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Hail, Victory

The Tin Ear of the Self-Righteous

Okay.  Remember this one from last Super Bowl?


Now we have this one.  ((Warning: disturbing scenes))

It got pulled the day it went up and was replaced with a note saying Gosh, it was supposed to be funny.  But does anyone detect the faint whiff of armbands and jackboots in this trend?  Not only the Green Police, but the way that after watching children and other people murdered not even because they opposed, but because they were indifferent, to end the video with "no pressure" sounded a bit like a thuggish threat.  Even so, some voices have spoken out in support of the 1010 video!  Lighten up (they say).  And don't be a traitor to your planet.  (Or else.) 

UPDATED:  Here is another comment on the 10:10 film that sums it up best.  

And somehow, throughout this entire process, not one of the hundreds of people involved seemed to have questioned the wisdom of an advertising message advocating the violent, sudden death of people who disagree with it.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Jimmy akin added the vicious green peace video.
mythusmage
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Having a warped sense of humor I found it mordantly funny. Then again, my early adolescence was shaped, in part, by Monty Python.

That said, it was also incredibly stupid
juliet_winters
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
The teacher in the 2nd video is played by the same actress who played the self-righteously wicked (Christian, of course) doctor in Being Human. Deliberate?
harvey_rrit
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
After decades of opposing every innovation that would promote human liberty, the Gangreens are advocating a totalitarian state?

Miraculously I conceal my astonishment.
marycatelli
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
wink wink nudge nudge
Of course they meant it to be funny.
whswhs
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
What I take to be going on here is in-group/out-group thinking. You make jokes about members of the out-group being targets of violence, repression, or abuse, and you don't expect anyone to be offended, because you expect everyone to identify with the in-group, and thus not imagine themselves as targets . . . because nearly everyone you know is a member of the in-group and does identify with it. And in any case, you don't really care if members of the out-group are offended, because you don't regard them as people.

But in this case, the makers of the video fell victim to the illusion that the in-group was a lot bigger than it is, and that nearly everyone would identify with the conformists, or even with the agents of Gaian retribution. And it was an unpleasant shock to them, I fancy, to find that a lot of people thought those people who had doubts, or held back, looked like fellow human beings, and that images of blowing them up were offensive rather than funny.
jjbrannon
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
Nearly agree
My minor quibble is with the "unpleasant shock".

I would think that the reaction would be more anger and affront that people were too stupid not to see the humor in mock killing those who won't go along with The Program.

It's a powerful yet not unexpected cognitive disconnect that accepts the Peter Arnett shibboleth that one must "destroy the village in order to save it".

Those that would "save" Nature -- the same nature that smashes immense comets into Jovians and produces super-novae -- by sacrificing humans, never learned that an appreciation of Nature only resides in the human mind as a product of Man's stewardship over Nature with no regard nor respect from the other direction.

Stewardship is intrinsically humbling, while casting oneself in the role of Nature's savior is purely hubris.


JJB
whswhs
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
Well, do you see any evidence of anger being expressed? I don't deny that that's a possible response, but it's not what I'm seeing on the 10:10 Web site. Are there angry Greens elsewhere denouncing the 10:10 people for giving in to public criticism?
jjbrannon
Oct. 7th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
I read the apology on the 10:10 website and I detect a face-saving campaign.

Michael Z. Williamson posted the last weekend on his Baen's Bar conference under the thread title "A Declaration of War".

The link had been extinguished by the time I saw it, so I only had the litany of "no pressure" and an allusion to "eco-terrorists" to draw upon until Michael Francis placed an active video here.

Showing the sequence to my marketing director this morning, he was in shock.

No one spent that much money without not knowing exactly what they were doing.

Look at these comments from the originators & crew:

http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/10-10-no-pressure-movie-taken-down-after-complaints-video-2689728.html

"Live and learn"? Not, apparently, for those who disagree -- or even express indifference -- with the group-think.

A mere "five" [it was more than five] killed? How does that compare to the supposedly 300,000 dead? "But unfortunately some [people] didn't [find it extremely funny" rings with miff and pique.

For the record, I thoroughly enjoy Black Adder and Monty Python's Meaning of Life "Mint, sir?" dining sequence. I own the latter on DVD.

But this is not a comedy routine. This is an ad campaign to persuade people -- a perceived clueless minority? -- that either one is with them **fully** [note last voice-work sequence] or one is against them.

The apology and the comments from the originators show the consistency of thought.

Unlike the unfortunate naysayers in the commercial, the apologists can say "Oh well, we live and learn" without a hint of irony.


JJB
whswhs
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
Yes, I quite agree that they're engaged in a face-saving campaign. It looks to me as if they were confident that everyone except a tiny minority would be on their side, and would not identify with the victims who were blown up, but with the smiling authority figures with their fingers on the buttons. That is, they thought there was a huge in-group, a tiny out-group, and some undecided people who would join the in-group because they didn't want to be seen as part of the out-group. Instead they found that the out-group was a lot bigger than they thought, and that the undecided were an even bigger group and were inclined to side with the schoolchildren who got blown up and to think the smiling teacher was creepy. So they're apologizing, not because they actually think there's anything wrong in making jokes about murdering the out-group, but because they didn't get away with it. That realization is what I think gave them an unpleasant shock.

