Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fightin' the New World Order

From The Prophet Bruce Springsteen, peace & blessings upon him:

Men walkin' 'long the railroad tracks
Goin' someplace there's no goin' back
Highway patrol choppers comin' up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin' 'round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin' in their cars in the Southwest
No home no job no peace no rest

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin' for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
Where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waitin' on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

"In the end, the people are powerless to effect change - as more and more costs are put upon them..."

Not really. Unless they are really too physically feeble to kick the tires, light the fires. (to steal a phrase from the Air Force).

They should watch Hey Arnold!-The Movie for inspiration.
Arnold (Spencer Klein) and his friends live in a seemingly idyllic old inner city neighborhood where various ethnic groups happily co-exist and the streets are safe for kids even at 2 a.m. But all that changes when Mr. Scheck (Paul Sorvino), a money hungry developer, and his unscrupulous employee (Dan Castellaneta) make plans to knock down the community and erect a shiny new "mall-plex", a proposal that city hall appears to have approved without any input from the local residents.

While the adults wring their hands and bemoan the situation, Arnold and Gerald (Jamil Walker Smith) along with the help of a mysterious, cloaked character (Francesca Smith) decide to take matters into their own hands. But when their petitions and street concert fail to get the mayor's attention, they resort to less conventional methods. Outfitted with some high tech gadgets, the fourth graders board a city bus and head for Scheck's skyscraper office while Grandpa and his gang pack a stash of stolen explosives in the underground sewer to stop the bulldozers. With the minutes on Scheck's giant clock ticking down, Arnold and Gerald search for a historical document that will halt the demolition crew and save their homes from being razed.

The MPAA rated Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002) PG for some thematic elements.

Back to full review

Overall: C+
Arnold and his pals take on a big businessman who wants to demolish their neighborhood and build a mall in its place. Although most of their methods are illegal and unfeasible for young civic- minded citizens, this film may generate a chance to discuss real techniques for community change.

Violence: C
Construction machinery breaks down wall of house with household contents still inside. Old woman hits boy with bouquet of flowers. Character shot in head with dart gun. Man hit with broom. Man stands on sharp object. Law enforcement unit raids community with high tech weapons. Woman sent to jail for protesting. Citizens rebel against government and engage in skirmish. Man hits himself with a book. Characters visit a mortuary during a thunderstorm; see the feet of a dead body. Characters illegally enter building and make plans to steal items. Scenes of cartoon violence include characters attempting to break out of jail, being chased by thugs, and fighting including punching, choking and the use of kitchen utensils as weapons (some injuries shown). Character admits to stealing from his employer. Men set up explosives in the middle of the community. Characters fight with swords--some hit in the foot and crotch. Driver is knocked unconscious while driving a moving bus. Characters blow up bridge intending to harm people on an approaching bus. Bus crashes into other vehicles and overturns. Men threaten to destroy buildings. Large explosion causes damage to homes and businesses.

Sexual Content: A-
Young girl kisses boy.

Language: B+
Includes name-calling, some rude comments and at least 3 partial phrases that come short of profanities.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A-
One scene is shown in bar setting.

Businessmen are portrayed as thugs. Father attempts to bribe child with money. Man stands precariously on boxes. Signs of graffiti are seen in neighborhood. Butcher blows his nose on his apron. Candles are left burning unattended in attic. Child builds an idol of the boy she adores. Girl is hit in face with bird droppings. Authority figures are portrayed as unwilling or unable to help. Characters seek assistance from underground commando-like group. Characters disobey bus rules. Nine-year-old child is portrayed as driving a speeding, runaway bus. Character admits to stealing explosives and hiding them in his house. Children are portrayed as being alone on the streets in the early morning. Man is knocked unconscious and falls. Character exhibits rude behavior to another including name-calling and gestures. Character makes comments on flatulence. Child mistakenly sets off explosives.

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