recently i got an email from an old girlfriend:
the city recycles plastic bags now! spread the hope!!!!!!!!
Apparently the government has finally figured out what to do with bags and coathangers in the blue bins and i can put them in the blue bins for recycling instead of… i’ll get to that.
I wrote back: Spread the hope?
she wrote: for an actual future with clean sustainable fuels and energy????
Having listened to enough episodes of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe…
I wrote: Spread the logical fallacies!!!!!!!
Because it is a logical fallacy that before Los Angeles (she is a producer/writer/actress on at least ONE hit t.v. show, lives in a REALLY nice part of town with her 3 kids, big van and a couple of other cars, a big house… i’m getting ahead of myself) decided to accept those items in the recycling bin, there was no hope for a future with clean sustainable fuels and energy. That’s one, another is that now that there is recycling of plastic bags and coat-hangers there is hope of “an actual future with clean sustainable fuels and energy”.
I figured that I was in for it, and I certainly was because within one minute she wrote back:
I knew you were gonna say that! republican!
And that is the level of critical thinking and argumentation which then leads us to another logical fallacy: “reducto ad republican.” Anyone questioning views about x (usu. the environment) is an evil republican.
Not even disagreeing… Simply questioning.
She labeled me as someone who probably has an imaginary friend, pro-war, and thinks that I give a fuck about what folks do with their genitals. That’s the very least of it… I’m pretty sure it also means that I want poor people to “die in the streets”.
Reducto Ad Republican is so disappointing. When I raise questions; again not disagreeing, about things like global warming, universal health care, the stupid wars, I find myself making sure that the other person knows I am not a republican. That’s the sort of hoop i first jump through.
Back to the email… After Reducto Ad Republican, I wrote:
Yep. i disagree with you so i must be a Republican.
to which she dug into her argumentation for 1st graders book and replied:
I wish I was as smart as you
(Isn’t it “were”?) I digress…
So at this point, I’m so sad. One of the most disappointing things to me is when someone is obvious. You know, you get a job on How to Get Away with Murder or something and a friend who is having a hard time says “Oh, that show? I don’t watch it. I tried and it was so stupid. I just don’t care about it.” It’s just obvious and sad.
And what she was doing was having the 1st draft of an argument between me and a hippie. If one were to write the scene between those characters, one would give her some better lines, right? You’d think of less childish than “I wish I was as smart as you”. So, she’s being obvious and it breaks my heart a little.
I mean, yeah, i do wish she was/were as smart as me. I wish everyone was/were as smart as me. Then we’d have “morons” instead of “fucking morons”. (see how i fall on my sword?)
I wrote back:
facts suck, don’t they?
The point I was attempting to make in a few short, pithy words was kinda/sorta; dealing with the facts isn’t as fun as dealing with feelings.
To which she reached deep inside and came up with:
yes, sir and you must be… facts?
This is now Reducto Ad IKnowYouAreButWhatAmIminem. Like I said, she has a bunch of kids, so she’s being taught by masters.
It gets me so sad and angry at this point that I have to take a walk. Before I go I write:
I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.
When I get back she had sent me:
I like your brain.
Listen, what I know about the environment is, well, complicated. I have only recently re-tasted and swallowed the global warming kool-aid, but am still skeptical about what we should do. Or that “we” can even do anything.
I do think that something as important as the environment is probably best not left to people whose job is spending lots of their job trying to get their job again; senators, congressmen and others of their ilk.
And this is the part where you are required to think “OH SO YOU WANT THOSE FUCKERS AT ENRON AND GLOBAL CROSSING TO BE IN CHARGE? YOU WANT THOSE CORPORATE WHORES…. BLAH BLAH BLAH” reducto ad republican…
So, just think that and let it pass just for a minute, okay? just put it on hold. and just give me a little bit of time to explain because, you know, the people who question stuff are required to explain that we’re not thieving corporate child killers but are just aksing questions.
So. I’m not a thieving corporate racist child killer. I’m little me.
I think the environmental discussion is full of hysteria and rotten logic. I think much of it has lots in common with religion. not a nice, touchy feely religion, either. A real hardcore, wild eyed fundamentalist kill people and destroy property religion.
Oh. Wow. Some do that, don’t they.
Sooooo… Again, i really think that if it’s so important, we can’t let politicians be in charge. What if the “solutions” are wrong?(Let’s just say that we buy into Kyoto.) Then it is a government program and it is just about impossible to get rid of a gov’t program that has no function. Just imagine that The Kyoto Protocol is worthless and some other thing came along that could help the environment, then people would still go batshit that whatever presidential administration was dismantling the Kyoto Protocol.
My point is this: It is really self-centered to think that putting your coat hangers in the blue trash bin does anything to “save the environment” and it certainly isn’t something that “Spreads the hope”.