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  • Is it possible, to totally bring about a mutation in what is?

  • To go into this question of bringing about a total revolution,

  • one must have an extraordinary sense of awareness.

  • The crisis especially now, is a crisis in consciousness.

  • A crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms.

  • It seems to me, though man has cultivated the external world

  • and has more or less mastered it

  • Inwardly, he is still as he was.

  • We want happiness.

  • We do not want suffering.

  • Now we are actually creating more unnecessary suffering.

  • That "one-million dollars" will not bring inner peace.

  • This money brings more frustration, more suspicion, more anxiety

  • but people do not understand.

  • I see all this potential, and I see it squandered.

  • God damnit an entire generation pumping gas, and waiting tables.

  • ...slaves with white collars.

  • Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes

  • working jobs we hate, so we can buy shit we don't need.

  • We're the middle-children of history, man.

  • No purpose or place.

  • We have no great war... no great depression...

  • Our "great war" is the spiritual war.

  • Our "great depression", is our lives.

  • We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars...

  • ...but we won't

  • and we're slowly learning that fact

  • and we're very, very pissed off.

  • Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

  • When you're born in this world you're given a ticket to the freak-show

  • and when you're born in America you're given a front row seat.

  • Everybody's got a cellphone that'll make pancakes and rub their balls

  • so nobody want's to rock the boat. Nobody wants to change.

  • We're in a nice downward glide.

  • I call it "circling the drain".

  • I think we squandered great gifts. I think humans were given great, great gifts.

  • We polluted it with this STUFF...

  • ...things, material goods, games, gizmos, toys, gadgets...

  • ...having possessions

  • "He's got a bigger truck! Did you see his truck? It's bigger than mine! I'm gettin' a new truck!"

  • Part 1 - The Freakshow

  • "Here's a big truck! Oooh, I'm gettin that one! That's what, you got a video in there? DVD too?"

  • Hi Eric, thank you so much for being with us today.

  • Thanks for sliding on

  • We are here to talk to Eric about black-friday, it has come early this year.

  • - That's right. With the economy the way it is retailers are doing everything they can

  • to pry dollars out of reluctant customers hands.

  • So, you know this is a very important season to retailers it could be 25 to 40 percent of their years total sales.

  • So if they can expand the shopping season by a little bit, by advancing it...

  • Anything in this economy helps.

  • - Well I mean, at this point though last year people were pinching pennies just as much as this year

  • so why are we seeing this now?

  • - Well we're seeing it now because it's a way to expand the shopping season

  • and give retailers that many more chances to...

  • ...you know, sink their hooks into you.

  • This is the world I grew up in.

  • Like many others I born with this bright, flashing, shiney promise shoved right in my face

  • that true happiness was just a credit card swipe away.

  • When I was a kid the world told me that the coolest kids wore the coolest sneakers.

  • When I got a little older it convinced me that my success was defined

  • by a college degree, and a job with benefits.

  • Today it reminds me endlessly that I should have another drink and buy a new car.

  • But I gotta tell you, the only real message I've heard through the noise

  • is that this world knows, better than I do

  • what's best for me.

  • >> It seems to me that most Americans have internalized the propaganda

  • that consumerism pummles and plies them with daily.

  • So, we internalize this system, we can't envisage anything different.

  • A number of people were speaking about, "Well why do people break windows and steal consumer goods?"

  • The poor have been pummeled with this propaganda.

  • What do you expect them to do, go out and loot a good job and good education?

  • >> Captain Capitalism! Wow!

  • What are you doing here?

  • >> I think the better questions son is, just what do you think YOU'RE doing here?

  • >> Putting money in my piggybank!

  • >> Crippling our nation by stagnating the economy and throwing us into another recession is more like it!

  • >> Hey girl! Can you say "bling-bling"?

  • >> Why do we consume to such a crazy level?

  • A level that the research shows over and over

  • is undermining our health, our societal well-being, and the environment.

  • We have to step back from before even starting this

  • to recognize that most of what we do, most of what we see as "normal"

  • is actually shaped by our cultural norms.

  • And unfortunately, where we are today is that culture has made Consumerism

  • feel "normal", or "natural".

  • So that watching 5 hours of television a day as a child

  • or drinking huge caffeinated beverages at 5 years old

  • as this picture here suggests

  • is ok... We don't even question it anymore.

  • You know, and a strong illustration of that for me is this series of pictures.

  • Now if you can't see, up at the top-right there's a little girl

  • surrounded by all of her pink toys.

  • This is a little Korean girl.

  • The artist actually was more interested in the genderfication process of children

  • Just look from how young we are brought into the consumer culture

  • where we define our well-being, our happiness, our leisure

  • through the stuff we have. Through the stuff that surrounds us.

  • And here's a picture of an American little girl

  • of course, with the princess outfit

  • which I've discovered from my own four nieces that... well, it's big business.

  • Disney makes multiple billions of dollars a year

  • selling their Disney princess fantasies to little girls.

  • So around the industrial world and increasingly in developing countries

  • consumerism, is becoming the default cultural pattern.

  • >> In the 1950s... late 50s, early 60s...

  • a bunch of advertising guys got together

  • in Madison avenue, and decided that what they were trying to do

  • was sell products to younger people

  • They thought "we should try and sell products to younger people because then they'll buy things their whole life."

  • So they'll try and sell them soft drinks, or bread, or cigars

  • or whatever the hell they were selling them, and they thought...

  • "We'll try and appeal to young people."

