i came across this the other day and was impressed by its logic, creativity and simplicity- the conversion of garbage and waste into self sustaining homes, turning the plastic bottles that fill our landfills into bricks and used tires into walls. mike reynolds in his personal search for sustainable alternatives to the architectural and developmental norms of modernity, challenges common conventions about how humans relate to the local ecosystems where we live. for reynolds and many others the human race has already consumed far more than our fair share of the world’s resources. we have left vast swaths of land uninhabitable through industrial farming, we are rapidly using up both the planet’s fresh water, and fossil fuels, and now it’s becoming undeniable that we have affected the global climate in our constant growth. it is without a doubt a dark future. yet people like mike reynolds can renew one’s hope in the human capacity to react, adapt, learn, and progress towards a much more sane and healthy relationship with the earth. this documentary, shot over the course of three years, follows mike reynolds through the construction of variety of different homes, and his battle with first the local code enforcers and later the state legislature. unfortunately the status quo doesn’t seem so interested in the kind of world mike is working to try and create.
collapse, by robert smith, is an hour and a half interview with former lapd narcotics officer, and investigative journalist, michael ruppert. the documentary, shot in the basement of a former meatpacking factory in los angeles, is essentially a man, a dark room, chain smoking, and some pretty ominous revelations about the fragility of our modern world. ruppert begins the interview by walking the audience through his experience as a los angeles police officer in the 1970’s and his eventual disillusionment with justice institutions. in 1977 ruppert alleges he was recruited by the cia to help in agency drug smuggling operations, an offer he denies accepting. however today with the wealth of information available about covert cia drug operations like mk-ultra, later the iran-contra affair, and finally the crack cocaine boom of the 80’s and 90’s, i’d argue there’s a certain plausibility in michael ruppert’s claims. originally a “change it from the inside” kind of guy, ruppert tells the audience he’d hoped he could out the cia through public letters to lapd department heads and state senators, “getting on the record” as he puts it. in retrospect ruppert recognizes these ineffective attempts to confront the state as naive. but understands the process he’d gone through to realize this naivete, as the base for his future career as an investigative journalist. this career would eventually lead ruppert to write, edit and publish from the wilderness a newsletter read by more than 20,000 subscribers in 40 countries including 40 members of the US Congress. ruppert explains to the audience this career lead him to break various national scandals like the sub-prime mortgage scandal, which he’d written about nearly three years before the 2008 crisis. however since 2001 ruppert has become increasingly focused on energy, and more specifically peak oil. peak oil backers like ruppert argue the hydrocarbon energy source is finite and that both oil discovery and use mapped on a graph, create a bell curve. and more importantly that we are or have already passed the climax of this curve. so what does that mean? this is where the documentary gets interesting.