Environmentalist Proponents Jump The Shark

Friday, October 1, 2010 \PM\.\Fri\.

An environmental confederation in the UK got the talented screenwriter Richard Curtis to produce a short film, ironically called No Pressure, for the 10:10 campaign, an effort to remind people to do their part in reducing carbon emission 10% by 2010 AD.

Unfortunately for the environmental movement the film backfired because it reinforced the image that beneath the surface environmentalists will do anything once in power to make it compulsory to follow their vision for the future, which includes violence.

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There Is No Shire Party

Friday, October 1, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

If imitation is a form of flattery, it must be some sort of testament to a writer’s skill when partisans of both sides of an issue become intent upon placing each other as the villains of the same work of fiction. Some examples of this are, perhaps, unsurprising. The original Big Brother of George Orwell’s 1984 is such a wonderfully universal government baddie that it is little wonder that those on both the right and left see each other as being like it.

However, one of the odder (to me) manifestations of this trend is the tendency of those on both right and left who are of a certain SF/F geek stripe (and political and genre geekdom do seem to go together more often than one might imagine) to identify themselves with the Shire of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and to identify their opponent with the modernizing and destructive elements who take over the Shire under Lotho Sackville-Baggins and “Sharky” (Saruman) while Frodo and his friends are away, and who are driven out in the Scouring of the Shire.

For those less familiar with those aspects of the story that didn’t make the movie version: While Frodo and this three friends Sam, Merry and Pippin are off on the quest to destroy the One Ring, Frodo’s cousin Lotho uses the influence and affluence of belonging to one of the Shire’s leading families to run the Shire into a bit of a ditch. Most of the crops are exported, including nearly all the pipeweed, leaving Hobbits themselves with little left for themselves. Various “improvement” projects are undertaken, such as knocking down the picturesque old mill on the river in Hobbiton and putting up a large new brick structure which belches smoke and pollutes the river.

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The Devil and Daniel Webster

Friday, October 1, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

Daniel Webster is running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District of Florida.  He is a veteran Republican politician, having served as the first Republican speaker of the Florida House of Representatives in 122 years.  He has also served as the Republican majority leader of the Florida Senate.  He is a pro-life conservative.  He is not the Devil.

His opponent is Alan Grayson.  Alan Grayson is the incumbent, being first elected to Congress in 2008.  He is a pro-abort liberal Democrat.  He is doing his best to depict Daniel Webster as the Devil.

My good friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia has a first rate post on this subject at his bog and has saved me quite a bit of work:

Back during the Bush years, I can recall debates in the Catholic blogosphere in which Catholics of a certain left-leaning ilk accused those on the right of having questioned the patriotism of anyone who had opposed the Iraq War.

The thing is that I don’t recall these instances of anyone’s patriotism being impugned (outside of David Frum’s infamous piece at National Review in which he accused conservative Catholic commentators Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak of being “unpatriotic”; but then, any conservative worth a damn doesn’t give a rat’s patoot what David Frum thinks or says).

And, in fact, the left’s protestations about having their patriotism questioned appears to have been nothing more than collective projection, imagining that their political adversaries were doing exactly what they would do if they were the ones trying to overcome opposition to a particular objective of national policy priority. This has been borne out since the election of President Obama: how many times have we seen the words “sedition” (also here, for example), “un-American” (also here, for example), “unpatriotic”, and even “siding with the terrorists” (not to mention “racist”) applied to critics of the Obama agenda?

But NEVER in my years have I EVER heard someone in politics say about someone in the opposition “He just doesn’t love America like I do.”

Until now:

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