Thursday, November 20, 2014

Money, Power and Control

Hi All,

Since none of you had watched Zeitgeist when I asked in class today, please check it out. It's actually a series of 3 documentaries that give an interesting - and certainly NOT mainstream - perspective on our North American society.

Start with Zeitgeist 2 - Addendum - first and then watch Zeitgeist 1 - the Movie - and Zeitgeist 3 - Moving Forward. You may skip the part about religion if you feel offended by it (first section of part 1) but it is very interesting as well.

Anyway, please comment on ANY aspect of the series you find interesting.

Here the links:

Zeitgeist 1 - the Movie:

Zeitgeist 2 - Addendum:

Zeitgeist 3 - Moving Forward:

You may also, in this context, watch and comment on one of the dystopias that depict totalitarian regimes and reflect on similarities - and differences - to our current system. We mentioned two of these dystopias today: George Orwell's 1984 (in Juan's presentation) and Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale (in the context of Daniel's presentation).

Links to the movie versions:

Handmaid's Tale:


Thank you!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dystopias/ societies with totalitarian systems is a common theme in many novels. One of my personal favourites (1984 by George Orwell) uses the idea of technology, in which it invades the privacy of many individuals. I found that this idea is relatable to contemporary society, as our technology has advanced tremendously and may be seen to also invade our privacy.

    “As of May 2013, 91% of American adults own some sort of a cell phone.” Technology today has become a part of everyone’s lives. We constantly have our cell phones, laptops, or tablets around us simply because it makes our lives more efficient and it allows us to keep up to the changing world. However, with the increasing popularity of technology through cameras, mobile phones and the internet, the privacy of many individuals have also been invaded.

    An example are cameras and surveillance technology. Devices such as street light cameras have been increasingly implemented across the country. They have several benefits such as fighting crime and lessening accidents which allows the citizens to be in a safer environment. They are also cost-effective as authorities do not need to spend large amounts of money on the police. However, many people have also said that they felt their privacy had been invaded. They believe that they should be free to travel or move around a shop, mall, or street without being photographed or recorded. Being watched constantly was similar to “being in a jail” as many individuals felt that they were losing their freedom.

    In the novel, 1984, the protagonist, Winston, is constantly watched by surveillance cameras (telescreens) and is not allowed to express his own emotions and thoughts. He is suppressed by his society and is not able to be himself- an individual, unique and different from everyone else.

    In addition, another example of an invasion of privacy is the paparazzi, whom are known for violating the lives of famous figures. Through the use of cameras, they invade the privacy of the celebrities and manipulate their pictures into newsworthy stories for money and the public attention. A famous example was when Princess Diana, and her lover Dodi Al-Fayed died in a car accident while allegedly trying to escape photographers. Although it was later revealed that it was caused by the chauffeur’s “incompetent actions who had been intoxicated…” the impression still exists in our minds. Also, the desperation of the paparazzi was seen through the topless travails of Kate Middleton. Famous pop singer, Pink, also revealed that she did not want her family’s privacy to be invaded by the cameras because “like any parents, [our children] deserve the right to be protected, and unfortunately, the media climate doesn't seem to provide for that.”

    I find the uses of technology (as implemented in many parts of society) to be a very interesting topic. It often adds to the totalitarian regimes in novels as it can be seen to effectively control and manipulate the minds of others.