Saturday, October 13, 2007

Our Man Al

"Al, Al, he's our man, if he can't do it, no one can!"

Well, it's official. Al Gore has joined the ranks of history's most notable movers and shakers. When life handed him lemons, he didn't just make lemonade. He kept going, churning his 2000 presidential defeat into numerous tasty lemon desserts, which some may argue (based on photos of a post-election Gore of some girth), he subsequently ate. Anyway, I'm not here to make fat jokes, but I think we can all agree that being upstaged by a ninny like W. when the popular vote was in the bag, is enough to turn a man (not to mention a nation) to the proverbial tub of ice cream. His fluctuating weight aside, Al didn't let those hanging chads get him down. No siree. He made a step or two or thousand in the right direction, as he, along with his trusty PowerPoint, traveled from city to city, town to town, and country to country, speaking up and out for our endangered Earth.

Gore was first honored in February when the film "An Inconvenient Truth", which follows his climate change crusade, won an Academy Award for best documentary. And now, along with U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he has snagged one of the highest honors, the Nobel Peace Prize--a feat that although monumental, has many wondering "is there a glitch in the matrix"? Yes, finally there's a little vindication for our administration's dismissal of the climate crisis. An administration who pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol and started a war over oil. An administration that unfortunately has so many media mouthpieces that the truth gets spun into party-speak, modified and twisted into something politically expedient, so that half the country is confusing opinion with fact. One thing's for sure, this presidency has been an example of the power of repetition--if you say something over and over again and believe it to be true even if it's not, people will start to believe it if they hear it enough times. And I think that's part of what happened with climate change. There is a conservative rhetoric (just like with most issues) that is perpetuated by the 24 hour news pundits, and a very noticeable bias in reporting. But now, the Nobel Committee has made a nod in the appropriate direction. By honoring the work of Gore and the UN Panel, they've legitimated the issue and endorsed it as a real problem that needs tackling.

Any way you look at it, Gore's achievement has people talking. For many "Draft Gore for President" hopefuls, it is just more fuel to throw on the fire. I was surprised to find that a simple Google search of "draft Gore" brings up seven different websites whose mission is all the same--to convince Al Gore to run for President in 2008. The poster featured in this blog is from one such site (http://www.draftgore.com). And on the same site you can watch a cheesy promo called "Al Gore the Hope for America" that likens Gore to JFK, and evokes emotion b y using a duo of sentimental music and old black and white photographs of Al growing up in Tennessee, not to mention lots (and I mean lots) of pictures of him with children. It's an interesting request, and not a half bad idea. I guess we'll have to wait and see if he changes his mind. But for now, kudos are in order. Thanks Al for waking us up.

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