September 06, 2004
URBANITE REQUESTS DESTRUCTION
Writing from deep within the pristine jungle wilderness of Manhattan's Upper West Side, James Wolcott urges nature to fight back:
I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own.
By “us”, Wolcott means “people other than myself”. Actually, seeing as he lives in Manhattan, perhaps he’d appreciate a re-write of his post: “I root for Islamic terrorists. When, courtesy of al-Jazeera ...”
UPDATE. More from Pete Holiday, Pixy Misa, Dave Barry, Florida Cracker, and Andrea Harris. Beautiful comment from goldsmith, too.
UPDATE II. Hurricane Frances has killed four people. That'll learn ‘em to try any stripmining or deforesting.
Posted by Tim Blair at September 6, 2004 09:34 PM
Born in the battle-torn suburbs of Baltimore, James Wolcott attended Maryland's bitterly cold Frostburg State College for two years before hitting the interstate for New York City, where he was hired by The Village Voice against its better judgment, fired, and rehired.
Dosn't Wolcott realise brevity is the essence of good writing? This section should simply read "Paid wanker".
I wonder if nature boy feels like he should kill himself so that he does not consume any more of Mother Nature's resources. Like any respectable liberal, he inserts a mandatory swipe at Bush.
Uggh! Disgusting. I grew up in Manhattan and I know this sentiment when I see it. The self-proclaimed "intellectual class". It is so insular and smug. Look at the beautifully crafted prose, you almost forget what the implication is. You see, to him, hurricane > Florida > Jeb Bush = great irony. And if you write cleverly and toss in a reference to another writer who made similar parallels to the Space Shuttle, Texas, Iraq and Bush and tossed in Roman Generals and omens, hubris and Gaia's revenge for good measure, then bravo. Oh the joys of being an intellectual!
Of course Woolcott and his ilk consider themselves the most compassionate people in the world and they would never for once dream they are insulting lower middle class Floridians whose lives are devastated when their home is destroyed. Certainly not! (Although they might have to stifle a smile if they heard that the displaced was some evangelical Christian or a NASCAR fan with a funny accent - they don't actually like Floridians, but they like the idea of commoners to whom they can be compassionate). They are our moral superiors and incapable of such an offense. I expect a reply along the lines of "Don't you literal minded rubes see that it was a joke - ha ha."
That is so deeply offensive that I can scarce think of a comment capable of expressing my revulsion. But let's try. Please excuse the rant.
It's amazing to me that the "left" (how outmoded and meaningless these distinctions are) have evolved into the most uptight, anti-rational, superstitious and piously moralistic bunch since the Puritans walked the wild forests of America (though I hesitate to make the comparison, since the Puritans accomplished great things). The "left" may joke and titter and wheeze about "fundy Christian wingnuts" but find someone lecturing you about your immorality, your materialism, your sinful pride, your lack of spiritual value and, most likely, they will be driving an old Volvo with the radio tuned to "Pacifica" and a GEORGE BUSH IS A LIAR bumper-sticker on the fender. Your average lefty is quicker to take offense than a blue-haired old presbyterian; they are constantly monitoring everyone for signs of racism, sexism, colonialism, anti-animal hate speech. They will criticize your car, your house, your synthetic fiber sweater, your swear words, your cigarettes, your sandwich, your choice of grocery bag, your skin color (if it is in the dusky pink range). Life to them is a laundry list of strictures, taboos and lamentations. They hate science, they fear Christianity, they think heterosexual porn is rape, they believe in magic, aromatherapy, tribalism; they scream about Bush killing children but fail to bat an eyelash at the consequences of "pro-choice". They cringe in disgust and embarrassment at the "black and white" moral distinctions of Bush (and Reagan in his time) when he speaks of the "axis of evil", yet no one uses the word evil more than leftists when describing the Bush Administration, capitalism, America, Israel. They mock and scoff at the president's religiosity, yet speak in reverential tones of Gaia, Buddha, Wicca, Yoga. And on and on.
In other words, they are as wrought out, blinkered and dangerously conflicted and superstitious as your average Puritan (or probably closer to your average medieval peasant), yet they call themselves progressives and call everyone else fundamentalists, warmongers, fascists. Freedom is slavery.
