The Underground – Issue #45
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A documentary that shows how the mainstream media chooses candidates to cover, how to lose weight scientifically, James Cameron’s dream project is finally getting the greenlight, Clive Owen shows us what it’s like being a surgeon in the early 1900’s, and the history of oil.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. Spin is a documentary that shows how the media picks and chooses who they want. If you watched the recent Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders won by a resounding 83% of the poll numbers, but as CNN saw this, they quickly deleted the poll and decided that Clinton won.
That is a pretty huge story about Clinton not being the frontrunner, but since CNN has spent so much time promoting her, it simply didn’t fit their narrative to correctly show that Sanders is the clear winner.
Synopsis: Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about “homos,” Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon — all presuming they’re off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.
Check out the documentary to see how much things haven’t changed since this was made in 1995.
2. The science of losing weight will have you throwing all of those diet pills away. There are so many gimmicks that people use to try to lose weight without having to resort to the normal route of losing weight: Exercise and diet. I know, eating right and jogging is so much work! You might as well buy some idiotic rice pill with caffeine in it without having to do any work. Might as well buy that wrap you put around your stomach to… do whatever it is that it claims it does. It’s all crap.
Check out this infographic that shows you how to scientifically lose weight in 8 steps.
3. James Cameron is finally getting to his adaptation of Battle Angel with director Robert Rodriguez.
On the list of projects that Cameron has been meaning to get to directing, one such film has been Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of a Japanese manga set in the post-apocalyptic future and focuses on Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her. She discovers that there is one thing she remembers, the legendary cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst, which leads to her becoming a Hunter Warrior or bounty hunter. The story traces Alita’s attempts to rediscover her past and the characters whose lives she impacts on her journey.
That seems right up Cameron’s ally, but he has yet to get to it because has been working on three sequels to Avatar so many years.
“Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do ‘Battle Angel.’ He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically. Cameron said in his statement. “This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.” (Via Slashfilm)
With Cameron producing and Rodriguez directing, it could be an amazing sci-fi movie with an epic level of action and adventure. But seeing as this movie has been in development hell for years, we’ll still have to wait and see. I mean, we all waited for the sequel to Sin City for years, and then it came out… yeah.
4. The Knick is a turn of the century look at how surgeons tried their best to save patients with very early modern knowledge or surgical procedures.
Recently, a loved one of mine had to undergo surgery for an obstructed bowel caused by scar tissue from a colon resection because of cancer. The surgery they performed would have been a death sentence in the early 1900’s. The Knick shows how they basically winged it and tried to figure it out as they went along. Many doctors were on the cutting edge of trying to surgical techniques to enhance life-saving surgeries.
Synopsis: In New York City in 1900, the Knickerbocker Hospital operates with innovative surgeons, nurses and staff who have to overcome the limitations of the then-current medical understanding and practice, to prevent staggeringly high mortality rates. Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen), the newly appointed leader of the surgery staff, battles his cocaine and opium addictions with his ambition for medical discovery and his reputation among his peers. Dr. Algernon Edwards, a Harvard-educated, European-trained black surgeon, must fight for respect within the all-white populated hospital, as well as the racially-charged city. While struggling to keep the lights on, the hospital attempts to attract a wealthy clientele, without sacrificing quality care.
It’s a pretty fascinating show to watch because it takes you back to see what it was like back then. It really makes me glad I was born in a time where surgical procedures are still risky, but a lot less risky than what we see in this TV show.
The Knick is on Cinemax and has a special showing now on HBO. Season 2 airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Cinemax, beginning Oct. 16.
5. Here is the history of oil that you didn’t know has gone on for hundreds of years before combustion engines. You may think that around the time cars became all the rage, that oil found a use. Sure, the use of oil to create the means to give us all electricity has made it more widely used, there is a longer history to oil than you may think.
Oil has been around for centuries, and this video not only explains what oil is, and what is has been used for, it also explains how it makes your cars tires spin around and how you can charge your phone from power generated miles away. Give the video below a look to see how it all works, but let’s hope we don’t have to use fossil fuels for much longer. It’s way too old school of technology in these modern times.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.