The ice is going to break – a retelling

The following post was written a couple of years ago, but remains relevant today. We have one party that would rather talk about issues they have told their following are desperately important, but are over-inflated and another party who is having trouble pushing some of these issues, while ignoring the last one.

The title is a crucial line from a movie called “The Dead Zone,” based on the Stephen King novel. I use this line as a metaphor for ignoring real problems. Let me explain the context. The movie stars Christopher Walkien as Johnny who, because of a car accident, could see the future after touching someone. But, if the future was less clear, a dead zone as he described it, he could alter the outcome.

A boy he was tutoring was supposed to practice ice hockey on a frozen pond with his demanding father as the team’s coach. But, when Johnny touched him, Johnny saw the ice breaking. His father said that was crazy, even though both men knew the father did a background check before hiring the tutor. Johnny slammed his cane on a chess board and said “the ice is going to break!” The son stayed home, but the father went ahead with practice and four kids drowned as the ice broke.

So, Mr. President, members of Congress and various state legislators, let me state obvious problems with this metaphor in mind.

– We have a global water crisis including in the US with the World Economic Forum identifying it as a top long term risk. Farmers are having to fight harder to protect their diminishing water rights. It will be made even worse by climate change, especially the droughts, wildfires, encroaching seas into aquifers and greater evaporation of reservoirs.  And, the problem is exacerbated with the significant water loss in fracking and lead pipes tainting some of the dear water.

– That climate change thing is a problem in its own right. Our federal government and several state government need to pitch in more and help. The former president backing out of the Paris Climate Change Accord is as poor a decision as could have been made, especially when it came the day after ExxonMobil shareholders voted to order management to inform them on what they are doing about climate change. Getting back to the table is the adult thing to do. Fortunately, strides have been made, but we need to accelerate these efforts.

– I learned today (note this was in 2019) our EPA is turning a blind eye to asbestos. Since Brazil stopped production of this toxic product, we now are importing asbestos from Russia. As a metaphor for this the former president, each bag of toxic asbestos imported from Russia has Donald Trump’s picture on it. A toxic material imported by a toxic man from another toxic man. While all of this is going on, you can easily watch TV commercials advertising about getting compensation for the use of dangerous asbestos without your knowledge.

– Although, debt is not an environmental concern, our so-called leaders are ignoring this huge and growing problem. As interest cost grows to a greater part of our budget, it will hinder our ability to do other things. Both parties are to blame for our increasing debt which has only been made worse by the pandemic relief and 2018 tax law change. At some point, some poor soul will address this issue assuring he or she will not get reelected. It should be noted that it will require spending cuts and revenue increases, as the math will not otherwise work, per the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The ice is going to break. We must heed the warnings now. If we don’t, we may be the ones who drown.

Four movies worth another look

From time to time, I have highlighted various movies that range from old to new. Today, I want to focus on a few that people may have overlooked due to the age of the movie or because they slipped under the radar screen less detected. If you have not seen these movies, give them a shot. If you have not seen them in awhile, please take the impetus to revisit them. In no particular order:

The Manchurian Candidate – although a remake has been done, the first version aired in 1962 and was directed by John Frankenheimer. It starred Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury (who plays antagonists very well), Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and James Gregory. It was the first movie about the subject of brainwashing and incorporates flashes of the technique as we try to figure out what is going on as the story plays out around a presidential candidate.

Madame X – released in 1966, this is one of my favorite Lana Turner movies. It was directed by David Lowell Rich and also starred John Forsyth, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith and Keir Dullea. The movie is about a famous woman who, after an affair, is paid to go away by a conniving mother-in-law to protect her son. The movie eventually leads to this woman being put on trial many years later, where she only wants to die for her crime, simply signing her name “Madame X.”

The African Queen – released in 1951, this John Huston directed movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Many have likely seen this movie, but it is two stars at their best, as the Nile River vessel, the African Queen is piloted by a heavily drinking captain in Bogart to ferry his lone passenger in Hepburn. The struggles of two very different people is worth the watch and takes you through a series of emotions.

The Dead Zone – the newest of the four movies was released in 1983. It covers one of my favorite of Stephen King’s books and was directed by David Cronenburg. Christopher Walken stars as a man who recovers from a coma following a car accident having the power to see the future by touching someone, but with some haze or a dead zone. He learns that he has the power to change the hazy part. It is a fascinating story on the power to change the future, especially when it is horrific. Martin Sheen plays a presidential candidate, Brooke Adams plays the now married ex-girlfriend who had stopped waiting for Walken’s character to come out of his coma. Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lam and Anthony Zerbe play excellent roles, as well.

I enjoyed revisiting these movies. Please give them a new look or a first look, if you have not seen them. Three involve people’s ability to impact significant politicians, while the fourth involves two different people working toward a common cause. Tell me what you think and share other gems you like.