The end result of stewing in this murky broth of half-truth, projection, fear, and mis-education? A man sitting in Manhattan at the dawn of the 21st century, writing on a weblog about poorly-understood prehistoric deities taking delight in the destruction of sinful man's hubris-saturated civilizations. Vive Memor Lethi Fugit Hora. Pride goeth before the Fall. It almost makes you want to laugh, if you weren't crying.
Cover him with honey and stake hime out on an anthill. 100% natural.
... stake him out on an anthill.
He meant "wrought". Lefties always have trouble with words, as we've seen before.
It's odd how the left has begun adopting archaic and outmoded ideals of morality. Proportional response. Justified and deserved terrorism (or natural disasters). Racist, preferential anti-discrimination programs. &c. None of these things are noble, they are all different variations on vengeance and retribritution. Examples of precisely the cycles of wrong-doing and violence which have plagued mankind for millennia. It's ironic that people who consider themselves so sophisticated, educated, mannered, and cultured would dabble so frequently in notions so crude and base.
I am writing this from Brandon, Florida. We have been under assault by a hurricane since yesterday. A house two doors down was utterly destroyed by an enormous fallen oak. A similar oak tree fell and clipped the corner of this house. The damage is minor, but I came within ten feet of being killed. I was sitting at this keyboard as it fell. These are huge trees I'm talking about. The eye passed through yesterday afternoon, and I thought that the worst was over. Now, over 14 hours later, the local TV tells us that we are under a tornado alert.
And I turn on my computer to read that this SON OF A BITCH tells us that he roots for hurricanes.
They may criticize your car, your house, your synthetic fiber sweater, your swear words, your cigarettes, your sandwich, your choice of grocery bag or your skin color, but never to your face. I don't think I've ever met a lefty that wasn't a physical coward.
I know this sentiment, because I've seen Taxi Driver: "Someday a real rain is gonna come, a rain that's gonna wash away all the scum and filth..." Between this and Lileks' brilliant takedown of Wallace Shawn and Art Spiegelman today, when did New York intellectuals all turn into Goth 12-year-old nihilists?
Oh, and in November Bush will be re-elected. That's enough revenge for me, the stuck-pig squealing will be as angel's song sing me nightly to my rest.
God I'm looking forward to reading Morford's column after Dubya's reinstallation. Feel the burn, you prison bitch! That's America giving you and your dipshit friends the finger, ninety stories high, on fire and stitched together out of endangered rhino hide.
Jeez. I take it when this nutjob got his Bachelor's his pre-req science course was something other than Earth Science (Hint: in most Earth Science texts hurricanes are not explained as due to "the wrath of Mother Gaia.")
I'd order up immediate sterilization for him but I have the feeling that won't be necessary.
Friends in Oceania, judge me not by the blibbery of my fellow countryman.
Man, what a total jackass! Staking him to an anthill is too good. Feeding him to sharks alive is too good. I question his value as even compost; his bitterness would probably sterlize the soil.
Wow, great comments, all. Goldsmith, I'm cutting and pasting yours to save. Perfect.
Who wants to be stuck camping with THAT guy...
Oh, wait a minute, he's a Manhattanite - he thinks nature is a window flower box...
Imagine if that Hurricane hit Delta Goodrem! Lefties everywhere would be partying in the streets!
Who is James Wolcott, and why is the smug bastard breathing my air?
When Pat Robertson asserted that hurricanes were God's judgment and wished devastation on Orlando Florida because of a “Gay Day” at Disney World, he was widely condemned by conservatives but liberals nonetheless used him to brand all conservatives as sharing the same vile beliefs. Don't hold your breath waiting for liberals to condemn him as an ignorant, evil-minded bigot.
Just a few posts later James Wolcott writes about his loathing for Mel Gibson and his new film “Paparazzi,” about an actor who takes vengeance on paparazzi stalkers who killed his wife in a Princess-Diana-like auto accident. I guess only his personal hatreds deserve to be bloodily sated…or perhaps he feels a moral kinship with stalkers and parasites.
