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Global Warming


Venn DiagramEven my lovely and powerful computer is getting fed up with all the multitasking. When I ask it to let me use Firefox, it rope-a-dopes me — asking, in effect, “Do you really need to use Firefox?  Wouldn’t you be just as happy sticking with your email application?”  I need to click on the little Firefox icon a few more times before the machine grudgingly brings up the browser.

I feel my laptop’s pain (something I’m sure we’ve all experienced, though possibly not on our wedding night): There are so many things I’m trying to do right now that I feel myself approaching a sort of fugue state.

On one of my “tabs” on Firefox is an uploading video that my brother Jake and I made yesterday, alerting our supporters at that we plan to shoot the next installment of our new film, Love & Taxes, next weekend — and gently asking for even more donations.

On another tab is the enewsletter-generating program I use: I plan to send out an eblast to my peeps today about a couple of improvs I’ll be doing (towards an expanded version of my monologue Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?) in San Francisco over the next two weeks.  (The improvs — each open to a maximum of 15 audience members, so that few will be able to speak of the chaos and disaster — will be on Dec. 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at The Jewish Theatre San Francsico; call 415.292.1233 to reserve a spot.)

Another tab holds yesterday’s article from the San Francisco Chronicle detailing brother Jake’s ongoing collaboration with Robert Reich on terrific little videos that give simple explanations of complicated policy issues.  At the same time, I keep checking my email for updates regarding an event that Jake and I are trying to put together: me interviewing Reich on stage at the Berkeley Rep in January, and filming it for use as a pilot for our new interview show, Josh Kornbluth Talks to Strangers.

There are also:

  • Word documents with in-progress contracts, a proposed budget for a possible concert film of my show The Mathematics of Change, my running diary of research and thoughts toward the Warhol piece, thoughts toward a future monologue about playing the oboe and spirituality (working title: Practice), notes from my fellow members of the Berkeley Energy Commission toward a report we’re preparing on local control of our energy production (so we can more aggressively fight global warming), and the text of President Obama’s very interesting Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
  • My RSS reader, which offers continually updating summaries of all the items on all the blogs I like to follow — DANGER! WILL SUCK UP ALL ATTENTION IF ALLOWED TO!
  • PDF documents with scenes, notes, and schedules for the Love & Taxes shoot.
  • JPEGs of possible locations for the L&T shoot.
  • A complete script, in “Final Draft” software, of L&T.
  • An audiobook, in iTunes, containing an unabridged recording of a complete history of the Jews (I just started it, but I suspect there may be some suffering).
  • A printer utility warning that I am about to run out of cyan-colored ink — which is actually okay, since (a) I will soon vaporize and thus won’t need to print anything and (b) I have no real idea what color “cyan” is, and suspect that few if any of my documents will need to be tinted cyan.

Which is just for starters, and does not take into account the books by and about Kafka, Brandeis, and other “Warhol Jews” that are staring accusingly at me from the bookcase, asking why I have not finished them yet; nor the pile of unsorted papers I brought back from my recent trips to India and Portland (guess which place was drizzlier); nor the fact that my new booking agent has been waiting a week for me to send him the technical requirements for my “smaller” shows (i.e., the cheaper ones); nor many other things that are now rolling around vaguely but impatiently in my head and working their way down to my esophagus, from whence they will eventually try to reflux their way back out into the world …

But really, the idea is to just start with something, right?  Baby steps.  Okay.  Right.

I’ll pee.  Yes, that is what I’ll do first.  I will pee.  Peeing is good.  It also involves stepping away from the computer, which will be a relief for my laptop and myself.  We both need some space.  Too much multitasking.  Too many tasks to be multi-ed.  Go back to a simpler time, when people left their front doors unlocked and movies cost under $10 and one person doing one task on one computer was the subject of worldwide awe and admiration.  That is what I will do.  And it will be nice.

Busting a CAP?

280px-instrumental_temperature_recordTonight I’ll be attending a meeting of the Berkeley City Council, which is scheduled to discuss the latest revision of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan (CAP).  Apparently there will be a lot of opposition voiced against the plan, as it will require Berkeley homeowners to bring their houses into conformity with rules designed to maximize heat efficiency (and thus minimize carbon emissions).  Also, some folks opposed the somewhat greater level of “density” proposed by the plan.  (The argument for greater density — besides that the word “density” reminds many of us of that great line in Back to the Future when Crispin Glover’s character tremulously says to his future wife, “I am your density!” (rather than “destiny,” as he was supposed to say) — is that you need a decent number of people to live around one particular area, or “corridor,” for public transportation to be most useful.)

My own opinion is that we need to change our habits big-time to save our planet, and that the CAP is a thoughtful and brave response to that challenge.  As a member of the Berkeley Energy Commission, I’ve seen how passionate the city staff has been about seeking (and incorporating) citizens’ input.  And after all, the citizens have tacitly demanded such action to be taken, by voting overwhelmingly (81 percent — a higher number even than Bush’s peak disapproval numbers) in support of 2006’s Measure G, which called for the city to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.  As I have learned, that goal will be very, very difficult to meet — and yet, we must get there, because we must do everything we can to reverse global warming.

You could argue that it doesn’t really matter what one granola-munching, sandal-wearing community does — that the whole thing is merely a symbolic exercise.  In fact, you could argue that tonight at the Berkeley City Council meeting, at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way — probably no earlier than 8:30, as there are other topics likely to take up the Council’s attention till then.  Or could you say that you support this Climate Action Plan, and dearly wish it to be implemented — which, as you know, happens to be my position.  But isn’t it great that we get to participate in the fight to save our planet, rather than just make snide jokes about politicians and hot air and carbon emissions?