This afternoon, hiding from the heat in my air conditioned office, I quickly scanned MSNBC for news. The first article I read was discouraging: evidently, Arctic Sea ice is melting away this year at a record pace, faster than most experts predicted would happen for another 70 years. Turning away from such bad news, I began to read an essay about the ways in which teen movies, like the new Superbad, have launched the careers of numerous cinema stars.
When I read the following line from the Superbad article—“Like other winning teen movies of the past, chances are Superbad will introduce audiences to actors that are likely to have an impact on movies right now, but 10 to 20 years down the road as well”—the absurdity of the two articles hit me. Hell, who knows if there will be an audience to impact in 10 to 20 years at the rate things are changing. So, in a twist on the great tradition of Put a Kitty on It, I have an idea:
Because I tend to think that we collectively turn to entertainment at times to escape ideas that are painful or difficult, as I did as an individual today, let’s create a situation in which instead of putting a kitty on everything to make it better, we give a linguistic turn to every news story to remind everyone to do their part to fight global warming.
As an example, we could have the writer of the Superbad article amend the sentence to read, “Like other winning teen movies of the past, chances are Superbad will introduce audiences to actors that are likely to have an impact on movies right now, but 10 to 20 years down the road as well. That is, unless global warming has produced massive death and destruction by then.”
Another: rather than welcoming students to a University with words like this: “Over the course of the next four years, you will have many choices that will shape your undergraduate education.” One might add, “The four years after that are unlikely to matter as our University may well be underwater.”
Rather than adding a kitty to every disaster in order to make everyone smile, let’s take every moment of entertainment and celebration as an opportunity to reframe the climatic apocalypse!