Thursday, July 23, 2009

I hate Greenpeace and 1/2 of THE FRENCH CONNECTION II

I was accosted at Delores Park yesterday. Not by a gun-toting hoodlum. Not by a bottle-seeking bum. Not by a "special jello shot" selling vagrant. Nope, I was accosted by a representative of the most annoying organization on Earth, Greenpeace. When I was little I remember my dad giving me the stern look when I answered the door to the greasy haired Greenpeace representative. My dad would tersely address the man, and I never understood. These people were champions of the environment right? Why would my dad not enjoy conversating with them for a few minutes, even tossing them a few bones?

I quickly learned when an aggressive Greenpeace lady busted her way in to my conversation yesterday afternoon. Though the two other gentlemen I was with very firmly told her we weren't going to give her any money, the boorish lady plopped herself down on the ground and began to regale us with the woes of our global climate.

My issues with said Greenpeace lady and this aggravating organization in general:

1. The way she addressed us was rude and demeaning. She attempted to say things like "dudes" and make fun of George Bush, but in the end, even though she made the effort to bridge the hip gap, she was still a bullying jerk, who talked over all of us, and unloaded a bunch of unsupported facts and statistics, before calling us all apathetic and disappearing.

2. She made fun of the fact that we were drinking beer and not using the beer money to save the polar bears. This is a terrible way to get me to want to support your organization. I understand that I could be better spending my money than on tall boys of Tecate, but you know what Greenpeace Asshole (as I will now refer to her)? I wanted to spend my money on a frosty tall can of beer, and in the moment I was purchasing the beer I wasn't thinking a single bit about the environment, just soon enough ice cold hops would be in my throat and I would be slightly buzzed. Then you arrived in the middle of said delicious beverage, and started mouthing off about polar bears and how I sucked for drinking beer and not saving them. You ruined my beer and because of that I hope a polar bear that you probably won't save tears you in to pieces and then buries you in the snow.

3. Though she was mad at us for drinking beer and not saving polar bears, she didn't seem to know exactly where the money she kept demanding from us would go. She talked about planting flags on Mt. Rushmore, and shutting down Italian coal plants, but I don't want my money going there or to smoke bombs that will be thrown on to whaling ships. Here's a better idea: if I give you money, give me smoke bombs and something to throw them at. Now that sounds fun. Channeling money in to your giant, crappy organization that harasses me and makes me feel bad about myself, does not sound fun. It makes me want to start an Anti-Greenpeace organization that hires thugs to put your Greenpeace representatives in to recycling bins and drag them around town as the entire world looks on and laughs.

4. I'm poor. I told her this and she told me it was just about "rearranging my priorities." I told her maybe she should be talking to someone who has more money like my parents, but then thought to myself, "My parents hate you and your organization because they're older and wiser and understand that putting flags on statues doesn't make change. It just angers rich people, and those rich people won't give you money, and then you'll just keep defacing SUVs and being laughed at behind your backs." That's what I thought.

5. Greenpeace is like an environmental PETA. I agree with both their causes (yeah for the environment, yeah for fuzzy animals) but spray painting car dealerships and throwing blood on Pamela Anderson do not make change. It just makes annoyed people.

After begrudging our lifestyles for nearly an hour, the clock hit five, and she scurried off. And you know what? She justified every hatred I've ever had for the organization. Greenpeace, I will spread my hatred of you far and wide.

The French Connection is a great movie. A hard-hitting, gritty, disturbing look at the obsession and amoralilty of a 1970s NY detective. Gene Hackman is brilliant as Popeye Doyle and the whole film made me smile. Thus, I was titillated by the possibilities of The French Connection II, a film catching up with Popeye Doyle, this time set in France, and this time directed by the dearly departed John Frankenheimer.

Alex and I dug in to a bit last night, and I was sadly a bit disappointed. Hackman's Popeye Doyle in the first film is an asshole, a thug, and a man obsessed with crime, but you still like him. You can still relate to him and his need to catch the bad guy. In the second film, Doyle is so hateable he's almost unbearable. He's a fish out of water in a Marseilles and everyone's against him sure, but Frankenheimer draws him as a sleaze, a liar, and a drunken cheat. His bull-in-a-china-shop method of policing is so extreme that I detested him, couldn't even really bear to have him on screen. Sure, maybe the point is that after while, after you've been a part of this world for so long, you become so jaded that you aren't likeable, but he's too much.

Hell, the second film might be too much. Every character is despicable, every action murky and dark. The subplot of Doyle's addiction to heroin is creepy and made my skin shiver, especially when the brown-toothed old woman steals his watch - horrifying.

We aren't done with it yet, hopefully tonight, but I'm not nearly as excited by this film. It just doesn't pop like the first film, it's too amoral, too much on the periphery.

Friday: the end of The French Connection II ... hopefully.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your opinion about Greenpeace is unfortunate in that it is based on a lack of knowledge for the organization and an interaction with a Greenpeace frontliner (whose job is to make money for the organization). It is also unfortunate that this frontliner went approached you in this way. However, I remind you that this representative of Greenpeace is not a campaigner, field organizer, media spokesmen, or a member of the actions team. You are also very ill informed about Greenpeace whose direct actions are used to push forward campaigning initiatives which are supported by intensive research, lobbying, and public outreach. When Greenpeace decides to take action they do so with a dedication to non-violence. They do not spray paint hummers (you may be getting confused with Earth Liberation Front) or throw smoke bombs onto whaling ships (that is Sea Shepherds my friend).

Greenpeace is the largest environmental organization worldwide and if you go on their website or do some research I am sure you would come across many successes that they have had and changes that have been made due to priority campaigns. A global organization that has a presence in 40+ countries is likely to have some ill representatives at times (that is how the world turns my friend). So please, before you pass judgment and voice your hatred become aware. I am sure if you did that you would find that there are many things you would support about Greenpeace - even if it is not all.