My observation at the end of An Inconvenient Truth

by phil on Saturday Aug 26, 2006 10:17 AM

The film An Inconvenient Truth is so self-assured in its psychological impact that at the end of the film, it has a series of one-line imperatives to help the environment. It says, for example, in small white text, "ride a bike," and then it fades away. Then it says, "e-mail your congressman," and then it fades away. This part became like a mini-rally, and people waited around for it. This is surprising, because normally people get up when they hear the sprightly music and see the small white text at the end of a movie. Then the credits started to roll, and finally people got up.

The theater we were in happened to be right by the main parking lot, so everybody kind of moved together as a school of fish. One by one, they filtered from the sidewalk, over the curb, onto the asphalt, and on their way to their cars. However, I noticed an awkward yet somber silence. Apparently, I'm used to the concomitant wave of "doot-doot" sounds and headlights flashing. Here, though, nobody was pulling out their car keys to remotely unlock their vehicles.

We continued to filter through the parking lot, negotiating through the cars already there, still in total silence. There were couples walking together, and they weren't talking either. I became a bit nervous and walked swiftly to my car, only unlocking it right when I was up against the side door. Then I slipped in and drove off.

The film, at least for a moment, made it really uncool to own a car.

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