From the War on Smog series: youtu.be/MPs59Eat-MA
In effect, the primary threats to humanity have changed. And no amount of weapons systems can insulate us from those dangers.
#홍수 #큰비 #ClimateChange #korea #globalwarming
Dec 5, 2020
Dublin Smartphone Film festival
Jan 4, 2021
LIFFT INDIA FILMOTSAV - World Cine Fest
Nov 15, 2020
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival
May 23, 2021
This is a smartphone documentary project that took several years to complete. It began after the unprecedented heavy rains in 2011, which caused lethal mudslides right in the center of the Gangnam district of Seoul. After that, the government took action to build flood channels and improve storm sewers in the metropolitan area.
But for rural Korea, flooding remains a threat. Moreover, because global warming seems to be changing the seasonal calendar, the rainy season rhythms that Korean agriculture adapted to millennia ago are also shifting, having a negative effect on agricultural productivity. And there is the sheer extent of the volumes of water, which still catch local governments by surprise, and sometimes cause untrammeled flooding in any event — which is what is happening in 2020.
Finally, the unseasonably heavy rains that have lasting well over a week ago in Korea and which have caused dangerous flooding aren’t just a local problem; they auger the future of the planet.
Where were you born? In what city was the future written on the hard, cakey walls of destiny’s blind alleys? Well, don’t worry — International markets, dizzylingly high on their abstract mountains of profit and gas — have been teetering lately; their great volumes — stacked high as peaks — are due for a crash. Experts all bitcoined (till last spring) take to media, and reassure, reassure — while stocking secret fridges in faraway cottage-bunkers with veggies, dried meat and fruit ... food, in the near future, will be the new loot. And as the concussion bursts echo from one oblast to the next, and cheap, green kamikaze drones fill the autumn sky, policy experts discuss what will happen next: will the war go nuclear, will Vlad lob a bomb? Will we have to respond to a tactical burst, without uncontrolled exchanges and strategic mega doom? Then the experts draw deep breaths, and tell us not to fret, for even in the almost-next-worse-case scenarios, the worst that can happen will just be a Crash; all those savings in bank accounts — tinkling ... piggy banks smashed. And the resulting Depression ... trillion-strengthened by a billion plastic debts will temporarily- permanently last. And on this patchwork planet — battered, tattered globe — from faraway battlefields, their earth newly soaked, to the stock markets and bourses, where the day traders toke, the future’s just a mirage, and we, common people, its fodder, its joke.
Originally published in Mudlark
S. and I went to a temple today. It’s the fifth anniversary of her mother Shil An’s death. Suki remembers the exact moment it happened.
Her eldest brother Su man has been gone four years, and my brother Richard ten.
Since S’s family is Buddhist, Buddhist imagery, ritual and cosmology tends to imbue any anniversary that occurs. My brother wasn’t Buddhist, or any religion at all — if anything, he was nihilistically atheist. Yet in the writings he left behind there is a very pronounced emphasis on “eternal return” and the elementary nature of universal cycles. S. and I often talk of how much he would have enjoyed temples if he’d made it to Asia.
In the meantime, my father (just as atheist as my brother) lies in a hospital in Toronto. The medical team reassures me he’s stable. But he himself is obviously nervous when we talk every day on the phone. S. and I have plane tickets and we’ll be able to see him in a week.
Cycles continue. And are unpredictable.
HIGH SCHOOL 5
Int. A basement in a low rent row house. Evening.
Tom is watching TV — the news.
Broadcaster: Our top story tonight — Mao Ze Dong, the revolutionary who became China’s paramount leader and both ruled and transformed that great nation for several decades, is dead. The entire nation is in mourning. From Beijing, our reporter Brian Henderson….
Int. The basement. Thirty minutes later.
Tom, tired, his expression impassive, fatigued, rises from his impromptu sofa, the weirdly coloured styrofoam slabs, and turns the TV off.
Tom, in his bedroom, five minutes later.
It’s dark out, and dark inside, too.
He does not turn off the light in his room to change into pajamas. He just stares hypnotically out the window.
SFX: … The wet buzzy drone of the rain….
In a recent review of Patrick DeWitt's novel The Librarianist, Steven Beattie gives what seems at first read a seemingly positive assessment of the DeWitt work. The novel is filled with self-consciously flamboyant characters -- apparently an artistic strategy to throw into stark relief the considerable blandness of the novel's protagonist: the lonely, aging librarian Bob Crane.
Beattie: There are earlier indications of deWitt’s “stealth absurdism” in the character of Miss Ogilvie, Bob’s first boss at the library. A vicious harridan who prizes nothing so much as silence, Miss Ogilvie is a comic delight, a character on the margins of the story who fully inhabits every scene she appears in. Despite her powerful presence, however, neither she nor Connie’s father — nor, for that matter, the bombastic Ethan — fully detract from the focus on Bob and his bookish interiority, which carries “The Librarianist” forward in a spirit of what might be called insouciant melancholy.
However, there are problems with literary flamboyance, and one of them it makes a narrative hard to believe. And, near the end of the review, Beattie seems to acknowledge this -- albeit with the criticism slipped quietly, librarian-like, into a drawer: "Of course, the section at the Hotel Elba goes to show the extent to which an ordinary life can be deceptive, though this comes at a cost on the level of emotional resonance. The aching heart of “The Librarianist” is a piercing seriocomic character study of isolation and abandonment. Would that deWitt had left his more flamboyant tendencies in the drawer for this one."
