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Get off my Planet: Happy Birthday 7 Billion

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Get off my Planet: Happy Birthday 7 Billion

To mark the world’s population reaching 7 billion on Halloween 2011, WORLDbytes has launched this hilarious parody of modern day Malthusian thinking. The programme features talented Blood Brothers star and ex-RSC actor James Hirst as the central character, Bill. For Bill the news of 7 billion is a Halloween nightmare. His solutions include: getting rid of ‘thickies’, euthanasia, gelding and paying African women not to have children- a carbon offsetting scheme first proposed by the Optimum Population Trust, now rebranded as Population Matters. Bill gets his over-consumption paranoia from the Guardian and he’s going for the cull.  This parody reflects WORLDbytes’ concern to challenge the profoundly anti-human roots of overpopulation ideas.

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Randolph Ferry said:

Catriona – some interesting points on the characters and I agree they should have been more ‘Guardian reader/UN fan’ but I think you cartoon the audience and Alf Garnett’s audience too much with your ‘fair point’ criticism. Difficult how to satirise David Attenborough types without sounding exactly like them though.

Catriona said:

I think satire is difficult, but also a risky business. Before most of our times, but there was a show called ‘Till Death Us Do Part’ on BBC in the 60s where the main character Alf Garnett had a tirade against a new minority or group of people every week. He was supposed to lampoon narrow-minded racists, but instead he became a popular icon! Either a viewer of this vid will say ‘oh, how narrow minded, I’m glad I don’t think like that’ or they will say ‘fair point’. I’m guessing most people (or all) visiting this website will think the former, so what then is the purpose of the video? Unlike the other people who commented, it didn’t make me laugh.

For me, the connection between environmental activism and anti-population or immigration beliefs is interesting and I don’t think this sledge-hammer approach works. Who is the main character in this? Some kind of racist English nationalist, in a waistcoat?? and a cravat??! The fact that a lot of the dialogue on population control and anti-immigration comes in the form of PC-orientated, liberal language is really worrying. It’s basically racist beliefs made palatable. It would have been more effective to see the main person in this video parading as a liberal minded ‘world citizen’, using PC lingo. A viewer may have had to examine their beliefs more closely if faced with a less overtly objectionable speaker. The world is not clear-cut, and people are not usually cartoons.

Funke said:

It’s too ridiculous to be believable but unfortunately, there are people who think that way. All the central character’s facts has been handed down, has he ever gotten off the couch to find out which aspect is true. What I find particularly interesting is the constant emphasis on African women and China.

If you really want to be nit-picky about it, the number of teenage pregnancies in Europe, particularly England is not very flattering and this is not research led but something I’ve seen with my own eyes. Why doesn’t he make a point of that, because it’s not shown on the news.

On the other hand, an African woman who is married and unable to conceive is seriously stigmatised, irrespective of if the problem is with her or not. Population is not the problem, something else is.

Amina Bizmana said:

HIlarious….and yes unfortunately many think like that…

Carol said:

Happy birthday 7,000,000,000 of us!
This film is hilarious but frightening at the same time… It’s great how James Hirst goes off on one about the ever increasing population, he’s very funny. But, the scary thing is that people actually think like this for real!
With such a small percentage of this planets land actually inhabited by humans, there is more than enough room for everyone…and more.
Roll on the next billion!