Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Act of Killing. The most important movie I've seen

Ok, I don't normally blog about the politics etc so much, but this one I can't miss.  I've FINALLY seen "The Act of Killing."  It's out on DVD.   It's the most important movie I've seen.  Ever.

Not necessarily because of the stated topic of the film, which is the genocide in Indonesia in 1965 backed by the US and other western powers.   That IS important and I'll be reading and researching to understand that more fully.

For me the most important part is to realize that the people who committed this genocide are not that different from me.   That nauseated me at the time and it nauseates me now.  There were several moments during the film where I identified with one of the men on the screen.  Scary.   I also appreciated what they said.  The pure truths that came out of their mouths and out of their experiences as victors.

So, what is this film.  Well...it's a documentary but it's a surrealist film.  Possibly more surrealist because it documents not the basic facts and events of the genocide.   There is very little in the way of body counts, dates, political players being named.  Instead, the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, tracked down some of the men who did the actual killing and asked them to stage scenes showing what they had done.   In the DVD extras he states that he has 1200 hours of film over 8 years with DOZENS of these executioners.   The executioners were not military men, government men.  They were gangsters.  Youth in gangs.   They were used by the military, the government and the otherwise powerful to do the killing.  Sound familiar?  Do we perchance have contractors doing some of our overseas killing now?

Anyway.  Back to this film (that's the trouble with this film, it keeps hitting you with things the US has done that are absolutely parallel...or absolutely central to this genocide like providing money, materials and lists of people to kill)....ANYWAY, back to this film.

The main executioner portrayed in the film is Anwar Congo.  He claims to have killed 1000 people, more or less.   I don't know if that is "true."  But in the scheme of things where there are probably thousands of Anwars in Indonesia who killed hundreds of people, he gives us a picture of one.  He may be "acting" and embellishing because as a victor he has been celebrated for his acts.  Our own military men have been known to do this.  During the Indian Wars in the US, the executioners embellished their body counts.   Anwar loved movies.  He used movies, American movies, to inform his methods of killing.  He acted them out then.   And now he stages scenes from his life.   Oppenheimer told him, and the others we don't see the footage of, to stage these scenes in anyway they choose.  He did not say that it had to be 100% realistic, accurate, etc.  He said as the executioner chooses.   This is how one executioner and his colleagues chose. 

It's wrenching.   It's surprising when you empathize with Anwar and the others.  It's surprising how forthcoming they are.  It's surprising how much they understand and say outloud.   They know their prestige is based on lies.   They also know that the US doesn't have a leg to stand on.  As one executioner points out...when did we apologize to the Indians?  What about Guantamo?   Who are we to tell him what is a war crime.  The victors define war crimes and he is a victor.    Painful but true.

This is barely a taste of the film.   It's incredibly complex.

As a film it is completely original.   Werner Herzog says so.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Throne

There it is, in all it's glory.  I would like to say that I ran the photo through some magical photoshop process to make it look like that, but it's just a crap cell phone photo of a crapper and it came out like that every time.  Anyway, it is no longer in the "staging area" (my living room) while the snow melts off (I had to drag it from the car to the door over the snow...the bottom is quite sledlike).   It is now in the storage room/front bedroom sharing space with the worms and things headed to goodwill.    I will not use it until it's out on the land.   Maybe I'll put it where I want the cabin and just build around it.

The handoff went well.   I drove 2 hours north to pick it up.  The sellers thought it wouldn't fit in their subaru (an outback) and thought I'd need to drive another half hour following them from town to their place.  BUT it DID fit in their car (whoo hoo) so that saved quite a bit of time and effort for me.  It was no problem in the forester.  I would have stood up even, though I doubt it would have traveled well standing up.

I got it for 900$ less than the price of a new one and really....after the first poo it would be "used" anyway.   It came with the manual and a few chemicals to get me started.  And yes, I'm looking for a way to incorporate this with the vermicomposter though probably as a 2nd composting process rather than right in the rotating drum of poo and peat moss.   The worms would not enjoy the rotating bit.   Once they've been jostled they don't eat for a week or two and it needs to be rotated 2 times a week.  The compost will NOT go on any food crops.  Promise.  It won't even go uphill from any food crops.  I'm sure it's clean and contagion free, but seriously, gross. You can't get the cooties out no matter how much you compost it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Composting toilet!

Yeay!   Thanks to a tip from a friend, I scored a composting toilet for sale on craigslist.  WOO_HOO!

On Saturday I'll go pick it up, it's 2 hours north of here.   Then I'll have a pot to piss in.  Just need a window to throw it out of and I'll be all set.

It's a non-electric sun-mar brand.   It will work off grid and is rated for 2-3 people in residential use.  Should be peachy for me.  I COULD have dug an outhouse for less but it rains and is cold here for 6 months of the year.  And there is bear poop on my land.  I'm pretty sure I didn't want to be killed by a bear on my way to the toilet in the middle of winter.  Also, it might be slightly less off-putting for guests to use a composting toilet.  Or more...we'll see.

I'll post photos after I get it.