Archives for posts with tag: CDC

CDC5

Given sufficient passage of time, any cultural compost will, it seems, eventually take on a patina of fond remembrance; but Joey Steel, in his April 2012 Blood Video write-up “Bio-Terror and the VHS Freedom Fighters: How VHS Tapes Stop Disease, Fight Terrorists, and Show What Real Terror on Tape Looks Like”, may be going a bit too far. Steel’s tone is, of course, largely sarcastic; but the idea of a hipster collector subculture sprouting up around boring Bush-era propaganda videos is almost too much to bear. Here is what Steel has to say for himself:

CDCWhen terrorists attack, how will America defend itself? What cutting edge technologies will the US and its legion of limitless resource turn to [in order to] rid the world of the freedom hating masses? As per all things, the only real answer to these questions can be given by the dedicated, and often lonely, VHS hunters.

Look, we all know that terrorists are technophiles. They have become obsessed with fickle fads [such] as the internet and computer systems, or such foolish ventures like high speed encrypted communication and genetically engineered bio-weapons. The USA does not follow flash in the pan fads. It holds steadfast to the classics. It knows not to give up a good thing when it has one. Like ignorant racial prejudice and religious intolerance the US is not gonna move forward without a fight.

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, the US state was in a panic to unify and prepare its forces for battle against the world wide jihad conspiracy. In its infinite wisdom that the internet was not secure, and worked far too slow to update its people with blitzkrieg speed, the US government issued VHS tapes on how to deal with BIOTERRORISM!

CDC3I picked up these two tapes a few months ago, CDC RESPONDS: BIOTERRORISM AND THE HEALTHCARE EPIDEMIOLOGY / INFECTION CONTROL TEAM made November 16th, 2001 and CDC RESPONDS: RISK COMMUNICATION AND BIOTERRORISM made December 6th, 2001. They are both from the US Department of Health and Human Services / CDC / Public Health Service. They are totally legit, and throughout the tapes drop little post 9/11 reminders of how soon these were made following that attack.

These two tapes are more than just collectables. They are shrines to America. They are gems of the battle for justice and freedom … well not justice really, or freedom, but fuck the terrorists. These are gems from the battle to fuck terrorists. Hell yeah, America.

It is a well known fact that over 99% of all terrorists are strict DVD users. It is well known that when you want to battle fast moving diseases released by smoothly operating terror cells communication is the key. And the key to that key is VHS.

CDC2Sure, they are insanely boring, hugely and horribly painful to watch, but I watched them as part of my civic duty. We watch bad movies all the time. Watching bad shit is part of our job. If it was easy to watch this crap, everyone would do this. This is not your everyday crap, no. These tapes are so much more. They are monuments to the impending doom of this great dinosaur we call the USA.

Let’s drop the laughable pretext here, people. No more funny stuff. These tapes are a painful reminder at [i.e., of] the dusty and outdated system we have. Sure the tapes are stylish, and hilarious. But beyond the sweet sleek style of the tape, and the silly glowing blue background of the banal […] set design. These tapes were actually produced with money, and were long as hell. THEN they were sent around with 1-800 numbers and talked about how people can prepare to better communicate about bioterrorism. I can’t make this shit up!

CDC4What a shocking and horrific joke that the ass-heads who run this gluttonous pig would actually make these videos in the year 2001. That tapes that are touting the most efficient and streamlined ways to communicate are educating their teams that small mailed VHS tapes and 1-800 numbers would be effective ways to contain bioterrorists.

These terror tapes are more than just obscure collectables of hard to find tapes; they are dark foreshadows of America’s ugly death at the hand of some luddite terrorist who was still more tech savvy than those pure bred retards who put this defense strategy together. Cash in your chips, and lock up your tapes, when the wall comes tumbling down VHS is going to be worth more than gold, and you are not going to want the bio-weapons messing up your ribbons.

We can all rest easy tonight knowing that on the front line of defeating these haters of freedom is the US State Department and their VHS recorders. Sleep tight, terror fiends. And remember the real horrors will always be on VHS.

Regular readers of this blog know that I watch a lot of horrible movies, but even I could probably never muster the fortitude and attention span exceptionalism to sit through boredom-threat-level-red crap like this!

