"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Monday, May 31, 2004

The day after "The Day After Tomorrow"

Maddog goes to the movies

Yesterday evening was an unusual one for me. I waited in line for half an hour to buy tickets for the much-hyped film "The Day After Tomorrow." I hadn't waited in line that long for anything else in recent memory.

Why'd I do it?

With all the negative publicity the film has been getting, I wasn't expecting too much. However, by viewing the film for myself instead of just taking anybody's word for it, I discovered that the negative publicity is just as exaggerated as it purports "The Day After Tomorrow" to be.

I should've known better than to believe the naysayers.

I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that the story, dramatic pace, acting, and special effects were all high quality. I also did some research and discovered that it's not as "fictional" as some people would prefer you believe.

The film was directed by Roland Emmerich, who has previously brought us such over-the-top films such as "Independence Day" (AKA "ID4," 1996) and the godawful "Godzilla" (1998).

Geez, I wonder why the conservatives weren't hysterically debunking "ID4" and "Godzilla" en masse.

Some people have enough brains to realize that the numerous bad reviews have been written because of the film's "political message" which "could hurt Bush." Here's an excerpt from a review on OpEdNews.com:
It's first rate entertainment with great acting and a solid script that tweaks all the rules of good film-making.

So why is it getting bad reviews? Because there is a political message here. It makes it clear without specifically referring to the Bush administration that they are total buttheads--- fools who choose to ignore science in favor of either business or religion. If you don't like Bush and Cheney going in, you will like them even less going out. If you're not decided, this movie could swing you around to see that these fools are tampering with big stuff, really big stuff of global proportions.

There's some criticism of the science behind this. Okay. That's fine. it's a movie. But actually the science behind it in general is accurate and there is the possibility that this flick shows a possible scenario if global warming goes un-responded to. Some of the predicted weather events may be unlikely, but overall, the story, as entertainment hangs together great-- certainly as well as or better than Independence Day, Volcano or other disaster movies.
MoveOn.org calls it "the movie the White House doesn't want you to see."

The people writing the negative reviews which harp on the "fiction" aspect more than anything simply reaffirm their complete lack of ability to see into even the relatively near future.

Hence the title.

The negative USA Today article linked above doesn't even attempt to hide its fascistic agenda. It opens with this:
The idea was to watch a press preview of The Day After Tomorrow with a scientist, talk with him or her afterwards about the movie's science, and write down the caustic comments.
It goes on to complain about "'hail stones' made of clear ice instead of being opaque as real ones are." Forget the innocuous factual inaccuracies in "The Day After Tomorrow" which are pointed out mostly to pad the reviews. It's only the things with political implications they're really worried about. The real implications for our future? They can't be bothered with that. It would require real thinking.

One review in TownHall, for example, says this:
It's a chance to see tornadoes rip apart Los Angeles, a tidal wave drown Manhattan, and giant hailstones devastate Tokyo (the lack of any meteors suggests they had trouble securing Armageddon's copyright).

All this to herald the abrupt onset of a new ice age.

Oh, yeah -- there's also ice. And snow. Lots and lots of ice and snow. Think Antarctica.
Let's deconstruct that one inanity at a time.
* I saw this on a day when 92 tornadoes hit the U.S. Midwest.
* Despite the term "meteorology," meteors aren't likely to be effected by terrestrial phenomena. Red herring (from outer space).
* "Antarctica." The movie begins in Antarctica with an entire ice shelf cracking off. (Maybe the author of the TownHall piece arrived late to the film and missed that part.) Think "warming." By the way, the Larsen B Ice Shelf actually did break off in March 2002 -- "a few weeks after Emmerich and Nachmanoff had written a scene describing its collapse."
* Global warming and snow don't go together -- or don't seem to -- until you take a look at secondary effects. Think "myopia."
Brain freeze
Remember when Al Gore gave his speech about global warming on a really cold day in New York City? Certain fools jumped on that particular day's weather as indisputable proof that Gore was "cracked."

A simple look at average temperatures over the past 150 years or so would have produced enough cognitive dissonance to have heads exploding all around the Beltway. Gore even displayed a chart with this information during his speech.

But Gore's opponents didn't want to see that. They didn't need to. The temperature on the day of Gore's speech was all that they needed to "prove" that they were "right." "Rightard" is more like it.

Science fiction can portend the future, but it warns us only of future possibilities, not certainties. Whether we choose to heed those warnings and/or search for ways to improve our live is up to us.

A flashback to the conservatives' ignorance about conservation
Here's a look at some items related to Gore's speech that I bookmarked back in January.

Here's a page linking to the Al Gore webcast where I viewed the speech in RealPlayer format. There was also a WindowsMedia file link on the page. Here's Google's cached page. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if those links are still working.

"Blunt: 'Al, It's Cold Outside'":
"It is fitting that Gore chose one of the coldest days of the year to spread false information about the Bush Administration's record on global warming. Mother Nature didn't agree with his message and neither do I. Al, it's cold outside.


"Extreme environmentalism is bad for the millions of American workers trying to make ends meet and compete in a global economy."
Drudge went way over the edge with this one:
Even though forecasters predict Thursday night will bring the coldest temperature reading in New York City in more than 10 years [1 degree above zero], sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT that Gore is determined to deliver the speech -- hoping to make the case how "Global warming" is actually the cause of the record cold snap!
Bob Somerby howls out the truth about the lying liars and clowning clowns:
Don’t worry: In Hollywood, Miller is honing the message. After all, he even saw Brit recite it last night. Yep! A Pander Bear was going polar on last evening’s Special Report:
HUME: In a case of unfortunate timing, former Vice President Al Gore was in New York City today attacking the Bush
administration’s policies on global warming. Gore called President Bush, quote, a “moral coward on the environment.” He said evidence of the warming problem is undeniable.

GORE (on tape): I really don’t think there is any longer a credible basis for doubting that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up because of global warming.

HUME: As Gore spoke, New Yorkers were freezing in 18-degree weather with a wind chill of one degree. And forecasters were saying that tonight could be the coldest January 15 in 47 years.
That was Hume’s entire report! Increasingly, your discourse is managed by clowns. Disaster is one sure result.
Clowns! Disaster!

Just how does Bob do it?! How could he have possibly foreseen these events with such clarity four and a half months ago when the rightards can't even see "The Day After Tomorrow"?!

They don't want you to see it either! Otherwise, you might start thinking about things and talking about them -- and maybe even doing something.

I'd rate it 7 out of 10 stars. Don't just believe me, though. Go find out for yourself.

The Memorial Day after "The Day After Tomorrow"
"This Memorial Day weekend, what does it mean to you?" asked Judy Woodruff during a poorly-prepared interview in which she also asked World War II POW Ned Handy about being shot down in Italy when he was actually shot down in Germany.

My own answers to that question would vary.

Like every other Memorial Day, this one should remind us to question why wars are fought in the first place and why we can't seem to figure out ways to avoid them. Another is that it should be a strong reminder that the current war in Iraq, in which over 800 American soldiers have died, was a supposedly "pre-emptive" war which was started when no "imminent threat" ever existed.

This is a very sad Memorial Day, indeed.
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