At no time in recorded history have we possessed so much knowledge about health and nutrition, nor have we ever had such vast and effective machinery for disseminating that knowledge — and yet we live in hi-tech Dark Age with the vast majority of the global population essentially ignorant or confused about the basic facts of their own biology. How did this happen? Well, that’s whole six-part mini-series in and of itself, but the short answer is that the bottom line of many a multi-national corporation is dependent on that ignorance, and vast sums of money are expended to maintain it. Just look at the track record of the tobacco companies. The global warming argument is another classic example. When scientific fact did not favor Big Oil, they went out hired their own scientists to to conduct and publish studies to contradict the facts about the impact of carbon-based emissions. As a result, whenever the latest global warming news is relayed to the public, it always comes with the caveat that “some dispute these findings.”
There was time when newspapers saw it as their duty to truth squad these debates, but that’s long since become a luxury most papers can no longer afford — better to hire another gossip columnist and give the people what they want. To fill this crucial gap, Phawker began publishing Elizabeth Fiend‘s JUNK SCIENCE column. Every week, Miss Fiend connects the dots on a constellation scientific facts that have been hiding in plain sight — scattered across the vast, cold reaches of the Internet. With a background in punk rock and underground comics, and longstanding employment as a research librarian, Miss Fiend doesn’t pretend to be a scientist or for that matter, an expert. She does, however, know how scientific facts become diluted by corporate-sponsored non-facts, and every week she separates the smoke from the mirrors. She does this for love, not money — pointing out that the emperor is wearing no clothes has never been the fast-track to getting rich, and lord knows it’s not made her popular in certain corporate PR departments. So why does she do it? Because she loves you and she wants you to live. Which is also another way of saying, she wants you to quit smoking, which was the motivation behind her new movie. Best to let her tell you all about it…
ELIZABETH FIEND REPORTS: Smoking cessation has a new diva and her name is Fiend. Yep, we did it! Even though Philadelphians seem to go ballistic over the smoking issue, we made a short film about it called No Butts About It. BiG TeA PaRtY asked activists at a “green” event at Clark Park, “Would you rather be friends with a vegetarian or someone who smokes cigarettes?” Then we went to the Eagles home opener and asked the fans in green the same question. The answers are hilarious, heartfelt and ultimately helpful in the quest to make us all healthier.
Festival of Independents Presents: Soft Pretzels, Cheese-Steaks And Other Acts Of God
Saturday April 14th, 7pm, International House — 3701 Chestnut St., $10