Long Long Documentary.

I don’t think pandemic updates are the blog content anyone is interested in right now, so why don’t I instead do an upbeat write-up about a docuseries featuring a cult in 1980s Oregon?

This story is so farfetched that the filmmakers couldn’t compress it into a standard two-hour documentary. Instead, the Wild Wild Country docuseries is made up of six episodes, each lasting a little over an hour. I have now been subjected to 400 minutes of footage showing burgundy-clad guru-worshipping settlers pissing off their redneck neighbours with their casual sexing ways, and I still have many questions.

Many.

This guy’s face says it all:

A bearded black man in his mid 20s stares, mouth agape while another guy behind him looks off to the side with an intense stare.
The look of disbelief at the circus surrounding Bhagwan’s arrival in Portland.

Question number one: How come this moment in history is seemingly absent from pop culture references?

Everybody knows about the Manson Family. Old millennials like myself still think about Heaven’s Gate when they see black Nikes. The Branch Davidians’ David Koresh is the reason aviator glasses went out of style (they’re back because people forgot about David Koresh). Jonestown gave birth to the phrase “drinking the Kool Aid”. Rajneeshpuram, somehow, disappeared off the map and faded into obscurity.

Yet, the founder of the Rajneesh movement had more followers than Manson, Applewhite, Koresh, and Jones combined! Without further ado, here’s the man who was charismatic to attract more than 10,000 followers worldwide:

Continue reading “Long Long Documentary.”

Glassy-eyed in Ohio.

Documentary: American Factory

Alright, I have things to say about the Obama-produced documentary, American Factory. This documentary is about a Chinese company repurposing a long-shuttered GM plant in the US as an automotive glass factory. Apparently, labour can be cheap enough in the US for Chinese businessmen to make a profit!

When I learned that this documentary revolved around an automotive glass factory, I had low expectations of its entertainment value. No part of me expected the documentary to be anything like a Will Ferrel movie.

The Jacobim Mugatu of this film is Fuyao’s CEO, Cao Dewang, who owns no fewer than two (identical!) oil paintings of his image.

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Continue reading “Glassy-eyed in Ohio.”

A second helping of backhanded helping hands.

Documentary: Betting on Zero

Click here to read the first part of this post.

We’ve all known someone who has been involved in an MLM (multi-level marketing) business. In the early 90s, I attended a Tupperware party as Mom’s accessory. The host had me reach into a bag for two prizes, which was a long, plastic spoon designed to extract maraschino cherries or olives out of their skinny jar and a serrated plastic scraper used for combing ridges in the icing around a cake. The reason I remember the prizes is because the host had to explain what they were. You know the prizes suck when they require an explanation.

An old Tupperware print ad showing a plastic device in the middle of a corn cob. The text says
A solution to a problem you did not know you had.

Continue reading “A second helping of backhanded helping hands.”