Mad Max : Infuriating Road With Immortan Pat and “Rockatansky” Rudo (and of course, Charlize Theron)

One of the better movies of 2015 was Mad Max : Fury Road. It’s not a first-date movie. It’s post-apocalyptic. Australian setting. Charlize Theron steals the show.

One of the ruling aspects of the plot is the control that Immortan Joe had over the people, and he held this control because he controlled the water, the most fundamental mixture of elements known to life here on earth. Control the water, control the world.

Clean water has become an interesting election year topic, not just in North Carolina, but in other places. Flint, Michigan is still reeling from the leeched lead in the public water system because of governmental negligence. The Rio Olympic Games have been tainted with polluted water in some of the aquatic arenas.

And North Carolina has its coal ash spill / water controversy.

Recently, Dr. Ken Rudo testified under oath that he specifically told Gov. McCrory that the water in certain areas was not fit for drinking due to Duke Energy coal ash contamination. Rudo then said that McCrory, acting on strong suggestion from his former employer, ignored the leading toxicologist’s recommendation and declared the water safe despite much higher-than-usual levels of carcinogens.

Why? It serves the interests of big money Duke Power? It would have made McCrory look even worse in an election year to declare the water unsafe? It was an effort to control resources? Maybe it’s all of these, but it sure does make for an interesting comparison to the most recent Mad Max movie. In fact it could be its own chapter in the Mad Max movie franchise.


Mad Max : Infuriating Road to the Governor’s Mansion

We have an Immortan Pat.


We have Dr. Ken “Rockatansky” Rudo.


And of course, Chalize Theron. Why not? She’s a mom. She wouldn’t want her kids drinking that water near a Duke Power coal ash spill.


Here’s the plotline. Dr. Ken “Rockatansky” Rudo is just doing his job and then gets ensnared into a smear campaign from Immortan Pat’s people who are really trying to not only control the people before the upcoming election, but also trying to keep information about Duke Power’s coal ash pits from the public’s eye.

It’s an election year. To keep the people from voting for someone else in November, Immortan Pat makes sure to parcel out as much clean water as he can to give the people the illusion that all is fine in the state of North Carolina.


Dr. “Rockatansky” Rudo then allies himself with concerned parents who live near coal ash pits, particularly mothers. This particular mother has even decorate her forehead with actual coal ash from the Duke Energy spill near her own house. (Cue Charlize Theron).


Same pic. I know. But it is a great picture.

Immortan Pat goes after them with the rest of the NC General Assembly GOP members.


In an effort to also bring other environmental concerns to the eyes of movie goers, there is a scene concerning what happens to areas in NC where fracking is not regulated.


There is also a cameo by the guy who played guitar in the replacement band when Bruce Springsteen cancelled his show due to Immortan Pat’s HB2 bill.


Do you really want me to tell you the end of the story? I won’t, but I will give you a spoiler alert. There are not many immortan, I mean immortal, people roaming the earth.

The sad truth is that we actually living a version of this plot line right now. Consider the following news stories and pictures. It involves water, people who are fighting to get the truth out, and efforts to expose the truth so that come November citizens can make an informed decision based on facts, not charades.


Illustration by Skillet Gilmore from “The McCrory Administration Says You Needn’t Worry About That Coal Ash in Your Water” –



Residents invite McCrory to come learn about coal ash



And then stay tuned for the next release – Mad Max : November Election.

Can I Get a Confirmation from the Congregation? – How Governor McCrory Has Brought Me Closer To God

Governor McCrory, you have brought me closer to God.

Simply put, I have never conversed so much and so passionately with my creator than these past three years. And I must testify this fact – because so many things have happened to North Carolinians that only divine intervention and an election could ever relieve.

With your defiant refusal to extend Medicare coverage for many in the state, I have been asking God to keep those who now do not have health insurance healthy enough until something good happens. As we continue to pay federal taxes that actually finance Medicaid in other states, I ask God for to enable you to place principles before political ideologies.

Environmentally, we have suffered at the hands of Duke Power’s coal ash spill. The public slap on the wrist and the showboating of concern on your part seem sanctimoniously empty to me. Granted, having a private relationship with the country’s largest power company all those years would seem hard to navigate publically, but we need a governor to take a strong stand for the welfare of the state. We are very much like stakeholders in a very large company much larger than Duke Power, except our company is the state North Carolina and you are the appointed CEO. Our welfare and health is our dividend, and if those are not positive, well, we appoint someone else. I pray that God gives you the courage to act accordingly.

Speaking of the environment, the news that the fracking industry would not have to disclose the chemicals needed to “help” boost our energy reserves with natural shale gas is a bit disturbing. If election contributions must be transparently recorded, if ingredients for all food stuffs must be listed on the package, and if all facets of curriculum combed through to the tiniest fraction for our schools, then should we not at least be able to know what is being pumped into our lands for someone else’s profit? If we are in the Bible Belt, then should we not know what is being put into the gut of God’s country?

Fiscally speaking, as a teacher, I am constantly in conversation with the Almighty as to how I can make ends meet and still plan for the future of my family considering my monetary situation. I pray that God helps my wife keep the job that pays much more than mine as I still feel called to help educate the next generations.

Also, I am unsure how you can say that we have a budget surplus when budgets in homes and schools seem unbalanced. The money allocated to social services has been slashed in the name fiscal balance, but it seems more like a drive to privatize everything and claim that the market will take care of the economy. We still need the government to intervene on behalf of those who pay their fair share of taxes. I also pray that you realize that “decreasing” taxes were more than offset by eliminating tax deductions for working families and putting more sales taxes on items like auto repairs. Many families are actually paying more to the state now than before you were elected.

I have also prayed to God that the voice of every citizen can be heard, even in the government buildings where the current short session has “revisited” sanctions about people congregating and airing concerns to elected officials. Even though you and your cabinet wish to silence others through “voter ID” legislation and the reinterpretation of the freedom of speech, I know God hears every person’s voice. Do you hear the ones who come to Raleigh on Moral Mondays to exclusively tell you what they need?

And finally, I pray that the public schools get the resources and funding they so deserve. North Carolina’s constitution does state that every citizen will have access to a good education. The very foundation of that “good” education system is the student/teacher relationship. If there are no good, experienced teachers left, then how “good” will that education promised in the state’s constitution be? It is a cruel irony that one of the best public university systems in the country is quickly losing the strong public K-12 system that has been feeding it.

Oh, I forgot. That very same university system is actually under attack. The fact that Margaret Spellings, the architect of No Child Left Behind, is now the president of the UNC system shows a strong disconnect in what our public universities really needed. Instead of removing obstacles, one was placed in its way.

But spiritually, I feel great. I have never felt closer God.