(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Jones

“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself”*…

A sobering new study finds that the world’s biggest industries burn through $7.3 trillion worth of free natural capital a year. And it’s the only reason they turn a profit…

The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs.

While the notion is incredibly useful, especially in folding ecological concerns into economics, I’ve always had my reservations about it. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary.

To see what I mean, check out a recent report [PDF] done by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB [Editor’s note: TEEB is now known as the Natural Capital Coalitionasked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors. (“Natural capital” refers to ecological materials and services like, say, clean water or a stable atmosphere; “unpriced” means that businesses don’t pay to consume them.)…

The majority of unpriced natural capital costs are from greenhouse gas emissions (38%), followed by water use (25%), land use (24%), air pollution (7%), land and water pollution (5%), and waste (1%).

So how much is that costing us?… the total unpriced natural capital consumed by the more than 1,000 “global primary production and primary processing region-sectors” amounts to $7.3 trillion a year — 13 percent of 2009 global GDP… Of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero…

The distance between today’s industrial systems and truly sustainable industrial systems — systems that do not spend down stored natural capital but instead integrate into current energy and material flows — is not one of degree, but one of kind. What’s needed is not just better accounting but a new global industrial system, a new way of providing for human wellbeing, and fast

None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use,” from @grist.

See also: “The Biophilia Paradox,” from Clive Thompson (@pomeranian99).

* Rachel Carson

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As we buy it because we broke it, we might recall that it was on this date in 1980 that Coyote finally caught Road Runner– in Chuck Jones’ “Soup or Sonic,” which aired as part of the television special Bugs Bunny’s Bustin’ Out All Over

“Beep, Beep”*…

 

Here is a parable. For decades, a master artisan crafts works of beauty and genius. His creations are acclaimed by virtually all who behold them. Nearing the end of his life, the artisan, wealthy and revered, his name rightly and indelibly etched into the history of his medium, sets out to describe for posterity how he created such great works, the discipline underlying their brilliance. He writes down the rules he set for himself. And they are wrong…

From Albert Burneko‘s fascinating essay on Chuck Jones [c.f. here and here], his Road Runner cartoons, his “Nine Rules” for creating those masterpieces… and the profound way in which those rules miss the point. Some readers will agree with Burneko; others may disagree. But all will enjoy the journey (and perhaps especially the exquisite cartoons that are liberally used as examples):

How Wile E. Coyote Explains The World.”

* Road Runner

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As we buy Acme, we might recall that it was on this date in 1919 that two men who were to figure prominently in the development of animation were mustered out of the armed services:  A.A. Milne was discharged from the Signal Corps of the British Army, and Roy Disney was released from the U.S. Navy.  Milne went on to write one of the best-love children’s series ever, featuring a character, Winnie the Pooh, that Roy Disney helped his brother and partner Walt turn into an animated staple.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 14, 2016 at 1:01 am

“The older I get, the more individuality I find in animals and the less I find in humans”*…

 

Long-time readers will know of your correspondent’s deep affection and respect for Chuck Jones, who once observed that “the name ‘Chuck Jones,’ according to my uncle, limited my choice of profession to second baseman or cartoonist.”  Happily for the world, he chose the pen over the bat.

The (wonderfully appropriately user-named) Every Frame a Painting has done us all a tremendous service:

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If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. To see the names of the films, press the CC button and select “Movie Titles.”

* Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones

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As we agree that this is in fact “what’s up, Doc,” we might send send beautifully-collaged birthday greetings to another animation giant, Evelyn Lambart; she was born on this date in 1914.  Lambart joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1942– their first female animator; one of the few women in the world working even as a co-director in any form of cinema during the 1940s and ’50s, she made beautiful films– and animation history– both as a co-director with the great Norman McLaren and on her own.

Read more of her story, and see several of her works here.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 23, 2015 at 1:01 am

Tis the season…

from “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny”

Your correspondent is headed into the ice and snow of his annual holiday hiatus; regular service will resume early in the new year…  But lest readers be at loose ends:

From classics like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

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… to Christmas Evil, the film John Waters called “the greatest Christmas movie ever made”…

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… “13 of the Weirdest Holiday Movies Ever Made.”

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As we deck the halls, we might recall that it was on this date in 1966 that CBS first aired Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Directed by the great Chuck Jones and narrated by Boris Karloff (who also voiced the Grinch), it featured songs with lyrics by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel himself.

TV Guide, Dec 17-23, 1966 (Chicago edition)

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Happy Holidays!!

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 23, 2013 at 1:01 am

Eh… What’s up, Doc?…

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The inimitable Chuck Jones— animator, and director of well over 200 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts (plus TV specials and feature films) starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, Pepé Le Pew and others from the Warner Bros. menagerie– on “how to draw Bugs Bunny”:

From the terrific film Chuck Amuck.

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As we keep an eye out for Elmer, we might send rhyming birthday wishes to Ben Jonson; he was born on this date in 1572.  While Jonson is probably best remembered these days as the author of hysterically-funny satirical plays like  VolponeThe Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, he was also an accomplished poet, whose work  (especially his lyric poetry) was tremendously influential and his Jacobean contemporaries and on the Carolines.

Jonson was a contemporary of Shakespeare, and is often remembered as a rival– probably, given the competitive atmosphere of the theater in those days, accurately.  But it was Jonson who provided the prefatory verse that opens Shakespeare’s First Folio (which Jonson may, some scholars believe, have helped to edit).  Indeed, it was Jonson who animated the view of Shakespeare as a “natural,” an author who, despite “small Latine, and lesse Greeke,” wrote works of genius.  But lest one take that as back-handed praise (Jonson was himself classically educated), Jonson concludes:

Yet must I not give Nature all: Thy Art,

My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 11, 2012 at 1:08 am

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