Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Words alone cannot do justice to the beauty of these places, but they do capture the absurdity of the Bush plan. Oil and gas drilling in Desolation Canyon? Industrial development along the meandering Green River? The thought makes one wince.
speaking of clunky rhetoric: a few days ago, i saw a woman getting in to her car at the Sam's Club parking lot. she had a bumper sticker that read "DRILL HERE. DRILL NOW. PAY LESS!" it made me sad. you might say that it hurt my feelings. because, i mean, i can be as Darwinian as the next guy, but come on. there are limits to my greed (i like to think). and is it so easy to declare one's contempt for unspeakable beauty, and, oh, the future? i suppose that when you're driving away, it is.
but so, learning about the obnoxious move to pass drilling legislation that bypasses environmental protections and the National Park Service and the Endangered Species Act and basic human decency (i've seen this before -- upper adminsitration makes Big Ugly Move during Summer months, when faculty are away), i'm sadder.
but so now, to contact my representatives.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
when i watch PSH, i think that i have no business believing that i can or ever will act. that's a pretty dark assessment and it's a lot of negativity to associate with a person i admire, but there you go. "sublime," he is, as an actor.
i am not a serious fan of martial arts films, and war sagas often leave me depressed and at the same time empty, abmivalent. but Wong Kar Wai makes such aesthetically moving films -- they work almost beyond content, and as i watch this trailer, i kind of want to get lost in this film.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
from a New York Times article by Micheline Maynard, we don't hear much about GM's earlier electric car (and its untimely "death"), except for this:
G.M. reportedly spent about $1 billion in the 1990s to develop the EV1, which it dropped after saying it could not make money on the cars. The EV1, which was available only in lease deals, sold for the equivalent of up to $44,000 but cost G.M. about $80,000 apiece to make [...]
... which might have us believe that GM simply pulled the plug (sigh) because of simple corporate economics. it wasn't making any money on the car; it was losing money on the car. but the documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? explores the question in a tougher journalistic mood, so i'm promoting it, here (although it's doing fine on its own and enjoys a certain following).
i don't see much criticism of this tentativeness coming from automakers regarding the "availability" of technologies capable of generating an electric or otherwise non-combustible engine car. maybe director Chris Paine will get, (is currently?) after it. we do have the blog, Revenge of the Electric Car, which seems promising. what is not so encouraging is that in the context of talks for govenrmental "salvation" of the Big 3 automakers, what we hear about the combustible engine and oil dependency (foreign or otherwise) is so frequentrly tempered by a sort of grandfatherly "wisdom" that would have us believe that we simply cannot do what we have already done. what i mean to say is that, yes, it's all very complicated. but to portray a timeline for production of a "plug in" car as a long and difficult road (ugh. sorry) seems like a pretty clunky rhetorical trick, the kind of move that is reserved for election politicking. still, documentarian Paine is optimistic and supportive of GM's current moves, with only a tiny hint of (articulated) reservation.
so but until the new electric car movie is made/comes out, enjoy this clip from Chris Paine's 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? ...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
yes, Sundance is in Utah. and yes, the LDS (Mormon) Church, which is centrally located in Utah, does seem to have been quite persuasive in the California vote for Proposition 8. but just as sweeping and derogatory claims about gay people (and their fitness for marriage) are wrong-headed, so too is it rather clunky to plot a boycott of the Sundance Film Festival by virtue of its location in Utah. not everyone in Utah is a member of the Mormon Church (i dare say that many SFF staff and volunteers are not). and well but so as with any religion, there exists a complicated spectrum from absolutism to ambivalence regarding the degrees to which members believe in and adhere to Church dogma. and then beyond the relative "size" of the Church in terms of this complex spectrum of belief and buy-in, pointing at an entire region as a way of categorizing a people is just silly (although i admit that prior to my move here i envisioned bonnets and dour faces and was instead pleasantly surprised to see difference and diversity). so look, Utah's a big state. lots going on. lots, and much of it far beyond the devious orchestration of an LDSified campaign for Proposition 8.
i must also tell you, dear would-be boycotters-who-likely-believe-that-you-are-united-in-a- holy-type-struggle, it is similarly unreasonable to boycott the festival because some SFF films are shown in Cinemark Theaters (only 4 Park City venues out of the 14 total SFF venues, which are located in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon, and Ogden). True, Cinemark's Chief Executive may indeed have contributed a large sum to the campaign to pass Prop 8, but he did so as a private citizen and not as a representative of Cinemark. but so i'm pretty sure that your plans to boycott Sundance because of location and the donations of one individual are not well reasoned.
think it through. in fact, if you study the films that Sundance routinely supports, you will find that Sundance (the Institute, the Festival) is and has always been remarkably, paradigm-shatteringly supportive of independent queer cinema. i'm just saying.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
so but now that i'm a little filmmaker, i see the jingle as prescient and telling and wonderfully sophisticated (for kids in the '70's? "makin' things with light"??!). here:
Thursday, November 6, 2008
my sister says it makes her brain hurt, but i like it for its comprehensive representation-value. it's a document containing several models of a different kind of electoral map. see the full document via the link, but to get a sense of what you'll find, the map above "represent[s] the effects of the electoral college by scaling the sizes of states to be proportional to their number of electoral votes." nice.