So-called global warming is an issue that the anti-Bushites are trying to use to gain support for their "Defeat-Bush" campaign. But the tactic could end up alienating those who see the issue as a red herring. Moveon.org, the political action group that is spearheading an anti-(U.S. President George Walker) Bush movement by mobilizing volunteers to work on voter registration and publicity, is currently using the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, as a springboard to amalgamize public opinion on the side of global warming, and thus against Bush. The organization is posting volunteers outside movie theaters showing the film, each one of them equipped with flyers warning of the dangers that a lax environmental policy can trigger such as those outlined in exaggerated form in the film. Most admit, however, that The Day After Tomorrow does not portray a realistic scenario for global warming. Still, Moveon.org is doing its best to take advantage of the film's ability to galvanize opinion on the issue, and fling it back in Bush's face because of his poor environmental record.
I was in the Chelsea section of Manhattan today with a friend who has been doing some volunteer work for Move, and she insisted that after we visited some art galleries in the area, that she take time to distribute some of her Move flyers. I didn't bother reading them, but assumed that they would highlight the movie and discuss the global warming issue and what they considered Bush's careless disregard for it. I told my friend that, while I was not convinced that Gobal Warming was any kind of a real threat, I still thought that reducing car emissions was a good thing. But she was not satisfied with that, and tried to convince me that Global Warming was indeed a threat. I don't believe it is. I see those who try to keep the icecaps from melting as proponents of the statis quo. Over the last million or so years, the climate has undergone considerable variation, and to want to stabilize the climate is an unrealistic dream. In fact, reacting to some current short-term climactic trend may end up doing more damage than letting it run its course. To make global warming a campaign issue is to push the national political debate into vague territory. While universal support could be galvanized for more stringent environmental regulations, global warming, in the eyes of many, is not a fact, but a factoid. The danger for the anti-Bush movement is that it might alienate voters who feel that the anti-Bush movement is becoming a sideshow for flower people and techno-radicals.
The weather was perfect for handing out flyers, and outside a cinema on 23rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues there must have been five or six volunteers from Move and the Sierra Club doing whatever they could to put literature in the hands of movie-goers. My friend was rather aggressive about it, and had handed out a stack of 50 in about twenty minutes. Apparently, the cinemal management lends a jaundiced eye toward the activity, but they can only stop what goes on inside the theater itself.
Amy is from the West Coast, and she is just in New York for a week before she returns to a commune in California. We met at around noon, caught a bite to eat at an informal eatery on the corner of Madison Avenue and 79th Street, and when we were finished, sauntered down a few doors to the Graham Gallery to see an exhibition of works of the artist Guy Pene Du Bois. Du Bois was a comrade of what came to be known as the "Ashcan" school of artists, known for painting scenes of everyday life that some critics thought were below the dignity of an artist to portray. Du Bois' early paintings were more in this style, but by the 1920s, he was painting in an exaggerated manner that simplified the human form into a kind of tube-like geometry. Du Bois was no cubist, but neither was he a realist. His paintings are interesting, and a visit to the show at the Graham Gallery (Madison Ave. bet. 78th and 79th Streets) is recommended, as is a visit to the very pleasant fast food joint on 79th and Madison.