Though it's hard not to wonder if this was an enterprise in deliberate sabotage. If some really brilliant public relations expert had wanted to convey the message that greens are creepy authoritarians, they could hardly have done a better job. The perky teacher and the corporate suit are exactly the sort of authority figures a lot of people have to deal with in everyday life; they're in much the same vein as Dolores Umbridge or, before her, C. S. Lewis's NICE.
harvey_rrit
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
I've been listening to the Gangreens since the 70s, when I was one of them and they taught me how to make poison gas and letterbombs.

It is difficult to imagine a sabotage campaign that would make them look more inclined to establish a mind-controlling absolute State than they actually are.
whswhs
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
In the first place, that assumes that all of the Green movement is made up of people with such beliefs, attitudes, and habits. I don't believe that that's true. Any political movement has its dangerous crazies, its basically decent people who support its favored changes in the law (which may, of course, be unsound and destructive), and in between, its people who are not themselves dangerous crazies but will defend the good intentions of the dangerous crazies and make excuses for them. A Marxist might call the second group useful idiots and the third fellow travellers. But every political movement has examples of all three. I'm a firmly convinced libertarian, but I certainly don't deny that libertarianism has its share of crazies.

But in the second place, and more important, even if you suppose 10:10 is entirely made up of murderous totalitarians, it cannot be to their political advantage to reveal themselves as murderous totalitarians. On the other hand, it's clearly to the advantage of opponents of the Green movement to have it revealed in this light. What first induced me to look at the video was esr's quoting Robert Conquest's comment that eventually every organization behaves as if it were controlled by a cabal of its worst enemies; that fits this episode to a T.
harvey_rrit
Oct. 8th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
Interesting theory.

I have never actually spoken with any member of the Green movement who did not, sooner or later, manifest the position that any measure was justified specifically because it hindered human well-being. But I am willing to entertain the proposition that they exist.

If so, they would be well advised to avoid letting the rest of the Chosen know their views. I was with Greenpeace before Earth First ostensibly split off, and we constantly monitored one another for signs of lack of resolve.

I do not actually know what happened to the people who displayed it, were reported, and stopped showing up. I do know none of the people teaching us terrorist tactics were prosecuted, so something must have kept the "uncommitted" (a dirty word) from going to the police.
whswhs
Oct. 8th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
It seems to me that Greenpeace is itself a selected sample of the Green movement. I would count them as, at the least, fellow travellers and not simply useful idiots. But I suppose we're at the point where we're talking about the meaning of "Green."

I see three strands of thought that could be called "environmentalist." There are people who want unowned natural resources to be better managed for human benefit, whether through direct government administration or through quasi-market mechanisms like catch quotas for fisheries. There are "watermelons," people to whom environmentalism is the latest cover for imposing a command economy. And then there are the human extinctionists, people who want most or all of humanity to die.

But, again, even for the third group, there has to be a "not in front of the children" mechanism. If all the death greens spoke up openly for human extinction or massive human dieback, they would frighten off too many of the useful idiots. Intelligent supervillains don't go around calling themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Even the watermelons have some reason for caution; openly coercive suppression of dissent is not a guaranteed seller, though it has increasing support among the intelligentsia. "No Pressure" showed both coercive suppression of dissent and even doubt, and human deaths; a well run evil conspiracy would not reveal either until its power was much more firmly in place. Of course, that suggests that 10:10's key misjudgment was that they overestimated how well they had broken the public to the saddle.
harvey_rrit
Oct. 9th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
During FDR's reign as President for Life, Huey Long said that if fascism ever took over in the US, it would be called Americanism.

John Harington (no relation) said it much earlier:
"Treason doth never prosper. What's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

We are currently enduring Carter Part Deux, with a man in the Oval Office who is unable to make a public statement without a TelePrompter.

I'd give a lot to know who approves those speeches. That's who's really President. De facto, not merely de jure.
m_francis
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
Though it's hard not to wonder if this was an enterprise in deliberate sabotage.

No. The 1010 group is thoroughly legit. Two of its corporate sponsors pulled their funding and demanded their names be dissociated. If the PR expert were brilliant, the 1010 people had to be terminally stupid to give the go-ahead. The one thing they have not tried to say is "We was had!"
whswhs
Oct. 7th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Nearly agree
Well, to play advocatus diaboli, a really good double agent would be indistinguishable from a loyal member of the organization, and their sabotage would look like somebody else's bad judgment. But of course that's an unfalsifiable hypothesis. And it's not one I really take seriously; my actual hypothesis is that they were suffering from in-group blindness. It's just that the results were so stunningly bad for them that it makes one think, "They couldn't have done their own cause more harm if they were deliberately trying to!" In other words, it's rhetorical wondering. . . .
jackaroonie
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
What the hell is that animal at 0:42? It looks like some type of anteater.
joecool385
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Brings to mind the old grade-school taunt: "so funny I forgot to laugh."
(Anonymous)
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Even I am speechless
These video are so disturbing I do not know what to say.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Malice vs stupidity
My impression of the Audi commercial is that Audi is making fun of the "Green Police" and telling the viewer "Buy our cars. They will let you slide past the nosy-parkering environmentalists."

The "No Pressure" commercial is unbelievable. I notice it now has its own Wikipedia page, detailing what a monstrously bad idea it was. I gather they have thoroughly cut their own throats and lost nearly every ally they had.

Given the social ineptitude required to publish such a thing, I'm not sure they are really guilty of the degree of misanthropy they are accused of. They may be, of course, but, I mean, we already know they are really bad at communicating. And they were deliberately emulating "Monty Python" and "South Park," so violent tastelessness is more or less assured.

Earl Wajenberg
jjbrannon
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
A better 10-10
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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