Whether The Librarianist is truly successful as a work of vital art, it is certain to sell well: almost all of DeWitt's novels have become best sellers, and many of them adapted to movies, which only augments DeWitt's celebrity as a writer. The movie-making process is quite different from the novel-writing one, and DeWitt emphasizes this in a September 26/18 interview he did with Library Hub. In the interview, DeWitt emphasizes the considerable difference between bringing a novel manuscript and a film to completion: "I didn’t really understand how difficult it is to get a movie made. It took eight years, and so many people worked so hard over the course of those years to get the film made. It makes me thankful for the relative simplicity of life as a fiction writer where you sit down and do it."
However, by the time the movie of the The Sisters Brothers was complete, DeWitt was already experienced in the film industry; in 2011, he wrote the screenplay for a movie entitled Terri. He was conversant with both mediums. He was also aware of the dangers of movie adaptation. In a September 21/18 article in Publishing Perspectives, DeWitt apparently had misgivings about the possibility of his story being distorted unrecognizably. John C. Reilly, one of the starts of the movie version, had to reassure DeWitt that DeWitt's original narrative vision would be respected: "In a recent news conference at the Toronto International Film Festival, Reilly was quoted by Jessica Wong of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, saying, “We know what can happen in this process of books becoming movies. Often, they get twisted into an unrecognizable shape … We said, ‘Pat, we’ll try our very hardest to make a great film out of this. We’ll find the very best people we can. Please trust us,'”"
HIGH SCHOOL 4
Int. Tom’s home. The home is a row house. Basement. Evening.
His brother and mother upstairs, Tom sits on a tatty styrofoam pillow the colour of yellow yolk that’s been left to age.
SFX: The drone of the TV
A motorcycle cop: Don’t you realize that California law stipulates you should check your muffler every six months?
Tom, his face impassive, gets to his feet and turns the channel dial. It clicks loudly with every new channel.
New voice (on a talk show): Today on Front Page Challenge, we have a guest who was the first Canadian to star in an American western.
HIGH SCHOOL 2b
Int. A high school classroom in 1976. English class. Day.
It’s raining outside. The students seem numbed out by the topic at hand: the blood motif in Macbeth. One student, TOM, seems particularly uninterested. Yet at the same time, he listens carefully to Mr. Barrett’s words, searching, it would appear, for vital meaning.
Via Bard, July 8/23:
Question: Are Russia and Ukraine currently using cluster munitions in the Ukrainian war?
Response: Yes, both Russia and Ukraine have used cluster munitions in the Ukrainian war. The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission has confirmed that the Russian military used cluster weapons in Ukrainian settlements at least 16 times during the first month of the war in 2022. At the end of March, the head of the UN Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet, reported at least 24 cases since the invasion began.
Human Rights Watch has also documented the use of cluster munitions by Ukrainian forces. In a report released in July 2022, the organization found that Ukrainian forces had used Turkish-provided cluster munitions in and around the city of Izium in eastern Ukraine. The report found that the use of cluster munitions by both sides had caused civilian casualties and had posed a serious risk to civilians.
Cluster munitions are banned by more than 100 countries under the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The convention prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. However, neither Russia nor Ukraine is a party to the convention.
The use of cluster munitions in the Ukrainian war has been condemned by human rights groups and humanitarian organizations. They have called on both sides to stop using the weapons and to clear any unexploded ordnance that has been left behind.
There has been danger of a nuclear catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant throughout the duration of the war in Ukraine. Recently, however, the Ukrainians have been warning that Russia has mined the plant for potential sabotage.
The danger of a catastrophe is not as high as it was in the video above. This is because the plant , at the behest of IAEA inspectors from the United Nations has been placed in cool shutdown.
From CNN (July 6/22): “What Grossi is doing is completely unprecedented in the history of the IAEA,” Alberque told CNN. “The whole thing was saying: Russia’s basically going to have to kill me, in order for me not to make this nuclear power plant more safe. It was astonishing.”
The IAEA staff’s mission, Alberque said, was to “establish a precedent here, that we’re willing to get involved and to try to take this chess piece off the board.”
Russian occupiers, however, continued to prevent Ukrainian operators from putting each of the reactors into a safer “cold shutdown” status. This means when the reactor’s temperature is below boiling point but electrical pumps moving water through the core must still keep working to cool the fuel and avoid meltdown – which requires an external power supply.
The safety of the plant was threatened further by the breach of the Nova Kakhovka dam on June 6, which lowered water levels used for cooling the plant precipitously. Ukraine accused Russia of deliberately destroying the dam – a claim that Moscow has denied. Shortly after this, the final reactor unit at ZNPP was put into cold shutdown status on June 8.
Nevertheless, there is a general threat that the Putin government — which has engaged in nuclear saber rattling throughout the entire war — will deliberately set in motion some form of nuclear incident.
Part of what makes the situation unstable and worrisome is the psychology of Putin himself.
HIGH SCHOOL 1
Exterior. A city street. Early evening.
The sky — bright fifteen minutes ago — is now heavy with thick grey.
Pedestrians make their way along the sidewalk with the expressions of those just released from labour: office workers, students…