Jim Varagona

>At Least My Diabetes Is Good for Something…Another Video of Mine Made It

>On October 8th, I blogged about discovering that a video of mine made it onto Post-VideoArt.com. Blowie the Spacemonkey isn’t my best work, but apparently someone took to it.

About a week and a half ago, I submitted what I consider my best experimental piece, Diseased Sensations. It is an 8 minute piece about my Diabetes, the emotions involved, and the repetitive nature of the Diabetic lifestyle. Today, I discovered, they picked it. It is now the 147th submission to make their list.

It holds a special place in my heart as the first piece of mine to be viewed on a big screen. It was beautiful, even though there are many glimpses of my obese body (according to the BMI). I have also been told that the barrage of needles and bits of blood may require a warning, so this is it. The web site’s viewing size is unfortunately small, but if you turn up your speakers and sit back, you’ll get the gist.

Special thanks to Van McElwee. I made this for his Experimental Video Production class at Webster University.



>I Could Make A Better Wal Mart Movie, But It’s Still Effective

>If you haven’t heard, there is a new anti-Wal Mart movie out there. You can’t see it in theaters, unless it’s at your local University theater screening. It is available on DVD though. Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price first caught my notice, because it is directed by Robert Greenwald, who also produced other expose documentaries like Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, and Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election. Obviously there is a bias to his films, but if it is based on facts, more power to him.

The doc goes into detail on how the biggest of the big box stores rips off its employees through meager wages and benefits, and basically takes advantage of government assistance programs for its workers. The company is very anti-union, and it is amazing what they do to squelch the unionizing of its workers. You get to hear first hand accounts from former workers as well as former higher ups with the company. Clips from speeches by their CEO and their own training videos and advertisements are sprinkled throughout to show how they like to spin these issues.

It is very effective in proving its point, which is how can such a lucrative company get away with being so cheap with their employees? I do think it could have been a bit more structured though. Greenwald’s other docs seem to go point by point more. At times during this film, I felt like they would throw something in because they had nowhere else to put it.

People go to Wal-Mart for jobs because it’s a job. I have considered going there because I have a background in retail and I need money. Even if they treat you like crap, I know of plenty of other companies that do the same to save money, which pays their big boys more. Michael Moore was right when he said the world is run by Stupid White Men. Can we stop them? Sure, we could stop shopping at Wal-Mart, but how many others can you convince, especially considering how much you can save by going there. It is selfish, but what are they to do when they are already barely getting by? It’s rough out there, and sometimes you got to do what you got to do. Right now, there is a better chance of impeaching our President than overthrowing one of the biggest corporations in the world.

The UFCW is pushing hard to do something about Wal-Mart. Check out their report here.


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