Goldsmith: Well said. "Your average lefty is quicker to take offense..." Yes indeed. I've found over the years that conservatives are much more civil and tolerant of disagreement--and I learned that lesson back when I was a liberal myself: Conservatives would tell me they thought I was mistaken, and explain why, but when I deviated from PC doctrine liberals would tell me I was evil.
My house is on the intercoastal, in Jupiter, Florida. The eye of Frances hit a few miles from my house.
I am in North Carolina, having driven 30 hours in that massive evacuation. This whole ordeal has disrupted so many lives, and is an event that I do not wish upon anyone. We drove 30 hours after spending 12 hours getting the house boarded up, and all of the irreplaceable pictures and memories secured. My parents are almost 60, and the fact that all hotels were takin, and we didn't have any extra money, ment that we slept on the side of the road or in parking lots.
I have no way of contacting my girlfriend, who rode the storm out with her family further inland. My parent came with me, each driving their own car.
This stupid son-of-a-bitch has the audacity to welcome such a widespread level of distruction and disruption, upon his fellow men, because he thinks it will teach us not to cut down trees.
Well fuck you, tree-hugger! Hurricanes may be the fist of nature, but if I ever met you face to face, James Wolcott, I'd show you a real fist!
“They mock…the president's religiosity, yet speak in reverential tones of Gaia…”
My favorite example from personal experience is the man who was full of rage that we Christians and science-besotted scum refused to recognize the obvious truth that the Earth is a goddess and the Moon is a god, and every night the Moon comes down and has sexual intercourse with the Earth. Yeah, right.
every night the Moon comes down and has sexual intercourse with the Earth
Yeesh, some people. Everyone knows this only happens once a month.
Natural disasters don't care if you're not a human.
Woolcott should consider moving to Bangladesh. The storms there rarely disappoint.
Not to mention this brilliant deep thinker fails to "complete the circle" - after the hurricanes he cheers on have exacted their "revenge" on Florida for strip-mining in China, everything has to get rebuilt. And all the wood, metal, plastic and energy required results in ... more "raping of Mother Earth".
I think they call that a self-defeating strategy.
"every night the Moon comes down and has sexual intercourse with the Earth."
Okay so Earth Science isn't on the science curriculum and now Astronomy is out.
So is it down to Biology and Chemistry now?
I'm guessing the disection of fetal pigs is out, so that leaves Chemistry.
I shudder in horror at the makeup of Chemistry 101 classes across this country...
Whoa, this guy's a wacko!
How is Wolcott's lurid wish for disaster to befall people any surprise? Don't Leftists always excuse and sometimes even extoll crime and terrorism as a matter of "conscience"? How can they feel empathy for victims, when they consider evil-doers to be the true victims and righteous avengers? It's a short leap to quicken killing winds into a vengeful force against (capitalist, Mother Nature raping) humans.
Of course, Wolcott is complete vermin to take delight in and politicize/ moralize the shuttle break-up over W's Texas or hurricane destruction in Jeb's Florida. But who can be shocked, really, when the Hard Left has made it clear for a long time that they wish the very worse upon Bush's America and American interests, in general? Look how openly they called for the defeat and even celebrated the death of American troops and "mercenaries" in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Wolcott is only being honest about the Left's sense of twisted joy. The only question is: is getting off on disaster and destruction a sadistic or masochistic thrill for these people? They do seem to enjoy the pain of "those others" not in their circle, but even they must know that terrorism and chaos will hurt them most assuredly, as well. Is this what they want in the end?
I clicked on comments in order to post some thoughts but find that there are already various glorious righteous rants.
All I can add is:
(Art Spiegelman) "Sometimes, I think I would like to emigrate to Europe; and seeing that in America they won't even let me smoke, the temptation is very great."
You wonder what his old man would have thought. The sage of Rego Park, the stooped, cantankerous, parsimonious old hardhead who survived the horrors of the camp and made it to suburban America. And now his son wants to go to Europe to be safe. You are meshuggah, Richieu. You want to go back so you can smoke? Trust me, they let you smoke.
Europe is only too happy to see a Jew smoke. They even built special places where they could do it together.
It's been over 40 years since a major hurricane really nailed New York City, so Wolcott just sees them as abstractions, and their victims as no more consequential to him than those victims of a earthquake or volcano on the other side of the globe.
