If meat is murder, are eggs rape?
(Page 3 of 4)
Fretting makes us important. Say you’re an adult male and you’re skipping down the street whistling “Last Train to Clarksville.” People will call you a fool. But lean over to the person next to you on a subway and say, “How can you smile while innocents are dying in Tibet?” You’ll acquire a reputation for great seriousness and also more room to sit down.
And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we’re careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
Thus, in fin de siecle civilization, we find ourselves with grave, momentous concerns galore. The Clinton State Department has created a position of Worry-Wart-in-Charge, an “undersecretary of global affairs” who is to be responsible for “worldwide programs in human rights, the environment, population control and anti-narcotics efforts.” Timothy E. Wirth, nominee for this dreary post, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Fussed Wirth, “Growth that is all-too-capable of doubling—even tripling—today’s global population in the next century is already a force contributing to violent disorder and mass dislocations in resource-poor societies. Some of the resulting refugees are our near neighbors.” Oh those massively dislocated Nova Scotians, breeding like mink. “Other refugees-in-waiting,” said Wirth, “press hungrily against the fabric of social and political stability around the world.” And that suit’s going to have to go to the cleaner’s.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions, meeting in Chicago in 1993, issued a statement called “Towards a Global Ethic” that opined, “We must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money and consumption to make a just and peaceful world.” A just and peaceful world full of powerless nobodies who are broke and have empty shopping malls.
On Earth Day, 1994, the National Council of Churches suggested that Protestants make a “confession of environmental sins”: “We use more than our share of the Earth’s resources. We are responsible for massive pollution of earth, water and sky. We thoughtlessly drop garbage around our homes, schools, churches, places of work, and places of play.” (Which is why Episcopalian neighborhoods are always such dumps.)
Everywhere we see the imposition of grave concern into the most mundane and trivial aspects of life. Lightning Comics, a Detroit publisher of funny books, has created a super hero, Bloodfire, who is HIV positive. Which should cool Lois Lane.
A TV revival of “Bonanza” had as its villain a man who wanted to strip-mine the Ponderosa.
Hanna-Barbera has a “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” cartoon about saving the you-know-what. Margot Kidder supplies the voice of “Gaia,” the Spirit of the Earth. “I am worried about the planet for my daughter’s future,” announced Kidder in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Kidder said her daughter had once told her, “Mom, when we grow up, the world may not be here.”
The May 1994 issue of Barbie comics, featuring the adventures of the doll by that name, had a story about how deaf people are discriminated against. There was a page at the end where Barbie gave a lesson in sign language, showing us the signs for “push-up bra,” “Let’s go shopping,” and “diamond tennis bracelet from middle-aged gentleman admirer.” Just kidding. Barbie showed us the signs for “Friend,” “Hello,” “Thanks,” and that sort of thing.
THE APRIL 1994 ISSUE of Washingtonian ran an article by my friend Andrew Ferguson about corporate “multicultural training.” Andy quoted one of the trainers (or facilitators, as they like to be called), whose job it is to instill “sensitivity” about age, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and the kitchen sink into employees of Washington businesses:
“It’s a function of capitalism, isn’t it?” says the facilitator. “Capitalism requires scarcity to function. It’s built into the system—no scarcity, no profit.
“That’s the kind of power relationships capitalism creates. Sharing power is not something a male-dominated culture naturally gravitates towards, is it?”
The facilitator, a male, was being paid $2,000 a day.
And here is my favorite tale of pained solicitude, from an AP wire story that appeared in the Arab News in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, and which I have been saving ever since:
Game wardens and wildlife biologists were among those gathered for nearly eight hours on a farm in northwestern Louisiana to save what they thought was a bear 50 to 60 feet up in a pine tree. A veterinarian fired tranquilizer darts at the critter in an effort to get it down. Deputies and wildlife agents strung a net to catch the bear when the tranquilizers took effect… . “People really wanted … to help and protect that bear and get him where he was supposed to be,” Norman Gordan, the owner of the farm said… . It wasn’t until the tree was chopped down … that they discovered they were rescuing a dart-riddled garbage bag.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?