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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 04.30.09] Tuvalu movie apocalyptic news

As we stand on the brink of a complete swine flu pandemic it's hard not to wonder if we'll be seeing any tv tie-ins like we did in the height of the bird flu fears in 2006.

Remember Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America? You don't? Well, it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it ABC tv event that "accurately" showed what America could expect to happen in the aftermath of a pandemic. It was also extremely alarmist in its depiction of a country depiction of a democratic country being quickly turned into a police state in the interest of national security. Of course, this also makes me wonder about the producers' motives. Are they simply attempting to shock us for entertainment sake, or are they trying to "scare us straight," as they say, and make us take all this pandemic stuff seriously?

Of course, besides spurring a debate, I also wanted to show off this DVD cover of a dude physically running away from birds in an attempt to avoid the flu. WTF?

Anyway, think we'll be seeing a swine-flu tie in by next tv season?

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Rick. (13 years ago) Reply

Bird flu is so last week.


stay frosty (13 years ago) Reply

Check out this free book about what a flu pandemic would look like in Canada; it's at

There are laws on the books in the US and Canada that would give the government sweeping powers in the event of a pandemic, such as the ability to deploy troops, seize private property, conscript workers, arrest essential workers who refuse to work, regulate industry and prices, and enter homes without a warrant. And not in a pandemic where everybody's dying, but a "typical" pandemic where maybe 1-2% of the people who catch the flu die, but about 1/3 of the country catches it and gets very sick, which coupled with a virtual shutdown of the economy would wreak havoc on society particularly by affecting the availability of staples and other goods we take for granted. Not to mention the public hysteria.

The book at is fictional but is written like a history book in the year 2013 about a pandemic that already occurred in the year 2012. The virus is severe, modeled on the Spanish Flu of 1918-19, but it's fairly applicable to what could happen to the US and Canada over the next few months as infection continues to spread.

Here's a section about the laws in Canada that allow the fictional prime minister in the book to claim sweeping powers:

Here's another section where the province of Alberta claims sweeping powers earlier in the pandemic:

And that's not counting the Quarantine Act allowing the government to isolate you at a port of entry, and laws allowing the Army to deploy in the cities. All these laws in Canada have their counterparts in the US, such as the Emergency Health Act.

These emergency powers are supposed to be temporary ...


Ben Austwick (13 years ago) Reply

I never knew about this - very interesting!

Exploiting our fears to make a quick buck is pretty much the definition of exploitation movies, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Right at your door" is one great recent film that plays on modern paranoia that springs to mind.

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