Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Runaway Train

A facebook conversation reminded me of the cartoon video "Runaway", which I first posted three years ago. I was surprised when I looked on youtube and saw that despite winning many awards it has received only fewer than 15,000 views, because I think it is one of the most marvelous animations I have ever seen (right up there with Steve Cutts’ masterpiece “Man“ which has received over 4 million).  It's especially sad because it took the filmmaker, Cordell Barker, eight years to complete the hand-drawn animation...to say nothing of the excellent score that illuminates it, written by Benoît Charest, composer for the fabulous Triplettes de Belleville.

A quote from Barker:

“The metaphor of this film is that, whether you notice the jeopardy or not, everybody is trapped on this track, and we’re all going to the same place,’ Barker explains. ‘I’m a bit of a Cassandra. I’m always feeling like I’m looking around and seeing this really apparent jeopardy. But a lot of people I know [have] that kind of disbelief that anything can shake their normal day-to-day life,’ he says. ‘I keep thinking, ‘Man, we’re doomed.’”

So following is his video, followed by “Man”...because why not.  Since facts don't seem to ever sway beliefs, an argument could be made that either one explains far better than science how hopelessly untenable the human predicament has become.



  1. Off-topic question, but here goes: I've been looking online at land parcels (fueling my off-grid post-retirement fantasies) and there seem to be some VERY good deals in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. Dozens of acres of virgin forest for a few tens of thousands of dollars. It looks too good to be true. Is it? Are these parcels adjacent to fracking or other nasties? Or is my perception of land cost totally skewed by the overheated Ontario market? I'm thinking that since this is somewhat your home territory, you'll know. Thanks!

  2. It's not exactly my home territory. PA, I would be extremely wary of fracking. Do your homework! If it's far enough upstate NY, I think it is out of the Marcellus Shale but you'd have to check that. I used to go to Lake Placid every winter to take youngest daughter to ice skating competitions. That's a fun community with great cameraderie. It's very remote up there, far away from anything, (no jobs to speak of) and quite cold in the winter which is probably why it's inexpensive. Might not be a bad spot if you can find someplace that has a source of water but won't flood. If you're thinking about investing you should definitely take your time, visit and talk to locals, and get as much information as you can. Sounds like a fun project! If you want to talk more email me at witsendnj at yahoo

  3. I must have gotten the PA connection from the post about your daughter's new home. Anyway, thanks! It's a SUPERFUN project. But when it's time to get serious I should probably track down the local environmental groups - they'll know what's up. It looks like a really beautiful area. I hope it doesn't get fracked!

  4. Check with these guys - my local branch but a national organization and the NJ folks work closely with PA and NY: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-Water-Watch-New-Jersey/156070884432429?ref=br_tf

  5. "Runaway" truly is excellent. Love the music! -- Meanwhile, in Berlin, Germany, trees are dying as well. I witnessed some workers prune branches off of some young maples, trunks no wider than my thigh: the branches were rotting on the inside, and like you've posted a few weeks ago, the seeds were turning brown while still on the tree. The very same trees had thin crowns with more than a few totally bare branches since leafing out. And there are countless other examples around the city... not a nice sight, if you're already seeing decay everywhere. Still, I just learned that there are some chestnut trees in the public park next to my office building. I'll check them out, and maybe, come October, I'll be eating chestnuts that I've collected myself. Get 'em while they last.

  6. This resource looks useful. I notice it doesn't show wind farms though, so it's possibly a front for the wind industry.


  7. What a great cartoon. Thanks for sharing. Maybe they should air that on cartoon network in place of Square Pants Sponge Bob.

  8. uuhh... not sure Lac Mégantic would appreciate the cartoon. They have ground zero in all the downtown area. I don't think from what I read that it can be decontaminated.



Blog Archive

My Blog List

Search This Blog