Saturday, 20 August 2011

The New Bogeyman.

The lunatic assertions of the smokophobes have been well documented, here and elsewhere, and have become more ridiculous than those childhood tales of Underbed Monster and the bogeyman. It is really quite difficult, sometimes, to come to terms with the knowledge that adults really believe this stuff.

Yet, they do. They believe every word. They believe that second hand smoke causes bacterial infections. They believe it causes asthma. They believe thousands are dying of it even though nobody has. They believe one cigarette is more dangerous to their health than the more than two thousand nuclear bombs that have exploded on this planet or the massive trucks that roll past behind them while they fake-cough at the man with the bit of burning leaf. They will genuinely believe anything you tell them, and I admit I've had some fun with that.

The other control freaks have noticed this, so now we are treated to the horror of drinks companies having Facebook accounts and advertising to children who don't know they're there. Or rather, who didn't know they were there until Dim Shenker splashed it all over the news. He's just boosted the hits on those booze pages a hundredfold.

The companies aren't advertising to children. They just have Facebook pages. That's all. They do not 'friend' fifteen-year-olds and do not intrude on others' accounts. I didn't even know there were booze companies on Facebook and I've been drinking their products for decades. It's made-up nonsense and the drones will believe it. They'll read this headline and accept that Drink is the new Smoke without bothering to read the article - which makes clear that the headline figure was simply the invention of a deranged and very nasty little Puritan mind.

Now the Climatologists are in on the act too. As Frank and Subrosa have noticed, fat people are carbon sequestration units because what the idiots at RGU don't seem to realise is that all life on Earth, including people, is carbon-based. We're made of it, fat's made of it, and if you're overweight you are storing it away. When fat people die and are buried, they become underground carbon storage containers.

And yet we are supposed to believe that being fat causes global warming. Whereas losing all that weight, thereby converting all that stored carbon into carbon dioxide, will save the world. From what?

Well, from aliens, apparently. Perhaps the scientists are worried that aliens will see fat people from space.

(There was a fisking of this over at Counting Cats but I can't get the site to load at the moment. I'll add the link when it comes back up.)

(Update - Here it is.)

Aliens might notice us if we produce too much carbon dioxide, even though they didn't notice the planet when there was far more of it in the atmosphere than there is now. Those aliens might decide to wipe us out just because they can. I expect the aliens all vote Green, they seem to have the same policies.

This is just another bogeyman, a story to frighten children. It works on the infantilised, as does the notion that they will be assimilated by their partner who has evil, filthy ways and those ways are contagious. You have no free will. Resistance is futile.

I didn't have to look far to find an example of a couple who have been married for more than 50 years, a couple where the husband smoked all his life until very recently, and his wife has never smoked. My parents. Apparently, my mother has defied the wisdom of the experts and refused to take up smoking. Oh dear, she's using free will. That's probably illegal.

Today we hear of an Israeli couple who are offended by people giving mock Nazi salutes to the wax model of Hitler in Madame Tussaud's.

The couple, whose grandparents survived the Holocaust, photographed the incident and complained about the tourists' behaviour, which they described as 'an unequivocal demonstration of anti-semitism and bigotry'.

It was mockery of a man who was a big part of world history. A very unpleasant part, but the changes he set in motion are still happening today. In this country, we mock him with his daft salute and his silly goose-stepping and that ridiculous moustache. It has nothing to do with anti-semitism or bigotry. Frankly, Israel, we don't really care about you all that much over here. We've never had a war with you so you're just sort of 'there'. We don't hate you, we don't all talk like Fagin when you're around, we don't mock you because you are not an enemy.

Hitler was an enemy. A big one. A recent one. He killed a lot of people as well as those in the camps and now he's dead, we laugh at him.

Actually, we made up comical songs about him while he was still alive because, well, just look at him. He looks as if some students got him drunk and superglued a Brillo pad to his lip. Well, that's irritating, especially in the 1930s when superglue solvent hadn't been invented but trying to kill everyone in the world was a bit of an overreaction.

There is nothing offensive or bigoted about mocking Hitler, but the perceived offense is a symptom of the sad and feeble people we are becoming. Those riots had all kinds of causes thrown at them from all sides but really, they were just tantrums. Nothing more. A flailing of children who aren't getting their way.

Now we have reached the point where those who want control can just make up bogeymen and expect us to cower under our bedsheets at night - and many, many people are doing just that. An asteroid might hit the Earth so we're going to shoot at one just in case. Aliens might wipe us out, the sun will give you cancer, avoiding the sun will give you rickets, and it might just go bang one day and burn out your toaster. Which you shouldn't use anyway because toasters kill polar bears before they get a chance to kill you.

(note to self - get a bigger toaster before winter sets in)

The culture of taking offense lets people make up their own bogeymen, and they are only too pleased to do so. Even though studies have shown that taking offense at pointless things causes gallstones and curvature of the ears. It's true. An expert told me.

Terrorists have castor beans in the Middle East and they plan to make ricin out of them. Or maybe castor oil, or perhaps someone made a casserole with rice in, and the permanently-scared misheard. Worried? Why? Extracting the ricin isn't hard but powdering it without inhaling the tiny amount that will kill you requires specialist equipment. Not the sort of equipment you'd generally find in a Yemeni goat herder's hut. Meddling with that stuff is like looking down the barrel of a gun to see what's stopping the bullets coming out. Let them meddle. All it really means is that the next time you try to get on a plane you won't be allowed to have talcum powder.

The claims are getting desperate now. Beyond ridiculous. At least when I write stuff like that I have the decency to sell it as fiction. I'd sell a lot more if I labelled it 'news'. Then I could regale the drones with brand new bogeymen.

Maybe these scientists are actually writers who have already thought of that. Damn.


John Pickworth said...

We've heard this all before, we know it well, I subscribe fully to your points - damn, I've even argued many of them myself....

But you write it so very well LI. A riveting read from beginning to end.

Please don't ever stop hammering the message home because one day, even the weak minded, will start to wise up... Even rise up, perhaps? And hopefully this time for something more profound and important than a new pair of trainers and a LCD TV.

Woman on a Raft said...

I do wish you hadn't mentioned talcum powder. You know what they are like. At this rate you'll have to have your head hoovered at the gate in case you've hidden toxic exploding dandruff up there.

View from the Solent said...

Expect to see more stories frightening us with the lifetime expense of [insert bogeyman of choice here].
El Reg

Anonymous said...

The EU exists because of Hitler.

George Speller said...

Ricin poisenous by inhalation? I didn't know that - I thought it had to be injected. I's look it up but the snopopers would probably home in and bang me up just for asking.

Anonymous said...

who were irgun and stern gangs fighting then (king david hotel,cairo).

John Pickworth said...

The only bogeyman I almost fell for was the 'hairy palms' thing.

But, three years later and despite an extraordinary superhuman effort to prove it correct; I realised it was a load of cobblers!

Since then, I've tended to take these sorts of warnings with a pinch of salt - actually, a full on drenching from a military grade 17 hole salt shaker.

Leg-iron said...

George - it's deadly by inhalation or injection, a little less deadly by ingestion.

Leg-iron said...

View from the Solent - it's always about the money. Doesn't bother me, I don't have very much of it.

John - they tried that one on me too, but I thought hairy palms would be pretty cool so tried harder. It didn't work.

TheFatBigot said...

A magnificently fluent exposition Mr Iron. All the irrational nuttiness nailed in one post, fine work.

Dr Evil said...

Hitker nicked the Roman Military salute and subverted it. Now children will think all Roman legionaries were Nazis! Whereas it was only the Emperors and Praetorian guard who were.

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