By James Pavel
I’m awfully fragile right now; But I will do my best to transcribe what happened.
Remember that actor I used to rave about? the ‘king of the world’ guy? – he just tossed me to the side like a Blackberry Curve this week and I am still trying to recover emotionally.
He showed up in my home province unannounced, in one of his gas-inhaling private jets and immediately began stomping his muddy boots all over the place, screaming about how the Alberta oil and gas industry needs to come to a screeching halt.
This is the actor that convinced a generation of boys and girls to visit Thailand and find themselves while simultaneously converting it into a western-fornicating, utopia. He’s Jay Gatsby. He’s the Aviator. He’s the coolest, model-plowing, wolf-howling, motherfucker on the planet. And yet, that doesn’t seem to matter right now.
With him visiting, I was thinking it was going to be a weekend of scanning the voluptuous Rocky Mountains, a picnic at one of Banff’s glorious national parks and maybe even floating down the city of Calgary’s Elbow River – boy, was I off the mark.
He completely sideswiped me. He continued banging on about the way me and my friends make a living around here. He said we should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we are irresponsibly purging from the Earth and destroying nature.
You see Leo didn’t come to see me or any of his other adoring fans. He came to scrutinize the oil and gas sector and marvel at how supposedly awful we have treated the land we live on.
As he roared at me that our relationship would never be the same, I sobbed like a child burying his first pet gerbil. I asked “But Leo, why didn’t you unleash this speech in Nigeria or Saudi Arabia?”
Surely, they are are both oil-producing nations that rely heavily on the consumption of oil for profit too.
Oh wait I remembered, he probably didn’t go there because those countries would never allow him film a millisecond of footage of their oil industry. You see, it’s way easier to come to Canada, a free country, and go on uneducated tirades about one of the world’s most vital industries without the fear of being imprisoned or worse. Must just be a coincidence.
Also kind of crazy, that James Cameron and Neil Young both gave the same guilt-riddled speech over the past few years and yet none of them, Wolf of Wall Street included, have actually provided any viable alternatives or solutions.
I told Leo through my blubbering that it was strange that he chose Alberta to sever our bro-mance, considering that this province has the most stringent standards for oil and gas in the world and that we are regularly looking for methods to ensure even tidier and more environmentally-friendly tactics.
Never mind that, he balked. “But, but Leo,” I managed to utter.
“Remember during the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil when you arrived on one of the world’s most luxurious yachts and partied with some of the most beautiful creatures ever conceived? Well, that actually wouldn’t have been possible with turbines or windmill energy. That yacht actually ran off of this ‘dirty oil’ you are currently dismissing.”
He shot me an incredulous look, as if I was a character swinging an axe at him from The Gangs of New York film. I began to think that Leo was being duped into thinking he was playing a heroic character in a fantasy movie where oil isn’t necessary and the world can just get by on unicorn kisses and leprechaun dust.
He abruptly brushed my comments off like a half-assed script emailed to him by Michael Bay.
I decided I wasn’t going to let Leo get the last word.
“You know Leo,” I practically screamed, “we are aware that oil and gas is not the ideal method of producing energy. But it remains the most effective, the most desirable and far and away the most successful way of running a vehicle or producing some of the world’s most important products.”
We can’t wait for a cleaner source of energy to arrive either. But until that miracle resource arrives, we are going to work like hell to make this oil and gas as beneficial to as many nations as possible. We don’t like oil spills either, because just like you, we love the outdoors too. Hiking, biking, running – there’s more to us than just hockey and snow-mobiles.
Listen Hollywood, we are all ears. But the whole wind turbines, nuclear energy movement? It’s proven to be a major bust. So if you are going to criticize, you better begin to bring some exceptional ideas to the Canadian table.
I hope this is just a tiff between us Leo, I really do. But until then, maybe you are right. Maybe a break-up is the best thing for both of us.