Join 3,513 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Internet Truthiness
August 5, 2006 8:10 AM   Subscribe

"Al Gore's Penguin Army" (YouTube) is an amateur movie making fun of Gore professional produced by an Exxon-funded PR firm.
posted by stbalbach (69 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy fuck that video was bad. Only a corporation could make that and think anyone would find it funny. It had the same understanding of humor that that agency.com Subway video had. Eek.
posted by dobbs at 8:19 AM on August 5, 2006


I really, REALLY, wanted that to be funny.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:23 AM on August 5, 2006


God, that was retarded. It was like they intentionally wanted it to seem that a conservative high schooler was responsible.
posted by klangklangston at 8:23 AM on August 5, 2006


Yeah, I'm gonna have to suggest Exxon find a new PR firm.
posted by graventy at 8:26 AM on August 5, 2006


"Al Gore's Penguin Army" (YouTube) is an amateur movie

Yes. Yes it is. That was shit. They need to understand that for something to catch on there has to be anything catchy at all about it.
posted by cortex at 8:26 AM on August 5, 2006


In what sense is this an "amateur" movie?
posted by kcds at 8:27 AM on August 5, 2006


That was a serial waste of time. I'm super serial.
posted by orthogonality at 8:28 AM on August 5, 2006


CO2: We call it LIFE!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:31 AM on August 5, 2006


What is Al Gore's new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, all about? Global Warming? The Environment? Or something much more BORING?

Honestly I would rather sit through any given 5 minutes of An Inconvenient Truth again than ever have to rewatch that video.

This includes the credits.
posted by rafter at 8:32 AM on August 5, 2006


Thanks, wall street journal. if only the earnestness of your reporting spilled onto the editorial page.
posted by eustatic at 8:33 AM on August 5, 2006


Also, Tux?
posted by rafter at 8:33 AM on August 5, 2006


This animation proves, once and for all, that Al Gore is on the right track. If this is the best rebuttal the oil barons can come up with, they're toast.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:34 AM on August 5, 2006


And no acknowledgement for the Linux penguin...
posted by PenDevil at 8:35 AM on August 5, 2006


If I were Linux, I'd fucking sue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:35 AM on August 5, 2006


rafter,

I thought the same thing...leave it to conservatives to be so unoriginal and uninspired, that they had co-opt the first penguin image they could think of.

Can linux sue?
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:36 AM on August 5, 2006


Things I learned from this movie:

If it's hard to understand, it's not true!

If it's not popular, don't believe it!

If you don't like X-Men 3, you've been hypnotized by Al Gore!
posted by papakwanz at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2006


Oh, and ripping off bad episodes of South Park?
Very lame.
posted by papakwanz at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2006


Astro Zombie: I think the Linux penguin is in the public domain...
posted by PenDevil at 8:48 AM on August 5, 2006


Wow. That wasn't just bad, it was insultingly bad. It's almost as if the PR flackster was sabotaging his own effort.
posted by maryh at 9:00 AM on August 5, 2006


Nope, Tux isn't in the public domain. It's freely redistributable, as long as the licence and names of the authors are included (see this).
posted by fvw at 9:01 AM on August 5, 2006


Living in Germany, I have not closely watched the discussion surrounding the movie nor have I seen the movie itself. I have seen the South Park episode and I have seen this video though. Now my impression is that the main "arguments" against Al Gore's movie are a) he's dying for attention and b) he's boring. WTF? How representative is this of people's opinion on global warming issues over in the US?

On preview: What papakwanz said.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 9:22 AM on August 5, 2006


Med blogger Dr. Charles has a great timeline for that video.
posted by blendor at 9:22 AM on August 5, 2006


Isn't Tux trademarked, too? Or is that just the name Linux?
posted by obvious at 9:26 AM on August 5, 2006


Exxon's weapons of mass deception.
Despicable.
posted by nickyskye at 9:26 AM on August 5, 2006


Ugh.. I'm a little slow this morning. Fixed link.
posted by blendor at 9:27 AM on August 5, 2006


Zzzzzzzz Rush bullshits the same, but its a lot lot funnier with his outrage machine
posted by elpapacito at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2006


Sometimes bad is bad.
posted by fusinski at 9:47 AM on August 5, 2006


If the implications of the WSF article are true, then what we see here is a tiny peek behind the curtain, one small detail of what must be considered not merely a PR campaign, but a desperate disinformation campaign, designed to maintain the illusion that there is still some controversy over the apparent facts of global climate change. In this case, that "the average Joe" is lining up with the oil companies' denial of the basic science, which amply demonstrates that climate change is a real and growing threat to all life on earth, human and otherwise, and that it's direct and proximal cause is burning fossil fuels.

