27 July 2008

Our Endangered Oceans

As a bystander, the debate on global climate change is so annoying to listen to. The red fights the blue on the playing field. Meanwhile, the real destruction takes place on the sidelines. And most of the commentators are fucked in the head too. Whatever media has been commercialized and sensationalized for business interests has also been "bought" by either/or face of the bickering political machine. It's much easier to trust science because true science, like nature, gives deconstruction no attention. Valid science says, a fact is a fact. The only trouble is, it's a real shame science has to give money and politics a thought.In this world of truth gone mad, non-profit organizations seem most effective.

A bunch of non-profits undertook something called the Blue Project to study our endangered oceans. I read of the project in this weekend's Parade, a media name that probably triggers anti-liberal or anti-conservative sentiment. I wouldn't know. I'm too busy caring about the health of my ecosystems. The earth is more than just another news grabber or a political hot button. The oceans are our oceans, and they're very real aspects of our existence. We all know the human body can't function and replenish itself without healthy blood. When toxins are systematically pumped into our blood, we can survive for a time, but not indefinitely.

Turns out the same is true of our oceans, which are something like the planet's life blood. No matter who's right, the politics of the debate over global climate change cannot distract me from the SCIENTIFIC FACTS. The seas have risen, warmed, and acidified worldwide. Those changes, combined with overfishing, have caused 90% of our big fish to disappear [...] Pollution has led to almost 26,000 U.S. beaches being temporarily closed or put under advisories [...] and nearly 90% of our wetlands, the nurseries for fish, have vanished due to development. The oceans are in crisis. Quoted above is Leon Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Regardless of who he makes promises to for his money, Panetta's is a title I can get behind. I don't care what McCain or Obama think about the oceans. They don't study them for a living.

Even if the two 90% statistics in the quote are off a little either way, any significant reduction in big fish and wetlands means something, whether it's coming from a liberal or a conservative. Ecological problems create tremors in the food web. When the big creatures begin dying, it's a very clear sign that the things smaller than them have already been affected, severely. We could blame development, but that only gives each and every one of us a reason not to blame ourselves.

The bottom line: News stories about the planet's well-being can affect us for a moment, at least until the next news story comes along to change our moods. Well, I plan on letting news stories affect me very much, especially if they suggest a major ecological problem. Who cares if that next strip mall gets built? What I wanna know is, what will the effect be?

Reinstating Cosmic Order with Rocks 'n Crap

A friend and I hiked the Old Loggers Path in Central PA a few weeks ago. Along the trail, I couldn't help noticing some rock stacks left behind in the middle of a stream. Someone passing through took the time to stack flat rocks, making miniature rock monuments that stood out amongst all the surrounding chaos. A week or so later, Emily and I were driving somewhere. In the passing scenery, I saw another such rock stack in a stream nowhere near the ones I passed on foot. Hundreds of miles and one week apart, the events brought to mind the work of Andy Goldsworthy, whom I admire greatly for his close connection with nature on a daily basis. I learned of his work years ago from a professor (and fellow Blogspotter). Goldsworthy's art reflects time spent to establish cosmic order using natural objects. I find it so interesting that a man would use naturally-existing objects and financially-valuable time to make structures that would not otherwise form in the natural order of things.

Man has, for the most part, taken this premise to appalling lengths. I mourn those who died from the collapse of the Twin Towers, but I do not mourn the towers themselves. I see no beauty whatsoever in the proposed Freedom Tower that will replace the Twin Towers, but I see lots and lots of beauty in structures like Stonehenge.

We are all lucky that men like Goldsworthy exist to bring humans closer to something like humility. He returns us closer to the builders of ancient rock structures, who, like Goldsworthy, built structures to bring cosmic order to the earth.

I do not choose to ignore the self-interest in such construction projects. In its days of use, the grounds of Stonehenge were a place of selfish human sacrifice. Our morals have evolved since then. Nowadays we only sacrifice each other in non-lethal ways. The skyscrapers of the modern age act less like examples of cosmic human order, and more like the economic excesses of a rich minority. The proposed Freedom Tower will become one such place where the rich minority can create more debt for the poor majority. (I know what I believe, so you'll have to ask yourself if you feel like your quality of life is being sacrificed for the benefit of others.) The difference I see between Stonehenge and skyscrapers is one of man vs. nature. Man's existential system, society, is based mostly in beliefs and inter-relationship. Nature's existential system, balance, is based mostly in science. We can deconstruct beliefs and the nature of relationships, but there is no deconstructing nature. Nature operates as it does, and that is that.

