From Edward Abbey comes this line: “Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”
The latest essay in this space stirred too much. The stew was pummeled into a gooey mass, the individual parts no longer distinguishable. That’s my fault. I have removed the most offensive portions of the essay.
In my haste to return a professional favor to Geoffrey Chia, and also in my ongoing desire to facilitate the types of discussion not found elsewhere, I failed to review Chia’s latest essay in sufficient depth. As a result, his essay included many examples of the type of discussion I specifically revile: libel, vitriol, and ad hominem statements. The blogosphere is repleted with this kind of nonsense, and I’m frequently on the receiving end. As a consequence, I know it’s neither needed nor appreciated here.
I apologize specifically to Frank Kling, who apparently was the subject of libel. Chia has not provided evidence to counter the claim of libel. I apologize also to Chia’s “WACKOs.” Even though I agree with most of Chia’s observations, his language is inappropriate for this space.
In general, I’m tired of the ongoing misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence. I’m one short step away from terminating comments to any essay posted here.
Comments are allowed, for now, but if a comment is offensive to any person, it will be removed and the abuser’s time commenting in this space will be short. Well-known public figures are exempt, of course: You are encouraged to offend the dominant culture and its figureheads.
by Bob Boldt
The way Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos climate-change episode opened with the cautionary tale of a planet in the throes of runaway greenhouse, I thought we were in for a sobering episode. Many scientists have given up on any strategy for saving civilization. They already believe we are circling the drain and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it. Then I remembered I was watching MSM and Fox. A startling “reality show” of this kind would never be allowed on the air, at least not on that venue.
Of course the program said nothing of the kind: quite the opposite. In fact Neil’s outlook concerning our hopes for pulling all nine billion of us out of our self-induced crapper is sheer Pollyanna. I almost threw up at his ending for so many reasons it would be hard and nauseating to make a complete list.
Watching the ending shots under the swelling saccharine music amid all the Greening of Amerikan cities I thought I was in Orlando, Florida! Pure Disney Imagineers. I half expected to see Jiminy Cricket hopping from one terraformed rooftop to another singing “When you wish upon a star.”
In my estimation, Neil is really wrong on this one. Even if you agree with him, he should have gone into a little more detail as to just how formidable our disastrous outlook is. Neil seems oblivious to the fact that technology can cut two ways. Many do not buy that the same technology that condemned us can be turned around and used to save us — at least without some pretty draconian sacrifices that NO one is willing or able to make. He ignores the growing scientific opinion that we have already passed the climate point of no return and we will be very lucky if we can escape the extinction of all higher life forms on the planet. Our pernicious civilization has bought the proverbial one way ticket to Palookaville — or Venus!
Just because today is a lot like yesterday doesn’t mean tomorrow will be anything like today.
Filmmaker, writer, artist and retired commercial film producer, Bob Boldt is a graduate of Wabash College with a degree in psychology. He also studied art and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a news cameraman, he covered the Chicago Freedom Movement campaign of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention.
Boldt presently lives in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he pursues diverse activities such as poetry, community gardening, still photography, and video production. An avowed atheist, he is a practicing Buddhist and a member of the local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
McPherson was interviewed by Gary Null on Thursday, 12 June 2014. Catch it here, starting at the 33-minute mark.
Audio from McPherson’s 6 February 2014 presentation in Winnipeg is available, thanks to Michael Welch. It’s here, and it includes a few minor errors, corrected for subsequent presentations. Accompanying Powerpoint file is here, in pdf form. Ten minutes’ worth of Q & A begins shortly after the 49-minute mark.