Update: Kenn Kaufmann, whose little finger knows more about birds than I do in my entire body, has this reaction:
“A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal,” and the video goes viral. But it’s faked. Golden Eagle is a scarce visitor in the Montreal area, but the bird in the video is not a Golden Eagle, nor anything else that occurs in the wild in North America. This was clearly a setup: using a falconer’s bird, and probably a fake toddler for the distant scene. With all the ignorance about nature that’s out there already, the last thing we need is this kind of stupid garbage.
Via Terry Weiner of the Desert Protective Council, this short documentary by George Wuerthner on the threat to our public lands of dirtbikes, off-trail 4X4s, jetskis, quads, dune buggies, and other expensive playthings of the lazy elite. The documentary serves as promotion for Wuerthner’s book of the same name.
(NB: Late in the documentary is a short but unnecessary reference to the “obesity crisis” in the US, a false note and beside the point. Able-bodied skinny people need to haul their lazy asses out of the driver’s seat too.)
In addition to a brief, wishful-thinking introductory clip of an alleged recent sighting, this video contains all known footage of Thylacinus cynocephalus, the largest predatory marsupial of modern times. The Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian wolf and the Tasmanian tiger though it was of course neither wolf nor tiger, has been extinct for 72 years. The last one died in Hobart, Tasmania’s zoo in 1936.
At a party in the early 1960s someone handed Kirk Douglas a copy of Ed Abbey’s novel The Brave Cowboy, recommending Douglas read it. Douglas liked the book enough to option it, and hired Dalton Trumbo to write the screenplay of what became the 1962 sleeper western Lonely Are the Brave.
It’s a sweet movie that could never be made today for a number of reasons, probably chief among them the root idealism of the flawed main character Jack Burns. The ending is an ambiguous downer. A significant subplot involves the principled stand one of the major characters takes to aid undocumented border-crossers. The one cop possessed of any competence or virtue (played by Walter Matthau) is hamstrung by the thugs and buffoons that make up his subordinates. Modern audiences unaccustomed to points of view that don’t include smirks might find the movie a bit naive. Burns, a character who appeared in several of Abbey’s subsequent novels, rides into “Duke City” (a thinly veiled Albuquerque) to help a friend who’s been arrested for helping “illegals.” (That was Trumbo’s idea: in the novel, the crime was draft resistance.) Burns’ plan is to get himself arrested, find his friend in the lockup, then bust both of them out and head for the hills. The conflict between Burns and his friend over whether that’s at all a good idea is a mirror of the through-story: Burns is a man a hundred years out of date, unfit for the 20th Century urban West.
It’s one of my favorite films, and I’m looking forward to the day it’s released in Region 1 DVD format.
I just this evening found a YouTube interview with Kirk Douglas discussing Lonely Are The Brave, which Douglas still calls one of his best movies. It’s an interesting interview, with one major spoiler and a few behind-the-scenes anecdotes, basically a good teaser for the movie.
The first installment is below. If you want more, follow the links to parts two, three, four, five, six and seven. If you want to avoid the spoiler you can skip part five.