If you watch right-wing TV or listen to right-wing radio, you'll hear this meme over and over:
Al Gore has terrified gullible citizens about global warming -- a threat that's at best scientifically controversial -- in order to consolidate his own wealth and power. He flies around in a private jet between his two suburban castles and his elite conferences, and his net worth has increased from $1 million in 2000 to more than $100 million today. When he gets his cap-and-trade or other carbon tax schemes, he'll be a billionaire.
Subtext: Gore has accumulated $100 million in wealth based on a hoax and a conspiracy he has perpetrated. His self-serving advocacy for "climate protection" is only more evidence that anthrogenic global warming isn't real, but is merely a conspiracy that enriches its main players. That scientists cannot really agree on man's impact on the climate is only more evidence that global warming is at best a wasted concern, and at worst a con job.
For example, here's Laura Ingraham interviewing the editor of Climate Depot on Fox "News." Climate Depot is a clearinghouse site for news and opinions that dispute global warming, and is owned by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a non-profit funded by oil and automotive companies to oppose regulation or collective action on the environment.
This is just one appearance of the "Gore got rich off the hoax" meme:
Did Gore get rich after leaving office? Absolutely. His wealth expanding by two decimals was detailed in Fast Company two years ago. How did Gore make his moolah?
Why has Al Gore been such a wild success in business?
One problem he had in politics, he says, was identifying an issue too early--"'predawn' is the term I use"-- to be able to act on it. But "in the business world, particularly at a time when things are moving so swiftly, if you can see it early, you can make a business opportunity out of it." He pauses. "For whatever reason, the business world rewards a long-term perspective more than the political world does."
To serve the narrative, however, the "hoaxers" fixate on his founding of Generation Investment Management, which they claim consists of companies that stand to profit handsomely from cap-and-trade and other stringent environmental regulations.
The US taking action against carbon emissions will also create losers, both politically (Republicans) and financially (oil companies, coal companies, shipping, transportation, and heavy industry). These potential losers' best strategy is to discredit the theory of what they call "AGW" (anthrogenic global warming) by discrediting its advocates. "Global warming isn't real; it's just a scheme to make a few people like Al Gore rich and powerful," is now the accepted and assumed narrative on the Right. And as goes Al Gore, they hope, so goes future regulation.
I always appreciate when a newspaper film critic shits all over a bad movie, right next to a giant display ad for said movie. It at least creates an illusion of editorial integrity.
And then you have this week's SF Weekly cover story, which chronicles the growing inevitability of marijuana legalization in America. Of course, you'd have known this by reading the back cover of SF Weekly for, oh, the last 10 years.
Those are eight display ads for ganja shops -- or rather, compassionate herbal medicine dispensaries -- occupying about 80% of the real estate of the back cover.
If the other advertising in the Weekly is any indication, next week's cover story is going to be about the growing acceptance and inevitable decriminalization of transsexual escort services.
Update: Hey, guys. Chill a bit. I'm not against advertising, or weed legalization, or medical marijuana. Really, I'm not. I'm just pointing out a funny juxtaposition.
Well, I'm back from two weeks of holiday family overdosin' on the east coast, and I come back to this mess?
Brit Hume was perfecting the pompous-TV-prick thing back when O'Reilly was doing it live, Olbermann was narrating Big 10 basketball highlights, and Beck was waking up the morning zoo.
But never before have we seen anybody, even on Fox "News," go out there and state that Christianity was better than Buddhism. The balls on him.
Think he'll be fired?
Yahoo! News treats the death of Great Patriot Bob Novak with the scorn you'd expect from the coastal Marxist appeaser elitist mainstream left-radical spin-machine.
If the world had more copy editors, it would also have a little less joy. Read the first sentence:
Thanks to DW for the tip.
Japanese TV is awesome. That’s a problem when you’re there, because it can make it hard to get out of your hotel room and into the fascinating, frenzied world outside.