From now on, I plan to devote much more of my own deliberation to issues of ecology, and I think my blog of late is proof. From this moment forward, I offer the chew toy up as a sacrifice to the planet I love. Here, I will engage in deep consideration of ecological caution, because I consider anything else immoral support for continued ruination. My spirit demands that I make this extra effort on behalf of others. I take great pride in being blind to "unnecessary" caution. I don't mind that others speed on, blissfully ignorant of the impact they create. Most of all, it's their loss. They pay no mind to the beauty they help to destroy, nor do they recognize the ways they're wasting their own existences paying attention to useless crap. I do admit though that I often wish I could force hyper-capitalists to nurture the planet as much as they take advantage of it.

But I know I can't force anyone to realize something, and it would be morally wrong to do so if I could. For this reason, I am saddened a little by the realization that I may already have chosen for at least one person. In recent months, I've been very seriously owning up to the responsibility of the child Emily and I have on the way. The world of that child is in jeopardy, because of decisions made by me and those around me. I have no choice but to enter a new era of questioning everything I do, even more so than before, which poses a real challenge given the obligation I have to recognize when I should ease off from making decisions for my child. In the meantime, our newborn will be unable to make choices for him-or-herself. Newborns create increased ecological impact, which is where I can make a difference on my newborn's behalf.

For its own benefit, the market economy promotes a parenting of convenience. Unfortunately for the market, that c-word sets off alarms all over my conscience. Convenience, or ease of human living, only creates dis-ease for the planet. The convenient living we've established is as good as ignorance. While ignorance may be bliss, it's also ignorance, and I don't want to be an ignorant parent. For the time being, I will accept all responsibility for myself and my child. In those times when I have to throw away a baby food package, I want to feel the act in my gut. In those times when I find it convenient to use a plastic disposable diaper, I want to feel the smelly plastic choking me like it chokes my planet. My hope is that these pains will make me a more conscientious parent and a less admired consumer. Reduce, reuse, recycle means getting creative, so that's what I plan to do. I don't need to heed the parenting crap blasted at me by TV commercials. Companies can't tell me the easiest way to raise my child. To be a good parent, all I need to do is take a deliberate role in raising my child, and I simply do not see what there is to learn from wrapping his or her poop in a disposable diaper and removing it from sight as soon as possible. Disposables are easier, but if I really want to know my child, I'll share an existence with him or her through very deliberate acts--like scraping poop out of a cloth diaper and washing that diaper in a pail. (Hey, it's just poop. It's not like cloth diapers support terrorism or anything.) The very deliberate act of using cloth diapers will remind me that easy isn't necessarily good. Sometimes, easy runs on lacking creativity.

I often hear parents talk with concealed joy about the many physiological nasties their children produce. "Oh, I see all sorts of stuff shooting out of little Sammy," they might say with a restrained chuckle. They're unaware of the cosmic order they create by spending the time to move something "nasty" away from their children. This cosmic order hits a sudden roadblock when parents wrap their child's poop in a disposable diaper and ignore it from that point forward. They ignore the potential energy that fecal matter has to offer the immediate ecosystem. Poop can be returned to the planet through the dumping of a diaper pail. Instead, it sits preserved like a corpse, wrapped in plastic for the many kajillionz of years it takes disposable diapers to biodegrade.

(stolen from www.greendiary.com/images/disposable_diaper.gif)

Meanwhile, detritus cycles continue cycling without that fecal matter. The turning detritus cycle of any given ecosystem constitutes an overwhelming majority of that cycle's energy. The amount varies from one ecosystem to another, but when I say "an overwhelming majority," I mean the detritus cycle checks in at somewhere near the 90-th percentile of energy in a given ecosystem.

