An Inconvenient [Slideshow Software] Truth

Walking out of the little art house theater that was showing “An Inconvenient Truth” in Scarsdale last night, I robotically made the same joke that every reviewer has used: “That was the best friggin Powerpoint presentation I’ve ever seen!” Which isn’t totally fair, of course, but far more charitable than Ana, who, for some inexplicable reason was rather grumpy and said, “That was so annoying, especially with all his whining.”

I, for one, didn’t think Gore was bitching (although Ana certainly was). Rather, the movie made me wish I’d voted for him instead of Nader, and it struck me as the best documentary I’d seen in forever. (OK, technically, the best one I’d seen since “Street Fight” on DVD two nights before.) I ruminated on the car ride home … about how awful it is we drive a gas-guzzling Hyundai Santa Fe SUV … and how our next car should be an electric car … except that the preview for “Who Killed the Electric Car?” seemed to suggest that electric cars have gone the way of the dodo … but whatever, we can still buy a hybrid or more efficient air condtioners or something.

Alas, being the awful, ADD-addled person that I am, most of this environmental enthusiasm had waned by the time my butt was back on the living room couch. I could barely even muster the energy to visit the website plugged at the end of the movie,, and check out the “Take Action” page. What I was really curious about, though, was whether my lame joke — the Powerpoint one — had any basis in fact. That sure didn’t look like a Microsoft application that Gore was using. And boy, some of those animated slides were sweet!

Turns out, the slideshow program is actually Apple’s Keynote. Don’t know who actually uses it other than the former Veep and his tree-huggin posse, and the cynical side of me says he was just plugging Keynote and Powerbook laptops because he’s on Apple’s board. But I guess this article on the Apple website also covers the other reasons that Gore and the filmmakers would be drawn to the program (namely the ability to import and export in HD). Whatever their reasons, I was delighted to find out that, in fact, I already have Keynote. It came already pre-loaded onto my snazzy new BlackBook MacBook.

Unfortuantly, it’s just an unlicensed, trial version. But I still gave it a whirl. Though the build animation effects take a little getting used to — and I could never achieve quite the level of coolness as that adorable CG scene of a polar bear searching for just one teeny, tiny piece of ice to cling to in a never-ending sea — the presentation cababilities are still awfully snazzy. Not $79 snazzy, but snazzy none the less. We’ll consider that $79 not spent as an advance on my next energy-efficient, hydrogen-fueled car.

Unless there are no hydrogen cars by 2007, in which case I’m putting the money towards a harrier jet.