Weekly Rochester Events #351: Wellness Isn't Doing So Well
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I've been in a pretty pathetic mood lately — what with being a do-nothing slacker with no reason to exist — so I thought I'd just dispense with any attempt at an essay and dig into the few things I did ...
Actually I did do something that people might find slightly interesting. I have long been curious about this, and I dug around and found an article titled Forget the SUV — Jets Really Suck Down Fuel from Allined Pilots Association "Position Papers". It says, "on an average flight from Los Angeles to New York, a Boeing 767 burns around 50,000 pounds of fuel. Jet fuel weighs about 6.7 pounds per gallon, so that's 7,463 gallons." The distance between L.A. and New York is 2,450 miles so that works out to 0.328 MPG. However, considering you can put about 200 people on a plane, that works out to about 65 MPG per person which isn't all that bad.
On Satuday I tried to get out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) ... I saw most of the set from The Bloody Hollies which was really quite good ... some powerful punk-rock ... but I got to be too exhausted and was home before 1, missing The Isotopes entirely. I was sleeping an average of 9 hours a night all weekend ... a whole 9 hours more than usual. Did I mention I was a slacker? Regardless, it's too bad about the 'Topes show.
Monday I went to the Emerging Filmmakers show at The Little (240 East Ave.) Unisong by Tyler Finck, porcelain by Jon Karafin, and Trap (ease) by Amber Hares set the mood for what was mostly a surreal and abstract night. A Tragedy in Four Parts by Daniel Mauro was a bit lighter and more traditional — Mauro externalizes a character's inner desires through well-done split screen work. Children of God by Kiera Faber was a really impressive animation about the sex trafficking of young girls. One Balloon by Aruna Naimji and Aram Hekinian was a really interesting metaphor for life, following a woman from childhood into maturity; the oversimplified abstractions used in each part really amplified the absurdity of our Western model of growing up.
The big draw was Wegmans Cruelty by Compassionate Consumers and it didn't disappoint. I'm accustomed to seeing "documentaries" that attack a corporation, but they always seem to sensationalize the trivial and are unable to convey complexity. In this case, the complaint was simple, visual, and visceral. Wegmans maintains a large chicken farm in Wayne County and the conditions are deplorable — even for stupid chickens. They are kept in cages stacked 3-high with mesh floors, allowing the lower birds to be defecated upon. Each cage held between about 5 and 9 chickens which represented about 40% of the volume of the whole cage — there was barely room for the birds to move, and impossible for them to do so without stepping on one another. The documentary found dozens of dead birds — some badly decomposed — in cages with living ones. Several chickens had escaped their cages and were living in the piles of feces below the cages; one being rescued from being trapped neck-deep in it.
Now I'm not one to really care much about chickens, but this was quite absurd. I'm also not one to experience nausea [although a bit squemish about knee and eye surgery] but this was really friggin' gross. I doubt Wegmans, like any corporation whose overriding motive is profits, will change their ways. They have already charged the filmmakers with burglary — stealing chickens (the filmmakers refer to it as "rescuing" as the birds stolen were badly in need of veternary attention.) They also broke into the farm house because Wegmans does not let anybody but workers into the farms (and that apparently includes other Wegmans workers or management.) It's clear that none of the major media outlets will do anything because they all get paid a pretty penny for sucking W-Cock.
Not that the Wegmans case particularly matters, though, since this is pervasive in the industry. According to the filmmakers on hand, farming industries have lobbied that even if an action is illegal, no one farm can be charged if it is a pervasive practice. Thus (according to the filmmakers) although there is a New York State law making it illegal to deny an animal food or water, the birds who get their necks caught in the cages and are left to die don't count because that's common practice across all chicken farms.
Heck, these practices are so pervasive, that farms like these have thier own certifications that are actually met: in Wegmans case this is both the New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program and the "Animal Care Certified" mark. This kind of thing doesn't fill me with any confidence for any certification mark ... I'm getting to demand to see where my food comes from, although in reality I gamble with my health like everybody else. But let me just finish by saying that I might just puke if I see someone lick the shell of an egg right out of the package. I swear: it was that nasty.
I rearranged the order of films to suit my needs, but Karen vanMeenen programmed things expertly enough to arc back and finish on the lighthearted On the Cutting Room Floor of Oblivion by Todd Washburn. In it, Todd himself stars in a music video for an abbreviated rendition of Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." Not only was the video 1980's stylized, I think I recognized a clip of the screen from a handheld phoshpor-screen version of Tron's MCP. I didn't get a chance to ask but in further research, I found that he notes it on the website.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... September 29
Link of the Week:
Bush Lord of War billboard - Take it as you will: culture jamming or billboard desecration.
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Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
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Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) the word "wellness" was first recorded 351 years ago in 1654 but has never gained acceptance in formal writing that its antonym "illness" has.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
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While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, September 29, 2005 (Thu, Sep 29, 2005, 9/29/2005, or 9/29/05) Friday, September 30, 2005 (Fri, Sep 30, 2005, 9/30/2005, or 9/30/05) Saturday, October 1, 2005 (Sat, Oct 1, 2005, 10/1/2005, or 10/1/05) Sunday, October 2, 2005 (Sun, Oct 2, 2005, 10/2/2005, or 10/2/05) Monday, October 3, 2005 (Mon, Oct 3, 2005, 10/3/2005, or 10/3/05)
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 (Tue, Oct 4, 2005, 10/4/2005, or 10/4/05) and Wednesday, October 5, 2005 (Wed, Oct 5, 2005, 10/5/2005, or 10/5/05).
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