Now, it seems to me that the tobacco industry tried something similar, albeit concerning a public safety issue which was orders of magnitude less serious than the potential deaths of 100s of millions of people, which some climate change scenarios predict. Once it was proven that Big Tobacco was engaged in a deliberate campaign to hide the truth about the health impacts of smoking, they were subject to a massive penalty, with a settlement exceeding $200 billion. Surely the oil companies and their paid spokespersons (like Bush and Cheney) deserve far worse.

Listen hard - try to hear the voices of our grandchildren's grandchildren, screaming for some retroactive justice against an entire industry of greedy liars. Not just the oil companies, but every government and media hack who goes to bat for them, will be seen in this light as the worst form of criminals, despised and infamous for centuries to come. And if we do nothing, we are all going to be held in the same contempt by history, as we should be.

</rant>
posted by dinsdale at 9:50 AM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


(oops - make that the WSJ article)
posted by dinsdale at 9:51 AM on August 5, 2006


Amerika Inc. is still pushing their, "It's true because we say its true" crap. DCI must stand for Dumbass Corporate Idiots. Perception Management isn't going to halt the advance catastrophic, global climate change. These are the guys running the White House from their board rooms and using proxy nations to wage war in their desperate push for domination of the world markets. They are worse than stupid. They are criminallly insane.
posted by chance at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've always been a big fan of Al Gore's, and after years of observation, I get the impression that in a place deep down and well-insulated inside Al Gore is a man who wouldn't do a thing to oppose a violent, bloody and comprehensive revolution, if one were to start.

And I like that.

I can't wait to see if he makes an appearance in the upcoming Futurama episodes.
posted by chudmonkey at 9:59 AM on August 5, 2006


Sourcewatch has more info on DCI -- the kind of info that makes you spit blood from your eyes in rage. Some interesting info on how PR groups artificially create "buzz".
posted by neek at 10:00 AM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


It does depress me that halfwitted teenagers actually expend effort to convince people not to care about global warming. The willfulness is really sad. As is this pathetic little movie.
posted by scarabic at 10:04 AM on August 5, 2006


that video was sheer witlessness, a gaping black hole of toothless suckage ... the thought that someone was actually paid money to produce this instead of it being done by some glue sniffing retard in his mother's basement amazes me
posted by pyramid termite at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2006


It's tuff growing up in the town of Gaylord.

´♥_♥`
posted by foot at 10:15 AM on August 5, 2006


It's tuff growing up in the town of Gaylord.

especially if your mom puts a lock on the freezer so you won't snitch her cigarettes
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 AM on August 5, 2006


I agree that it could use some editing, but parts of this movie are quite powerful.
posted by Flashman at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2006


You would think with the oil companies making kajillions of dollars nowadays they could do better, but I guess not... and for that I am glad. How do I feel about such things? (d) “Incompetent,” “idiot,” “liar,” and “ass.”
posted by edgeways at 10:39 AM on August 5, 2006


wow - that sourcewatch link makes a direct connection between the Big Oil and Big Tobacco lie machinery, through the same Bush-connected PR firm. And here I thought I was just making an analogy.
posted by dinsdale at 10:47 AM on August 5, 2006


Herr Fahrstuhl -- Now my impression is that the main "arguments" against Al Gore's movie are a) he's dying for attention and b) he's boring. WTF? How representative is this of people's opinion on global warming issues over in the US?

Exactly 50% and the same reason they voted against him in 2000.
posted by JackFlash at 10:51 AM on August 5, 2006


I agree that it could use some editing, but parts of this movie are quite powerful.

