Arts & Culture

The Ira Glass Infatuation Post/ This American Life Review: Game Changer

Plastics was the name of the game for Dustin Hoffman, shale is what Ira Glass has got to work with in this week’s Game Changer. Read More

By / July 13, 2011
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Sexy scientist time! You know it’s going to be a good one when you have smart men arguing from the onslaught. But maybe we’re just into that over here. Plastics was the name of the game for Dustin Hoffman, shale is what Ira Glass has got to work with in this week’s Game Changer.

It’s like S. Jackson is narrating more parts of our lives by the day: the briefcase of soul is Marseilles’s once again.  Marsellus, now instead of an intimidating black man is an underground shale in Pennsylvania, a goldmine of natural gases whose fate is trapped in the volatile briefcase of academia.

Act 1: Objective neutral unbiased calculations…he compared himself to Louis Pasteur…

Two concerned scientists battle it out while the bureaucratic and self-serving university system stays disloyal to the interest of the greater good, in a nutshell. Terry Engelder of Penn theoretically hit natural gas under a shale, and his findings are reappropriated from the safe ivory tower to the special interests of the university provost. Meanwhile, Dan Volz at Pitt sees a more ominous future, particularly in the lack of pursuits for environmental protection, by the private sector (understandably) and the EPA (being denied data by the university). Said the Pitt Dean: advocacy is probably not the appropriate for universities. In the end, both scientists are thrown to the dogs by the money-hungry academic institution. I can relate. Frakking administrators.

Trying for some empathy: economically speaking, is it at all unfair/ unmenschy to conclude that it could be a good idea to pursuing this golden symbiotic solution for all parts of the community (albeit under entirely unresearched conditions)?Incentive-wise, if the university and private sector are transparent about their money-hungry ways, doesn’t it make sense for parties that actually care about humanitarian and environmental concerns should be the ones putting policies into action, giving their side more control, from loud individual constituents to DC special interests to policymakers?  Or am I an asshole?

In the end, the universities put no resources toward researching how the public would be affected despite higher levels of health bullshit elsewhere in the country with similar frakking practices. Penn working in the provost’s interest is akin to Soviet silencing of Chernobyl related medical findings for 20 years.

Act 2: Expensive lawn mowers

Mount pleasant figured out a drilling situation, and got some control from the residents. How about that, A potentially harmonious marriage of the people and the private sector due to compromise. You gotta hear this.

I think the answr is that this American life solved it for you: Sarah Koenig gave you transparency, and now, Pennsylvanians, you know. Fight, move, or stay if you wanna.