One of the ingenious programs I remember when I last visited (2005) was a game show called "Dead Age.” I speak slightly less Japanese than your average dead Pensacolan, so I had figure out the rules from context.
The gist: Two comic actors introduce each round of the game with a sketch that takes place in an office. Each sketch ends with the co-workers joking over a head shot of an older famous person. After the sketch, the game show contestants must guess the age of the youngest person surveyed who knew who that old celebrity was.
For some reason, this game show came to mind when I saw this poster hanging in the window of Taco Del Mar in San Francisco:
"Gilligan’s Island" ran 1964-1967, but lived on in syndication well into the 1980s. Pretty much anyone who grew up the USA during that period could sing the theme song if you spotted them "Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…," and they’d certainly get the sexy joke that Taco Del Mar has plastered on its in-store merchandising.
But you’d be hard pressed to find an episode of "Gilligan’s Island" to watch in the last 15 years, even in the wasteland of basic cable. Would someone under 21 know their Mary Ann from their Ginger? Is Taco Del Mar’s joke lost on a younger crowd? (Does Taco Del Mar care?)
Gen X may be the last generation to know the pop culture of previous generations. We enjoyed the last pre-digital childhood, when computers were luxury items and connecting to others by keyboard meant typing a letter on a Selecrtic. Video and audio were discovered and consumed on analog devices at the same time everyone else watched and heard them.
What this meant was that our televisions, especially independent UHF stations and off-prime-time slots, were loaded with old shows. As a kid of the '80s, I not only watched the Neilsen hits, but also ancient favorites like "The Little Rascals" (1930s short films), wartime Bugs Bunny cartoons (1940s), "I Love Lucy" (1951-1957), "Leave It to Beaver" ('57-'63), "The Flintstones" ('60-'66), "Bewitched" ('64-'72), "Laugh-In" ('68-'73), "The Streets of San Francisco" ('72-'77), and anything else a bored kid might like.
(I could add that time filters pop culture in strange ways. Neither "Gilligan’s Island" nor the immortal "Star Trek" were hits in 1966. Among the top 10 shows that season were CBS’s Tuesday night powerhouse block of "The Red Skelton Hour" and something called "Daktari.")
It’s all different now. Today’s college kids grew up digital, and they hardly bother to distinguish between a broadcast and cable TV network. Hundreds of channels mean hundreds of demographically microtargeted programs. Would a 10-year-old today want to see an episode of "Cheers," much less "Gilligan’s Island"?
In other words, the Dead Age for all cultural references may be drifting older and older. Most Gen Xers know many of the cultural icons of the '50s onward. How many Gen Yers knew anything about Farrah Fawcett before the day she died? Will the Millennials know anything from the Reagan years? (Kids, he didn't really win the Cold War.)
This isn't trivia. America has precious few shared cultural conventions. As our country has diversified and three television networks exploded into a billion websites, the “now” dominates, and the “then” is mere curiosity (or nostalgia, if you experienced it the first time). Additionally, the relevance of “now” is approaching Warhol’s 15-minute model. Besides perhaps "American Idol," there’s hardly a pop culture franchise with the broad cachet of yesterday’s hits. The other options just didn’t exist back then.
CBS canceled "Gilligan’s Island" 42 years ago. Only three of its seven principals are even still alive. So if we can try to imagine a “Ginger & Mary Ann” equivalent for 2051… we can’t.
This may not seem like it would mean much for anyone except Taco Del Mar’s copywriters. But as time passes, we'll find it harder to relate to our fellow citizens on a pop culture basis. And really, what other culture do we have anymore?
Little Holocaust deniers, all of them.
The WSJ editorial page is a notorious remnant of America's anti-regulation, paleo-con past. (Their new "trees cause pollution" is "the atmosphere is starving for carbon.")
But their insanely anti-environmentalist bias stretches to the news pages, too.
See if you can notice the bias below. It's subtle.
Headline, meet article. You guys don't have much in common, but we're arranging this marriage anyway