You thinking of Hurricane Donna, John? I lived through that one (September, 1960 I think - I was eight years old). We were lucky - we lived on Long Island, on high ground, so we suffered no greater inconvenience than losing our electricity and walking home from school in rain so heavy that the water in the gutters was swirling up past our ankles. Of course when you're eight you don't think much about property damage; it's just an adventure.
Still, it shows that New York DOES get hurricanes now and then. Too bad we can't arrange for for Mr. Wolcott own personal...experience.
goldsmith: GREAT post. I too am saving this one in my computer.
I'm not saying that this man deserves to be kidnapped, transported to the east coast of Florida at the height of hurricane season, dressed in one of his* $800.00 Italian 100% winter-weight wool suits, and tied to a chair that has been bolted to the floor of a mobile home that has had all the doors and windows sealed shut with a refrigerator full of raw meat and no water and with radio playing in the next room just loud enough for him to hear about the Category Five hurricane bearing down on him. I'm not saying that at all. But it could happen.
*You know he has an entire closetfull; he's a New York intellectual.
Picture Mr. Wolcott as the victim of a bear attack. I am sure he would greet his entry into the wrong end of the food chain with a smile on his face. After all, it's part of the great circle of life.
Yep, Donna is the one I remember, even though I was only 3. I ended up stuck with my mom inside a candy/newspaper store two blocks from our apartment when the rain got to be too severe to even try and walk a little kid through, and a few minutes later a lighting bolt nailed the building right across the street.
But I'm sure Wolcott would use his rapier wit to take on any future hurriane and humiliate it to the point where it slinks off to bother Rhode Island or some other less important place. And then he'll lasso any twisters the storm clouds spawn and ride them out to sea like a nautical Pecos Bill...
Behold the Blue State Liberal in all his "I feel your pain" glory!
Liberalis Fuckwitus Newyorkus
I went ahead and sent Mr. Wolcott a sincere message of THANKS.
I crafted a little parody that began "I root for criminals", expressing the sentiment that I liked to see criminals beat people's brains out because whites have oppressed non-whites throughout time (being a New York intellectual, it is not at all racist of me to automatically assume that a criminal is non-white). But
1) I felt slimy afterwards.
2) It occurred to me that, like Robert Fisk enjoying his beating, Mr. Wolcott would probably agree, and
3) I got more pissed off at the thought of this toad writing about the righteous wrath of Gaia while squatting in the entirely man-made environs of Manhattan.
It's more than that. You have to be mentally ill to want us all dead. Those Save the Whale and No Nukes people didn't want everybody dead, so it can't be some generic disease of the left.
Poor Coach Bowden. He's surely not too pleased that his 15-year-old grandboy got to feel Mother Nature's fist of fury all the way to the morgue.
Condolences to him from me and my husband, two old 'Noles.
"Pat Robertson asserted that hurricanes were God's judgment and wished devastation on Orlando Florida because of a "Gay Day" at Disney World"
I read somewhere that the first hurricane to make landfall after that prediction, hit Virginia Beach, headquarters of Robertson's CBN Network.
He'd better watch it. He might get what he wishes for...
"...The computer simulation showed that such a storm would push more than 10 feet of water over John F. Kennedy Airport and Battery Park on the tip of Manhattan. It would be a major disaster for New York City. "
I suppose Wolcott has the following bumper sticker on his car:
"Save the Environment, Commit Suicide"
"Save the Environment, Murder a Lefty"?
Rooting for bad weather? I'd love to see his livelihood destroyed and him desperately seeking a drink of clean water.
What an idiot.
So, let me get this straight...
The left derides Jerry Falwell as an ignorant, hateful crank for claiming that 9-11 was divine punishment of America for allowing homosexuality, but this chooch is now claiming that pagan gods are righteously exterting their wrath upon a sinning America, and getting his rocks off on it?
At least Falwell had the sense to apologize for being a twit. Lets see if this jerk gets to even that point.
I am not certain myself. Should I laugh at this unbelievable level of stupidity and hypocrisy, or should I be very afraid that people can actually think along these twisted lines? Its a toss-up.
Let's see, Wolcott is childless, effete, a cat lover, used to write for the Village Voice. Want to bet he loves the French and wears a red beret?
