Friday, 18 July 2008

21st CENTURY OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDERS

In his excellent book about "end-of-times" devotees in the United States, "Have a Nice Doomsday", author Nicholas Guyatt points out that while the lunatic fringe of the “right” have their global apocalypse scenarios, so too do those of the “left”. These scenarios are inevitably environmental in nature – global warming, overpopulation, mass food shortages, resource depletion and so on.

To my mind, these are far more compelling and logical arguments than are those that posit the destruction of the planet by an Antichrist, or being carried off to the 9th circle of Hell by flocks of flaming homosexuals.

Yet one thing continues to elude me about these theories of man-made, environmental doom, and that is the science behind them.

I have no aptitude for science whatsoever.

I also have no aptitude for tennis. Or electronics. Or carpentry. Or tax returns. When confronted with the whys and wherefores of these topics, my brain turns to taffy and my thoughts wander to subjects that I feel far more comfortable with. Like sex, for example, and why I haven’t managed to get any for ... oh, never mind, you get the picture.

As far as global warming and climate change are concerned, every day, every week, every month for a few years now brings new articles for and against, graphs and maps and statistics. The science of this, the science of that, elements and chemicals and gases and measurements from here to here, from there to here, from one moment in time to another, analyses and arguments and theories and conjectures, rebuttals and confirmations and more and more bloody statistics, proposals and schemes.

I’m sorry, but frankly, my eyes glaze over just thinking about it all. I can’t even manage to herd all my marbles for long enough to even contemplate a position either for or against because ... well, I just can’t be fucking bothered. I simply can’t sustain an interest in the science of the thing, and in that I do not think I am alone in the world.

It’s not that I am skeptical of the claims that are being made in the case for climate change, it’s not that at all, as many of them, on the face of it, seem perfectly valid.

I just have a whole bunch of other things to occupy my mind, and I honestly don’t feel much like shuffling about in a perpetual cloud of despair and gloom every day for the rest of my life worrying myself into an early grave over the potential end of life on the planet as we know it.

I mean, for fuck’s sake, there’s bugger all I can do about it, so stop fucking hollering at me all the time about this stuff. I don’t know what the fucking answer is. I can’t think of any solutions. Fuck off and leave me alone. Go throw some darts at the head of an Exxon executive, why don't you.

I’m almost middle-aged, I live by myself in a flat, I don’t own a car, I don’t even own a fucking microwave oven. I walk to work and back most days. I turn appliances off at the power-point, not out of any environmental concerns, but purely because it helps keep the bills down. When I’m at home, there’s usually only one light on at any given time, and that would be the light in the room where I happen to be at. If I’m in the living room, I don’t see much point in having the fucking light on in the bedroom or the laundry, ‘cause there ain’t nobody there. And it helps keep the bills down.

And also, I put my cigarette butts in a bin instead of dropping them on the ground or in the gutter where they can get flushed into the ocean and choke flathead, so fucking shut up about that too. Piss off and mind your own fucking business.

I have an air-conditioner in the unit I’m renting, but it was there when I moved in, and by Christ, in the searing heat and humidity of the summer months up here in Brisbane, I fucking well use it and I use it often. If that offends you, I don’t care. You too can fuck off.

I have an electric toothbrush. It has a little green standby light on it, indicating that it is charged, and it’s the only appliance (aside from the refrigerator) that I do not turn off at the power point. This little light would emit no more in the way of greenhouse gases than farts from a butterfly. I’m leaving it on. Understand?

But whether for or against the case for climate change, the issue has, for some people, become an all-consuming obsession, one that appears to be threatening to tip their minds over the edge of sanity and render them completely and utterly unhinged.

Whether for or against the case, both sides need to realise that, when they insist on preaching from the farthest extremes of the argument and preach with such stridently raucous frequency, a vast number of people, myself included, simply switch off.

Witness, for example, the seemingly infinite number of posts on the topic (for the case against) from everyone’s favourite boychild-journalist Andrew Bolt. It appears to have sent him thoroughly ratty in the head, for there is nary a day goes by where this particular drum of his doesn’t get the shit thrashed out of it.

Yet, Bolt is little more than a staggeringly unremarkable and unimaginative writer with no scientific qualifications whatsoever or investigative chops for a DAILY TABLOID, for God’s sake. He is to science and the deliberations and particulars of evidence-based scientific research what Paris Hilton is to the evolution of pop music.

The last couple weeks, I’ve done a
round-up and summation of the topics Bolt has addressed in his “nervous tic as blog” and you can see from those how big a part the whole climate change topic plays in his world.

However, yesterday, Thursday July 17, 2008, this is what I found ...

12.07am -
Global warming cunts.

12.08am -
Global warming cunts.

12.13am -
Global warming cunts.

05.54am -
Global warming cunts. Chinese cunts too.

06.11am -
Global warming cunts.

06.13am -
Kevin Rudd is a cunt.

06.17am -
Global warming cunts.

06.31am -
Nude cunts.

11.43am -
Global warming cunts.

09.13pm -
Global warming cunts.

Extraordinary, isn’t it?

For the casual passer-by (such as myself), it exerts the same fascinatingly morbid voyeuristic appeal as does a car crash. Or watching a lobotomised chimpanzee masturbate itself into a coma.

Unhinged. Utterly. Utterly. Mad.

I won't be doing these round-ups and summation of Bolt’s “blog” again as, quite frankly, it really is starting to do my fucking head in.

The man is in desperate need of a prescription. And I'm in desperate need of a Panadol.

3 comments:

Terry Wright said...

Ho ho ho. Very good Ross.
Always a great read.

"Or watching a lobotomised chimpanzee masturbate itself into a coma."
LOL ... I'm having a hard picturing this one in my tiny brain.

"I’m sorry, but frankly, my eyes glaze over just thinking about it all. I can’t even manage to herd all my marbles for long enough to even contemplate a position either for or against because ... well, I just can’t be fucking bothered. I simply can’t sustain an interest in the science of the thing, and in that I do not think I am alone in the world."

That's me, so you're not alone on this one. It's like horse racing, the olympics games, XBox/Wii, Rap music, Art, reality TV or who Jennifer Aniston is dating. I just don't care and turn off when it's gets talked about.

Keep them coming.

Jack Dorf said...

I don't understand the freaking science either Ross. I'd like too, but I'm too right or left brain or dumb or busy to care.

Like you though, I am finding Andy's obsession just a bit weird. Is the Lavosier Club paying him a bonus per fucking post?

I've never seen a monkey masturbate, but I did watch a gorilla eat his own freshly passed turd at the the Melbourne Zoo one day. I'd love to see Andy do the same sometime.

bron said...

Ditto Ross. I don't understand a lot of the science behind the screaming matches between the sceptics and the believers, but if I had to choose between an EXPERT believer and a blogger moron "sceptic" (more like denialist) like Andrew Bolt, I'm going to be on the believer's side.