Location: Forest Town, California, United States

Many people ask where Helga and I (Vinnie) met. It was at a Jesus Freak festival in the days of my squandered youth. Some brownies were going around that tasted funny and the next thing I know, I'm married to a hippie. But she was cute, and I wouldn't serve a church that hired a divorced pastor, so we are still together till Judgement Day, when I assume we will go our seperate ways. Let me (Helga) add, that it seems the Universe brought Vinnie and I together, who am I to argue. He does have a judgmental nature though, which I find unforgivable.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

An Inconvient Truth

Helga here. I was so excited that as a member of the executive committee of my local chapter of AKEA (Advocating Killing Every Automobile)I received tickets to see Al Gore's new film, An Inconvient Truth!
There are so many things about this film I loved, but sadly, not enough to recommend it. Let's start with the good.
As a huge enviormentalist, I loved how the Vice President used statistics and graphs and all kinds of other science to show how all the bad things happening in the world (animal extinctions, disease, natural disasters, etc.) are the fault of polluting people (particularly white, male Americans, usually Rebulicans). If anyone doubts the science is conclusive let me give just one example from the film: there was a graph of the history of global temperatures on a wall, and throughout history tempratures were about Al Gore's height. But scientists predict that temperatures will get so high, that the Vice President will need a cherry picker to follow the graph! You can't argue with evidence like that!
And I loved how they showed that the Vice President loves looking at pretty nature scences, because I do too!
It was also very cool how he showed all the clips of Rebulicans lying and defending pollution. (Has anyone else noticed the connection between George W. and Global Warming? Both G.W. Coincidence? I think not.) The Rebulicans, of course, single handedly prevented the United States from signing the Coyote Treaty which would have stopped pollution around the world. (The Austrailians also did not sign the treaty, because the white Europeans there run the environmental policies instead of the Aborigines who would have done right by Our Mother/Sister Earth.) Anyway, since the United States won't stop polluting, the rest of the world can't stop polluting. Clearly, all our fault.
And (don't tell Vinton), I just enjoyed watching the VP. I guess I just didn't notice when he was in the company of that hunk, Bill, how dreamy Al is!
But sadly, I cannot recommend this film.
Firstly, because so much of the film shows the Vice President traveling from city to city, state to state, country to country, to give his power point presentation. When I thought of all the CO2 those cars and jets and helicopters were emitting, killing our dear planet! Why can't he, instead of going from place to place, just put his presentation on the Internet? Isn't that why he invented it? And all those people who drive in cars to the theater, oh the horror! (I biked to the theater, sadly, Vinton drove his '65 Mecury Comet.)
Now I know the Vice President would argue that the travel's damage is outweighed by the good he does, and the trees he plants. But I'm just afraid some will argue that in the same way, the United States' pollution is outweighed by the good it does (feeding the planet, defending the weak, blah, blah, blah, lie, lie, lie). I just think it would be better is Al had stayed home with Tipper and did everything through a web cam.
Another problem. There is very little in the way of action steps presented in the film. When the Vice President talked about polar bears drowning due to lack of ice, I (as secretary and treasurer of my local chapter of PASA [People Acknowledging the Superiority of Animals]) asked myself, "What can I do for my Polar sisters and brothers? The film gave no anwsers, but I came up with a couple of my own. At the next PASA meeting I am going to suggest a fundraiser to buy those poor bears some floaties or rubber rafts. Though they may pop such things with their claws. Maybe we should concentrate on getting the poor dears more ice. Perhaps we could buy some old ice machines from Motel 6s and Super 8s and ship them to the great white north.
While in China, a young woman asked the Vice President, "What can we do?" And what did he say? Did he say, "Sabotage industrial polluters?" or "Only eat what you grow in your own garden?" No. He said, "We must start by distinguishing truth from fiction." Now we all know those distictions. What Republicans and Western Corporate Executives say are lies, and what the leaders of China and Environmental leaders say is true. We have that, let's move along.
At the end of the film, we are given tips in the credits about what we can do. "Drive a car with lower gas milage." NO ONE SHOULD BE DRIVING ANY MORE! THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH! "Use a light bulb with lower wattage. Use public transportation." Etc. Many of us have been doing all of these things since the Carter administration. I was expecting it to tell us to put on a frigging sweater when it's cold! (Actually, there was one new suggestion I put into practice. It suggested children ask their parents about what kind of world they will leave them. When I got home, I called my mother, and so perhaps she'll lower the thermostat at Shady Pines Convalescent.)
We need to take real action if things are as serious as the Vice President was telling us for an hour and a half (and it is much, much more serious than he had let on.) And so I wondered, why does the film bring us to the bring of revolution, and then pull back? Of course, I thought. The film is put out by Paramount Studios. Think Paramount, think Gulf-Western, think Big Oil.
They're letting us think they're doing something, but they're in on the plot to destroy the planet as thick as the Bush Dynasty.
So I say, don't see this movie. Just disconnect some stranger's carburetor.