Please elaborate!
posted by cortex at 10:52 AM on August 5, 2006


scarabic -- this video wasn't made by teenagers. Please read entire rest of page.

Flashman -- el-ab-o-rate please?!? Which parts touched you?
posted by Deathalicious at 11:02 AM on August 5, 2006


The film actually came from a slick Republican public relations firm called DCI, which just happens to have oil giant Exxon as a client.

That was the single worst produced thing I've seen in recent memory. I actually wish I owned some giant company who was in need of some sort of video production just so I could not give it to DCI.

Hell I'd give it to K-fed or the people at Loki. At least their work sparked discussion. This is just crap.

As to any message they may have been trying to impart, here's a hint: don't comment on how boring someone else's work is when this is the kind of shit you are bringing to the table.
posted by quin at 11:03 AM on August 5, 2006



I've always been a big fan of Al Gore's, and after years of observation, I get the impression that in a place deep down and well-insulated inside Al Gore is a man who wouldn't do a thing to oppose a violent, bloody and comprehensive revolution, if one were to start.


The time for that revolution was after the 2000 election. I think he regrets not leading that revolution. What took place was a bloodless coup. The Republicans were probably as amazed then as the Germans were when they entered France during WWII at the lack of resistance.
posted by any major dude at 11:08 AM on August 5, 2006


What's up with Al Gore and "super seriel"? I know it's from south park but even in that episode it didn't make any sense.
posted by afu at 11:15 AM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow. That would have been better if they had just put the words "Al Gore sucks" to some cheesy music.
posted by Stauf at 11:23 AM on August 5, 2006


I'm wondering too afu. I mean, I haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth yet, so maybe it's a reference to something in that. Even if it is however, they used that joke so many times in that episode it started to grate....

Sometimes South Park can be pretty insightful, but they're also known to jump the rails at times.
posted by JHarris at 11:45 AM on August 5, 2006


"What's up with Al Gore and "super seriel"? I know it's from south park but even in that episode it didn't make any sense."

Gore was once asked by an audience member on the Oprah show what his favorite cereal was... thinking the questioner meant "serial" in the television sense (cause honestly who doesn't speak in mid-1950's vernacular) Gore answered that "Oprah was his favorite serial."
posted by TetrisKid at 11:48 AM on August 5, 2006


What? Is that it TetrisKid?

The guy misspeaks on Oprah and they turn that into the defining characteristic of his personality?

Between that and the "let's get revenge on Issac Hayes" episode, I think somehow a shark is fast approaching the small mountain town of South Park....
posted by JHarris at 12:05 PM on August 5, 2006


Now, this is funny.
posted by lodurr at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2006


I work for a (relatively) small progressive media strategy firm, and I can tell you that this will be making the rounds of the office as an example of how not to do things - especially fitting for us, as we're just now starting a series of youtube and myspace campaigns for a few different groups.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2006


the film is to science and humor what etch- a-sketch is to art
posted by Postroad at 12:49 PM on August 5, 2006


I agree that it could use some editing, but parts of this movie are quite powerful.

You're talking about the stink, aren't you? The stink was
very powerful indeed.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:56 PM on August 5, 2006


As linked by Lodurr, this would've been funnier if it'd been done by the Futurama crew. And if it was that episode about the dark matter spill on Pluto.

"I'm sorry, but if it's fun in any way, it's not environmentalism."
posted by Eideteker at 1:03 PM on August 5, 2006


"The guy misspeaks on Oprah and they turn that into the defining characteristic of his personality?"

It was a joke on an animated television program.
posted by TetrisKid at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2006


... made by a couple of guys who have a long history of running marginal jokes into the ground. Just sayin'.
posted by lodurr at 1:29 PM on August 5, 2006


wow - that sourcewatch link makes a direct connection between the Big Oil and Big Tobacco lie machinery, through the same Bush-connected PR firm. And here I thought I was just making an analogy.

So here's the question -- did the republicans and the conservative message machine start spreading the "liberal media" meme before they tried to subvert the media themselves, at the same time, or afterwards?

