Episode 305 of the award winning series, The 90's. This episode is called "AMERICA: LIFE, LIBERTY AND..." and features the following segments:
1:45Copy video clip URL “Waiting for the American Dream” by Skip Blumberg. While waiting in line at the immigration office in New York, people from all over talk about America. A German woman says, “In America nobody cares what you do as long as you pay your bills.” A man from Ecuador: “Anything you need you can get it over here. You can get it right now.” An exiled politician from Guyana gets his fingerprints recorded. Skip buys the “Video Guide to Becoming an American Citizen” and plays a little of it.
8:09Copy video clip URL “Sylvie” by Esti Marpet. A French woman says that the French are too cerebral and they don’t make things happen like Americans do.
8:47Copy video clip URL “Foreign Press Center” by Eddie Becker. Controversy breaks out at the Foreign Press Center (part of the United States Information Agency) in Washington where director Jim Pope says, “People are surprised that we have no control over the writers – it’s none of our business.” Seema Sirohi of India’s “Telegraph” wrote a story on General Dynamics’ proposed plan to use nuclear weapons in India in the event of a war with Pakistan. She argues the story’s validity with Pope, who has yet to read it. Upon reading the story, Pope concludes that it is inaccurate and that Sirohi misconstrued the significance of a defense contractor’s rationale in its attempt to sell weapons to the Pentagon. In a separate interview Sirohi counters, “These people who sit in their think tanks and justify new weapons systems whether the world needs them or not, they just treat countries like little places on a chess board. No war has taken place in the U.S. in this century. They don’t realize that war means a lot of death and destruction, a lot of pain.”
15:16Copy video clip URL “Peter Schwartz” by Starr Sutherland. Peter Schwartz of the Global Business Network talks about the failures of the U.S. government and concludes, “The world needs the abilities and leadership of a competent Washington.”
16:55Copy video clip URL “Tarzan Anderson” by Jim Mulryan. Tarzan Anderson talks while gambling in Nevada. “Our system is completely opposite of what it’s supposed to be. We’re losing the planet. We lose the planet, we lose our lives. We’re gonna kill ourselves. They figure, ‘I’m gonna be dead. Leave it to the next generation.’ Now people are starting to think about taking care of the planet, which is good. We just gotta get more people involved. We’re supposed to be able to think. We don’t have to take ourselves out, but we’re going to. It’s basic nature. It still comes back down to money.”
22:40Copy video clip URL “Wagon Ho” by Bianca Bob Miller. Music video for the song “Wagon Ho” by Raunchy Bob Yup Yup.
24:20Copy video clip URL “Slices of a Strike” by Manhattan Media. A look at the Daily News strike in New York. Strikers harass the scabs, “You rotten dog, you scum bag, you low life bastard.” “We’re proud of what we’re doing,” says a replacement worker. Another replacement worker says, “Each person has to do what they have to do. That’s one of our constitutional rights. Why call me names because I’m choosing my own stand?” Robert Maxwell of Great Britain buys the paper and declares at a press conference that he expects a profit in the first year of operation. Of course, lots of jobs will be eliminated.
30:31Copy video clip URL “Laura Flanders” by Rosalyn Baronio. Laura Flanders, a prominent feminist journalist who was born in Great Britain, claims that a British accent is practically synonymous with intelligence in America, but says that “the British deserve more suspicion than that.” Nonetheless, after living in a cockroach-infested apartment in New York she doesn’t buy the myth of American luxury; instead she sees the U.S. as comparable to a third world country.
32:23Copy video clip URL “Super Barrio” by Che-Che Martinez and Marco Vinicio Gonzalez. Transformed by a mysterious light, a Mexico City street vendor turns into Super Barrio. The masked crusader defends poor tenants against greedy landlords and urges new forms of popular organization as the most effective means towards change.
35:19Copy video clip URL “Todd Alcott” by Skip Blumberg. 90’s regular, Todd Alcott rants: “I’m a man. I’m an idiot. It follows. Have you ever looked in someone’s eyes and been reduced to the size of a pin? This is flesh. This is all they gave me. I didn’t get a book of rules. I didn’t get a wise old mind I didn’t get a mind that can see into the future, that can tell me things like: These feelings will die. That lovemaking will become rote and tiresome. That I‘ll lose interest. That we will get into fights over things like white out. It’s not meant to be known. It’s a feeling. I’m a man. I’m an idiot. It follows. I’m trapped in the jaws of love.”
39:03Copy video clip URL “Willis Conover” by Eddie Becker. Willis Conover, the disc jockey for Voice of America’s Jazz Hour, talks about the parallels between jazz and American culture.
43:12Copy video clip URL “Alexander Kosolapov” by Esti Marpet. Alexander Kosolapov, a Soviet artist living in New York, juxtaposes American icons with Soviet slogans and symbols.
44:59Copy video clip URL “Legal Services” by Skip Blumberg. Attorneys for Legal Services in New York strike for better working conditions and pay. “Right and decency is more powerful than the bastards who want to put you down,” says Sam Meyers. Various workers talk about the need to make Legal Services a more attractive career option. Tony Feldmesser (a.k.a. Tokyo Tony) addresses the heads of Legal Services in the building, “You can’t run. You can only hide. You’re on the wrong side. So come down here with your friends. We are your friends.”
49:13Copy video clip URL “Haiti” by Ludger Balant. A Haitian child talks about America: “Americans are thieves for a little bit of oil. They fight with each other and keep everything for themselves. Once you have something Americans have their sights on taking it away from you. They want to be the only ones who have anything. That’s why the world is in chaos.”
50:36Copy video clip URL “Joe Begley” by Appalshop / Mimi Pickering. Joe Begley, who lives in Kentucky, talks about democracy: “We’re supposed to have a democracy. I believe in the Constitution of the United States as much as any man living. I hope it’s never amended or fooled with in any way, unless something more drastic comes along. Like John Kennedy said, we got a democracy, but sometimes it doesn’t work for the benefit of the people.”
51:22Copy video clip URL “Il Gorini” by Don Reed. Kelly Bixler talks about her discovery of an Italian street person who is more than he seems. He sits on the street covered in birds, yet he is a free thinker , artist, and inventor. Bixler talks about people like the bird man, “I think they’re artists. They’re putting out a lot of information. People think they’re insane. I don’t think they’re insane. Maybe they know something we don’t know.”
54:48Copy video clip URL “Vietnamese in America” by Fred Bridges. Vietnamese-Americans talk about the importance of maintaining the heritage of their homeland while analyzing what’s good about America.
56:24Copy video clip URL Mexican music with homemade instruments by Che-Che Martinez and Marco Vinicio Gonzalez under credits.