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Contagion

Steven Soderbergh directs an ensemble cast including Laurence Fishburne (cool, calm, and collected), Matt Damon (heartbroken and desperate!), Gwyneth Paltrow (autopsied!), Kate Winslett (who, sorry to say, does not appear nude), Jennifer Ehle (scientific!), Bryan Cranston (insignificant!), Jude Law (slimy and limey), and Elliott Gould (Elliott Gould!) in this frightening film in the tradition of 1995’s Outbreak. A planet goes literally batshit crazy when a virulent new virus ravages its way from China to the U.S.A., causing a panic and the potential for societal collapse. If nothing else, the flawlessly paced Contagion demonstrates that the inevitable breakdown of civil order, whatever its cause, will not be fun. (Naturally, the disorder also provides an irresistible opportunity to depict ravenous white men rioting and robbing blacks.) A neat and polished product with an effective electronic score to match, this respectable but gruesome (and ideologically servile) entry on Soderbergh’s resume may suffer only from slight dearth of soul.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Contagion is:

9. Pro-gay. The virus at one point mutates into some funky kind of variation on AIDS, reminding viewers of how urgently the world needs a cure for gay cancer.

8. Anti-miscegenation. Unusual interspecies contact has brought the new disease into existence. “Somewhere in the world the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.”

7. Black supremacist. The juxtaposition of a black doctor (Fishburne) and a white janitor (John Hawkes) says it all.

6. Egalitarian. Pesky “socio-economic factors” affect people’s susceptibility to the plague. When a vaccine finally becomes available, it is rationed by lottery so as to democratize the suffering.

5. Anti-slut. An adulteress (Gwyneth Paltrow) is Patient Zero.

4. Pro-family. Contagion features two touching father-daughter relationships.

3. Green and anti-capitalistic. An American corporation’s blundering program of deforestation displaces a population of oriental bats and so sets off a chain reaction that ironically takes the life of one of the company’s own executives. Black Friday crowds and confusion exacerbate the epidemic. Consumer culture must be regulated or Nature will have its vengeance! Undercutting Contagion’s environmentalist credibility, however, is its illustration of how convenient expendable laboratory monkeys can be during a catastrophic pickle.

2. Conformist. Alternative media receive a condescending send-up and a thrashing from Contagion. Decidedly de-glammed Jude Law portrays Alan Krumwiede (the name speaks for itself), a fringe blogger and crackpot conspiracy theory peddler who accuses the CDC of colluding with pharmaceuticals manufacturers, only to be exposed himself for profiteering on the crisis by stoking fears of the end of the world and defrauding the public by hyping an ineffective wonder drug called Forsythia. The lesson, one assumes, is that dissenters and those who promote distrust of government officials are not to be tolerated. Contagion is thus cronyism-tolerant in seeking to discredit those who would point out the distasteful symbioses between privileged corporations and grasping government.

1. Statist and pro-military. Self-sacrificing agents of the CDC, DHS, CIA, and other agencies contribute to the effort of saving humanity. Great pains seem to have been taken to show that the federal government has learned from the mistakes of Katrina. Laurence Fishburne’s wise technocrat even implies that the central government might do well to subsume all regional autonomies when he frets, “There are fifty different states in this country, which means there are fifty different health departments, followed by fifty different protocols.” In other words, why not just have one gigantic bureaucratized managerial leviathan to handle everything? End credits offer “special thanks” to the U.S. Department of Defense. Kate Winslet leaves the audience with the memorable image of woman-government-agent-as-Christ.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

28 weeks laterLong-range predictive programming in play?

The New York Times, from wholly neglecting to report the Holodomor to its readers during the 1930s to touting Saddam Hussein’s alleged stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction, does have a history of playing fast and loose and creative with the facts. Now Free Radio Revolution alleges that America’s “Newspaper of Record” is actually staging Ebola victim footage to brainwash the public into accepting what some commentators allege is a wholesale hoax. Red Pill Revolution is of the same mind, and both channels point to what they claim is a comprehensive multimedia campaign to condition the public to accept eventual vaccination. The number of movies with plague and zombie outbreak themes has certainly skyrocketed in recent years, with the likes of Contagion, World War Z, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and others ratcheting fears of biological catastrophe. Jew’s Analysis, making specific reference to I Am Legend, has also cried “predictive programming”.