Smarter if before. A two-pronged attack. Move the media to the right and tell everyone it's too far to the left. Put recipients in such a mind as they'll be extra wary to read media through a conservative deconstruction lense a Derrida protege would envy. But stuff the media chock full of factoids and talking points to lunch on.
posted by namespan at 1:39 PM on August 5, 2006


Thought this part was interesting, too:
The video gets a lot of hits after sponsored links on Google start appearing when users type in "Al Gore" or "Global Warming." The ads, which don't disclose their sponsor, are taken down shortly after The Wall Street Journal contacts DCI Group.

OT/
From the WSJ description of the Gore/Bender video, I get the impression that they've never heard of Futurama before. Groenig is described as creator of The Simpsons only, Bender is just "a robot." I don't particularly care, not a huge Futurama fan *ducks*, but it seems kind of funny. Oh well.
/OT
posted by zoinks at 2:06 PM on August 5, 2006


Why does big business have to ruin everything beautiful? I will never again be able to watch a piece of crap video on YouTube again without worrying that it was made by one of these fucking PR firms. There is a special level of hell reserved for everyone involved in marketing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:11 PM on August 5, 2006


(and I say this as a former marketer, just FYI)
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:11 PM on August 5, 2006


"That wasn't just bad, it was insultingly bad. It's almost as if the PR flackster was sabotaging his own effort."

Whoever you were, little guy at the PR company who had the guts to do the Right Thing and ensure that this below-the-belt smear job would fail, yet undoing it subtlely enough to keep your job so that if necessary, you could once again swing into action in the future, we salute you!
posted by -harlequin- at 2:15 PM on August 5, 2006


"That wasn't just bad, it was insultingly bad. It's almost as if the PR flackster was sabotaging his own effort."

But the client still had to greenlight the awful thing. That's the really funny part.
posted by TheLibrarian at 3:14 PM on August 5, 2006


Oops, the previous post was actually me. I posted that on my wife's laptop and forgot to log her out. Sorry.
posted by NoMich at 3:27 PM on August 5, 2006


Can linux sue?

Well, "linux" isn't a company, it's a peice of software, however the Penguin graphic is owned by some linux related foundation, so a lawsuit could be possible. I'd say it's unlikely though because this is really a minor thing.
posted by delmoi at 3:34 PM on August 5, 2006


Yeah, that south park episode was surreally weird. It was actually the second episode they did trying to make fun of global warming 'hysteria'.
posted by delmoi at 3:39 PM on August 5, 2006


Maybe they want to get some legal action taken against them over their use of the linux logo, with the associated media coverage.
This piece of crap isn't going to draw much mainstream attention based on its own merits, after all :)
posted by -harlequin- at 3:55 PM on August 5, 2006


This DCI background linked above is interesting.

I wrote an article for Tech Central Station some four years ago, about a great free-lance journalism operation called FeatureWell run by David Wallis. TCS was very nice, ran the story exactly as I submitted it, and that was that.

At that point, I only "knew" TCS was a libertarian tech-happy site, and I'm one of those "technology liberates us!" fools and am more libertarian than anything, so that was fine.

Learning about the DCI stuff is deeply creepy and makes me feel kind of dirty. Not too dirty, considering the paltry $150 I made writing an easy story about a comrade's interesting business, but still .... While any political/business industry surely has the right to publish and create its own media, the TCS deception, all the White House-produced fake news on the local TV stations, the bought-off "op-ed columnists" and this latest absolutely shameful youtube idiocy make it pretty clear that no medium will ever be safe from this crap, and that we might better go ahead and get off the internets and start making fanzines at Kinko's again, because this shit is getting worse and worse.

Check it out: Google now cuts off the ad dollars to news sites that dare to report on death & murder.
posted by kenlayne at 11:22 PM on August 5, 2006


"the film is to science and humor what etch- a-sketch is to art"

You've offered a grave insult to the noble Etch-A-Sketch, and I think you should offer the Ohio Art company a heartfelt apology forthwith.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:46 AM on August 6, 2006


Aside: There are a number of design programs where they require students to start out with an etch-a-sketch. It's a great tool for coming to understand your limitations. I've seen people do some amazing things with them.
posted by lodurr at 8:35 AM on August 6, 2006


« Older Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano, 1915-2006....  |  Make mine Maakies... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments