Sunday, May 31, 2009

What a Bummer

So, after a number of years away from the activist gig, an issue arised that made me want to get back into it. That issue is peak oil. While it's not something you can really stop from happening, it's something that I would really like to raise awareness about and try to form a group of people to figure out startegies on how to adapt to this new world that we face. To digress for a moment, people are so clueless on energy, it just blows my mind. For example, a loved one the other day remarked that a suggestion from someone to save gas was if you are driving up a hill, shut off your engine on the way down. I don't know how much sense that makes, but this loved one then said, "how about lowering the price of gas?" Sighs. Another loved one saw a neighbor carpooling with others, and said that that might have made sense when gas was 4+ dollars a gallon, but now that it's a little lower, what's the point? Double sigh. Anyone who realizes that the era of cheap energy is over, can understand my frustration, and a key reason for me starting a group is to make people realize this.

Anyway, as I'm about to have a little more time on my hands, I figured that I would start a Meetup group (Tentative title: Peak Oil Society of Long Island) as sort of a test balloon. I wasn't going to have Meetups every month, just one or so to gauge interest within the local community, and then I would have started a more formal organization (which I still might do, BTW, this by no means cancels that). I was a Meetup organizer 5 years ago, when I headed the local leg of a presidential campaign, and enjoyed it. But that was when it was free of charge. To my surprise, when I began to enter information on this Meetup group, I saw that a Meetup organizer is charged up to $20 a month. It could be as little as $12, but I would have to commit for 6 months. Egads! I'm not planning to make money off this, but want to try not to lose too much either. I realize there are many other ways to start a group on the Internet, but the thing is, ensuring that its exposure to others is as good (or nearly) as Meetup's. Long shot, but any suggestions?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SUV City

This is a pretty good satire I found on Youtube. I particularly like when the pedestrians are running in fright at the sight of an SUV, since that strongly resonates with me. It reminds me how tragic it is that we've centered communities around cars rather than people. Anyway...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles cancelled :(

If you've followed this blog, you know I'm a big fan of the series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". So it pained me, although it didn't surprise me, when I found out that it was not renewed by Fox yesterday. Good shows get cancelled all the time, it's the symptom of being a TV viewer, but this was in my top 3 of all time, along with "Deadwood" (another brilliant show that was let go before its time) and "The Shield" (which actually enjoyed a long run). It took the "Terminator" franchise in a somewhat radical new direction, mixing its reputation for action-packed sci-fi with an intelligence and philosophy that had been downplayed to this point.

I believe that's one of the major reasons why the show wasn't able to gain a wide audience, despite the fact that as a franchise with a trilogy of successful movies behind it, it certainly should have. I think a lot of the Terminator fans were turned off by the show's lack of action scenes, while some people who might have really gotten into the show, were turned off by the "Terminator" name.

There is the predictable uproar from hardcore fans of the show, as there always is with anything sci-fi, that Fox didn't give it a chance, that Fox can go to hell, "fuck Fox", etc. The bottom line is that Fox Network is a business, as any television network is, and has to make their decisions based on whether the show makes money for them. Terminator was fantastic, but it just wasn't making money for them. And they gave the show 31 episodes, which is more than it would have probably gotten anywhere else. So if you have time, rather than shake your fist and saying "fuck Fox", you should send an email and thank them for their support of the show.

(On a side note, I do kind of understand the anger, as another show, "Dollhouse", which is also sci-fi and has plummeting ratings, got picked up for 13 more episodes. It was widely rumored that Fox was choosing between Dollhouse and SCC. As SCC was clearly the superior show from a creative standpoint, and its ratings were beginning to stabilze by the time of its cancellation, while Dollhouse's ratings were continuing to reach the cellar, along with the fact that the new Terminator movie, "Salvation" could have only brought new people to the show, it's a headscratcher why Fox chose to renew Dollhouse. I believe it's only because Dollhouse is a Fox-produced show, whereas SCC isn't, meaning that Fox could make money off DVD sales, ITunes, etc. Dollhouse is as good as gone anyway, it just doesn't know it yet.)

I will probably have more to say about this show in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, here is one of my favorite scenes from the series, in the season finale of Season 1. I love this scene because they had a limited budget (as it was a television show) so they couldn't do huge action sequences like in the movies, but they were so creative with this scene, it was brilliantly done. Johnny Cash's voice adds a great touch as well.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zombie Banks

Very entertaining little song about the "zombie" banks.