You never know who you'll see in Philadelphia. This afternoon I stumbled across the storied Italian soccer club Juventus F.C., which is somewhat quietly staying in a Center City hotel this week to train for a series of North American matches (none of which, weirdly enough, are in Philly). However, I stumbled right past them to say hello to another legend who's in town right now -- a Friend of Attytood, believe it or not -- and that would be comedian/actor/radio host/political hellraiser Harry Shearer.
Hey, how often do you get to talk with Mr. Burns AND Derek Smalls in one fell swoop?
But Shearer's not in Philadelphia for those things. He's on a mission -- and it's an important one: To make sure that people understand the truth of what really almost destroyed his adopted hometown of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck, so that we make damn sure it never happens again. He's written and produced a hard-hitting documentary called The Big Uneasy, (watch the trailer) to help keep America's eye on the ball in Katrina's wake.
As summed up in the Village Voice:
Shearer’s documentary is a scathing indictment of the Army Corps—not only its staggering incompetence but also the scope of its power to sabotage outside investigators and steamroll dissenting voices. But it’s not just the Army Corps that the film prosecutes. Ecologists and environmentalists weigh in on how corporate greed and shortsightedness from decades ago to today have led to devastating losses of the wetlands, which are nature’s own defense against the destruction of hurricanes.
He'll be screening the movie and answering questions at the Ibrahim Theatre at International House on the Penn campus at 3701 Walnut Street tomorrow (Friday) night at 7 p.m. (More info here.) Please check it out. Maybe if you're nice he'll also say, "Smithers, unleash the hounds!" -- but I kind of doubt it.
I'm also recommending outside entertainment since you won't have Attytood to kick around for nearly three weeks. I'll be back later in August, by which time the Daily News will be completely redesigned but no one will be able to afford it because the United States will have defaulted on its debts and we'll all be wearing those wooden barrels instead of clothes. Should be fun!