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Thursday, November 13, 2008

REVIEW: Documentary

If you get a chance, watch the History Channels program 'Black Blizzard' about the American Dust bowl.

While its interesting, I really hate the way they seemed to blame the farmers for everything, even though they tried to wrap it in the blanket of it was just the practices of the time ... but it really comes down to 'farmers are to blame for the nation's woe' - and its a feeling you can still feel today ... well maybe not you, but try being a farmer and you will feel it.

It did go about explaining how the natural prarie grasses were destroyed by farmers ... how the farmers made money during the first decade or so (how dare they) ... and then how they didn't take care of the land.

once they get past all the blame and actually get into the story of the dust storms - then it got interesting with first hand accts from people who lived thru it ... men & women ... most children at the time, but some oral traditions ... lots of old footage. Tons of dramatization.

Once super interesting part was when scientists created their very own dust storm, on a much smaller scale of course. They used great big fans like they use on hollywood sets ... bigger than the ones you see on the back of those swamp machines (like the one on "Gentle Ben") ...

they also talk to other scientists who have been studying why the soil was so fine at the time. i did notice that they weren't getting the lift of dirt like they wanted so they grabbed shovels to 'kick it up' ... I think this might be a no no, since the whole experiment was to see what would have happened.

some of the footage they used, I have not seen before - such as a farmer shoveling the dust away from the front of the house as if it were snow just so you could get out of the house ... they showed people deating the dirt that they couldn't avoid as it covered their food.

They even covered what was called Dust Pnuemonia at the time, but it was basically the Dust Bowls version of Black Lung Disease ... they had footage of the hospitals/triages set up at the time by the Red Cross to deal with all those effected - the majority of whom were children.

Then they got into the plague of insects that attacked the people & homes trying to escape the outside enviroment -- yuk, can't watch that part ... i really don't like creepy crawlies. But they also talked about the grasshoppers and the rabbits that plagued the area ... i didn't know about the rabbits but it makes sense.

After all rabbits are nothing about rodents, and every one knows that rodents can survive just about anything ... they are the cockroaches of the furry world.

It is a very interesting program and I highly recommend that anyone watch it ... as it could happen again so easily, even with the cloud seeding that they feel could prevent such a thing again.

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