Monday, October 17, 2011

The Big Fix Presser

One of today's good reads is over at Drake's Place regarding a new study on the safety of Gulf seafood.

Even though, the yellow blog thinks I'm cheesing out over The Big Fix documentary, I'm going to go Munster and keep harping on the spill issues all week.

In regards to the safety of Gulf seafood, I'm not as flippant about the issue as Jeffrey.  I've seen too much evidence and heard the issues directly from the fishermen themselves.  I'm not telling anyone to stop eating's up to you, it's your health, it's your life.  At least listen to what some of the fishermen have to say about the matter:


Anonymous said...

People who have stuck with the Gulf Coast through so much do not want to hear that the seafood is bad.

No one wants to hear it.

But they need to hear it.

Thanks, Zombie.

I'm even more pessimistic than bad seafood. I think cancers and terrifying Agent Orange scary birth defects are on the way.

Bad politics led to this, so I'd be for brooking no quarter with the people who have been part of that game in this era.

No more credit for being a "nice guy" if work for the politicians that oil bought is on your resume.

Drilling = jobs, yadda yadda. That coonass Landry shows up on National TV with a facial tan that shows off the outline of where his sunglasses used to be, and insults his Commander in Cheif for no reason other than that the man is black, and we all know it.

Though no doubt he'd be as precious as a debutante if called out on that. It is amazing how much wounded virtue Louisiana assholes can affect when the mood strikes them.

The folks who used to make cast iron stoves, or whale bone corsets, figured out how to do something else, and the oil boys will too.

All sympathy to the fishing families who deserved better, God bless you, brothers and sisters.

A collapsed fishery in my mother's part of the world half a century ago is still mourned in our family. You'll survive, but your wound is real and recognizable. Those stupid SOBs who have never worked a season on the water have no idea what they have done.

jeffrey said...

Just to be clear about a couple of things. First, and most importantly, I don't mean to cast too much doubt on any of the claims made by these filmmakers. As you know I follow the news about the Gulf and its fisheries pretty closely and, like you, am extremely suspicious that we are not being leveled with not only with regard to how safe it is for consumption but also with regard to the sustainability of the species populations themselves. I think the word needs to get out about that.

At the same time, I'm still eating it. Not recommending that people eat it. Not happy about how much money has been spent on advertising to convince people to eat it. But I personally like to eat shrimp and oysters and am going to continue doing so as long as they'll let me or until I become violently ill... well probably after that... maybe until I'm dead. But, again, that's just me.

Now as to the "cheesiness" of the film let me just ask one question. Was there any point in the editing process when someone in the room might have said something like, "Hey how about we don't use this scary photonegative effect in this scene with the trucks full of Corexit we filmed."

Isn't it enough to just show the footage and tell people what they're looking at?

Anonymous said...

"Cheesing out"?


I have a basic question: are there any independent (you know, I mean not paid for by anyone remotely influenced by the $$$ or politics of it either way) scientific reports on say a random sampling of oyster poboys or seafood gumbos, or raw or boiled seafood of any kind, from various restaurants or seafood stores?

That does or does not exist, is or is not possible?

Anonymous said...

By the way, have a friend who goes down to Grand Isle fairly often, she said her dog made its usual foray into the waters las ttime they went and it came back with tar balls on its fur. Nice, huh?

Anonymous said...

I watched 'The Big Fix' last Friday at the Prytania. After the show there was a big applause for the director, his wife and the fishermen and Gulf residents who are in the film.
I joined in. I do believe they more than deserve it.
In fact they deserve more than just an applause.

I keep wondering though, if it is the current unsustainable American lifestyle that ultimately led to deep water drilling, how many people in the audience that night made a conscious decision to reduce energy use and are acting on it?

Jason Brad Berry said...

- Was there any point in the editing process when someone in the room might have said something like, "Hey how about we don't use this scary photonegative effect in this scene with the trucks full of Corexit we filmed."

That's filmmaking. What you may consider cheesy, others subconsciously consider scandalous. I thought Kubrick did some of the cheesiest things I've ever seen in films but he's considered one of the greats.

There are a lot of things about the film I wasn't impressed with either. I didn't realize you were criticizing the filmmaking technique as cheesy...I thought you were criticizing the content of the film and casting doubt on the veracity of the claims regarding the seafood.

When I read the post it seemed like you were lampooning the seafood claim to some degree but I guess I mistook that for a devil-may-care attitude. Either way, it's your opinion, people need to consider all the possibilities.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Anonymous, the answer is yes. There have been and continue to be independent tests which have revealed great cause for concern. One of the readers of this blog has conducted many tests himself...I'll see if I can get him to comment.

The problem is....those tests will never be recognized by the officials running the show. If they don't acknowledge the tests then they are considered flawed or useless. The same thing is happening with testing fresh oil appearing in the Gulf. Getting original source samples to match the oil is nearly impossible:

...and even those labs who are matching it are not being "recognized" as valid.

I'm anxiously awaiting my Tar Logs to be identified but even after they do that it won't be recognized as official.

jeffrey said...

My point is it's bad film making, though. It's the sort of thing that tells your audience you have zero respect for their intelligence and believe they need some sort of slick visual cue to know "subconsciously" when something is scandalous.

It's exactly that kind of stuff that makes people tune out and feel talked down to even and probably especially people who think critically enough to be on your side about something like this.

It's cliche, it's lame, it turns people off and defeats the most important purpose which is communicating the subject matter.

It's the same reason I'm so down on the various #occupy events. It's not that the protesters are necessarily wrong about the fact that we are ruled by an untouchable oligarchy, it's that they've chosen such a smug, self-gratifying way to go about acting on that.

Mac said...

Jeffrey, how would you prefer the OWS protesters go about acting on what you acknowledge to be an untouchable oligarchy? Smug and self-gratifying, really? I don't see that at all.

I personally have had seafood tested and I'm not at all comfortable with the results. I hope someday that it gets back to normal; I miss it.

do-gooder said...

Everything in this film is based on fact. It is a non-fiction documentary. I know the speakers and I have seen the marshes that are silent and dead. Corexit, the toxic oil dispersant that kills everything it comes in contact with, has solvents in it that allow the 57 hydro-carbons in the oil and the heavy metals in the Corexit to sink the oil, to be broken down into nano-particles that we absorb through our skin, inhale or ingest. Thousands of people are going to die from the initial exposure and from the continuous exposure to Corexit. This is a catastrophic event that will impact the World via the Gulfstream and shipped goods. This is population control of the overpopulated southern and east coasts of America. Corexit and the oil are in the foodchain, the air, water and is on the land. It has a life of 1600 years. It bio-accumulates. It can break through our cell walls and permanently change our DNA which results in mutations, like no eyes on the shrimp. I have worked on this case since May 1, 2010. BP and Halliburton own the Whitehouse and the State Governments. Of course the Louisiana and Mississippi politicians are owned by Big Oil. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. There are alot of good people trying to make a difference at their own peril and self-sacrifice. Stay out of the water. Don't eat anything that comes out of the oceans or the Gulf. Move away from the coast. Stay off the beach and don't go out in a boat. Move to a less populated rural area. Keep the faith.