  • because the youth was the place where you were going to be able to sell things

  • and what happened was that, in a strange kind of quirk of fate

  • youth began to be celebrated by society

  • in a way that it had never been at any time in human history

  • because what used to be celebrated was experience and cleverness

  • but what happened was that what became valuable was youth

  • the quality of youth which made you a consumer

  • so what happened is that they started concentrating on all of these people

  • society started to turn on its head

  • because with the deification of youth...

  • Youth has a byproduct. The byproduct of youth is inexperience.

  • By the nature of having youth, you don't have any experience, you're too young to have it.

  • It became fashionable and desirable to be young and to be stupid!

  • And it started to be a fashion, and that grew, and that grew

  • and that grew, and that grew...

  • and now, that's what all the kids want to be.

  • and this terrible movement... nobody meant it!

  • >> Everytime that I open my mouth critically, with regards to this country

  • everytime I feel like I want to criticize this country

  • There's this little nagging voice in the back of my head that says...

  • "How dare you Paul. "

  • "Do you know how fat and lazy you are? Do you know how priviledged you are?"

  • "How dare you criticize this country."

  • "How dare you sit there, in your life of abject luxury and criticize this great country!"

  • "How dare you."

  • But you know what, ladies and gentlemen?

  • I cannot carry the torch anymore for this country.

  • America is not the "land of the free", nor is it the "home of the brave"...

  • It is neither of those things.

  • America is a country of aggressively ignorant fucking cowards.

  • People that are just willing to hand over their civil liberties

  • lock, stock and barrel

  • without even taking the time to inform themselves.

  • They're so stupid and so diluted

  • and so caught in the quagmire that is there empty info-tainment filled lives

  • that they just line up for somebody to tell them how they should feel.

  • The real problem is us. We're the problem

  • because we're too distracted by bullshit that's on the fucking T.V.

  • to stand up for what's in our best interests.

  • What's the answer to that? How do you stop that?

  • >> Individually, they earn about $12 a week in allowance.

  • But collectively, 8 to 12 year old kids in the U.S, 20 million strong

  • wield 43 billion dollars of their parents money in annual spending power

  • and they've got the stars to prove it.

  • >> What makes her a superstar on the launch-pad?

  • >> When she walked in and said, "Hi I'm Victoria Justice and I'm 12 years old."

  • I was like, "Alright, this kid has real charisma."

  • I'm thinking, "This is a kid I want to probably develop a T.V. show for. "

  • >> Do you want to be a movie star? Or, a singing star?

  • >> I wanna do both

  • >> You want it all.

  • >> I wanna do both. I want it all! Why not?

  • >> This season premiere got almost 9 million viewers

  • making it the highest rated season premiere in MTV's history.

  • Season 4 follows the cast as they head to their homeland, Italy

  • in what can only be described as the beginnings of a global takeover.

  • >> Can we get the Lindsey Lohan D.U.I. arrest out of the teleprompter

  • and put my script in it. Is that possible?

  • >> As to the charge of first degree murder...

  • Verdict as to count one, we the jury...

  • >> Press association is reporting that singer Amy Winehouse

  • has been found dead in her London apartment.

  • >> ...and I'm, I'm done with the Paris Hilton story.

  • >> In this country, being stupid is no longer considered to be a detriment.

  • Being stupid is considered to be a virtue in this country.

  • We reward the stupid in this country.

  • That's exactly the opposite thing that we should do.

  • There should be social pressure on people that are willfully ignorant

  • to not be stupid, and instead we reward people...

  • We reward stupidity in this country!

  • We reward people with multi-million dollar T.V. contracts

  • so that all the other stupid people can sit around and watch how stupid these people are.

  • It breaks my heart to see a place like this that has so much potential

  • absolutely fucking wasted.

  • >> But there's a reason. There's a reason.

  • There's a reason for this. There's a reason education sucks

  • and it's the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed.

  • Because the owners of this country don't want that.

  • I'm talking about the real owners now.

  • The real owners. The big wealthy business interests

  • that control things and make all the important decisions.

  • They own YOU.

  • They own everything.

  • They own and control the corporations, they've long since bought and paid for the senate

  • the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they've got the judges in their back pocket

  • and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear

  • They got you by the balls!

  • They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying.

  • Lobbying, to get what they want.

  • Well we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

  • But I'll tell you what they don't want.

  • They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.

  • They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.

  • They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.

  • That's against their interests.

  • That's right.

  • They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out

  • how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

  • They don't want that. You know what they want?

  • They want obedient workers.

  • Obedient workers.

  • People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork,

  • and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs

  • with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime

  • and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it

  • and now they're coming for your Social Security money.

  • They want your fucking retirement money.

  • They want it back

  • so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street.

  • And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you, sooner or later

  • because they own this fucking place.

  • It's a big club.

  • and you ain't in it!

  • Part 2 - The Big Club

  • >> Think stars are having all of the fun?

  • Uh... no.

  • >> No pressure tonight.

  • >> These days, nobodies making more and spending more

  • than the button-down badasses of Wall Street.

  • We'll tour the hedgerow mega-homes they're buying with all that hedge fund cash...

  • >> Wade Carrington's the largest estate in Grenitch, and it's 25 million dollars.

  • >> ...show you the insane mega-yachts and jumbo jets paid for with their mind-boggling bonuses...

  • >> I'm just wondering now, what do you need a commercial size airliner for?

  • >> ...and reveal how big name charities are just another excuse to flash their cash.

  • >> They raised in one night, 71 million dollars.

  • >> We are taking from working families who are struggling to survive

  • taking hundreds of billions of dollars, and giving it to millionaires and billionaires.

  • >> I think we have a class war.

  • I think Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats

  • they're very, very wealthy, they're rich and they're very powerful