What does all this have to do with the rock structures I've seen lately? As our ecosystem adjusts quietly to slow human self-destruction, I'm sensing a real nervousness among people. More unsettled, I think people are becoming less content with the way of things. Whether they realize it or not, the skeptics of destruction perpetuate a message as toxic as their irresponsible practices. When we can quiet our own agendas, it's quite easy to see that global destruction is being proven by science. (See a later, smaller post.) It's not some agenda. It's the fate of the entire world. The only way to re-establish cosmic order on this planet is through very deliberate and loving acts of nurture. Building rock structures takes this sort of disposition.

Let me end by saying I feel no guilt at all for my place on this planet. I'm not telling others not to use disposable diapers. I'm saying I don't want to, because I see the importance of the hard work it takes to maintain cosmic order. This existence is about making choices that affect the ecosystem of which we're a part, and I strongly question the abilities of most people to know what a relationship with the planet feels like. From where I'm standing, they aren't living their lives. They're spending them, one dollar a minute. Well, I favor a debt of a different kind. I don't want my life owned by corporations and banks. I'd prefer to make daily payments to the nature that gave me a loan in the first place. That way, when the big day comes, I know I'll be able to pay back the loan. The only way I'll get there is by making a daily effort to pay back pieces of the debt, one deliberate act at a time.

Do you think Stonehenge was easy to build? No, the people who built it spent many years and performed "miracles" to get the stones of the Sarsen Circle so perfectly aligned to the summer solstice sunrise. Ancient people didn't make rock structures because they were bored, or because they were easy to make. True, they did it construct them to slaughter someone for the benefit of everyone else, but the point is, those who built Stonehenge made personal sacrifices to construct the monument. They took valuable time out of their survival schedules because they saw building the rock monument as time well-spent.

I saw no sacrificed animals splayed out in front of the rock stacks that started this entry. Nor were those monuments aligned to cosmic events in the sky, as far as I could tell anyway. So what purpose did they serve the people who made them? I saw no clear and practical purpose, other than that they enjoyed the deliberate act of making them. It is my dream that someday the majority of people on this planet will come to understand the wisdom of its ignored minority. For those who built the rock stacks I saw, know that I understand why you did what you did, whether you know or not. I share that love of existence, and I plan to go on living my own "foolish, tree-hugging" existence until the day I die, when I get to make one giant re-entry into the detritus cycle.

05 July 2008

Second trimester!!!

Emily told me today that she and baby z have entered trimester number two. Emily's body has formed the placenta, and the little one is learning to hear the world. More on all the neat stuff happening when I get a chance to catch up on the reading Emily has done. It's tough being a married couple in two different states.

04 July 2008

Deconstructive Spoiler Alert! (>>>) Declaration Oil Alert! - the bad news first

Note: This blog entry is more a miniature essay than a blog entry. If you want to skip the pessimism and get right to the optimism, click here.

Once more, around to me on the natural wheel comes the realization that the human conceptual system is deeply metaphorical. From early human to surviving human, evolving to aging, life makes more sense the more we think about how simple it is. On my recent drive from FL to PA, I entered a deep state of highway thought somewhere in the Carolinas. In a numb state of one-directional travel, I realized I wasn’t following the road and ignoring the trees so much as the road was leading me on to distract me from the trees. It’s a simple realization, but one reached in deep thought. In 150 years of industrial revolution, life seems to have become less simple, but really life has gotten more complicated because we've made it more complicated. Like me driving the car, we're ones driving the industrial revolution, but like the road, the industrial revolution is showing us a straight-forward path and we're not thinking much about anything but. The complications of the industrial revolution sure make modern life easier day to day, but these ways just might kill us, and I think we are refusing to admit it. We’re stuck in the same old industrial revolution, except now it controls us. But what happens when the gas indicator light comes on and illuminates our need to worry? Will we have trouble admitting it then?

In this blog entry, I’ve decided to ignore altogether the debate over global climate change. There are folks who believe global climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the modern-day Chicken Little conglomerate. Chicken Littles that they are, the other side believes the sky is… not so much falling as getting a whole lot more dangerous to live under. The angry bickering of media hand puppets over whether or not GCC is a hoax only distracts us. Instead of trying to decide what damage fossil fuels are doing to our earth, could we possibly cut right to something more immediate?

I saw a film recently called Crude Impact that does just this by examining the effect we create with our demand for fossil fuels? From the film’s website: Peak oil is the point in time when the quantity of oil extracted from the earth begins to irreversibly decline. The United States reached peak oil in the early 1970s. Predictions vary, but global peak oil is anticipated as early as the year 2007. What do oil suppliers know that they’re keeping from us? Where are we in relation to global peak oil? Could it explain the current trend in oil prices that has now begun bleeding seriously into more than prices at the pump? Supply and demand says rising prices mean increasing demand and decreasing supply. This would fit the scenario of peak oil, and the current trend in prices.

One eventual outcome of passing peak oil is eventual war for resources. If/when we pass peak oil, nations that depend on oil will start eyeing up what's left. The U.S. will bump chests with other nations over oil. Like Crude Impact suggests, I strongly believe it will be China vs. the U.S. Both sides will take the sides of other countries in scrambles for remaning oil. Sounds a lot like World War III to me. Considering modern methods for warfare, I’d rather not see that.

What I appreciate most about Crude Impact is its honesty. Yes, oil companies share the blame for capitalizing on hyper-consumption (and other things), and yes, certain nations share the blame for hogging world oil, but where the film quite clearly points the finger of blame is at us, the mega-consumers. We can’t blame more powerful forces because we’re the ones supporting them. We’re the mega-consumers. The products we consume share so many ties to oil that if a product doesn’t contain oil, it probably sees oil somewhere along the way: operation, manufacture, and/or shipping. One great outcome of the bitter debates over GCC is that people have begun discussing plastic, nylon, pesticides, paint, vinyl, and most every other thing around us at this moment. Who’s to blame for supporting these products steeped in oil? Point an accusative finger at us, the U.S. With 5% of the world population, we the people of the United States are the leading global consumer: 25% of yearly oil consumed.

I’ll admit previous generations had little reason to question the industrial revolution making life easy. I’m sure they loved it. Gone were the humble days of surviving when oil emerged to keep them comfortably numb. Now we have the four basic needs all covered in oil use: food whenever we want it, temperature-controlled shelter wherever we go, more clothing than we actually wear, and water in disposable plastic containers. Add in the luxuries and time-saving devices, and you see how our demand for oil keeps growing, and growing, and growing. Nothing outlasts a hyper-energized nation, except maybe the half-life of plastic.

More so than mass consumption, inefficiency is the kicker. Food companies expend an average of ten calories to supply consumers with one food calorie. Crude Impact puts this inefficient energy transfer in deeply simple perspective. In Nature, when creatures make a habit of expending ten calories in order to eat one calorie, they turn into dead creatures. Virtually no creature in Nature self-destructs on purpose, but humans are doing a pretty good job.

Over the course of compiling this blog entry, I surfed the film’s website and e-mailed a contact address with questions about alternative energy sources. The director, James Jandak Wood, replied the next day. He made efficiency a clear theme in his reply: I believe the message you heard from several of the speakers - that the need is to reduce energy use, not replace our current use - is the right message. Dr. Bill Rees said in the movie that all of the alternative fuels in the aggregate can't possibly replace fossil fuels. This is a controversial statement, but I think the possibility that this is true should drive us toward reduction. I think reduction of energy will also help the wealth imbalance, create greater peace and justice in the world and much more. Sounds like a big statement, but I believe it to be true.

I respect Mr. Wood’s “better safe than sorry” mode of thought, and his focus on improved efficiency, but as one interviewee notes in the film, a major problem with the way environmentalists promote conservation is as I paraphrase here: If you ask someone to make a sacrifice for the environment, they won’t. This is problematic, because consumers constitute the majority of oil consumption. Sure, we can make energy-efficient cars, but what happens when the gas indicator light comes on? We can slow down to a more gas-efficient speed and we can coast down hills, but we’re still delaying the inevitable. At what point do we choose between self-sacrifice and global self-destruction?

In other words, I disagree somewhat with Mr. Wood’s e-mail reply. I think he asks too little of the American people. We’re the ones over-consuming, so we should be the ones to make sacrifices as well, and this simply will not happen fast enough. Companies should still provide more efficient appliances, cars, etc., but Americans probably won't take these efficient tools and become more responsible with them. Call me pessimistic, but I just don’t have faith in Americans to suddenly turn hard-core environmental, because we are overlooking the every day addictions of Americans. Most addictions are only troublesome when the addictive substance is taken away. As a culture today, we are addicted to—among many other things—electricity, packaged foods, television, and automobiles. As long as these are readily available, we don’t notice our addiction. If one—or all—were taken away, we would immediately exhibit the classic symptoms of addictive withdrawal. (See the next entry for this quote's source.) Humans no longer live the brute animal life, but we certainly retain our animal-like selfishness, which just happens to go hand in hand with addiction. Using fossil fuels more efficiently will not save us from the refusals of people who do not wish to “devolve” their lives.

I am the opposing hand puppet to Mr. Wood’s optimism, but I’m not all downer. I promise. I know natural energy will get us somewhere sustainable. I believe in wind, solar, and some forms of water power, because they are in constant supply. However, these energy sources still require conduits (wind turbines, solar panels, and hydro-structures), which require fossil fuels to make. The wind, solar, and water power technology then allows further efficiency, but the foundational ingredient is still the same: fossil fuels.

Ethanol, a natural alternative of a different sort, seems smart in theory. Corn renews itself faster than trees, and much faster than fossil fuels, but as one fellow Blogspot-er recently expressed, ethanol is, in practice, a waste of time, space, money, and hope. Ethanol is the right idea, but corn’s best use is still to “get in my bellyyyy.”

For the good news, please continue with the next post (>>>).

Deconstructive Spoiler Alert! (>>>) Declaration Oil Alert! - The good news

By far the greatest alternative energy source I’ve learned of to date is industrial hemp, which has the potential to spark an energy revolution--if only a fear-filled public can consider the benefits of a plant that, in recent decades, has only had its drawbacks magnified in the spotlight. The Reason [Foundation’s] study says the Drug Enforcement Administration's inability to distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana is irrational and ignores scientific fact. The report states, ‘Marijuana cultivated for drug value contains between 3 and 10 percent of the active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Industrial hemp typically contains 0.3 percent or less of this active ingredient-as a result, it has no value as a drug.’ (taken from U.S. Hemp Ban Hurts Environment, Economy). While it cannot become the sole substitute for our energy needs, combined with intelligent use of efficient technologies (i.e. hybrid cars, solar/wind/hydroelectric energy), if our stubborn government can humble itself enough to at least give back industrial hemp, then I believe Mr. Wood's sense of optimism (detailed in the previous post) would have an excellent chance of becoming an oil reality. I am certain as never before with alternative resources that industrial hemp could make a HUGE impact, for all nations (including the poor ones we don't pay attention to).

In the previous post, I quote Peter McWilliams as follows regarding unrecognized addiction to everyday things: Most addictions are only troublesome when the addictive substance is taken away. As a culture today, we are addicted to—among many other things—electricity, packaged foods, television, and automobiles. As long as these are readily available, we don’t notice our addiction. If one—or all—were taken away, we would immediately exhibit the classic symptoms of addictive withdrawal. It is from McWilliams's book that I received most of my education on industrial hemp: Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country, by Peter McWilliams. If you’re interested, the entire text is available online. The book quotes part of an ABC radio presentation by Hugh Downs: The reasons the pro-marijuana lobby wants marijuana legal have little to do with getting high, and a great deal to do with fighting oil giants like Saddam Hussein, Exxon, and Iran. The pro-marijuana groups claim that hemp is such a versatile raw material that its products not only compete with petroleum, but with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceutical, timber, and textile companies. It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as bio-mass could replace 90% of the world’s energy needs. If they’re right, this is not good news for oil interests, and could account for the continuation of marijuana prohibition. The broadcast was recorded early in the 1990s, so the 90% statistic may no longer be accurate (considering the exponential consumption increase since then), but shit, even if it’s down to 70%, or 60%, that’s huge.

There’s a reason I post this entry today, America’s Independence Day. Not only were early drafts of the Declaration of Independence written on hemp paper, but our nation has a long history of hemp that, curiously enough, we seem to have forgotten. I remember learning in fifth grade about tobacco trade in the early colonies, but I don't remember hearing any of this before:

- Marijuana was one of the primary agricultural products in this country for more than 250 years;

- George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis on their plantations;

- Marijuana was one of the few painkillers in colonial America. George Washington, who had dental problems his entire life, writes of its medicinal use in his journal;

- Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis. This allows America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England;

- Cannabis hemp was legal tender in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s;
- You could pay your taxes with cannabis hemp throughout America for over 200 years;
- You could even be jailed in America for not growing cannabis during several periods of shortage, e.g. in Virginia between 1763 and 1767.

Lately, W. and others have been going on and on about establishing independence from foreign oil. I ask you, what supports more independence than plants? If a nation has soil and the right climate, industrial hemp would establish some sense of energy independence for that country. Industrial hemp would also establish some sense of energy independence for any persons that have the climate to grow it on their own land. For this reason, the fight to reverse hemp prohibition will be very difficult. Big business will want a piece of the pie. They've played middle man for citizens’ energy needs for a long time. Why would they stop for the sake of reason? As two major players did in the 1930s, today's mega-corps will jump in to ensure continued hemp prohibition. More on the shameful origins of hemp prohibition in a future blog entry. I've gone on too long as is, and I haven't even mentioned the amazing benefits of industrial hemp.

Some of my favorite reasons for making a switch:

Highly renewable – Whereas trees take decades to renew, hemp renews itself each growing season. In warmer climates, hemp can even see three harvests per year. And in addition to growing quickly, it grows almost anywhere. There’s a reason they call it weed, you know.

Clean – As a plant, hemp would help offset the greenhouse gases released by its use, unlike fossil fuels, which already did their share of respiration millions and millions of years ago.

Versatile – In addition to making paper, clothing, and medicines, we could also use industrial hemp to make some pretty surprising things: plastics, paint, varnish, even dynamite. We could even run our cars on hemp.

Our fucking cars! From the Hugh Downs broadcast: When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable. [...] By volume, 30% of the hemp seed contains oil suitable for high-grade diesel fuel, as well as aircraft engine and precision machine oil. Henry Ford’s experiments with methanol promised cheap, readily-renewable fuel. And, if you think methanol means compromise, you should know that many modern race cars run on methanol. An efficient vegetable indeed....

After hearing every non-oil energy source slammed in the media, this proclamation of industrial hemp probably sounds too good to be true. I know every other alternative energy source I’ve learned about has fizzled out in one way or another. They all reach a point where “too good to be true” becomes “there’s just one thing.” But what if industrial hemp really is a viable possibility? I say, why not enter “better safe than sorry” mode and just think deeply for a moment about the simplicity of it all: a versatile plant that grows wild to abate some of its own greenhouse emissions, all while replacing so many of our everyday needs. It sounds like the beauty of Nature to me. If you still don’t believe the benefits of industrial hemp, at least check in for my next blog entry, when I unravel the drug tangle and follow money trail that led to the prohibition of industrial hemp. That ought to feed your cynicism.

I for one really believe in the possibility of industrial hemp, more than I’ve believed in any other cause for quite some time. Knowing what I’ve learned in just a few days, I plan to make awareness of industrial hemp a common priority in my life. I’ll be doing as much research as my spare time allows, so that I can know the drawbacks and dispel the myths. Ladies and gents, I tell you I’m extracted, revved up, and ready to go in circles on methanol power. And this time, I won’t mind if the resource leads me.

Oil company footnote

Crude Impact taught me that the Exxon Valdez clusterfuck (usually considered a major oil disaster) was hardly the beginning. Now I’ve taken a different stance on Valdez. At least it was an accident. The film offers video documentation of the cost-saving “disposal” methods Texaco used during an extraction project in Ecuador. For what they made a conscious effort to do—because there were no laws to prevent them, never again will I fill my gas tank at a Texaco station. Shell Oil gets called out pretty hard too for doing nothing to stop Nigerian executions that benefited operations in the Niger Delta. Shell Oil representatives literally sat watching as Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni activists were tried, convicted, and executed… so Shell Oil’s extraction project could “proceed smoothly.” I think those were the words in the memo. I greatly appreciated the film’s education on these matters. Somehow I never heard about this before. (Sshhhh. Don’t make too much noise. I think the media is sleeeeeepinggg.)