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I first watched Cosmos when I was 12. My mom found the VHS tapes and we all watched it together... I remember that I liked it a lot, but looking back I don't think I truly appreciated it for the masterpiece that it was. I would say that a freshman in high school would be old enough to fully appreciate this series.Reviewed on October 23, 2016
I would just like to add my opinion on the whole hypocrites/vegetarian/omnivore issue.
First off I think everyone is bothered by how farm animals are treated. Anyone who isn't truly is a horrible person. But the fact is that in today's society we can never boycott everything that supports something cruel. We can only choose to support the causes we feel most passionate about. The real hypocrites are those vegetarians calling others hypocrites that still support any other animal products (eggs, milk, leather, cosmetics tested on animals...). But even the ones who work hard to live an animal friendly life still support cruel treatment of workers if they buy anything made in India, Korea, China... They support the wars and exploitation of people in Africa when they buy any electronic device or a diamond and so on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who say that there are so many screwed up things in the world that we shouldn't bother to do anything about it. I don't buy wool, leather of cosmetics tested on animals, I help at the local animal shelter where I adopted my dog, I also adopted a rescue ferret, take care of the stray cats in our neighborhood and help educate people about animal issues. I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes up a cause, especially vegans. I just don't think anyone should pretend that their hands are completely clean.
I also think that many animal activists are much too aggressive. There is definitely a lot of truth in the saying: "You catch more flies with honey." I see a lot of people put off by any animal activism because they have been attacked by the activists in the past. I have "converted" a few people or at least got them to open their eyes when it comes to animal issues. And I've always persuaded people with being educated about the issues, explaining the facts and my opinion in a calm way and being as realistic as I can. I'm certain that I wouldn't have changed any minds if I had approached aggressively. Also one very important thing to remember is too learn when to walk away. Some people just hate those of us that care and will try and make themselves feel better about doing nothing by attacking those that are trying to change things. I have been sucked in to arguments with them and it never ends well. They don't respond to reason because they don't want to debate, they just have and idea in their mind that they will never change no matter how wrong they are.
My next point is also an example of my previous point. I eat meat. Not often and I do plan to give it up but for now eventually but I do eat it. So my message to other "omnivores" is: don't pretend that you're eating it for any other reason than because it's convenient and tastes good to you. At least have the decency to admit to yourself that your body doesn't need it. Stop it with the "it's natural" excuses because by that theory you should eat bugs, grubs and if you're lucky and found a dead animal carcass you could feed on that as well. Because that's what our ancestors ate. What is happening to animals in the farming industry is as far away from natural as it can get. I won't get in to all the silly "misconceptions" or intentional ignorance as I like to call it. Here is a fun list with all the oh so original "arguments" against vegetarians/vegans: http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/383865_10150437773548557_677863556_8581711_1144677176_n.jpg
And lastly, the point of the dolphin problem is not that they deserve more sympathy than other animals or that their lives are worth more. The reason why it's worse than the cruelty that farm animals go through is that they're wild. All animals and humans suffer equally but the dolphin slaughter is also taking a huge tole on the ecosystem there. It's ruining an entire species for no good reason. Not that there is a good reason for massively slaughtering a whole species but you know what I mean. And the big difference is that his could end right now and there wouldn't be any huge consequences. Because let's be realistic here. Animal farming will most likely never stop and even if it did it will definitely not stop anytime soon. The best that can be done is to cut down animal product consumption and with that provide the animals with good living conditions. I think a big problem is that a lot of activists are not being realistic. They are going for the "all or nothing" approach with which we will probably end up with nothing. It's important to take baby steps and celebrate every little victory. In my country we recently got a first prison sentence for animal cruelty. It was only a month (take in to account that the maximum sentence in our country is 35 years, no matter what the crime) but I was extremely happy while a lot of people were still only bitching about how it's not enough. Of course it's not enough for what the man did but it's a big step forward and we should be happy about it.
