Thursday, August 3, 2006

Spoiler Alert!
(Think of it like I'm saving you eleven bucks.)

I got another two-for-one discount at the Angelika Film Center this afternoon by purchasing an overpriced ticket to Clerks II and sneaking into Who Killed The Electric Car? after. I don't know why. I'm not one of those pretentious film school asshats who's convinced Kevin Smith is a god; the original Clerks was alright, Mallrats was pointless, unnecessary, and added nothing new to the fascinating 1995 discussion of Magic Eye pictures. Clerks II was more or less Clerks I, in color, and with a pudgier Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson. Same meandering dialogue, same hit-to-miss ratio with the jokes, exact same argument between Dante and Randall ninety-five percent of the way through the movie — Dante accuses Randall of ruining his life and Randall calls Dante a tool. Gee, I didn't see that coming twelve years ago.

Who Killed The Electric Car? was the movie I really wanted to see, because I wasn't indignant enough after watching the Enron movie last month. Next time you're at the local Mobil station, filling that motherfucker Hummer of yours at three-fifty a gallon, I want you to remember that for about four years in the late 1990's, General Motors, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda all made cars — zero to sixty in less than four seconds — that took no gas. Really, for a brief, shining moment, we were free of the oil monopoly, OPEC, all this Middle East shit. And then, as the title implies, someone killed the electric car, along with twenty-five hundred American soldiers and forty thousand Iraqis.

I'm going to give away the ending and tell you who murdered the electric car. I suggest you sit down. The culprits were: the oil companies, GM, the Republican deregulators we put in the White House, science fiction-ish hydrogen cell technology, the California Air Resources Board (conveniently chaired by this guy who consults for the automakers' association), and, of course, you morons who wouldn't purchase clean emissions technology till you were handing out piles of sawbucks trying to fill your gas tank.

Not to let the multinational conspiracy off the hook here, but I lost count of how many sequences the movie gave us of SUV-driving douchebags telling the camera, "Wow, that electric car sounds awesome. Where can I get one? Oh, what do you mean I can't anymore?" Okay, fellow Americans, I'm fucking sick of you jackasses repudiating your civic duty to stay informed about what's going on in your world. I don't care if you skip out on jury duty, and frankly I'd prefer it if you kept your asinine political opinions away from the voting booth, but democracy doesn't fucking work among the ill-informed. You don't like it? Rather kill those brain cells memorizing Paris Hilton's new retarded song or scouring the internet for obscure trivia about that horn guy on America's Got Talent (which, by the way, thanks NBC for proving once and for all that it doesn't) — then move your lazy ass somewhere like Iran or Myanmar, where willful ignorance won't exactly bring you bliss, but it will keep the secret police off your back. I don't want to come across as "America: love it or leave it," but it's got to be tough for the eighty or so protestors keeping vigil, trying to prevent GM from shredding the last of its electric cars, when the rest of the country won't pick up its fair share of the work keeping the nation healthy.