Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Hemi-Demi-Semi Self-Promo Alert

What would you get if you crossed This Is Spinal Tap with An Inconvenient Truth? The answer is Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy, which will premier later this week at the Outfest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Doesn’t that just sound like a place I’d fit in? (The link takes to you to trailer, where you get about a half-second glimpse of me from last summer before I dropped 40 lbs. and sold my calorie offsets to Al Gore.)

The filmmaker and "star" of this "mockumentary," Randy Olson, is a former marine biologist who gave it up to go to film school and make films like this. Now there are several ways to go in commenting on this film. The hard core greenies won’t like it because it has fun with this dreary subject, and you’re not supposed to joke about global warming, which, I learned this morning, is even going to lead to more kidney stones! The global warming fanatics remind me of the old joke about how many feminists it takes to change a light bulb. Answer: "That’s not funny!" No doubt Olson will hear from the Green Commissars that he shouldn’t have given the likes of me and Pat Michaels one second of screen time. The film’s sendup of Hollywood superficiality will appeal to any serious person on any part of the political spectrum. The two gay producers of the film tell Olson early on: "We really, really want to make this film, and we feel very, very passionate about global warming, and we’re very, very upset about it. We just don’t know why.” Any why not get Tom Cruise as the host? He’s a Scientologist, you know, and isn’t that the same as a scientist?

But Olsen has a serious purpose, which is to try to debunk, cleverly and with misdirection, skeptics and semi-skeptics like me, and point out to the climate alarmists that they really stink at getting their message across. Turns out Olson and his crew engaged in a bit of performance art in the making of this movie, including an African-American cameraman who affects being persuaded by the skeptics. Seems I didn’t fall for this ruse, though I don’t remember what I said a year ago in the studio taping and my reaction didn’t make the rough cut I have seen. In this and other respects the film is a very postmodern piece of work. It is certainly better viewing than Gore dirge-fest.

The scientific claims throughout are naturally contestable (especially the Hurricane Katrina section), but toward the end the film veers off into the politics and policy of the whole Kyoto Protocol debacle. I’ve made clear to Olson my critique of this section, which really requires a whole separate film treatment to begin to do it justice. There are a couple of factual mistakes here that I have flagged, and a few interpretive issues, too. But on the whole I expect the alarmists will be more unhappy about the film than I might be if I were the sort to be unhappy about such things. One blog comment I’ve seen I suspect will be typical of the reaction: "While I understand the rationale for making a light-hearted film about climate change, it also seems a bit odd to make a comedy about something that could plausibly exterminate the human race."

Discussions - 3 Comments

Are you saying that if Sizzle comes to a theater near us, we should go see it? Is it really funny and entertaining or is it just a funny idea, to make a comedy about global warming? If the latter, then we will have all the laugh out of it that we are likely to get with your post, here.

For more fun try this game, Planet Slayer. Maybe it has been around for awhile, but it was news to me. I love that human ingenuity can find a way to commercialize anything, even "something that could plausibly exterminate the human race."

"One blog comment I’ve seen I suspect will be typical of the reaction: "While I understand the rationale for making a light-hearted film about climate change, it also seems a bit odd to make a comedy about something that could plausibly exterminate the human race."


I wonder what Mel Brooks (The Producers) would say to that?

One interesting thing about the way the game was designed is that if you pick planter slayer and manuever around so as to do nothing(let everything fall to earth) you end up failling in your mission to slay the earth. If you pick planet saver and do likewise then you also fail to save the earth. I suppose it had to be structured that way so as to be a game. Nevertheless the easiest way to slay the earth is to pick planet saver and then proceed to get up and go make yourself a cup of coffee. Likewise the easiest way to save the earth is to repeat the same strategy with planet slayer. And this reminds me of politics, because the strawman characterization of the various sides conforms rather closely. One side wants you to believe that if you do nothing the damn capitalists will drink your shake, strip mine your mountain top and chop down the Amazon to grow corn. The other side wants you to believe that if you do nothing the environmentalists will literally put an end to civilization itself, and within three or four years that bitch known as Nature will reclaim New York City just as it did Chernobyl and the halls of Montezuma. Ironically there is a lot of good play along this front in the idea of doing nothing. The environmentalist are alarmed at the prospect of doing nothing in terms of taking political action. Those who believe in the conquest of nature are alarmed at the prospect of doing nothing because Nature reclaims all. Both sides believe that the other side wins if they do nothing, and thus we have a complex game centered around the ideal of manipulating the manifold ways that doing nothing can be represented.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/12597