I’ve always found films in the Weather-Action genre to be overwhelmingly unbelievable and not very immersive. You know the ones — The Day After Tomorrow, Twister, Volcano (geology, weather — whatever), Deep Impact (see Volcano), The Core, Flood, and that Aussie classic, Shit Day for a Barbie.
But after the giant success of Copenhagen, all that has changed. Finally, we are ready. Our leaders have shown us the kind of action we want to see. Forget the half trillion dollars that the bulk of the world’s nations are calling for. For less than half a billion, we can put the real action on the big screen to share with the world (and if we keep Baz Luhrmann the hell away from it, it won’t even have to be a musical).
The climax will be awesome…
Interior. Pentagon Situation Room:
The US President stands, flanked by generals, advisors, senators, congressmen, corporate lobbyists, donors, and a Hummer that transforms into a gigantic dildo with really tiny balls.
(We have already established early in the film that he’s devastatingly popular. Initially he had problems because he proclaimed that he supported women’s right to abortion but opposed gay marriage, but then he shifted to a position of supporting gay marriage because it reduced the annual number of abortions — thereby winning over his more dogmatic opponents…)
They’re surrounded by all kinds of satellite technology, computer banks all manned by uniformed underlings, with widescreen plasma TVs covering the walls, showing footage from all across the world — massive waves pound sea walls, a village gets torn up by a tornado, fires rip through forests, cattle die in drought, lightning storms blackout a city, rainforests are buried under shifting desert sands, plague destroys south-east Asia, huge ice flows disintegrate into the sea, coconut groves flourish across Lithuania, Rush Limbaugh gets oral pleasure from an underage intern, a humpback whale blows its brains out with a shotgun, and with terrifying speed Tiger Woods gets to the end of the last cocktail waitress in the whole world. It’s awful.
There’s a commotion at the door as an earnest-looking guy in a lab coat tries to burst through security but gets wrestled to the ground. He’s waving a bundle of paper and screaming that if the President doesn’t hear him out then everything is going to be destroyed. The President intervenes, much to the displeasure of his underlings. He ensures that security have checked the scientist for WMDS and emails. They have — he’s clean. The President beckons him over and after establishing the man’s credentials as a super-genius who totally knows almost everything, he asks what has to be done.
The scientist explains that because people have treated a finite planet like an endlessly renewable resource, the entire planetary system is pushing back in any way that it can, that its destruction is not going to be narrowly targeted but rather on an unprecedented and increasingly unpredictable scale, that there will be massive casualties that make both World Wars look like pie-eating contests, that countless species will be erased before we even collect specimens, that the planet may recover within a million years but we probably won’t, and that it has already begun and will go completely beyond our control if we don’t act right away.
The President looks concerned. He picks up the big red phone and a montage starts — soundtrack maybe a drum-‘n’-bassed version of Halo by Beyonce. He’s on the phone talking urgently, making lots of different calls to world leaders and heads of industry, pounding his fist, looking proactive, while people work on screens running calculations, looking exasperated and panicked — more footage of disasters — then the President is talking forcefully with all his people, they’re calling senators, congressmen, it all goes into Brady Bunch multiple split-screens of everybody calling and arguing with everybody else, more fist pounding, newspaper headlines spin out of the screen with terrible news then the promise of a breakthrough. Finally the President’s people all grudgingly nod toward him, indicating that they support whatever it is that he’s about to do. The music fades as he turns to the professor and says.
"Yes, you’re right — we have to do something. We just can’t do anything right now, because, you know, whatever. I have to leave for my plane now because there’s, um, weather."
The scientist looks stunned as the President coughs loudly and brushes past him. As soon as the President is out of the room and the door has closed behind him, the Senators and Congressmen/women, former Vice-Presidents, and the giant metal dildo with tiny balls all crowd around the scientist and kick him to the ground, beating him until he’s utterly smashed and blood is trickling from his shattered body toward a nearby drain.
Then nothing happens for the next two hours but a lot of talking and handshakes while the cinema fills with a noxious gas that smells like a mixture of farts, teargas and car fumes. A child’s sudden scream is cut off by a health warning about the popcorn. Roll credits, fade to black, and finally, Blue Screen Of Death.
Luckily, organising the necessary finance (usually so tricky on these big film projects) is actually going to be the easy part with this one. I’ve seen how the game is played. Next week I’m heading down to wherever the emitters have corralled our politicians this time. I’ll just stand in line with the rest of them and put my hand out…
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