle would die painful deaths.  Basically, even when we eat beef, we eat corn.  I know, I know.  It's only corn.

Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
In this documentary on Hunter S. Thompson, I took away less about his life and work and more about the reaction he elicited from the many A-list actors who worshipped him.  It focused more on his celebrity life and the movies made about him than his journalism.  As a gal who knew relatively little about Hunter S. Thompson going in, I'm left wondering why he was so important when this movie dwelled so much upon his life of hedonism.  That's all well and good, but where was the fiercely intelligent and political man who put some rather genius words together?  I suppose it's meant to be enough for me to know that celebrities worshipped him, partied with him constantly until they were all comatose, and that, even though he never allowed himself to be alone, he was lonely enough to kill himself.

Okay, that's enough for now.  I was going to include one about Darfur, but I don't want your eyes to glaze over anymore than they already have.

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