Friday, June 17, 2011

Urban Planners vs. Green Lantern, John Galt, and U2

If you are a Green Lantern, you build things out of green energy using sheer willpower, possibly including box office receipts if necessary. 

If you are Edge from lefty-evangelical band U2, you get a taste of green-inspired red tape when you try to build in Malibu, and one official tells you “In thirty-eight years of this commission’s existence, this is one of the three worst projects I’ve seen in terms of environmental devastation.” 

(Katherine Taylor gets credit for pointing that item out to me and – along with ex-VJ Kennedy who has twice now tweeted at me urging me to speak in California – gets credit for convincing me I need to make a trip to L.A. in the fall or in 2012.  Venue suggestions welcome.  Ditto invites to be on your radio show.)

If you are the government, of course, you build things out of money you have taken from people by threatening to put them in jail at gunpoint, and you often build on land you have taken from them by force as well.  That’s why your time might be better spent this weekend seeing the documentary The Battle for Brooklyn, about the government’s seizure of property for the Atlantic Yards project, if Green Lantern seems a bit too fanciful. 

If you are John Galt or Howard Roark, you build without consulting government, but if you are John Aglialoro, the producer of the mediocre Atlas Shrugged movie, you hesitate before building another money-losing Rand-based movie and, according to one interview, are considering producing a script called Poker Room inspired by your experiences as a poker player instead.  You know when to gamble and when to fold, it seems.  

(Speaking of Rand, you just know some cold-hearted monster is going to try to make this poor man sound like a metaphor for the welfare state – and the parasitic mindset it encourages.  A true eugenicist might be less than alarmed by the man’s threat to commit suicide.)

If you are Weiner, you erect a promising political career and then destroy it with lust and Twitter. 

If you are Camille Wainer, by contrast, you make a documentary of a different sort about Brooklyn, namely Thou Art: Williamsburg, about multiple artists living there.  And you seek distribution advice for the project, by the way.  

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