Cold, but not dead-bad cold. Walked the dog without cap or gloves, because I couldn’t find any; still had use of fingers when we got back. It’s supposed to snow two, three inches, and that’s fine. Pile it high. If it’s going to be February, it should look like – no, wait. If it’s going to have the empty cold forsaken spirit of endless January, it might as well –
No, that’s not it. If it’s going to be winter, it might as well be festive and white and sparkly and crunchy and all those other things that make you think of Christmases past, and make you vow this will be the best one ever. For all! Merry Christmas! Peace on earth!
You know what I need? Christmas music. Seriously: I haven’t listened to a note. Well, let’s try. Let’s look through the enormous bin . . .
What am I thinking? How could I not celebrate the month with a daily Christmas song? I’m saving up the really bad good ones for the Diner, but I have so much. But of course this means I need a standing graphic. Be right back.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Ed Sullivan’s Christmas! I’m sure he had little to do with the project ; I cannot imagine him leading an orchestra. He would have stood on the podium jerking a shoulder this way and that to indicate the beat, and the tempo for every piece would have been allegro toppo gigio. I mean, he was a newspaper columnist, for heaven's sake.
This version of Good King Wenceslas is notable for the strings, which sound like a holiday-on-ice production of “Psycho.” You’ll see what I mean.
Instapundit noted this ABC story: divorce hurts the planet. "Environmentalists who are thinking of getting a divorce may want to reconsider, a new study at Michigan State University finds."
So we’ve gone from staying together for the children to staying together for the Mother. I wonder if we can turn this into useful public policy, if only to see the narrowed eyelids of people who are told they have to “privilege” marriage to save the Earth. You really don’t mean that, do you. No, but it’s fun to sing from a different hymnal now and then, if only to sing louder than the people who are in the pews every week, and watch their reaction.
At a recent event a party guest was handing out a 6th grade class assignment her kid brought home: a survey on global warming attitudes. The first question gauged our concern over global warming; I marked “not very concerned,” which drew a wide stare from someone looking over my shoulder. It’s like you’re one of those people they sang about in “Hair”! People who don’t care about war, or social injustice! Somehow “not very concerned” means you’re a global warming denialist, and you would, if you had time and money, drive to the Arctic in a Hummer and push polar bears into the drink. With the windows down. And the heat on. No, it just means that I am not very concerned. I think energy conservation and alternate sources of power are good ideas in their own right, and must be pursued; I just don’t think lower Manhattan will be awash in 2050 unless we cut carbon emissions to a level previously associated with the 15th century, and I’m not going to live in a state of guilty panic over my carbon footprint. If others want to walk around wearing sandy underpants, fretting over what they cannot avoid doing and scolding others for buying produce shipped from Brazil instead of buying local, they’re welcome to it. Everyone needs a purpose in life.
Of course, their purpose is often at cross-purposes with your purposes. This article (h/t Insty & Samzidata) is blunt:
If the developed world is to implement the 80% cuts in carbon emissions the UN demands as part of the talks beginning in Bali today, the lives of our children will have to be dramatically different from everything we are currently bringing them up to expect.
Agreed. And if the developed world is to implement the 95% reduction in human population proposed by the Bilderberger’s Ultra-Secret Herd-Thinning Initiative, our children’s lives will be drastically shorter than they’re being brought up to expect. So we had better take them to Disneyworld now, right? Something to think about when they’re fed into the bloody thrashing blades of the municipal Reduction Centres. Or you could note that reducing the population by 95% is probably not going to happen, any more than the developing countries will reduce their carbon output by 80 percent without mandatory sabot-insertion into every facet of modern industrial life.
There follows the usual tut-tutting about other people’s spending choices, which are always easy to mock – and I’ll happily play that game too, because people do waste money on stupid stuff. Not me, though. There’s nothing I buy to enhance my mortal existence that isn’t a good idea whose merits can be proven empirically. Anyway: she wants a low-consumption economy, achieved by general societal consensus. If that’s what a society wishes, fine; go ahead. There’s a precendent for pulling together and doing without: “Hearteningly, we know it can be done - our parents and grandparents managed it in the second world war.” Well, buzzbombs, firestorms, wholesale overnight urban destruction and the threat of a life writhing under the Nazi boot do focus the mind. As it turns out, though, her example of plucky Britons pulling together to defeat the Hun peril was not achieved without a few nudges from their betters:
In the early 1940s, a dramatic drop in household consumption was achieved - not by relying on the good intentions of individuals, but by the government orchestrating a massive propaganda exercise combined with a rationing system and a luxury tax. This will be the stuff of 21st-century politics - something that, right now, all the main political parties are much too scared to admit.
It’s the rationing system some want, I suspect. It will be the job of the state to decide how many times a week you can eat meat, how many rooms you should have, what sort of vehicle you drive, how many times you may fly, how many toys you can buy your child.
Note: this is not to say people don’t spend too much money on things they don’t need. It’s just not my place to request the state to keep them from doing so. In any case, I suspect that the impulse to bring all these untidy unhelpful examples of flagrant individualism under the steady hand of the Ministry of Rational Allocation has something to do with that fretful busybody insistence that people are simply not living right. If we had Star Trek replicators in every house that would conjure goods and meals out of boundless energy produced by antimatter teased from a three-micron fissure that opened into a universe populated entirely by unicorns who crapped antimatter in such abundance they were happy we used it up, and used their shiny pointy horns to poke more of it through the aperture into our dimension, columnists would bemoan the disconnect between labor and goods, and the soul-corrupting influence of endless ersatz vegetables. You can’t win. Because you shouldn’t.
I’m not a big Fred Flintstone fan, but he does provide a nice riposte: sometimes it’s just good to sit on your butt and eat grape jelly. Did you bug Mom for the glasses? I did. And it worked.
See you at buzz.mn. And if you don't mind: buy the book. Please? Thanks!