Saturday, June 24, 2006

JoeMo Lieberman continues to vie for "Most Useless Person Ever"; plus, An Inconvenient Blogghorea!

See Joe fabricate and obfuscate the Karl Rovian way here, in an attempted take-down of his anti-war Democratic competitor, Ned Lamont. He accuses him of being against the Kerry Amendment before he was for it.

Not only Rovian, but apparently untrue. Sigh. What bullshit.


...kind of, that is. His former Presidential running-mate, more precisely.

Went to see the Al Gore biopic, I mean documentary, I mean concert tour film, An Inconvenient Truth, last week. Good to see a high-profile Global-Warming-is-Real movie out there, and to see Gore coming into his own. BUT, for dear goodness' sake: this movie is as much or more about Al Gore as it is about Global Climate Change (GCC for short). Fully half the movie is about Gore's personal journey to discovering the urgency of GCC. This might be an ok approach if Gore were an "everyman", or could even play one on TV. But he goes through anecdotes of college professors and scientist friends and personally traveling to Antarctica as part of his discovery of the facts of GCC. Even this could be palatable, if it were in a journalist-type style, that is, fact-finding and questioning of experts. But in this movie, AL GORE is the "expert." Which he is, of course, for a layperson and a politician. We get action clips of him interviewing people in Congressional Hearings about Global Climate Change from the 80s. Bally for him, well done, but two questions: 1) why don't we get to hear the actual climate change experts talk about or explain some of the science? As informed as Gore may be, he's not a climatologist, and to have a hour-and-a-half long movie with little or no direct conversation with the scientists who have developed the knowledge Gore uses -- it's immodest of him (his contribution is popularizing it, not discovering it, give the workers "in the trenches" a little screen time) and unnecessary -- why have Gore explain it in a documentary when the people who have done the work themselves could easily be interviewed? (Because the movie isn't about them, it's about Al Gore, plainly, but that doesn't make it any less annoying for being obviously at cross-purposes with his vision for the movie.) Question 2) Where are the clips of the crusading Gore from between Congressional Gore and Former Next President of the United States Gore? They seem to be not there; that is to say, I'm pretty sure that among the reasons I didn't vote for the Former Next President was because none of this passion, charisma, or more importantly, chutzpah was present during his campaign. If he had been the "Global Warming Candidate" in 2000, I almost certainly would've voted for him. If he'd been the Sound Environmental Policy candidate, or the Ending US Imperialism candidate (less popular but just as important in 2000, before the Iraq invasion), or the Reforming Government Candidate, or Helping the Poor candidate, or the Sound Foreign Policy Candidate -- any of these things! But his 2000 Campaign was near content-less, and like Kerry, we, progressive Democrats, were simply meant to understand he couldn't politically afford to come across as Progressive or strongly pro-environment during the campaign, but wink-wink, nudge-nudge, know-what-I-mean-guv, if we voted for him, once in office, SURE, he'd do these things, we had to trust that his triangulating pansy-ass campaign was a Kerry-like convenient lie. Like I said of Kerry in 2004, "Don’t candidates actual policies usually reflect a thin-gruel version or even a reneging on their [campaign] promises? Is that our hope, that in John Kerry’s case, his promises really are the opposite of what he plans to do?"

This brings me to the point I was really trying to make, that being STOP WITH THE DRAFT AL GORE BULLSHIT. Al Gore the environmentalist and passionate speaker seems a great guy. I'd be fine with this guy as President -- or at least hopefuly. BUT THIS IS NOT AL GORE THE CANDIDATE. Not only has he said he's not running, he's only become this "fiery" speaker 6 years after he last ran. He did start getting pretty kick-ass about 3 years ago in acting more progressive, but even that is a substantial remove from holding or running for public office. This is not the Al Gore we saw as Vice or as Candidate, the guy who had Joe "Mentum" Lieberman, recently a plausible choice for a SecDef successor, as his running mate. HE HAD JOE LIEBERMAN AS A RUNNING MATE. I'd almost forgotten that until he showed him & Lieberman in 2000 during the movie -- why remind us, Al? Geez, I was just starting to like you.

Bottom line, pesos'll get you dollars the Gore the Re-Candidate wouldn't be ANYTHING like Gore the Former Next President. Like I said, people who are running campaigns tend to embellish their stances and make promises they have little intention of keeping. What kind of follow-through would you expect from someone who is making promises while they're not even running? Sorry, I just don't buy that Gore was a stealth progressive in 2000, or would run as a true progressive in 2008. He runs again, I guarantee you, he'll be running away from An Inconvenient Truth as youthful folly or something.

(deep breath)

Ok, sorry, I just have ZERO confidence that Gore-the-now-Entertaining-Public-Speaker and Crusader is anything like Gore the candidate.

And lastly, in terms of my problems with the movie -- not only does Al not talk to any experts other than himself (with many clips of him greeting and welcoming cheering crowds worldwide), he uses his family farm to illustrate the tragedies of global warming. Now, the part where he talks about his family growing tobacco until his sister Nancy died (a skeptical take on this move here, but I'm going to give Gore a benefit of a doubt here anyawy) was a beautiful illustrative story about the hard choices "normal" people have to make in supporting a larger flawed commercail system. But when he keeps coming back to the farm, talking about how the river is going down, the effects global warming is having there... his transition to clips of Hurricane Katrina just makes all the more stark the spoiled, navel-gazing aspect of this part of the movie. That is, why show us your river going down? Why not talk to people of less material means than the Gore family about what their experiences are? When you talk about Katrina, why not ask Katrina victims what they think about global warming and the problems it may be causing them and others on the coast in the future? See if they see the connection, what they think of the proof? Why you talk about typhoons in Asia, why not ask Asians about it? And why not interview some people like those where I do my work, in Brazil, who have noticed that the rainy season is getting later and later and later in the year (it used to be expected to start September/October-ish; now, November/December is not uncommon, and the rains are less predictable. They tell me it was a record difficult year this year, with little regular rain between November and March, with not really so much a rainy season as a drought with heavy, sometimes-damaging downpour at unpredictable times. While not in the same league of tackiness, Gore's self-focused take on this smacks a bit too much of Bush's take on Katrina for me: "Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch." Oh yes, horrible tragedy, but I look forward to fixing the problems of rich people like my friend Trent Lott, who lost stuff in this disaster. 'cuz everyone there can afford to rebuild, right? My mom says they're better off this way.

Sigh. In conclusion, don't draft Al Gore. Nothing'll make him run away from being an outspoken national figure faster.