Wishing peace and harmony, Helga Goodearth

Vinton here - I suppose many of my faithful readers expect me to condemn An Inconvient Truth as a steaming load of tree hugging, leftist bovine excretment. And I certainly will in due time. But I must in all honesty admit the film has some positive features. It is faily free of such Hollywierd mainstays as foul language, sex and violence.
And far be it from me to say there isn't a place for apocalytic doomsaying that may bring some to repentance. It did warm the cockles as Al Gore refered to imminent disasters as a wander through the pages of Revelation.
But as tempting as it may be to use this fear mongering as end times sermon illustrations, a perusal of my sermons through the last few decades shows the foolishness of such an endeavor. In the 60s and 70s I used Paul Erlich's predictions about the destructive effects of overpopulation, and he proved about as reliable as Hal Lindsey. Magazine covers in those days predicted a new coming ice age. (Which I'm sorry to say reminds me of time I wasted watching an episode of that foolish show, "The Twilight Zone" in which the Earth is heating up as it approaches the sun, till we find it was just a dream and we find out the earth is freezing since it is getting further from the sun.) I even used in a sermon Ted Dansen's prediction from the 90's that the oceans would be dead in ten years. As people in my congregation, "Fool me once..."
Speaking of sermon illustrations, Al Gore did tempt me to be covetous. I was an only child, and Helga and I have not been blessed with offspring. So I was sorely tempted to envy Gore's use of his child's traffic accident and his sister's death to make his points. But then I count my blessing that I do have my dear wife Helga, who provides illustration after illustration of foolishness, debauchery and all kinds of godlessness.
Now about the science in the film, it begins in a gutter here as it refers again and again to the hundreds of thousands, yeah, millions of years of the earth's climatic history, when any respectable Biblical scolar will tell you this planet is only 5000 plus years old.
There were scientific points that eluded me. Al Gore was talking about that athiest Carl Sagan (that is the late Carl Sagan, athiest no more) agreed with him that man can have an impact on planet earth because the atmosphere is so thin. He made it sound like this thinness is a bad thing. But then he goes on to say that pollution is making the atmosphere thicker, which you would think would be good, but he said it was bad, and my head was spinning.
Another scientific point that I found baffling was he seems to go on and on about the speed of climate change in our day is unprecedented. That the activity of man is the only explanation for today's rapid climate change. But then he talks about how something or rather happening to the Great Lakes in North America thousands of years ago led to an ice age coming over Europe in a ten year span. That seems quick to me.
Now there was one point of science that made real sense to me. He talked about how these birds usually hatched at the same time these caterpillars hatched, so the birds could eat the bugs and that was how nature keeps the birds healthy. Because of people pollution, they weren't hatching at the same time and these birds were going to die off. Because nature (i.e. God) would never let anything bad happen to an animal species. Now this makes sense to me. God would never let one of His marvelous species just die off, that always would have to be man's fault. Which just shows that dinosaurs must have been around the same time as people, and people must have got rid of 'em. Probably hunted those thunder lizards like we later hunted the passenger pigeon.
But in the end, I cannot abide the politics of the film. Al Gore keeps whining about the ballot difficulties in Florida. Say what you will about Richard Milhouse Nixon, but you didn't find him anywhere in public in 1966 complain about all the corpses that voted for Kennedy in Chicago.
At one point in the film Al Gore talks about how he had hoped democracy would address the problems of the enviornment, but politicians just deal with the problems of the moment and it was so frusterating, that I was sure he would come right out then and there for Bolshevism.
Though Al Gore doesn't address this too specifically in the film, I keep hearing him in interviews talk about how we are approaching some kind of climatic tipping point in the next ten years and if we don't change our ways, the world is coming to an end.
Well, I've got news for the former Vice President, we've already passed the moral tipping point and so the world is already coming to an end. (Scholars differ on whether the tipping point was Madonna's "Immaculate Collection" or the Janet Jackson Super Bowl, but it definely has been passed.)
And if thinks I'm giving up my vintage Comet just because it gets 12 miles a gallon so the former VP can think he's saving the planet, he's got another thing coming.
This is usually where I say, "Skip this movie, because a good sermon is all the fun you'll ever need." But this film was a sermon. But not a Biblically based one. Now that's the kind of fun you need.

The Rev. Vinton


Blogger Jared said...

Vinton and Helga,

I appreciate your insights into "an inconvenient truth" (I'm surprised the Rev. didn't like the title). I was wondering if you have any feelings on the up coming film "The Devil Wears Prada".

7:45 AM  
Blogger Vinnie and Helga said...

Does Hollywoood ever make any films not about the Devil? Just in different costumes. Vinnie

10:08 PM  

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