I'm sorry for my long post of ramblings but I just had to speak my mind. In a nutshell I think everyone should take a step back, look at everything more realistically and not be so stubborn.
What I believe happened.
Nicholas came home from playing basketball angry at his mother for not picking him up and angry at his brother for not waking up his mother. I don't think a screaming match ensued between the three, but most likely attitude was thrown left and right until finally it hit a nerve in Jason. He probably pushed Nicholas or chased him in attempt to hurt him (not kill) and in the process Nicholas fell and died. My guess is he hit his head on something.
The mother (Beverly) and Jason ended up realizing that they couldn't call the police because of their history with drugs and Beverly's recent drug addiction. They would most likely end up serving serious time seeing they were unfit guardians in possession of drugs when Nicholas died. Therefore they plan to hide the body. They end up burying it in the backyard just how it was said in the film. Fastforward: Beverly checks into rehab within months of the disappearance. Kinda strange to alienate yourself from your family after your child disappears if you ask me. And the fact that she did it almost immediately tells me she wanted to be clean just in case the police ever came to ask her questions.
In the following year or so, I believe Beverly ends up telling Carey what happened. I don't think Carey was there the night Nicholas died nor did she have any involvement whatsoever. Fastforward a few months: the memories of the house where Nicholas died become too much for Beverly to handle so they move. Before they move she has Jason dig up Nicholas' body and dump it somewhere else. This would explain the leftover pieces of tarp or whatever the new homeowner found back there.
Fastforward 2 years later: Carey gets a call that they "found" her brother. First we're told that she screamed over the phone (possibly horrified because it was not possible since Nicholas was dead; OR remember she wasn't there the night Nicholas died, so she must have believed that her mother and brother lied to her and her scream was sincere because she believed her little brother was actually alive). News about "Nicholas" being found in Spain gets back to Beverly and Jason. They reassure her that the boy they have found is not Nicholas because they know what they did. Instead, they make up a plan to go along with and whoever that "person" that comes home claiming to be Nicholas is will be brought into their family with open arms so it becomes believable just in case the truth of the impostor is ever revealed they will come out looking like innocent victims.
They knew if they didn't go along with it, most likely the police would relaunch the investigation of Nicholas after they were done dealing with the impostor. They never meant for the truth of this impostor posing as Nicholas to get out. They wanted to live their lives as if this really were Nicholas. So when the FBI agent called Carey and told her not to come to the airport, she did it anyway acting as if nothing were wrong. That was Carey's way of telling the agent to leave them alone/they're fine. I think right after the phone call, Carey went to Beverly and told her the truth was out. They made one last attempt by Beverly telling Carey to go pick up "Nicholas" and bring him home. They knew if he stayed with the agent, everything would be revealed that night. But like Frederico said "it was only a matter of weeks" before the full truth came out. There was no preventing it. It was inevitable in this case. But God knows this family tried. We all saw how hard they attempted to keep this "boy returns home after disappearing 3 yrs ago" heroic tale from the media. No one does that.
So bottom line, both Frederico and the family knew the actual truth. However, I don't think they ever told one another what they knew. They sort of just pretended and settled on a silent agreement. "You pretend to be Nicholas for us, you can live your life here in America". It would make sense that they never talked to each other about it. They would both benefit from the silent deal. At this point, Frederico managed to put all the pieces together and concluded that they in fact killed the real Nicholas. Why else would they pretend that he was their son? I honestly do not believe he was lying when he said this. The whole "Beverly confessed to me" I think is made up in an attempt to make the mother look even more guilty than she already was. Basically he put salt in the wound at the last minute for no valid reason other than to taunt the family. And it worked.
Months after the scandal was exposed, Jason knows as long as he's around, the closer the police will get to naming him the prime suspect. I wouldn't say he committed suicide per se. He was probably on a downward spiral and by the time the truth was revealed he was at his end. No Jason=Dead end (no pun intended). Which is exactly what happened. Carey and Beverly can now breathe a sigh of relief. The truth along with possible evidence died with Jason.
