Sunday, May 23, 2010
Costner to the gulf's rescue!
I had one thought when I heard Kevin Costner has $26 million worth of oil separators in his garage:
Man, we’re paying way too much for movies.
Who can afford a hobby like that?
But right now starstruck BP engineers, men and women who’ve devoted their lives to complicated formulas and chemical equations, are asking the man who played John Logan in “Sizzle Beach USA!,” “Uh, now explain again how this is supposed to work?”
For those of you too young to know -- and you haven’t missed a thing -- Costner was a big deal about 20 years ago.
He is a professional actor. And in my opinion he’s been acting like he’s an actor ever since they yelled, “That’s a wrap!” on the set of “Silverado” way back in 1985.
He still has a lot of ardent fans, but I’ve never understood his appeal. His looks to me are oatmeal bland. Even in his prime, he never had the devilish dash of men like Paul Newman or Johnnie Depp, a trait that makes women swoon.
He never had the mischievous edge of someone like Jack Nicholson, which appeals to men.
And he never displayed any of the spastic humor of madcap Robin Williams, which appeals to people who’ve suffered repeated brain trauma.
Plus -- and to me this is a sin -- he took himself way too seriously. At the height of his fame in the early to mid-‘90s, he made a string of big boring movies (“Dances with Wolves,” “The Postman” and “Waterworld”) whose sole purpose seemed to be giving Costner a preening opportunity to celebrate being Costner.
The movies were very PC and larded with sullen messages about our need to treat each other and Mother Earth with greater respect.
He was an actor, for crying out loud. What an ego! His biggest hit was an Iowa pseudo-baseball movie that could be called corny in every sense of the word. What, he thought we needed a guy like him to save the planet?
Well, batter up!
The only way I’d be more surprised was if the potential gulf savior was Pee Wee Herman, another actor now better known for his more unusual hobbies.
His business partner, John Houghtaling, told the LA Times that while Costner was making “Waterworld” in 1995, he became so troubled by oil spills that he began developing an ingenious system to cruise the surfaces of oil polluted waters.
“The machines are essentially like big vacuum cleaners,” Houghtaling said. “They sit on barges and suck up oily water and spin it around at high speed,” Houghtaling said. “On one side, it spits out pure oil, which can be recovered. The other side spits out 99% pure water.”
It’s all very noble, but I wish he’d have been as troubled at the time about how the distraction was going to eventually ruin one night of my life and cost me about $12 the night I took the missus to see “Waterworld,” to this day a mainstay on all the worst-movie-ever-made lists.
This is exactly the kind of news I’ve been hoping we’d hear. It could change the world for the better in so many ways.
Just imagine, a machine that separates out all the offensive crap and leaves behind only the good and useful.
It’s just too bad he never thought to apply that sort of technology to some of his scripts.