Chinatown vs. Ontario

With Roman Polanski back behind bars, the expression life imitating art or art imitating life seems apropos of a filmmaker that claims the spotlight for better or worse. His personal life makes for some amazing fluff. Beyond the tabloid headlines, it's hard not to rubber-neck Polanski's pictures. The classic film noir/crime story Chinatown is no exception.

Overshadowed in 1974 by The Godfather Part 2 at the Academy Awards, I think Chinatown is a film more relevant in the big picture. I'll draw a comparison if you live in Ontario and happen to follow the provincial government's progress with the Green Energy Act.

  • The film's base plot explores corporate greed, murder and incest set as a period piece in LA circa 1930s.
  • The Ontario government's Green Energy Act explores corporate greed, NIMBY bashing and cuckolding set in a surreal 2009. (I had to look that up - cuckold - thinking it was some bizarre new fetish.)
  • The scoop. The folks at LA's Water Works Inc. are up to no good. Deliberately diverting fresh water back into the ocean claiming there's a drought in the city. In real time supplying water rights to the rich & famous living large in estate homes & vineyards. Add the murder of the City's chief engineer and things are not what they seem with the evidence on display.

  • The scoop. Boy George & Dalton McGuilty team up and enforce wind-farm development by creating the feed-in-tariff incentive before they figure how the grid can support it leaving local municipalities wondering why there's a new giant wind-farm in their village.

  • It's a picture that takes it's time telling the story and it needs to given the lack of narrative. Normally a crutch of Hollywood fair like this. It's refreshing not to have the protagonist blabbing away during useless segues to help the ignorant. Instead the viewer works along side Jack Nicholson (JJ Gittes), the PI hired to unravel the clues as characters come clean.

  • It's a government doing as little as possible by telling it's citizens that greenwashing is the solution to jump-start a slumping economy. Employing expensive lobby groups who gorge on expenses while spewing endless rhetoric from renewable pundits. The bill at the end of the day is footed by the tax-payer.

In the film there's a famous line delivered from the PI when asked what he was doing in Chinatown. His reply: 'As little as possible'. It's a marvel of visual style, both the film and Ontario's Green Energy Act.

For the latest on the Ontario government's progress with the Green Energy Act, check out the Q&A from the National Post.

For more on Polanski as pedophile, read Jeff's view on the famous auteur.

I offer a different opinion on Roman than Jeff does. It took some balls at the studio to hire him to helm Chinatown. Surely he had made a name for himself with Rosemary's Baby but after the brutal murder of his wife (with expecting child) he probably went insane. No doubt Romans early Hollywood experience taught him there are no rules when you have the money and the power. (E.g Then you get the women - as per Scarface). His crime, wrong as it was, pales in comparison to his childhood memory as a Polish Jew during the Nazi regime or a victim of the Mason murders.

Messed up for sure but he's a survivor on the epic scale of life.


Don’t Be So Mayo

I still watch TV. Not as much as I used to because the commercials berate my consumer ID to a pulp that I actually care about the image I purvey by choosing a sandwich spread. Really. It’s mayonnaise folks. Eggs whipped in fat, 'seasoning' and chemicals. Really. I have the power to choose but is that choice a change or is it a transformation? Do I take the blue pill or the red pill? Do I Miracle Whip or do I Mayonnaise?

All right, enough of that. If you want to know more visit Nacho Underpants on the sandwich spread lowdown.

And the Emmy goes to...

Anyways back to the TV shows still worth my while. 2 of my favorites happen to be Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Both feature a strong premise, fantastic writing, acting and production values. Mad Men showcases the boom and bust world of advertising set against the challenging period of the baby boomer. Breaking Bad sees a high school chemistry teacher dealt a fatal hand in life go alpha-male working the crystal meth trade to support his family before he dies. Of course, most of you know the scoop and it's good to know they took home awards on Sunday for the best in show.

Another commercial. The latest Liberal spot claiming:

We can do better

Really. You can, I’m sure. Regardless if you’re someone, something or party it's possible but may never a have chance if the choice is Green Washing as the strategy.

The new slogan for the Liberal's should be the mantra for the Wind energy industry in Canada who’s capacity to generate a whopping 2,854 megawatts -- enough to power more than 860,000 homes and equivalent to about one percent of Canada's total electricity demand. (Source: Reuters)

One percent? Really. Wind energy's potential can equal 1% of the country's energy portfolio. Hmm. Really. My brother can get more output from a burrito & beer.

