“Now here is a man who has adopted the persona and mindset of a free-thinking rebel and turned it on itself. The Rebel Conservative! That is deviant brilliance. What a Machiavellian poser.” – A quote from the 1992 political mockumentary “Bob Roberts”, which rang through my mind while watching the pro-oil, anti-environmentalist documentary Fracknation.
Roberts; a right wing Woody Guthrie and Fracknation share a similar mindset, as they both tend to treat whomever disagrees with them, as freedom hating left wing elitists, standing in the way of progress. Fracknation filmmaker Phelim McAleer even going so far as to state that he believes the anti-fracking movement is being funded by the Ruskies, in a slick attempt to remain big players in the oil game. The film seems to be the latest odd chapter in an a conservative playbook, which for some reason includes a revival of the Cold War tensions with the Old Red Nemesis of the Great Bald Eagle.
“We want to get a bit of balance in the debate — give a voice to farmers and rural poor whose voices are never heard above urban elites and Hollywood celebrities.” McAleer is quoted as saying without a hint of irony. As his film was picked up and shown on AXS.tv. A channel launched by NBA Dallas Mavericks multi-millionaire owner Mark Cuban, omnipresent television shill Ryan Seacrest, and arguably the two most powerful agencies in entertainment, CAA and AEG.
Fracnation’s debut served as a rebuttal to “Gasland;” the 2010 documentary, which exposed many of the dangers involved when forty thousand gallons– made of six hundred mostly non biodegradable chemicals, and anywhere between one to eight million gallons of water– are pressure injected into the Earth. This process fractures deeply embedded shale rock, in the hopes that natural gas will spew forth.
“Of course the timing is relevant. We want people talking and using #AXSTV when they watch and discuss it.” says Cuban. Who refers to the film as an “OpEdocumentary.” With Fracknation making lucid claims such as “shale gas is a gift from god,” and coming to the rational conclusion that scarring our landscape will help “maintain the natural beauty of the area”… it’s obvious that only a godless Commie would disagree.
Meanwhile, as Fracknation “fights evil Hollywood” by becoming evil Hollywood, we are stuck with the chore of digging through the charred ruins of rational debate and warped information.
by Bryan Morrel