Here are three events from my recent history.
1. Lake Wobegan Days with Garrison Keillor: Last Thursday night, I had the opportunity to sit and enjoy an evening of good old fashioned storytelling. Something about Garrison Keillor’s voice is so incredibly calming, and his stories make me long for a life apart from an urban existence. In all honesty, even though Garrison Keillor is from Minnesota, he makes me homesick for the South. Perhaps it is because in his stories about old fashioned small town life, I miss the eccentricities and nuances of really knowing a place as home. I used to think myself a rather good story teller. Now, in recent years, I have felt that my life consists of exploring other people’s stories – rather at work, or through reading books, and I have stopped having interesting stories to share with others (except for relaying stories that are about other people). I remember, my first college boyfriend liked me in part because I had, “good stories” about my life growing up. Granted, it was an anomoly to be a BYU student who was born when your parents lived in a Mississippi trailer park. I want to have good stories again.
2. Marie Antoinette: the film by Sophia Coppola: I must admit, I was sorely disappointed. Perhaps I was too hyped up about it, and excited for it, and I ruined it by my excessive reading of history before viewing the movie. I appreciated the attempt to render more human Marie Antoinette, but there were certain historical inaccuracies that made me a little crazy. It was a beautiful film, but by the time Coppola doctored a painting to act as if Marie Antoinette only gave birth to three children instead of four, I just was upset. I mean, I know we only have two hours for a movie generally, but I just can’t take it when filmmakers just change simple things about history so they can streamline their story. I know that she was trying to tell as much of the story as she could in a short time, nonetheless, it just does a disservice to the person’s story. Through parts of the movie, I was thinking to myself, if Marie was here watching this movie, would she even recognize herself at all?
3. Al Gore: A Man on a Mission: Monday night, Al Gore made a stop at Key Arena to make his global warming presentation to an incredibly friendly audience. Having still not seen “An Inconvenient Truth”, I found out that there is even more to be paranoid about with regard to the current environmental state of our globe, than I knew previously.
When my sisters and I were much younger, we held in our possession one of those Fisher Price Microphones that you can hear yourself on the radio on. We would always make believe that we were doing radio shows. In between spinning our favorite tunes at the time, we would engage in commentary and have “guests” to our radio show to inform our audience about important issues. One such issue, was Arbor Day (I blame my mom’s tuning into NPR during her mom as taxi driver hours for our ability to come up with such things to discuss on our “radio” show). Melissa played chairperson to the Arbor Day Foundation and educated our listeners on the importance of planting trees. It is amazing that an eight year old has a better understanding of science than the political leaders who control issues of environmental policy today. And it turns out that eight year old Melissa was exactly right.
I am constantly baffled why the current administration has declared war on science. I am also contantly baffled that so many people can care so little that their children potentially could grow up in a world that is vastly different from the one that we live in, even now. The evidence is in and global warming is a real thing. It is not natural. In my religous faith, the imagery of the world being “cleansed by fire” keeps coming to mind as a precursor to the Second Coming, and I can’t help but to now this is because of what we ourselves have done to the world in which we live.
Al Gore was incredibly charismatic and interesting. In his slide show he tried to link just about every environmental calamity to global warming in some way. It was pretty persuasive. I mean, I have done some thinking about environmental issues, particularly issues of wilderness and water use, but now I just really think this should be one of the defining policy positions of our time. Right now, the people of the state of Washington are voting on a proposition to require utilities that do business in the state to utilize renewable sources as a certain percentage of their overall energy.
Sidenote: I still have an issue with hydroelectric dams being considered a “renewable” energy source. The fact is dams have life expectencies and are not a permanent power source. They silt up and can’t be used. They do cause significant ecological harm in many cases as well. It is still this intense hatred of the Glen Canyon Dam that stops me short of being able to support the notion of dams as part of the answer.
An interesting few days…