How long before Democrats call these "the Bush hurricanes"? Dems will claim that the unusually strong hurricane season is called by global warming, which is caused by Republican environmental policies.
Doesn't this idiot tool realize that all by himself he's just about guaranteed that Bush will now carry Florida?
What this Idoitarian Wolcott fails to realise is that Hurricanes can hit NYC, too. And if they hit at just the right angle and at high tide would flood Manhattan. Then he would be screeching for people to come help him.
I have just about reached the Popeye point with these LLL's. They are so filled with hate for everyone who isn't marching in goosestep with them.
On 9/11 we heard Michael Moore get angry that terrorists killed 3,000 people. He wasn't angry at the terrorists. He was angry because they killed "DEMOCRATS"!!!
Now we got this bozo cheering on hurricanes because they make "Republicans" suffer.
Thank G-d I am not as bitter and hateful as these people are.
Let Wolcott have his say and ignore it. He's just trying to get attention for his column by making people mad. After all, he writes for the Village Voice. It's the only way they can attract new readers
As we all know, it is possible for hurricanes to hit New York. However, if one was heading that way, I would personally hope that it would turn into the North Atlantic to spare those folks from devastation, even insulated superstitious liberal neo-hippie intellectuals like Mr. Wolcott.
Although, I really don't know why a New Yorker would wish any specific harm on Floridians. Half of them are from the greater New York metropolitan area.
May a porcupine back up his ass!
Now there walks a man with a permanent invisible 'Kick Me' sign on his back that only Floridians can perceive. And an accompanying permanently bruised ass.
[I had a pathetic and useless comment here, but in order to protect my reputation the Management kindly deleted it! And they banned my IP too, so I would not waste my valuable time here!]
Wolcott is an asshole.
I only wish he could experience a real live hurricane...Whilst strapped to a sheet of galvanized metal roofing in Grenada.
H. L. Mencken wrote, "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the
black flag, and begin slitting throats."
This is one of those times. I would like to think that, were I to meet James Wolcott, I would have the courage and presence of mind to break his jaw.
Yep and Wolcott are stark reminders of why intellectuals neither thrive nor survive in totalitarian societies. It takes a democracy to make an eco system that will support them.
Here's "Yep's" Whois info -- I was just curious, you know? --
OrgName: Road Runner-Commercial
Address: 13241 Woodland Park Road
NetRange: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199
NetType: Direct Allocation
Comment: ADDRESSES WITHIN THIS BLOCK ARE NON-PORTABLE
TechName: ServiceCo LLC
OrgTechName: IP Tech
"The Left is quick to take offense..."
So we have one lefty guy writing an obviously flippant and not-meant-to-be-taken-too-seriously comment about hurricanes. And in response we get about ten pages of increasing vile invective and threats of violence from unhinged right wingers. And the LEFT is quick to take offense? You guys must have a lot of insecurity and unhappiness in your lives to keep your free-floating rage stoked to such high levels. I've been around liberals my whole life and frequently disagreed with them. Not once have they ever responded with insults equivalent to even one of the posts here. You'd think this Woolcott fellow was personally going to Florida and blowing houses down himself, instead of giving some idle commentary on the news. Oh, yes, he's "rooting" for the hurricane. Whatever that is supposed to mean or whatever difference it could possibly make...
I used to be able to understand the right wing in terms of policy positions -- libertarian economics and so forth. But the more I read current right-wingers on the net, the more I think you need to understand it in terms of psychopathology.
Flippant??? MQ, did you read anything else on that man's page? The man is nothing but a bag of venom; his brain rots and seethes with hatred for humanity while it drools and slobbers over abstractions like "Nature."
You know, that's what gets me about you so-called compassionate, loving liberals. You get your shorts in a knot every time someone is mean to a cute puppy in Ghana, but when it comes to actual living, breathing human beings -- many of whom work to make your cushy life posting anonymous flames to blog comment sections on a computer in an air-conditioned room, within reach of clean running water and preserved, healthy food, possible -- you have no trouble laughing at their pain or smirking in agreement when others do it, and when people call you on your callous and inhuman bullshit you snap and snarl that your critics are the ones who have something wrong with them. Yeah, we have something wrong with us: we aren't people-shaped robots programmed to sneer on cue at the sufferings of others.
