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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 49 Year Syndrome

Earlier this year there was an article in The Guardian by Nick Cohen, and it was about climate change, and it was very good and well worth reading, but I fixated on the ending paragraphs, as they expressed a character of our times:

The Climate Change Deniers Have Won
Nick Cohen
Saturday 22 March 2014 
...The American historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Eril M Conway quoted a researcher, who was asked in the 1970s what his country's leaders said when he warned them that C02 levels would double in 50 years. "They tell me to come back in 49 years," he replied...
It is a seven times Seven Year Itch that finally gets things moving.

It is a Rebel Without A Cause where we are James Dean, perpetually in some sort of spiritual conflict with ourselves, and tag along on field day trips to the Griffith Observatory to see films about the death of the universe. (We prefer zombies and financial collapses at present)
Suddenly some Buzz Gunderson swaggers along and challenges us to a "chicken run", thus making our spiritual conflict a tad more sweaty and real.
In the chicken run of 49 years, we race our car towards the edge of a high cliff at whose bottom pound the waves of the Pacific Ocean, and successfully bail out of the speeding vehicle at the last possible moment.
Buzz doesn't make it, though.
And Sal Mineo's character ends up being shot. (His name is Plato, and he looks only second-generation American, and seems an aesthetic-type destined for bad-endings-necessary-for-script-reasons.)

Sometimes it ain't nothin' but a chicken run


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