Free Radio Revolution, this writer will concede, does point to some strange and suspicious features of the New York Times video; but it is rather a gigantic leap next to assume on the basis of this and some green t-shirts that the whole outbreak is nothing but an elaborately orchestrated hoax. It may only be that reporters, fearful of venturing into proximity with the disease, but still wanting to score some sensational footage, simply opted to cook it up and pay some African locals to look sick for their cameras. Whatever the case, the theory is interesting and warrants consideration. Is the whole Ebola scare only that – a ruse to make a quick buck for pharmaceuticals manufacturers? International Business Timesfor whatever it may be worth, reports a surge in stock prices for companies working on an Ebola vaccine.

Hat tip, Murder by Media.

Zombinator

The filming of a fashion documentary furnishes the pretext for a film crew to follow a group of college students around Youngstown, Ohio, on what turns out to be night the city is hit by a zombie plague. Unfortunately, those lured by the inviting sight of the zombie cyborg featured on the cover of The Zombinator are bound to be a bit disappointed, as no such creature actually appears in the film.

The title character (Joseph Aviel) is an Afghanistan veteran trying to save Youngstown and the United States from a military-industrial undead plot being executed on the ground by “war hero” the Colonel (Patrick Kilpatrick) and his team of greedy mercenaries. The young people, meanwhile, spend most of the movie whimpering, cowering, running, and trying not to get bitten.

The film crew’s presence in the story suggests a postmodern self-awareness on the part of The Zombinator‘s makers, but it also presents some puzzling questions. They seem to be an unusually caddish lot, even for movie industry professionals, considering that they continue to shoot with apparent indifference as their associates are attacked, neither lifting a finger to help during combat nor even alerting a group of sleeping girls as the zombies sneak up on them.

The Zombinator achieves an adequate level of suspense, even if the zombies and story are nothing new or particularly special; and occasionally bathetic humor offers a welcome break from the scenes of horror and mediocre action with CGI blood and fake gunfire. Shame on The Zombinator, though, for baiting the audience with the tasty prospect of a zombie-Terminator hybrid and instead delivering a regular old hungry carcass flick.

3 out of 5 stars.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Zombinator is:

9. Anti-tobacco. A cigarette is a “cancer stick”.

8. Racist! A horny black dude stupidly opens a door for some zombie sluts. Paranoid and self-absorbed congoids are apt to assume that even the basement of a Catholic school might be a secret hideout for the KKK. End credits feature a vicious ghetto zombie in a hoodie.

7. Anti-family. Marcus (Justin Brown) was abused by his father.

6. Class-conscious. The 1% gets name-dropped, as does the gentrification neighborhoods of Youngstown are said to be experiencing. “It’s more like civilized murder now.”

5. Anti-Christian. The Zombinator is generally irreverent toward Christianity. A rotten-faced rock singer wears a clerical collar; one Youngstowner recalls seeing a bullet hole in a church bathroom; and priests (one of whom smokes) are ineffective at thwarting zombies. God, meanwhile, is “the one who’s got the biggest dividends.”

4. Anti-Y. Generation Y appears as a wimpy, idiotic, and superficial lot, the Colonel’s suggestion that they are truly “the greatest generation” coming across as masked sarcasm.

3. Anti-cronyism/anti-Obama. “But what about change?” cries a stupid liberal on learning that she and her friends are guinea pigs in a government bio-terror scheme. “What about what everybody voted for, against big corporations?”

2. Antiwar. America’s rulers preside over an empire, not a progressive wonderland, and ignorant young people’s mindless mouthing of patriotic admiration for soldiers rings unmistakably hollow. Afghanistan is a testing ground for biological agents, with soldiers used for deadly experiments.

1. Anti-state and N.W.O.-alarmist, promoting those darned conspiracy theories. “This is government shit, dude,” suspects one of the filmmakers. “If the world doesn’t see this, this is gonna happen everywhere else, too.” Later, the Zombinator explains that, “They have a cure, but they will not use it until it gets so big, after Youngstown is gone, and then they’ll present it on the market and make billions . . . billions and billions on your corpses.” So forget that crap in Contagion (2011) and World War Z (2013) about the valiant public servants over at the CDC and the WHO. This is the real deal.

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