Today, April 22, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Try as many might to deny that the Earth is in some serious trouble, it's ridiculous to dismiss climate change completely. One of the best articles I've read recently on the subject I discovered through the Huffington Post, which linked me to the The Guardian's (guardian.co.uk) interview with renowned 90-year-old scientist James Lovelock. He acknowledges the "good" skeptics have actually done scientists a service (but the crazy skeptics, on the other hand, not so much). We need to start doing our part to effect change aggressively, he explained, however and this was my favorite part "I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change," Lovelock said. That's some real talk right there.
We may have been beaten over the head time and time again in recent years about "going green," and as trite as it once seemed to "try to make a difference," my stance on environmentalism has somewhat changed since last I wrote about it. I still feel that some people are pretentious, preachy and obnoxious about saving the planet; no one is perfect and no one has all of the answers. There is a way to be "green" without making someone want to recycle you. Now, though, I feel less cynical about making an effort. Our planet is an awfully nice place to live and treating it better isn't out of the realm of possibility. It's impossible to know how much we can actually do to prevent glaciers from melting but certainly, trying a little harder to conserve energy isn't that difficult. I say, let's snuggle the Earth today. It deserves it.
OLD SCHOOL MOVIE REVIEW: "Pinky," (1949)
My mom asked my grandma what her favorite black-and-white movie was and, as a result, she lent us "Pinky" on VHS. It was an excellent, moving, well-acted story about a light-skinned black woman (Jeanne Crain) who returns home to the deep South to visit her grandmother (the spectacular Ethel Waters) after passing for white for years in the North. A nurse, she takes care of a bedridden, wealthy white woman (Ethel Barrymore) and learns a great deal about love and life. A film now all but forgotten, it was quite controversial at the time of its release. Many were outraged at the casting choice of Crain, a white actress, in the lead role, and the film took on subjects such as racial prejudice and mixed-race relationships that had long been taboo. It was significantly altered and almost abandoned completely, but thankfully survived it was many years ahead of its time.
"Pinky" will be on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, April 25 at 11 a.m.
- Al Pacino stars as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in "You Don't Know Jack," an HBO film premiering Saturday at 9 p.m. It's an all-star cast, including Susan Sarandon and John Goodman, about a fascinating subject. Set your DVR.
Stephen Hawking plus Discovery Channel documentary equals yes, please. The three-parter "Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking" starts Sunday at 8 p.m. Get ready to geek out, astronomy and physics lovers the series will include time travel, aliens, outer space in general and much more.
I love when Turner Classic Movies has a superb lineup. This Sunday, "History of Hollywood," is the theme, featuring "Singin' In The Rain" (1952) at 8 p.m., "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) at 10 p.m. and the silent "Souls for Sale" (1923) at midnight. It simply does not get any better.
Winona Ryder doesn't get enough play. On Sunday at 9 p.m., she will star in the TV movie "When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story" on CBS. Wilson is the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and the film tells the story of her relationship with her husband, Bill Wilson (Barry Pepper), an alcoholic. Perhaps this has the potential to be good but why can't Ryder seem to get decent roles? I recently rented "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," in which she had a supporting part, and it sucked. Then again, after "Heathers," "Reality Bites" and "Girl, Interrupted," is there anywhere to go but down?
I have many TV guilty pleasures but there is one show in particular of which I am most ashamed of viewing. After I watch "The Hills" I feel like I have committed grievous crimes against humanity. I did not watch last season however, it is Heidi Montag's gruesome, ridiculous foray into plastic surgery that might just bring me back when it returns for its final season on Monday, April 27 at 10 p.m. on MTV. How can one miss an opportunity to gawk at it? Helpful hint: to minimize the minutes of your life lost watching this utter trash, record it and watch it later. I can get through an episode of "The Hills" in eight minutes or less. Once you fast-forward through the lengthy atmospheric shots of people walking down the street in LA, it amounts to about five conversations and blank stares.
The replacement for "Ugly Betty's" time slot, "Happy Town" premieres Wednesday, April 28 at 10 p.m. on ABC. Here's the gist of it: a small, quiet town is shaken by a crime wave. Maybe a murder mystery won't be so bad but I'll miss Betty (they did a nice job of wrapping it up, though).
"Project Runway" finale tonight! Lifetime, 10 p.m., be there or be square. If you want to dish on "Runway" results, send me an e-mail.
SUNY Fredonia is having a gazillion Earth Day events this week. Their community-wide initiative "Shake the Habit" asks that everyone go for today without using a plastic bag. Keynote speaker Lois Gibbs' presentation at Rosch Recital Hall today, April 22, is sold out but there are a plethora of other things going on visit www.fredonia.edu/gogreen/earthweek/ to see the schedule.
Wishberry is having an Earth Day celebration/fundraiser tonight at 7 p.m., with a meal by local growers and a movie. It will benefit the Wishberry Cooperative. General public is $7 and with a student ID, it's $5.
41 West will have Last Call Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight, the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, and Sean Patrick McGraw on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, May 2, they'll welcome new partners Chubs and Mark with live music by Billy McEwen, 2 to 6 p.m.) and celebrate their anniversary.
Muldoon's is having its 18th and last anniversary party on Friday night, with drink specials, prizes and lots of fun.
The Fredonia Opera House will feature the folksy trio Red Molly on Friday at 8 p.m. Visit fredopera.org for complete details.
Get your jazz hands ready for musical theater fun. SUNY Fredonia's production of "Kiss Me Kate" starts tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Marvel Theatre, with six performances scheduled.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Give her the dish on what's happening at email@example.com.