Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Cursory Look At "AbelDanger.net"

At Eric's insistence, I paid a quick visit to the Abel Danger website. The first post there derailed me a bit since I expected something else entirely.

They offer up this video



and then ask me to "spot the fallacies" used by Greenpeace in their ad.

First off, asking me to "spot the fallacies" in a video that offers "pop-up fallacies" is as manipulative as Greenpeace's use of a little Eminem wanna-be to dispense their views.

2nd, the anti-human argument is not a modern phenomena invented by "a coalition of Maoists, Trotskyists, and Canadian members of the Sierra Club."
Its pedigree is fairly ancient, existing at the heart of most religious traditions.

For example, the Bible says this:

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.


While the Buddhist Dhammapada says this:

Look at your body-
A painted puppet, a poor toy
Of jointed parts ready to collapse,
A diseased and suffering thing
With a head full of false imaginings.


There is also a modern strain of philosophical pessimism that has been exiled to the fringe by the "Gee, ain't it great to be alive" crowd.

The German philosopher Julius Bahnsen wrote this back in 1847:

Man is a self-conscious Nothing.


Bahnsen believed that reality is "the expression of a unified, unchanging force" whose very nature is monstrous, "resulting in a universe of indiscriminate butchery and mutual slaughter amongst its individuated parts."
In Bahnsen's view, "everything is engaged in a disordered fantasia of carnage."

Norwegian, Peter Wessel Zapffe, saw it as a problem of self-consciousness. Zapffe posited that the rise in consciousness made humans the only species aware of "the tragedy of existence," and thereby cursed because of this knowledge.

In a piece entitled Fragments of an Interview,
Zapffe says this:

The sooner humanity dares to harmonize itself with its biological predicament, the better. And this means to willingly withdraw in contempt for its wordly terms, just as the heat-craving species went extinct when temperatures dropped. To us, it is the moral climate of the cosmos that is intolerable, and a two-child policy could make our discontinuance a pain-free one. Yet instead we are expanding and succeeding everywhere, as necessity has taught us to mutilate the formula in our hearts. Perhaps the most unreasonable effect of such invigorating vulgarization is the doctrine that the individual "has a duty" to suffer nameless agony and a terrible death if this saves or benefits the rest of the group. Anyone who declines is subjected to doom and death, instead of revulsion being directed at the world-order engendering of the situation. To any independent observer, this plainly is to juxtapose incommensurable things; no future metamorphosis can justify the pitiful blighting of a human being against his will. It is upon a pavement of battered destinies that the survivors storm ahead toward new bland sensations and mass death.


While this was published in 1959, the ideas expressed are no different from those put forth in his 1933 book, The Last Messiah.

Abel Danger, by grafting a modern political interpretation on something as old as pessimism, do the philosophical truisms at the heart of pessimism a grave disservice.
They offer no evidence to refute Greenpeace's claims, choosing instead the illusory moral high road that finds fault with using children to proselytize views they don't understand.

To be fair, they should at least point out that the human system these alleged "Maoists, Trotskyists, and Canadian members of the Sierra Club" are attempting to overthrow have refined the exploitation of children, whether as under-age Free Zone sweatshop workers or as targets of million dollar ad campaigns designed to open their parents wallets, to a fine and quite nefarious art form.

5 comments:

Morocco Bama said...

or as targets of million dollar ad campaigns designed to open their parents wallets, to a fine and quite nefarious art form.

The extent of this practice is insidious. I wish there was a better word for it, but such are the constraints of linguistics.

My wife showed a very complex picture of Tokyo, Japan to her 4-6 year old students. There was much complexity in the photo, as you could well imagine a street scene in Tokyo.

The first response, overwhelmingly, from nearly all the students was "look, Mrs. Morocco Bama, there's a McDonalds." My wife was stunned, not to mention disappointed and deflated. She had looked at the photo a number of times before showing it to the children and had missed the partially obscured "Golden Arches."

That's power. Pure, raw, naked power. The power to shape destinies....and it starts at the inception of consciousness.

Salmon swimming upstream to spawn have it easy compared to those of us who would hope to change the world for the better.....whatever better may be.

just_another_dick said...

I think a number of studies have shown that kids recognize corporate logos long before they can actually read.

These days, I doubt that you could satisfy a kid with a toy that wasn't tied in with a movie or a TV show or a video game.

Evidently marketers understand what the Jesuits have always known, get them while they're young & you'll have them for life.

ericswan said...

Hmmm. a spelling error..critical..alert..www.abeldanger.net

just_another_dick said...

My supervisor busted my ass for that one Eric.

He can be such a dick.

Belliosto's Garbage said...

I have been reflecting on the suspicious behavior of kids and teens these days before I had ventured onto this blog. This was my humble observation. Misbehaving kids in this age may seem less oblivious to the presence of adults around them as opposed to being more vigilant of the fact that adults will and can get a young one into trouble. When I was a child the adults were always a force to be aware of at all times when one was up to no good. This with the exception of certain teachers and the like. Now it seems to me that more children do whatever they want because adults are invisible entities that vanish from the kids consciousnesses.

I'm believing that part of this phenomenon has to do with television. Some of the TV cartoon characters today are children that do whatever they want and the adults portrayed in the televised skits are less authoritative. Less threatening to the uninhibited wildness of the youth. So this kind of engineering causes children to literally lack the common sense to know that when they do things that are inappropriate they must do it in stealth. This to avoid the punishment of adults. No, they get caught red handed because adults are not reckoned enough in the child's closed-off world. The cries of oppression by children become more of the norm instead of the outright lies that children propagate after the adults have to merely speculate that the furtive kids are involved with naughty and dirty deeds. The adults must do detective work to find out what is going on with underhanded kids. When children allow the adults to witness blatant mischievous acts it makes it much more easier for the adults to punish them. A lot less investigative work is involved.

I'm thinking that kids nowadays need to misbehave when I am not around them. I have found it very easy to be a clown dictator to them when they fuck up. If they want to have fun they have to learn to have fun when I am not watching the shit bastards. This because I'd rather not laugh at their imbecilic behavior and I'd rather not be a witness to it at all. They can do their noxious thing secretly and not worry about getting caught until a proper and sound-minded investigation begins. It's the more respectful thing to do.