Al Cashion: Convinced Against His Will — Part I
On Netflix there is a documentary entitled "Pulling John."
A film that follows professional arm wrestler John Bryzenk, the undefeated, undisputed arm wrestling King. "This film chronicles the aging Bryzenk's legendary career as he travels the globe … "
I kid you not.
Somebody produced it. Somebody wrote the narrative. Camera men, sound techs, mixers, film editors, background musicians and a gob of other folks had to get paid. The travel expenses alone following John as he traveled the globe in search of another single skilled athlete had to be a chunk of change.
But, Hey! It's arm wrestling for cryin' out loud. Spare no expense!
Somebody thought someone would buy it. Netflix did, I guess. Netflix and John Bryzenk, John's Momma and a chubby ten year old that beat his neighbor in arm wrestling the other day and is now convinced the crown will soon rest on him.
Set aside one hour and twelve minutes if you are so inclined.
Searching through the list of documentaries available on "Instant Play" through my Netflix subscription is a daunting task. There is an abundance of fascinating subjects and genres. Frequently, by the time I've narrowed it down to five, it's past my bedtime.
Authors and athletes, entrepreneurs and elitists, priests and presidents, historical giants and microbiologists, warriors and wannabees, generals and gangsters, rock stars and renegades, adventurers and adolescent runaways and many unwilling but captured doing wrong on film are subjects in these documentaries, rockumentaries and docudramas. Hundreds of them.
And those are just the biographies. Science, nature, history, social, cultural, crime, military and a gob more are right there in your living room for your educational pleasure. One could easily secure a Phd in WWII-ology.
A TV, DVD player or Netflix subscription and one really has no excuse to remain ignorant.
Or.... perhaps one does. Or maybe not so much ignorant as ill advised, poorly persuaded, mildly manipulated or flat out lied to and you are the sucker.
At a slightly more than casual glance, you will find that many of the films are intended to do more than inform. They intend to persuade. The subject of politics and subjects political are quite prolific.
Documentaries are made about things, issues and people that are issues of passion. Hence, Pulling John. No brainer. Who couldn't have seen that coming?
Apparently Documentarians, if there are such animals in captivity, or better, documentary filmmakers must know that Neo Cons are wild about their work. A nice selection of documentaries explaining the necessity for the United States to be in a perpetual state of war are available, each generously sprinkled with the call to patriotism assuring us that if we aren't interested death and mayhem or the neighbor kid coming home without some body parts, we probably don't love our country.
Environmentalists must dedicate significant portions of their personal budget to documentaries. This group is a veritable gold mine for the Documentarians.
They build quite a few that predict the world will end in a week and a half because the Blob fish first discovered in 2005 southeast of Easter Island, at a depth of 7,200 ft is still hard to find and the Frill Necked Lizard's court case against the producers of Jurassic Park was dropped.
The dinosaurs that ate the fat scientist guy were virtually identical to these scaly raptors although somewhat inflated in size and temperament. The Frill Necked clan sued for using their image without permission received no royalties and given stale mealworms.
Can't say I blame them.
With a laptop at hand or on lap as the case may be, and the pause button at the ready when the narrator states something particularly alarming, larger than life or stranger than fiction, a few clicks and a little thought may demonstrate that indeed, the narrator has an agenda, a goal, a purpose in his proliferation of hyper hyperbole.
He is trying to sell you something and it is not for your sake. It is to use you for the purpose of his power. He wants to add you to his army of pawns. One more vote for his side. One more pawn that will get an opinion poll call and prove the "American people are not stupid, they know that.....".
Yes. We know do what they told us. And if that is all we know, we may know very little and it could be very wrong.
Stay tuned next week to hear the Purpose of Persuasion Part II when we answer the question, "What is the benefit of living in the information age when we don't seek information?
To read part two of this column, see the Dec. 10 edition of the Craig Daily Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com starting Dec. 8.