Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Environmental pathos

I know that the big news of the day is yesterday's election. As a conservative, obviously I am happy at how things turned out. As a Virginian, I am excited that Virginia has elected a Republican for a change -- only the third since I began following politics in 1980. As an analyst, however, I have nothing new to add, so I will write about something else: environmentalism as a support system for the depressed.

I was excited recently to find a link to the following video, which I had seen back in May, but had been unable to locate a link since then (thanks to Linkiest):

Everyone ought to see this video to see what some environmentalists are like. As their name indicates, "Earth First!" is about "biocentrism," or "spiritual and visceral recognition of the intrinsic, sacred value of every living thing" -- plants on the same level as humans. Actually, as you can see in the video, "Earth First!" also values decidedly non-living things such as rocks, to which at least some of its members ascribe life.

What can one say about such beliefs? Would it be reasonable to describe them as geocentrism, since Earth (and not people) is obviously at the center? Would it be reasonable to describe it as a form of paganism, since it attributes spiritual value to plants and inanimate objects? I think that comes close, but I would guess (and it is only a guess) that a druid from Caesar's day who should happen upon these people would be even more puzzled by them than we are. The thing that strikes me most is that the people in the video are extemely sad and very much focussed on non-essential things. All life is valuable, but if you find yourself attaching as much spiritual meaning to a tree -- let alone a rock -- as you do to a human, you have gone seriously astray.

I love the internet for the chance it gives to view video clips like this, and like Jeremiah Wright's sermons, that people would never get otherwise. Conservatism has benefitted from new media in a number of ways: the existence of Fox as a counterpoint to broadcast news, and especially talk radio. On the other hand, it strikes me as interesting that I have never seen a real conservative take on the mock news show, à la Jon Stewart (or Saturday Night Live's versions before him). I was therefore happy to find "NewsBusted," a very brief but well-done news humour video from a conservative perspective:

It has been coming out at least since 2007; I'm sorry I didn't hear about it before.

"Policy Translated" is a conservative video with a different approach: the videos show an individual discussing a particular area of public policy, while subtitles translate the wonky talk into popular slang. I love these, but they haven't produced any new ones in a while, and I don't see any way to embed them.

No comments:

Post a Comment