For more on this subject check out the tasty menu @ the new Steak & Eggs blog.


JoFergs & Skyler point vs. counterpoint on the wind debate.

And for something edgy, check out Jeff's trippy take on 1968.

As they say on TV, stay tuned and we'll hear from you on Twitter.


3 Things I Think I Think on 9/9/09

I'm old enough to remember Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey on Saturday Night Live. The early 90s featured the best cast IMO with Phil Hartman and Will Farrell. My brother and I used to love Deep Thoughts. It was the perfect segue to the next sketch so in honor of Deep Thoughts, I present some random musings on current events. Also, I added a widget to the blog so you can check out some Deep Thoughts on each visit ! (On the right column)

Blowing Smoke

Electricity generation company Ontario Power Generation is to close four coal-fueled power units in 2010, as part of the province’s transition to electricity generated from green energy. It is hoped the move will open investment and opportunities in Ontario’s green economy.(Source http://www.newenergyworldnetwork.com)

I'll miss seeing the smoke stacks spewing hazy pollution. It gives hope someday we'll have enough wind turbines to replace the lost power generated and kill more birds. Those will be great days.

Duely Noted

In general, I think media coverage of the Michael Bryant affair and the death of bicycle courier Darcy Allan Sheppard has served us well. Each day, new events and aspects have come into view. (Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com)

Here's a view - I like driving my convertible on sunny days. There's nothing like the warm breeze sifting through my hair as I cruise around the neighborhood. What I don't like are bike couriers. Perhaps someday I'll stop my car and get out and the bike courier will get off their bike and we can talk but until that day I'm going to off them and get the PR agency to smear them all over the news.

Smart Meter for Dalton McGuilty

In all, the McGuinty package has the sort of marketing challenge Brian Mulroney had with his Meech Lake accord. Just as that constitutional contraption was famously cobbled together behind closed doors by 10 white guys in suits, the McGuinty plan was inked in private with the feds and dropped in MPPs' laps to sell.(Source: http://www.thestar.com)

The day will come when we can regulate the amount of gas that comes from the provincial government. How it will work is there's a belt wrapped around a politicians neck and on it are 3 colored lights. The first being the taxpayer's interest earning a green and warning us of a bad idea. The second is yellow indicating a scam and third a red meaning the end of the line for said douchbag.

That's it for today and we'll check back in on Twitter.


Random Thoughts with Christine


I have to admit, I'm addicted. What looked to be a quick messaging service - the simple concept of 'what are you doing' has me tweeting all day while neglecting my blog ! In honor of Twitter, I present brief yet topical updates with much less characters. Oh and let's not forget to follow me and my friends on Twitter.
> http://twitter.com/greeningme101

'Goin Down'

The video reminds me of the tune: Love in an Elevator. Steven Tyler is 61, he falls off the stage, breaks his shoulder and incurs head injuries. It has me wondering if it's time Aerosmith calls it quits. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan but think it may be time to hang it up for good when none of the band members come to help.

Oh the irony

My last post mentions a man trapped in an elevator. I got trapped in an elevator on Monday. They had to get a technician to pull me out ! I was in there for half an hour.

Another election ?

Lorne Gunter, National Post
"Their current rush to get to the polls again -- a fall election would be Canada's fourth in five years -- demonstrates just how their absence from power consumes them. Not being in charge gnaws at their souls. It is like an itch they cannot reach, a thirst they cannot quench, a hunger they cannot satisfy.'>Full article.

We should just make it law to have an election every six months, let the Green Party rule the proceedings and cast their vote on who gets to be in power for each term.

You trust this guy ?

Tanya Talaga, Toronto Star
Dalton McGuinty has ordered all expenses at 23 provincial agencies, boards and commissions to be reviewed and approved by the Ontario integrity commissioner beginning this fall.
>Full article.

Go figure, these are the same folks who brought us the Green Energy Act. You know the law that let's them spend your tax dollar on gambling, booze and wind farms.

Now for the 'Generation We' Bloggers

  • My friends over at the Envirogy blog keep the debate on renewables interesting. Digg some Skyler & JoFergs when you get a chance.
  • The searing commentary @ CrudelyInterrupted keeps an edgy perspective on the headlines.
  • Laughter is the best medicine so have a gander and chuckle over at the Comedy Landfill.
That's it for today and we'll hear from you on Twitter !