Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disappointment Valley

I've been catching a couple of films a night at the Duke City Documentary Festival.

Wednesday night I saw Genetic Chile about genetically modified seeds and the related issues. With the exception of the United States, almost all countries worldwide do not allow GMOs (genetically modified organisms) We don't even know what harmful side effects can happen. Monsanto is the primary supplier, actually the sole, think monopoly, provider of these seeds. New Mexico State University has a huge program researching the production of GM seeds. Foods are not required to be labelled so unless we specifically buy organic we don't know what we are eating. There are issues of seed drift and cross pollination contaminating the organic crops so it is predicted that in the not-to-distant future we will only have GM plants. SCARY!!!

I also watched Lost Angels about LA's homeless people on Skid Row. Many people are there for all different reasons: mental illness, drug abuse, loss of jobs, preference. Yes, some people choose to live there. They don't want a roof over their heads. There was a huge "clean up" where the police arrested thousands but they really need more support services.  If you take them off the streets where do they go? Many mental institutions closed down in the eighties. It can cost $60,000 to imprison someone but only $6000 to feed and shelter them. The problem is that the low cost housing is being eaten up by high dollar condominiums.

Thursday night I watched Erasing David. This was a great film about a guy in England who wanted to see if he could disappear off the radar of today's society for 30 days. There are hundreds of databases and cameras recording everything about a person all the time. He asked for Amazon's file on him and received a 1/2 inch thick stack of papers telling him lists of all kinds of things, like everybody he's ever sent presents to. By the second week he was extremely paranoid, realizing that the only way to disappear is to hide in the woods. There is no way to function in society without revealing personal information. Every site visited on the internet, every transaction performed anywhere is recorded, hopefully for legitimate use. Identity theft is a huge problem nowadays.

Then I watched Flamenco School. The University of New Mexico has a huge program on flamenco dancing,     The National Institute of Flamenco. It was very interesting to learn all about this beautiful dance form and to find out that this film was made locally was a big plus.

On Friday I managed to go see Disappointment Valley. This documentary film documents the struggle of the West's legendary wild horses. The film focuses on the stallion named ‘Traveler’ and the activism to release him to the wild after the roundup. Wild horses have long symbolized freedom, individualism and the free spirit of America. The documentary delves into the reasons behind the roundups and current impacts on western public lands by oil, gas, mining and corporate cattle grazing. From the website: TheAmericanWildHorse.comDisappointment Valley Poster

It was an emotional film including footage from helicopter roundups, holding pens, and slaughter houses. I signed a letter to our Congressmen which will be hand delivered next week by Pony Express. They will be riding their Mustangs with a bag of letters to show the public's interest in preserving America's heritage, the Mustang.

I was surprised to see how healthy the Mustangs are in the wild, fat and alert, with glossy coats and healthy hooves. It's when they are put in the BLM holding pens that they get scarred up and skinny. Once they did a round up of 39 horses and then forgot about them. All the horses died of dehydration.

It's our tax dollars, hundreds of thousands, that are being spent to decimate the wild herds in favor of mining and cattle grazing on preserved lands. We, the American people, need to stop it.

From the American Wild Horse website:

Fight for the rights of the wild horse in America:
The American people need to call:
The Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (202-208-3100)
Director of the Bureau of Land Management Bob Abbey (202-208-3801)
Please phone President Obama and demand a moritorium be placed on all round up and removals of America's Wild Horses and Burros. (202) 456-1111

Thank you very much for your time and concern


Breathe said...

Hey there, I sent you an invite to dinner by email...

Check it out or let me know if you didn't get it at wprosapio at gmail . com

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've go to to see this documentary. If more people would stand up for these mustangs, maybe the jerks in Washington would take notice and do something to stop the slaughter and decimation of these pawns of industry.

It surprises me how many people don't know or don't care about the abuse of these wonderful animals. There are a lot of horse people won't take the time to write a letter either. If you ever want to know more about what's really happening to the mustangs check out : suzanne's blog, she's very involved and very knowledgeable about all the goings on.

DayPhoto said...

I hate how we are losing so many wonderful things. I hope the moritorium works as we NEED these wild creatures to be wild. In real life...not just in our dreams.


Rising Rainbow said...

It's so sad that it always seems to come down to money and no one talking for the mustangs has enough of it to make a difference. Politics suck!