Instructions for the Day

I don't normally post at 12:30 on a Saturday night, but I just came back from the movies, and you all need to do this right now:
  1. Go to or or whatever service you use to find movies and showtimes.
  2. Find the closest theatre showing An Inconvenient Truth.
  3. Figure out the next time you can attend a screening.
  4. Gather your spouse, your kids ages 10 and up, your coworkers, your students, your friends from church, your friends from your writing group . . . yep, pretty much everyone you know.
  5. All of you: Go see it.

I am 100% not kidding about this. It is the nonfiction Movie of the Year, fascinating, devastating, and energizing in equal measure. It is sobering and scary in its demonstration of the causes of global warming and the consequences if we don't do something about it. It is moving in its depiction of Mr. Gore's personal odyssey, and political only because it has to be, because this is a problem that must be solved by whole countries as well as individuals, and we have the wrong stupid individuals leading this country right now. (It's almost physically painful to watch the documentary footage of Gore in Florida in 2000, conceding to that idiot . . . one of the great turning points in U.S. history, and we turned the absolute worst way possible.) (There's a hilarious and sadly true editorial about the morality of assassinating Bush in this month's Harper's -- thanks to Ben for pointing me to it.)

In fact, this is the film Fahrenheit 9/11 ought to have been, except Michael Moore's ego, anger, and bombasticity got in the way of his making the cogent war-on-terrorism anti-Administration argument that Gore makes environmentally here. And while it's very much a one-man show, it convinced me both of Mr. Gore's deep apolitical passion for the subject -- he's been following global warming since he studied it in college -- and of his equally honest humility -- never does the film say that that college was Harvard, or allude to any of his accomplishments in office that aren't connected to climate change.

Finally, it's the only film I've seen in the last . . . I don't know how long, maybe ever, that will genuinely change my life. Not just my emotional or mental life, as great films like Head On or Before Sunset made me consider who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live; but my physical life, the day-to-day choices I make about transport and light bulbs and where I buy my groceries. Those are exactly the changes the film wants to make me make; its great success is that I want to make them too.

And I want you to make them too. So go see it, please. And let's get started.