Theme music plays as a word is selected from the phrase illustrated on-screen in white-on-black lettering. All other words disappear, and veteran viewers know what follows. Series hero and pot-smoking former attorney Ryan (Elijah Wood from "The Lord of the Rings") will struggle with the subject for the next 23 minutes.
Episode 10 offers this: "Isolation is a self-defeating dream."
Key word: "Isolation."
Ryan and his neighbor's dog, the Australian accented Wilfred (Jason Gann in a dog suit), spend the show dealing with the fallout of our anti-hero ignoring Wilfred's advice and alienating the entire neighborhood.
Hardly the stuff dreams are made of, but I love this show, which airs on FX. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, my favorite reviewer, calls it the trippiest of summer comedies. He's right. Nobody sees Wilfred as a beer swilling, belching, couch potato human in a dog suit except Ryan (and another odd guy in a previous episode).
But what captured my interest in terms of this post has to do with the quotes in the intro. Simple white on black type, odd music box theme song. Kind of Fractured Fairy Tales for the 22nd century. (Except the Bullwinkle character is live action.)
I'd like to apply that same formula (as I start my own personal sit-com this week) to clean energy.
Cue music. Quote appears: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." From the always relevant "Princess Bride." The theme is "challenge." (I realize it doesn't meet "Wilfred" quote standards, but I like Inigo.)
In that vein, the unassuming hero (me) of this mundane, unfilmed reality show that is my life issues this challenge to the nation's renewable energy companies:
- Reach parity with fossil fuels and win converts, clean air and another season on the same network. Maybe this one without commercial breaks.
- Solar that pencils so perfectly that even Bank of America would lend a low-interest loan to defray installation expenses.
- Cheap distributed solar installations producing excess energy that utilities clamor to purchase.
- Simple methods for turning excess solar energy into hydrogen, using no fossil fuels.
- Renewable energy that costs less than coal.
- Algae fuel for $30 per barrel, produced in waste water treatment ponds across the country.
- Wave energy that works.
- Offshore wind power that can harness hurricane power.
- Energy storage systems using a multitude of systems from water storage to batteries and whatever else is devised.
Clean energy is serious, however. This is not optional challenge. Our air is nasty and it's not getting better no matter what any wishful thinker says. We only have this planet, and it's getting smaller. Air and water are limited resources. We can still find markets for all our fossil fuels, but let's stop wasting them for energy that appears cheap but in reality can cost far more.
Even Wilfred would agree. After he has another beer.