Friday, May 26, 2006

Super Al Returns with An Inconvenient Truth



While watching An Inconvenient Truth, I thought of Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments; of course, Heston’s stone tablets seem archaic alongside Al Gore’s prophetic power-point presentation. Nevertheless, the Katrina age eco-gospel is here: thou shall not trivialize global warming! Thou shall not drive gas guzzling Hummers! Unfortunately, before we rejoice; all the good ideas, slick graphics, and corny jokes on this (soon to be extinct) planet will never wipe away our inconveniently timed eco-apocalypse. It’s too late, and judging by Mr. Gore’s somber face, he knows it. Undoubtedly, the most frightening aspect of Gore’s “Mr. Science” slide show is that irresponsible environmental habits have already pushed any thought of future survival on earth “off the chart.”

All life (yes, American life too) is in dire straits. But most frightening, is that even if we kick these dirty petrol/plastic habits, we’re probably already too far past that dreaded and proverbial “point of no return.” Depressing. But look, up in the sky! It’s a bird… it’s a…Super Al! Yes, he’s here to assure us not to be so fatalistic. We can change. But why bother? In fact, why not be i-pod apathetic? Let us (as Jim Morrison once bellowed) “get [ours] before the whole shit house goes up in flames.” Or not. After all, shouldn’t we at least give our horrible industrial addictions a worthy thrashing before they condemn all of humanity to its grave?

I agree with Al Gore, I think we can offset our waste. It’s not too late and I strongly believe that with international cooperation and (most importantly) world peace, we can stop this, seemingly, inevitable self-destruction. An Inconvenient Truth will not get an award for its mediocre and, oftentimes, irritating computer animation. Nor do I suspect Al Gore receiving recognition for his breakthrough performance. Of course, An Inconvenient Truth is not intended to be an edge of your seat thriller (even if it succeeds in scaring the hell out of us). Davis Guggenheim’s documentary is, meant to educate and provoke audiences into discussing this super-sized problem as well as to develop potential ways of redirecting these troubling trends. In this sense, An Inconvenient Truth succeeds and is definitely the most important movie of the year.

Unfortunately, backward socio-political ideologues—such as those who neglect to tabulate the true value of natural capital and, subsequently, abuse it—are preventing society from not only engaging in an honest discussion about global warming but actually believe it to be “fiction” (i.e. “the jurys still out on global warming”). As Mr. Gore jabs, “This is not so much a political issue, as it is a moral issue.” Unfortunately, such “moral issues” don’t speak so loudly to those more “morally” concerned with who can or cannot be legally married then, say, pay attention to the heavy concerns attached to waking up one morning in a Manhattan under 40 feet of sea water.

Hopefully, Gore’s sobering and stark analysis will serve as a wake-up call to those who ignorantly believe we can continue on such suicidal paths. The dangers of our industrial and commercial pollutants are obvious to the readers of New World. But to a larger Da Vinci Code watching audience? Well, I guess old habits are bad to break. However, if more people don’t start demanding and initiating real change then it’s going to take a whole lot more than Superman to save the day.

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