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  • “Life After People”: Environmentalist Porn

    Posted by Shannon Love on May 6th, 2009 (All posts by )

    My son and I like to watch “Life After People” on The History Channel. The show is a thought experiment that examines what would happen to man-made structures and nature if humans suddenly disappeared while leaving everything otherwise intact. 

    I like the show but one thing about watching it creeps me out. 

    I came of age during the late ’70s-early ’80s when post-nuclear apocalypse stories were all the rage, so I spent a lot of time thinking about what such a fallen world would look like. I like the show because it provides a realistic vision of what the world of my childhood nightmares would look like. It evokes in me a kind of nostalgia of horror. 

    A lot of people seem to think of all the infrastructure of modern life — buildings, road systems, dams, etc. — as natural features of the landscape. By demonstrating what would happen to these systems if humans stopped maintaining them, the show demonstrates that the components of our infrastructure are all dynamic systems that require constant inputs of energy, labor and material to exist and function. Like living tissue, they exist in a continual state of regeneration. Stop that regeneration or just slow it down and the systems collapse. 

    More people need an intuitive understanding of this truth. 

    On the other hand, I always feel a sense of disgusted unease when watching the show. Why?

    Well, have you ever been looking at an innocent picture of children, say some kids at the beach, and then have one of your oh-so-insightful friends point out that somewhere, some pedophile is looking at the exact same picture and getting a sexual thrill?

    I get that same creepy feeling watching “Life After People” because I know that somewhere a lot of environmentalists are watching the images of nature destroying the works of humanity and wishing in their hearts that it would actually happen. For these ideological perverts, the show is a form of pornography that provides images of the world that in their hearts, they want.

     

    8 Responses to ““Life After People”: Environmentalist Porn”

    1. david foster Says:

      I’m sure I’ve quoted this before here…

      Several years ago, an Italian blogger (no longer blogging) described the longing for the apocalypse that she saw in many people:

      “Cupio dissolvi…These words have been going through my mind for quite a long time now. It’s Latin. They mean “I (deeply) wish to be annihilated/to annihilate myself”, the passive form signifying that the action can be carried out both by an external agent or by the subject himself…Cupio dissolvi… Through all the screaming and the shouting and the wailing and the waving of the rainbow cloth by those who invoke peace but want appeasement, I hear these terrible words ringing in my ears. These people have had this precious gift, this civilization, and they have got bored with it. They take all the advantages it offers them for granted, and despise the ideals that have powered it. They wish for annihilation, the next new thing, as if it was a wonderful party. Won’t it be great, dancing on the ruins?”

    2. Andrew_M_Garland Says:

      One scene discussed the Sears Tower in Chicago. That building has an external steel frame made very strong by triangular bracing included in its industrial style of design.

      The scene described that it would take only 300 years for the Tower to fall down from the merciless onslaught of nature.

      The Tower was built in five years between 1970-74. It still stands, of course. When it becomes obsolete, well before its 300th birthday, it will probably take about a year to take it down, allowing a better building to be built there.

      I admire this achievement of man (which includes women), and our other achievements.

      I see a salt-marsh as beautiful, to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. A warm house by a salt marsh is another thing entirely.

    3. Robert Schwartz Says:

      At the risk of repeating myself, I shall repeat myself:

      The beating heart of environmentalism is racism and misanthropy. It is a perverted and unkind religion like the one the Aztecs practiced. It pretends to be a political theory, but, because it repudiates Cicero’s maxim, which is also the epigraph of Locke’s “Two Treatises of Civil Government”, “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto”, in favor of the non-human world, it cannot be political in any way. It is a mere expression of contempt towards men. As Virginia Postrel commented years ago, at least when they were Marxists, they favored some part of humanity.

      Environmentalism and its practitioners must be exposed, mocked and driven from the public arena.

    4. ArtD0dger Says:

      If terrestrial life does not survive the death of the Sun, then it will have suffered a crib death. Hell, it will have actually suffered a miscarriage, having never really left the womb.

      Human beings and our descendants (direct or otherwise) are far and away the best chance of preventing this scenario. In order to do this, we will need to thrive and advance far, far beyond the petty static future imagined by the environmentalists.

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      ArtD0dger: Death of the Sun? I am worried about making through the BO mal-administration.

    6. Robert Schwartz Says:

      “The deification of Earth: James Lovelock’s argument that Gaia is a living organism with its own interests — which it will ‘pursue’ against humans — exposes the mystical, anti-human streak in contemporary environmentalism.” by Rob Lyons at Spiked Review of Books, on Friday 24 April 2009

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Robert Schwartz,

      It’s strange to watch the evolution of Lovelock’s Gaia metaphor. In the beginning he was merely pointing out that the entire ecosystem had a wide range of evolve homeostatic mechanisms just like the bodies of organisms. It was an interesting insight and I do believe he was on to something we he observed that the biosphere had to evolve these feedback loops just like organisms did.

      Then things started to get screwy. From the idea of biosphere homeostasis the idea mutated to one in which the biosphere was an actual organism. Kinda of stretching things but still a useful metaphor. Then it jumped to the idea that the biosphere was sentient organism and it feel of the end of the sanity pier.

    8. FeFe Says:

      I watch the show with my son too, and feel uneasy because some things remind me of… 9/11. I know the Islam supremists wish this for the return of Mo. It seems so odd how the greens want the earth to become a virgin again but liberals don’t value that, or how jihadists refuse to embrace the modern world and wont be happy until everyone is living under stone age sharia law.