Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tim Blair, the egg man, climate denying sceptics, and Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo...

(Above: in Saturday party mode? Here's the dress du jour for Sydney-siders, centre of the universe, as Halloween approaches. Sadly, the sunglasses are an optional extra, along with the steak knives).

If you believe Miranda the Devine is all for courtesy on the road, then surely you're ready to ready to go read Tim Blair's Warming up a slur for all the climate denialists.

Blair, in what passes as his regular stab at humor in the Saturday tabloid Telegraph, nee Terror, decides he'll feign mock outrage at the evils of Robert Manne

Local intellectual Robert Manne recently claimed that people who doubted global warming - so-called "global warming sceptics" - weren't sceptical at all. Scepticism is a good thing, Manne pointed out, so he suggested a different term.

"Denialism, a concept that was first widely used, as far as I know, for those who claimed that the Holocaust was a fraud, is the concept I believe we should use," Manne instructed.

Well you can already see where this is heading. Manne is an intellectual, and he instructs. About the only worse term of abuse would be to call him an academic. Or perhaps compare him to Clive James.

Which is perhaps why Blair can't be seen to invoke Godwin's Law, because it would suggest there might be something to theorems and such like.

So instead he simplifies and filches Godwin's Law:

This seems a rather clumsy and emotional shame-by-illogic tactic from someone who claims to base his arguments on science and reason. Disagree with Manne about future weather patterns? Well, that means you're an apologist for the Third Reich, or as bad as one.

And then Blair proceeds to break Godwin's Law himself, just to show that anything Manne can do, he can do, especially if stuck with - quelle horreur - an academic as a neighbour:

Pointing out the screamingly obvious is sometimes all it takes to defeat an intellectual. Imagine living next door to one of these academic muppets: make some idle over-the-fence weather chat and suddenly nice friendly neighbour is denouncing you for running the forced labour program at Bergen-Belsen.

Yep, it's a dollar in the Godwin's Law swear jar for evoking Bergen-Belsen as the the kind of chit chat you can expect from an academic neighbor.

I guess the only thing worse than an academic as a neighbour would be a cheese eating surrender monkey who keeps jabbering away at you in French about climate change. Unless it might happen to be Tim Blair on the other side jabbering on about the jabbering French person.

Because you see opinion polls are the only decent way to judge the science and the reality of climate change. (No, that segue makes no sense, but in a piece about Tim Blair, you want sense? Go eat bark).

Well, let them keep their little denialism slur. It's not doing them much good anyway, with the latest polls in Australia, Canada and the US all showing plunging interest in global warming. But in return, please allow us denialists to come up with our own slur for warming believers.

Which is a great relief when you think about it, because polls tell me everything I need to know about life.

Why not so long ago a Gallup Poll showed that belief in the Devil was holding firm at 7 in 10 Americans, while belief in angels had wavered a little but still could muster 75% of the population as true believers, and heaven notched up 81% of the population. God scored a more than credible 78%, and if you topped it up with a belief in a universal spirit, running at 14%, you could end up with a 92% rating for true believers for some kind of deity running the daily circus on earth. (here). And hallelujah, a large number of Americans still believe in creationism, or so the polls say (here).

Ain't polls wonderful and a sure guide to scientific truth, as well as the zeitgeist.

Not that we're in any way suggesting that people who believe in climate change, or people who don't believe in climate change, but believe in opinion polls instead, are in any way believers who believe things without rationally thinking about their beliefs. That would be a belief-laden statement and an impost on those who are sceptical about beliefs, except when they believe climate change doesn't exist.

No, it's a simple enough intellectual proposition, as enunciated by those post-modernist philosophers the French, that everything is subjective and relative and unknowable, and these days a belief in anything is valid, simply because it's a belief.

So believing climate change doesn't exist, and believing that it's great news that opinion polls tell the truth is a great blow against those arch objectivists, the scientists (or should we call them neo rationalists, or deviant secularists or abstruse boffins in white coats or perhaps simply pawns in a giant global conspiracy, bludgers empire-building by looting taxpayer money).

And anyway, as there's a god, helped by angels, and a heaven (not to mention satan), what's the panic? God's helped us out so well these past few thousand years, so what if the rapture comes a little early and we all end up watching endless rounds of motor car racing in heaven, though there might be some theological dispute as to which form of racing is the best way to fill in an eternity in god's glowing golden light.

Sorry, got carried away. Brooding about the international conspiracy of scientists can do that to you.

Just remember that you read it here first: Tim Blair is a cheese eating relativist subjectivist poll believing French philosopher, whereby the wisdom of the crowds makes up infinite truth. (Is There Wisdom in Crowds?)

But back to the main game. Fortunately, Blair isn't worried about the propriety of Manne's behavior. No, he can get down into the cess pit and muck away with the best of them, all in the name of good civilized humor. Yep, if pig shit flinging is your idea of a weekend of fun, why everybody can fling a little pig shit.

Mansonism, a concept that was first widely used, as far as I know, for those who believed cult leader and murderer Charles Manson was a prophet, is the concept I believe we should use.

In this context, Mansonism has the advantage (compared to denialism) of more convincing thematic connections.

Manson, after all, forecast an apocalypse. So do warmies. Manson's followers - idealistic young white people, as it happens - believed the fate of the planet rested with them. One of Manson's "family", Leslie Van Houten, said in 1977 that they had wanted to "save the world".

There's even an ecological link. After her attempt on the life of President Gerald Ford in 1975, Manson follower Lynette Fromme claimed she had done so in the interests of "clean air, healthy water and respect for creatures and creation".

Which is - when you come to think about it - terrifying.

A belief in clean air, healthy water and a respect for creatures and creation! Only a psychopathic murdering hippie or a greenie could spout such filth, way worse than pedophilia.

Well I'm with Tim Blair. If only sociopaths talk that kind of talk, bring me some filthy polluted air at once I say - waiter, make that a triple shot of coal dust, exhaust fumes, and acid rain. As for healthy water, what's wrong with the good old days of malaria-infested, cholera-laden water, with the possibility of picking up a little dengue fever just a bonus (just some of the water and sanitation related diseases we could pick up with some decently unhealthy water, here).

As for a respect for creatures and creation, I'm with Blair. I spit on creation, and I mourn the way the liberal do gooder academic leftist influenced media has banned any chance of crucifying cats in the back yard as a bit of harmless fun. Now you can only do it in abattoirs for the delight of omnivores.

Let's face it. If Blair wanted to improve the planet, how would he get any readers. Where's the fun in writing about a love of cats, or a love of clean air and safe unpolluted water, when it's possible to rabbit on endlessly, to the point of monomania, about the unreality of climate change.

Fromme later said she'd initially only wanted to talk to Ford, but "then I realised that you don't get attention for that. You get attention if they are scared".

Getting attention by scaring people? These Mansonites wrote the book on modern environmental tactics. Warmies should be flattered by the comparison . . . but they'll probably deny it.

Which is of course nothing like scaring people about how warmie, greenie, hippie people are scaring people ... by killing them!

All in the name of harmless comedy of course. Such a droll wit, with Manne showing only half the wit, and Blair showing how to make fun of a half wit in a half witted way, which if you follow geometric progressions would result in a lack of wit altogether (but what happens when you reach an almost infinite point of dissected half wittedness? Ah then you'd be in the arena of Zeno's paradoxes, and likely a cheese eating scientific warmie).

Meantime, you might well ask what any of this has to do with climate change, and the science thereto. And of course it has nothing to do with it, or with anything else much, except insofar as you want to see adults act like children and fling mud at each other, and go 'yah sucks boo to you too, ya drink ya bath water'.

Which reminds me once again of Gulliver's Travels and the immortal Jonathan Swift and the matter of eggs:

... our Histories of six thousand Moons make no mention of any other Regions, than the two great Empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu. Which two mighty Powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate War for six and thirty Moons past.

It began upon the following Occasion. It is allowed on all Hands, that the primitive way of breaking Eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger End: But his present Majesty's Grand-father, while he was a Boy, going to eat an Egg, and breaking it according to the ancient Practice, happened to cut one of his Fingers. Whereupon the Emperor his Father published an Edict, commanding all his Subjects, upon great Penaltys, to break the smaller End of their Eggs.

The People so highly resented this Law, that our Histories tell us there have been six Rebellions raised on that account; wherein one Emperor lost his Life, and another his Crown. These civil Commotions were constantly fomented by the Monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the Exiles always fled for Refuge to that Empire. It is computed, that eleven thousand Persons have, at several times, suffered Death, rather than submit to break their Eggs at the smaller End.

Many hundred large Volumes have been published upon this Controversy: But the books of the Big-Endians have been long forbidden, and the whole Party rendered incapable by Law of holding Employments. During the Course of these Troubles, the Emperors of Blefuscu did frequently expostulate by their Ambassadors, accusing us of making a Schism in Religion, by offending against a fundamental Doctrine of our great Prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth Chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran.) This, however, is thought to be a meer Strain upon the Text: For the Words are these: That all true Believers shall break their Eggs at the convenient End: and which is the convenient End, seems, in my humble Opinion, to be left to every Man's Conscience, or at least in the power of the Chief Magistrate to determine. Now the Big-Endian Exiles have found so much Credit in the Emperor of Blefuscu's Court, and so much private Assistance and Encouragement from their Party here at home, that a bloody War has been carried on between the two Empires for six and thirty Moons with various Success; during which time we have lost forty Capital Ships, and a much greater number of smaller Vessels, together with thirty thousand of our best Seamen and Soldiers; and the Damage received by the Enemy is reckon'd to be somewhat greater than Ours.
Strength, has commanded me to lay this Account of his affairs before you.

Now that's comedy writing, and it makes a lot more sense than someone like Blair, who's most likely a big endian, except on Saturdays when for the sake of perversity he becomes a little endian.

One thing's for sure. He spends all his time denying climate change, which is strange for someone trying to claim the title of sceptic. You'd have to think there might be the odd story or angle suggesting that there were matters of interest in the area with an alternative view, but I think that'd be like telling a Jesuit to look at the world just once through the eyes of Satan.

Funny then that he gets upset, in a comical way, to hide the venom lurking beneath, when someone says he's in a state of denial.

Heck, I deny the existence of angels, so call me an angel denier all you like, but don't call me a doofus sceptic. Do I have any proof of that belief? Well send an angel my way, and let's get down to some scientific testing.

But whatever you do, don't call this column, the scribbles by Blair or the name calling by Manne a contribution to the understanding of the science and issues of climate change.

Not unless you're one of the eight in ten who think that, if things go pear shaped, never mind, you'll end up with pie in the sky by and by, in a heaven full of virgins and tasty apples ...

Heck, it's Saturday, and I feel a song coming on, one that brings together all the seminal issues, from pigs to English weather to the matter of eggs, and Tim Blair the egg man ...

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I'm crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Mister City P'liceman sitting
Pretty little p'licemen in a row.
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying, I'm crying.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don't you thing the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snide.
I'm crying.

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo...


  1. Would you mind if I use your egg picture as part of a presentation on endianness?

  2. The egg images above are not owned by the pond ...


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