20 April 2007

Bijna Zomer

That's Dutch for "Almost Summer," an infectiously catchy song by Holland's Apers. Knowing their market, they of course sing it in English, but on one of their tribute albums (that's right, these guys are barely more than kids, probably 99% of the world has never heard of them, and yet there've already been not one but two collections of their songs interpreted by other bands), Skokotronic translates it back into Dutch, giving it a more dreamy sound than the Apers' Queers/Weasel-inflected version.

Either way it's a great song, and an even greater feeling, one which we got ever so slight a foretaste of today here in New York. Sometime this afternoon the sun snuck into town from wherever it's been hiding and for a few hours before a chilly evening wind sent folks scurrying back to their burrows, it was possible to believe that this never-ending winter might finally be preparing to hobble off into a well-deserved oblivion. Unfortunately I missed the best of the sunshine, hypnotized as I too often am by the many-splendored drama of the Pop Punk Message Board, sparked largely by hyperactive office employees wasting innumerable person-hours of their bosses' time on discussions, debates, and wholesale invective-flinging.

One of todays entrancing topics centered around the question of "Do you ever fantasize about having sex with your fellow workers?" (It was worded more bluntly than that, but I'm trying to keep this a family blog.) One woman - oh, all right, I'll identify here; it was the irrepressible and vivacious Jenna Alive - replied that she worked with "my mom and bunch of gross old dudes." He boss was the only "relatively attractive" man there, but he was ruled out because he "doesn't believe global warming exists." To which Chadd Derkins responded, "And I, on the other hand, don't give a shit whether or not global warming exists. Does that make me better or worse than him?"

As someone who's been turned down innumerable times for innumerably variegated reasons, I must admit I've never had my faith or lack thereof in global warming used against me. I was a passionate believer in it long before Al Gore turned it into global hysteria, thanks to a Professor Granger, who I studied with at Berkeley at the beginning of the 90s, but I must admit that the more people go on about it nowadays, the more inclined I am to take the Derkins position.

My growing apathy is partly but not wholly a reaction against the smarmy Gore-bots. It's also based on the fact that there's not a lot I can do about the planetary climate crisis. Hell, I don't even own a car, and while I suppose I could dress in animal skins and thus eliminate the need for heating my apartment in the winter, I'm not too inclined to make much greater sacrifices while Mr. Environment himself has about four houses that use more energy in a day or two than I do in a year. And there's also the cynical aspect: by the time the oceans start boiling away and the buzzards zoom in to peck at the remains of the last desiccated human beings, I'll be long gone anyway. Unless of course genetic engineering gives us a cure for old age and death, in which case global warming will be only one of many terrifying new problems.

I think it also comes from having lived for the last ten years in a country obsessed with warmth or, more accurately, the lack thereof. The British newspapers try their damndest to get the people riled up about their island's prospects for slipping into the sea or turning into the Sahara Desert North, but tell most Englishmen (let alone the even more chilblained Scots) that we're in dire danger from rising temperatures, and you're mostly going to hear, "Ooh, lovely! When?" This year, of course, Britain's been enjoying one of its earliest summers ever, with temperatures in the upper 20s (70s and 80s Fahrenheit) by early April, while the East Coast of America shivers in what could easily pass for a British winter. So even if I risk killing off whatever romantic prospects I might still have, at the moment I'm inclined to say, "Global warming? Yes, please!"

1 comment:

merjoem32 said...

The debates over the authenticity of Gore on Global Warming is not important. The genuineness of global warming is not proven but we cannot deny that the climate change in some parts of the world is devastating farmers in developing countries. Finding solutions to this problem is much more important than proving or disproving global warming.