Monday, January 5, 2015

The Newsroom to a Filipina 1

   The television series The Newsroom premiered in 2012.  I missed the entire three seasons so in the tail end of 2014 I decided to binge watch it from the beginning.  The pilot episode was about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill which happened in April, 2010.  That oil spill dominated television for months with images of wild life affected by the disaster.  Then came the BP accountability and efforts to clean up.  

   The Newsroom episode took me back to that year when I watched the news every night with my American husband.  Because we came from two different countries we did not share the same taste in entertainment.  The news gave us a common ground.  I am not an animal activist nor an environmentalist.  My country has bigger issues than those, like instead of wild life, people are killed by environmental disasters every year (i.e. flooding and landslides as an effect of denudation caused by illegal logging of the mountains).  

   Marcopper Mining, another a Canadian corporation like BP dumped 200 million tons of toxic mine tailings into Calancan Bay, Marinduque, Philippines for 16 years.  “When exposed to ocean breeze, the tailings, which partially floated, become airborne and landed on the rice fields, in open water wells, and on village homes.  The local residents apparently called this their "Snow from Canada".  This "Snow from Canada", consisting of mine tailings, forced 59 children to undergo lead detoxification in the Philippine capital of Manila. At least three children have died from heavy metal poisoning.”  Environmental cleanup was not carried out by Marcopper Mining Corporation.  

   The second Newsroom episode was about Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (Senate Bill 1070) passed in 2010.  It was said to be the strictest immigration law.  It made it a crime for an alien to be in Arizona without “carrying” documents.  You can’t leave your documents at home.  
It brought to mind Hitler’s identification marks on Jews and purple triangular patches for Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Arizona law enforcement can demand immigration status during a "lawful stop, detention or arrest" or when there is suspicion of illegal immigration.  This sounded like the warrantless search and arrest during Martial Law years in the Philippines.  

   News is always colored by history in the viewer's eyes.

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