There were so many things in this documentary that made me extremely suspicious of the family.
-very beginning; how can someone not recognize there own flesh and blood? it was 3 yrs for crying out loud.
-Jason's odd apathetic behavior upon learning "Nicholas" had returned
-Carey still showing up at the airport even after being told not to, after learning that the FBI agent knew "Nicholas" was not Nicholas
-Mother refused (went ballistic) to do a blood test to prove whether "Nicholas" was her son or not
-Jason reporting to the police, one month after Nicholas' disappearance, that Nicholas tried to break into the home. No other sighting was ever reported by anyone therefore giving off the impression Jason was trying to throw off police by making it seem Nicholas was still alive and a runaway
-the family moving from the home
-mother failing the third polygraph test very unusually. Test was going off the charts
-Right after Nicholas went missing they claimed the story never made it on the news. this makes me believe that they didn't do enough to put the story out there. It's very unusual for a white family in southern Texas to be completely ignored when they report a child missing. Just saying.
-why wasn't there more of the investigation? why didn't the police ever question the family? My guess is the family tried to throw them off multiple times to the point where they didn't see a reason to suspect them in anything.
Carey and Beverly are two very lucky people. In my opinion, they got away scot free. However, they will always live with the guilt and trauma of the disappearance of Nicholas. Which is well deserved since I think they killed him.
It's so strange how life works. It's as if this was all meant to be even under the unusual circumstances. Somehow, a professional con artist/sociopath/liar stumbles upon the name "Nicholas Barclay" when looking for an identity to steal. It's almost as if Nicholas himself was trying to reach out so finally the truth of his murder could get out and justice could be served. Even if it meant just becoming a theory. Knowing people doubt Carey and Beverly was probably enough justice for Nicholas.
I was struck when watching the film that they structured the buildup to the wire walking coup as if the team were terrorists....they move into the South Tower at x time, sombre music and direction, black and white shots of the fake ID cards etc. It seemed kinda insensitive to start with. But then the outcome was this amazing, beautiful act of defiance against death. In retrospect, it could almost be seen as the anti-9/11. A conspiracy by anarchic artists to create joy and wonder. This was obviously the intention of the film makers, which is why the 9/11 attacks were never mentioned. You're supposed to draw the analogy yourself.Reviewed on July 10, 2016
Blackfish, a documentary on killer whales in Seaworld, was not only informative but heart wrenching. Watching this documentary I felt compelled to do something about this situation because it was so inspiring. These animals have finally been brought to the spotlight, which I found very empowering. Though, the documentary had a bias towards scientific enthusiasts who want these animals saved from captivity. While they could have done a better job informing and getting rid of the bias they implanted, the bias was almost necessary. Others can argue that they didn?t give Seaworld a fair say in this situation, but ultimately, they are dealing with live animals and if they have to exclude all other opinions to get the attention they need to save these creatures, than so be it. The film educated their audience with scientific facts that are hard to not believe which made the documentary credible. I believe this was just the push necessary to get these animals the exposure they needed to be saved from this cruel, tiny captivity. The filmmakers did a very great job showing emotions and captivating the audience on the issue at hand. Overall, it?s a documentary that everyone should watch because it can educate the public on what, or was, going on at Seaworld.Reviewed on July 04, 2016
This film is a wake up call for the average person working in a big corporation. This case with Enron left a lot of hard working Americans out of a job, pension, and corporate benefits. When working for a big corporation you can only hope that, the powerful few are practicing sound business procedures. This was not the case with Enron. This film documents the how and why Enron fell from its high stature and those affected along the way. Enron is the perfect example of what our world has become: self-interested and money hungry. Enron was responsible for roaming blackouts in California so they could charge more for their energy. Enron seems to be an appropriate microcosm for what is going on in our world, in that, the powers that be are making us so dependant on oil and gas while at the same time not releasing the technology that could do away with those fossil fuels. We have the technology check out the Disclosure Project.Reviewed on June 27, 2016
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