By the way, why don't you send your and your hero Wolcott's kind observations to Bangladesh? I'm sure they'll have a big laugh at the funny joke.
Oh and by the way, like most of the trolls who post here you're a coward -- you don't even have the courage to leave a real email address.
Based on the comments here, why would I possibly want to leave a real address? Maybe I have other things to do besides reply to the ravings of people who apparently believe that I make a hobby of destroying the nation of Bangladesh in my spare time. I put my real self on the line plenty of times for my convictions without having to clean my email account out of the kinds of sentiments I see expressed here. Which include plenty of hatred against actual living breathing human beings. Maybe you should attend to the plank in your own eye before going on about the mote in your neighbors.
I'll go now, but to be clear: to me trolls are about posting outrageous provocations simply in order to get a rise out of people. I'm not saying anything outrageous and I'm not saying it to get a rise -- I am genuinely shocked by the level of hatred against perfectly law-abiding fellow Americans that I see in these posts. I followed this link from Instapundit, who I generally disagree with but often has links to conservatives who are sensible and who can write well. But I'm increasingly finding stuff even in his links that makes me fear for the future of any kind of political dialogue. At least it is still (hopefully) a minority who feel this way.
"I am genuinely shocked by the level of hatred against perfectly law-abiding fellow Americans that I see in these posts."
MQ, if you're "genuinely" shocked rather than just--as I think is far more likely--rhetorically posing as shocked, then there's no other way to say this: you're a moron. Plenty of people posting here (myself included) just lived through a hurricane and this schmuck wished death on us all. Have you ever been through a natural disaster, MQ? Known that you could lose everything at any moment? To NOT expect a furious reponse and, yes, hatred would require someone to be either dense beyond belief or sympathetic to the very views that elicited such scorn and rage.
MQ, don't be an apologist for Wolcott; his feelings were clear clear in his article, and there was nothing flippant about them. If it was a joke, it was in damn poor taste, and the man is still a heartless idiot. Either way, he loses.
If you feel so strongly about this, be sure to drop him a line and say so; his e-mail address is email@example.com
I'm sure he is going to need all the moral support he can get, 'cuz he has no morals to begin with.
God, I just had a horrid thought.....what if James Wolcott just posted under the psuedonymn "MQ"?
Then he's not only venal, he's a coward.
I saw goldsmith's comment on Swift's website. Not swift boats--I mean the eating Eire's babies one. I agree with goldsmith--Swift's position was reprehensible. He would probably live in New York, if only he could.
Nash, if you're trying to equate Swift's Modest Proposal with Wolcott's putrid little diatribe then you are exhibiting the sort of jaw-dropping fatuity that only the purportedly intelligent are capable of. No normal person would have the ingenuity to be that witless.
MQ has never been to Atrios' site, I take it.
My response to this putz:
I happen to live in New Orleans. Were a storm the size of Frances to
shift course & hit the city before an evacuation could take place,
current estimates are 20,000 dead, and at least eight months before
the water could be completely pumped out & all the bodies found. You
want to come down here & spew your hate? You're no better than Falwell
claiming that Disney's "Gay Days" was the reason Andrew happened. I
hope you're proud of the company you keep.
The right wingers are going mad that GLOBAL WARMING is tearing apart their faith-based ideology that jesus equal hog-rich resource use. That driving the largest damned SUV they can afford, pushing untenable demands on the environment from industry, and sitting back to allow developing countries to further spoil their family's vacation home in Florida. Hurricanes are God's way of punishing your own wanton greed. Manhattan will get it's own, don't you worry. They'll get to suck up insane winters and the high-cost of building flood-gates as Venice is doing now.
Whaaa, Whaaa, Whaaa...
Go cry your crocodile kyoto-tears to China and India.
Hey, Eric? Shouldn't you be polishing Mr. Wolcott's... apples?
just to prove existence of God, the post-hurricane Frances rains swamped NYC with 4-5" of rain, flooding subways & roadways & effectively shutting the city down. it was far worse than during RNC convention. makes me wonder if that fool still roots for hurricanes...