Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

George Monbiot seems to think that how guilty we feel is more important than what we actually do.

9 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. I do love Georgie’s little homilies.

    Why is it so difficult to persuade people to care about our wonderful planet, the world that gave rise to us and upon which we wholly depend?

    By ‘care’, George means ‘believe is going to hell in a handbasket thanks to awful, selfish human beings and their insane greed for electricity, three square meals a day, and to live beyond the age of 30’.

    And by ‘wonderful planet … which gave rise to us’, he means ‘the natural world which is constantly threatening to kill us and everyone we know with floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, pestilence, bacteria and viruses, against which our only defence is our human ingenuity for technology and instinct to better our lot’.

    And why do you encounter a barrage of hostility and denial whenever you attempt it (and not only from the professional liars who are paid by coal and oil and timber companies to sow confusion and channel hatred)

    Big Wood is in the Axis of Evil now?!? Fuckers! Where do I collect my cheque?

    The first thing to note, in trying to answer this question, is that the rich anglophone countries are anomalous.

    So Anglophone countries, which have done more than all the others put together to create the technology required to drag the human race out of the middle ages and make it possible for billions of humans to live on this planet, are less susceptible to being guilt-tripped by eco-bullshit that tells us economic development is a bad thing? Fancy that.

    This belief is likely to be reinforced by the cherished notion that we lead the world in knowledge, sophistication and compassion. The bar chart puts me in mind of the famous quote perhaps mistakenly attributed to Gandhi. When asked by a journalist during a visit to Britain, “What do you think of western civilization?”, he’s reputed to have replied, “I think it would be a good idea.”

    Yes, we have so much to learn from a country where most people live in grinding, abysmal poverty and where it’s still common to see folks squatting to take a shit on the pavement. Not to mention the caste system, sutee, and the routine beatings and ocassional murders their police indulge in.

    Put down that mug of piss and teach us the mystical secrets of your sophistication and compassion, Mr Gandhi! And how’s your wife doing without that Western medicine you forbade the doctors to give her?

    For years we’ve been told that people cannot afford to care about the natural world until they become rich; that only economic growth can save the biosphere, that civilisation marches towards enlightenment about our impacts on the living planet. The results suggest the opposite.

    Yes, George is seriously suggesting that pious poverty is the way to go. Seriously. This is the great Compassionato speaking. How was this man not elected Pope?

    Perhaps that’s the point of our otherwise-pointless hyperconsumption: it smothers feeling. It might also be the effect of the constant bombardment of advertising and marketing. They seek to replace our attachments to people and place with attachments to objects: attachments which the next round of advertising then breaks in the hope of attaching us to a different set of objects.

    Immediately below this paragraph was an advert for the latest Nokia smartphone. Oooh, shiny! I don’t give a crap about my kids or my town or my country now – ME WANT TEH SHINY THING!!!

    But – thank Gaia – Georgie is above the base materialist spiritual degredation he diagnoses in us lesser mortals. I’m guessing Our Hero lives in a hollowed out tree stump, wears discarded bin liners as clothes, eats grass, and scratched out this article on a bit of bark before handing it to a friendly owl to courier it to the Guardian offices, no?

    All this is accompanied in the rich anglophone nations with the extreme neoliberalism promoted by both press and politicians

    You hear that, David “Windfarms” Cameron and Barack “Solyndra” Obama? You’re not just neoliberals (spit), you’re extreme neoliberals. (double spit) Bastards!

    How we break the circle and wake people out of this dreamworld is the question that all those who love the living planet should address.

    You sheeple are all living in the Matrix, and George is offering you the red pill. WAKE UP, YOU FOOLS! You have nothing to lose but your property, your freedom, and your disgustingly decadent Western life expectancy.

    And isn’t that a small price to pay to appease The Planet so that she might not smite us with floods (but probably still will)?

    Isn’t it a fair trade to protect the wondrous diversity of lifeforms that share this pale blue dot with us, such as blowflies, cockroaches, and rectal gonorrhea? Some of which, I suspect, write for the Guardian?

    Whaddayamean, no?

  2. The Other Bloke in Italy

    Rectal Gonorrhea? Evidently, I have lived a sheltered life.

    Another fine fisk, Steve.

    Well, George can feel guilty for me: presumably from long practice, he is better than I at guilt.

  3. ‘Well, George can feel guilty for me: presumably from long practice, he is better than I at guilt.’
    Exactly, it comparative advantage. People like George can generate massive amounts of guilt and the rest of us can do that consumption thing. It all works out fine.

  4. Bloke with a Boat

    George was on Start the Week with James Lovelock recently. It turns out that James is quite sanguine about Climate Change. Poor George got quite irrated and you could picture him stamping his feet in frustration and threatening to squeam and squeam.

  5. Of course he does. This is the very essence of Puritanism which, as I say over and over, is the preferred belief system of the ruling class and has been since the mid 19th century (as a consistently organised force).

    Blend it with Rousseauesque (Roussesque? Roussos? I dunno what the word is) nature fantasy and bolt on a Marxist analytical framework, and you get the modern oppressive ideology that we call “PC”.

  6. The Other Bloke in Italy – thanks! Err, I think I read about rectal VD somewhere…

    Anyway… is George better at feeling guilty? He seems like one of those people who, if he was a Catholic, would confess other people’s sins.

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