so I was browsing the internet and saw this: the Survivaball by Halliburton. If it's not a joke (and it sure seems like it) it has got to be the most bizarre thing I've seen in a long time. It's a big ball that you get it and inflates and is supposed to save you from various disasters - fire, flood, riot, whatever. Besides looking ridiculous, the presentation they have for it is absolutely insane and frightening. For one thing, it's titled "Halliburton Solves Global Warming." Not by, you know, finding a renewable energy source or cutting emissions, but by making a big fucking ball to get in and hide. Then it starts out like this:
"The SurvivaBall is designed to protect the corporate manager no matter what Mother Nature throws his or her way," said Fred Wolf, a Halliburton representative who spoke today at the Catastrophic Loss conference held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Amelia Island, Florida. "This technology is the only rational response to abrupt climate change," he said to an attentive and appreciative audience.
I don't know how to start. First off, it's completely pandering to "corporate managers," as if they're so important that they need magical suits to escape. Then the second part - I can think of a few other ways to stop climate change. So can any second grade class that's done a project on Earth Day. Then in the completely insane speech, they talk about how Hurricane Katrina was a good thing:
Sometimes danger presents broad new opportunities. In New Orleans, for example, Katrina pruned the city, removing people from economic black holes and allowing a redevelopment process that's gratifying for all of us. Although real estate values plummeted immediately following the disaster, much commercial real estate is already over its pre-storm values.
What!!? "Removing people"? "Pruning"? What planet did this come from? This has got to win the prize for euphemisms of the year. I mean, let's just go out and prune Detroit while we're at it - just flood the city, kill a bunch of poor people, and rebuild some stuff. That part really makes me think it's a joke, just because it's so ridiculous. The site looks legit, however. I'm scared.
And further pandering to rich people, they compare the Green Zone in Baghdad to expensive gated communities in Los Angeles: "Likewise, secure neighborhoods protect us against the unknown in our own societies - this security checkpoint built after the Rodney King riots protects a community on the edge of Los Angeles." If by "protect" you mean "hide from the poor people in a fortified subdivision."
And then the speech gets to the pictures and videos of the suit (at the bottom of the page with the speech). For one thing, the suit looks so unwieldy and weird. And it has missiles in it! Then check out the "safety card," just like one of those dumb cards they have on airplanes. The drawings are so innocuous but crazy, especially "Drawing Power from an Animal." Apparently you just walk up to "any living creature," grab it, and suck power from it. There's a picture of a deer, but if it's really a disaster, and the corporate manager really needs that power, why not just grab a homeless person? The video of that is especially flabbergasting (it's a big download, but I recommend it). The guy in the suit bounces around and comes up to a cow, then extends some kind of sci-fi like sucker, extracts whatever it is (blood? meat?) from the cow, then happily bounces around through a field of dessicated cow skeletons. I feel like I saw that in one of the Predator or Terminator movies.
Another part of the safety card that caught my eye is the upper right corner: "In difficult conditions, SurvivaBalls can converge to form a managerial aggregate, which then dispenses with unneeded units as neccesary" with a little picture of balls being bounced away from the group. Wouldn't there be somebody in that "unneeded unit?" But then again, I never liked Steve from accounting, let's bounce his ass out of here. He can fend for himself against these marauding black people or whatever it is we're hiding from. After all, the suit has missiles!
The other videos aren't nearly as interesting as "cowsuckerdance.mov." They look like somebody just bought some new 3D movie software and went crazy with it. "Hey honey, look what I just made!" "Uh, that's great dear. A ball bouncing in front an iceberg. Great."
Talk about crazy stuff. And the other odd thing is that there doesn't seem to be anything protecting your face, which is especially weird in the video of the ball floating underwater. The whole thing smacks of 1984 or the bad guys in Mad Max or something. It's so insane that I can hardly believe it.