Thursday, October 28, 2004

Bush, frogs, baboons, horses and a manic exercise in html

Here is an excerpt from an article about the religious reason why conservatives oppose environmental regulation:

"Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, and pestilence brought by
ecological collapse are signs of the Apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care
about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the Rapture?
And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same God who performed
the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light
crude with a Word?"

This is all fine, to an extent, and goes well with account of Bush's own religion here and here but I don't think it is the sole reason.

Reason Number Two is pure economics - plundering the Earth without having to pay for it. Reason Number Three is the view of Nature that comes straight from the moral order of the Strict Father ideology:

Humans over non-human animals and rest of nature.
"Dubya exploded frogs as a
kid, didn't he? Ann Coulter said something about God telling us to rape nature
(I wonder what part of nature she is raping). Animal welfare (not to mention
animal rights), environmental protection, and the Endangered Species Act are not
just a nuisance for profit-making industries, but also affront to the moral
superiority of men over nature. This is one area where man's dominance is
unchallenged. We can do whatever we want to natural world and not expect any
punishment. This is a perfect outlet for our repressed sadistic tendencies
caused by rough treatment by parents during childhood. Hunting is fun! Revenge
is all ours!This is also an issue of control. While most liberals I know love
all animals, most conservatives I know love all animals except CATS! Why?
Because cats cannot be ordered around. Cats make conservatives feel powerless
and emasculated.But what if "animals" are not a separate category? What if there
is a continuum between animals and humans? Did someone say "evolution"?
Anathema! Who cares about empirical data, if such data subvert such an important
element of the hierarchy of moral authority, the only remaining legal way to
rape and pillage!?"

Yes, Bush blew up frogs. This has been used to imply his insanity. But cruelty to animals is not insane in the conservative world: it is the normal part of it. Conservative humans are like baboons :

"If the animal lost the fight, low basal cortisol levels were associated with
those animals who most often displaced aggression onto third parties. Sapolsky
refers to this behavior as an outlet for frustration."

Thus, when your Strict Father beats you up with the belt (and you know better than to beat up on your little sister or Daddy's rottweiler), your pent up frustration needs an outlet, and there is nothing easier than torturing a cat (all cats are Democrats anyway), putting a petarde in a frog, or going hunting.
It is difficult to find a mammal (birds may be better?) that models the liberal type of society very well, but perhaps meerkats and dwarf mongooses come close enough.

Here is an old, but good, article arguing that Bush is not a good cowboy :

But liberals from both coasts and Europeans who derisively call Bush a "cowboy"
foolishly insult not Bush, but one of America's prime ennobling myths. Instead
of ridiculing the myth exploited by George W. Bush, they may want to measure him
against it.

or this one :

Ron Reagan: My father was much more of a rancher than he was. This is a guy who
used to, you know, build his own fences, curry his own horses, saddle his own
horses, you know, cut his own firewood. You know, George Bush sallies forth in
his pickup truck to go torment small animals. And he's got that little "lady
trim whiz," you know, chainsaw that he uses to trim the hedges for the cameras
when they're there.

or this one:

Neither man can ride a horse!Both men stay away from them!

...or this one:

I've repeatedly seen rumors that he's afraid of horses. I've certainly never
seen a shot of him on horseback. You'd think that, given the resonance of
Reagan's horsemanship with the public (e.g., those "Morning in America" ads),
Karl Rove would be playing that kind of thing up for all it's worth. Instead,
they're forced to make do with endless "brush clearing" footage. In Texas, BTW,
any nouveau riche upstart can buy some acreage and call it a "ranch." I hear
horses are pretty sensitive. Maybe they spook around Bush because they can smell
the sheer evil of the extra-dimensional entity that uses him as its meat puppet.

...and how about this one that also ties with environmentalism:

Certainly George W. identifies himself with the rugged cowboy image that Wise
Use has learned to cultivate and market. When President Putin of Russia came to
visit Bush at his 1,600-acre hobby ranch in Crawford, Texas back in 2001, he was
excited about the prospect of riding horses with America's
But he soon learned that, unlike Ronald Reagan, W.
doesn't actually ride horses. He prefers to drive around his ranch in a white
Ford F-150 pick-up truck (Putin got to ride shotgun). Bush also enjoys "clearing
brush" with a chainsaw. His ranch work, along with Dick Cheney's bird hunting
and fly fishing, may be what the President means when he speaks of his
"appreciation of America's nature."

Or a funny video, anyone?

But is he really afraid of horses? Doesn't really matter. If he did ride horses, I know the type, he would ride only loud-screaming stallions, with long spurs and whips, parading around, a super-alpha male astride of alpha male. Mares tend to kill people like that.

I am rambling.... What I am really trying to say is that use and abuse of animals and the rest of nature is an integral part of the conservative Moral Order. Conservatives interpret the Bible (or whichever sacred text is locally in vogue) in a conservative manner: jealous ferocious God instead of loving graceful God, for instance. They project their inherent worldview onto their religion and read the sacred texts selectively (just like liberal Protestants, for instance, have their own reading emphasizing good deeds, love of neighbor, turning the other cheek, etc.) .

Bush is hardly relevant here, as he appears to be irrelevant in his own Administration since he was picked to run for Presidency. But the Bush cabal sees it as an unalienable right to scorch and plunder the Earth and sees no inherent value, not even aesthetic value, in Nature.

The lesson of the Bush family seems to be that the Strict Father method of childrearing does not seem to work: (self) destructive wimp Poppy Bush begat the (self) destructive wimp Dubya, who begat self-destructive Jenna and Un-Jenna. They are young (and shielded from us) so we do not know if they are also going to be destructive and wimps. Perhaps they will turn out just fine, as Dubya is too much of a sissy even to be a real Strict Father (forgot those leashes again!), so perhap they managed to escape the family curse.

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 10:28 PM | permalink | (1 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink