Thursday
Jun022005

« Diving In »

Well, today I took the baby step on my way toward political greatness. In fact it started with a rise from my chair in a slightly graceless fashion as I stepped up to use my allotted two minutes of off-topic announcement time in front of the Clairemont Town Council. Of course, I was there to promote my little DVD showing on Sunday. I haven’t been to any such meeting before so I don’t know if it was received well or laughed out of the park. I did start off with the announcement that I have lived in Clairemont all my life and have gone to five schools in the area.

I sat through the various reports of local representatives, and those up to the state assembly level. The police lamented to say that the little community storefront location would be closed in all likelihood. The lady who represented our current mayor said this was her last meeting as his assistant, and she listed a few things that were on the chopping block in the city. Donna Frye’s rep said that one thing or another was going to be closed down. The woman who represented our assemblyperson on the state level said something about a bill to encourage gas conservation.

A HA! Now we’re getting somewhere.

Everyone was lamenting one thing breaking down, being closed, being deemed too expensive, or whatever. Then there was little old me who came up with the headline article in the San Diego U-T called “Crude Awakening.” At least it was current and to my surprise, it was a pretty good article for any of the mainstream stuff I have seen. I read it while I waited for the meeting to begin, and there was clearly a mention of peak oil, and there was at least baby steps that implied some hard times ahead. I was surprised. So it was good that this three-article SDUT came out this weekend, one week before I get on my soapbox and show The End of Suburbia and give a speech about the issue and my hopes for forming a group to meet the challenge.

Prior to going to the meeting though, I had precisely mixed luck in two attempts to win people over to my showing. The first was my old man, to whom I had to pay the rent today. He is a stubborn old fuck. He just loves to go his ooooowwwwwnnnnn way. He has some sense in him, and in some regards he is ahead of the pack, but he thinks he can go it alone. Twelve years ago he did in fact convert a crappy used car with a combustion engine to a crappy electric car, and had hoped to sell it for $waytoofuckingmuchforwhatitlookedlike. It went to his head, as all his inventions do. He swore he would do back yard car conversions to make money, maybe one a month. He thought, in 1993, that people would see the light and start to bring him their cars to be converted. He linked up with others who had equally informed delusions, but were possibly at least using better cars to start with. But these cars invariably were mutants. They would have waytoofuckingmuch weight in the battery compartment, which ruined the feel and handling. The times I drove the old man’s Ford Escort was a pretty fair indication of how the rest of them might fare. It drove like ass. After sitting in the garage or the back yard of his house for ten years, he eventually ended up cutting the whole car apart for parts, reusing or reselling the electric components and batteries. He went on to make a motorcycle/car hybrid (trike). I laughed at him all the way.

Anyhow, he was proclaiming independence from the system at large, saying he’d fish out of the ocean, drive a hydrogen powered (converted) vehicle, and so forth. He said he wasn’t worried, and that there are other things that can be done, and no need to worry about the future problems because they wouldn’t affect us because we own our houses and are doingjustfinethankyouverymuch. He’s not as dumb as the garden variety conservative Republican when confronted with these matters, but he has his own sort of go-it-alone mentality that is maddening. So I challenged him to have my house taken off the energy grid and put on full solar. It’ll probably never happen because he is sure there can’t be much of a change. He loves to cite the fact that California’s energy “crisis” was a hoax, which we all know it was, but I tell him, hey, that northeastern USA blackout in 2003 was not, and that is something we much acknowlege. We’ll see if he can suspend his confidence long enough to come to my presentation.

The other pitch I made was whilst flyering cars at Clairemont High school before the CTC meeting. I was bombing the SUVs and minivans with full page ads for my meeting on Sunday and at one car, I noticed a guy was in it and as I walked around the car, I saw a range of lefty bumper stickers. So I did what I never planned to do: went up and started talking to him straightaway. “Excuse me, I saw the Kerry sticker on your car and you look like you have an open mind.” Well, sure enough, he did. He got out and we talked on the spot for about 15 minutes, and he sounded like he would not only be a good target for coming to the showing, but possibly for actually working on the project too. Funny. You know a guy for 31 years and he doesn’t want to help for shit, and you walk up to a stranger and he is right there on your wavelength. Wacky.

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