Friday, June 23, 2006

Site of the Week

This week’s winner, paradoxically enough, is Failure Magazine, with its ever popular “This Day in Failure” feature. At last – a site where I have an outside chance of an honourable mention. One day it’ll be my name in lights up there…

It’s gripping stuff, not just for the halfwits’ parade of losers and cock-ups on display, but also for the incredibly warped pathologies of some of those featured, such as the pathetic Les Knight and his Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. So much does he despise his fellow man that he had himself neutered at the age of 25, to avoid all chance of his accidentally producing any more of them.

On closer examination of the text, one notices that it is American humans in particular he objects to, bemoaning the fact that the average Yank will consume 310 times as much as the average Ethiopian. Strangely, it doesn’t occur to him to urge Ethiopians to start drowning their own mewling litters in a bucket, and we get the distinct impression that this is because he doesn’t think of them as human.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone on the left followed their own logic right over the precipice of eugenics:

“Before long, birth-control may become nearly universal among the white races; it will then not deteriorate their quality, but only diminish their numbers, at a time when uncivilized races are still prolific and are preserved from a high death-rate by white science…

If, however, a world-government is established, it may see the desirability of making subject races also less prolific, and may permit mankind to solve the population question.” Bertrand Russell.

One cannot help but come away consoled for one’s own shortcomings, when there are so many people in active and deliberate pursuit of futility.


Les Knight, yesterday. A man with the courage of his own convictions – in this case: “If you don’t try, you’ll never fail…”

12 comments:

Desargues said...

Some of the early Christians resorted to self-emasculation as a form of speeding up the Parousia, or the second coming of Christ. The idea was that, by refraining from reproduction, secular history would be shortened for lack of a relevant population to carry it on. Of course, these were extreme trends within Christianity, but they were there. Among the early Fathers of the Church, I think Tertullian is reputed to have castrated himself to enforce the injunction of chastity. For some Christian Gnostics, as Borges says, paternity is abominable, just like mirrors--for they both affirm and multiply a corrupt reality. So, you see, Les Knight is in illustrious company here. I, however, have nothing against people who decide to remove themselves from the Darwinian pool, when they realize they can't contribute much to it.

On a different note, it's always delightful to watch activist environmentalists being caught in a predicament of their own making.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Self-castration was a classical trend with long antecedants, rather than an extreme Christian one - as evidenced by Augustus' decree prohibiting Romans from following one of the Anatolian Greek cults (Cybele). And Tertullian was way off beam in theological terms, as Christ was quite clear that "no man knoweth the hour", so trying to guess it or bring it forward would by definition be not just futile but also very likely a sin.

Great link re the eagles, by the way. I have a post lined up on that - with a hat tip to you already written in :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, we Europeans *love* to saw through the branch we sit on! What's wrong with it? It's after all a long cherished parctice! Everybody did it, the Greeks , the Romans, and even so enchanted folks like the Chatts (don't dare to look them up - they'll haunt you, or not). So relativism leaves us without a branch to sit on, well my M16 starts to drag me down...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Never give a knife to a holy man, I think is the motto of these stories. There are several million African victims of female circumcision whom I'm sure would agree.

And Isaac might have a few words to say on the subject too.

Desargues said...

Some of those poor girls actually internalize the oppression to tragic extremes.

This winter in Italy I saw one of Donatello's sculptures of Attis, the young Anatolian god of fertility (a lascivious little bastard on an endless testosterone binge and an insatiable appetite for his mother, Cybele). Probably self-castration was some form of initiation into the mysteries of fertility cults. Baiscally, it's an understanding of the potentially destructive power of sex.

Cantemir said...

Y'all are thinking of Origen. Tertullian was the one who went over to Montanism. But B+ for effort! (Considering the topic of today's post, and all that.)

Sam, you probably won't be pleased to hear that it's mostly village medicine-women and midwives who snip girl bits in Africa. Sorry, but the men have very little to do with it.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Holy man, holy woman. It hardly makes a difference who does it. I put "holy man" in my previous comment just because it scanned a bit better than "holy man/woman".

It's the mixing of knives and religion that I was suggesting was the problem - not the mixing of knives and gender. Although I have heard there are these clubs you can go to in Los Angeles...

Desargues said...

We stand collectively corrected on the issue of self-mutilating disciples of Ammonius Sakkas. Tertullian was the feller with credo quia absurdum, wasn't'e?

As to the other, more bloody issue of poor girls falling victim to obscurantism in Muslim Africa, I'm still willing to bet my stipend that it's some guys who laid the theological foundations and put institutional pressure on those women to do that barbaric thingy in the first place. Call it a hunch. And don't call me a feminist for that--you don't have to delve into Andrea Dworkin to be repulsed by that sort of practice.

Ivan the Terrible said...

I'm sure you're right, Des - but that does beg the question as to exactly whose bright idea male circumcision was...

Cantemir said...

Desargues,

You'd be hard pressed to find much theology among animists in villages so obscure that they are forgotten by God.

Your sexist attempt to deny obvious female agency has been noted and reported to the Thought Police.

Razzamatazz said...

I think many more people should follow Les Knight's lead. I would like to volunteer Ant and Dec.

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