556: Alternative Energy Revolution
|Alternative Energy Revolution|
Title text: The moment their arms spun freely in our air, they were doomed -- for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane.
Megan and Cueball are looking at modern "windmills" (known as wind turbines) harnessing wind energy into electrical energy. They comment that there's something creepy about the windmills. They allude to the book The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (The Jeff Wayne Musical version of The War of the Worlds has paintings of the martian tripods somewhat like these turbines) and also to "The Tripods" from John Christopher's tripods trilogy a children's series of books about aliens who ride in walking tripods.
Suddenly the windmills' pylons split into three legs, becoming the tripods suggested.
They exclaim that Al Gore has doomed us all. He is a former Vice President of the United States, known for his environmental activism and promotion of green energy sources, relevant because wind turbines like the ones here are one of the alternative energy sources he supports.
In the final frame, the 17th century literary figure Don Quixote arrives (Randall's depiction seems to be inspired by the drawing by Pablo Picasso). In the original story, Don Quixote is a wandering knight of questionable sanity who fights windmills, which he believes to be giants. Hence, he is the appropriate person to deal with this threat.
The title text is another reference to The War of the Worlds: "But there are no bacteria in Mars... when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed... By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers."
Of course this time we are only saved because we - in spite of having evolved - still produce somewhat insane members of our species.
- [A field of windmills is silhouetted against dusk sky.]
- [Cueball and Megan are standing and sitting on the ground overlooking the windmills.]
- Cueball: I'm all for green energy, but those turbines creep me out. They remind me of War of the Worlds, or the Tripod books.
- Megan: They -are- unnerving.
- Cueball: I can't shake the feeling that at any moment they'll—
- [A leg begins to split off one windmill.]
- [The leg separates from the body of the windmill.]
- [The new leg lands on the ground.]
- [Another leg begins to split off the other side of the windmill's body.]
- [The new leg hits the ground, forming a tripod base.]
- [Smoke rises from destroyed buildings as the windmills rampage across the field.]
- [Cueball and Megan are now standing.]
- Megan: Oh no.
- Cueball: Al Gore, you've doomed us all.
- Megan: It's coming this way!
- Cueball: Run!
- [One of the enormous tripod windmill feet lands right behind the running couple, sending debris flying.]
- [Cueball and Megan run.]
- Megan: What now?
- Cueball: Someone has to stop them.
- Megan: But who could-
- Voice from next panel: Stand aside!
- [Don Quixote sits mounted at the top of a hill, lance at the ready.]