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As many of you no doubt know Earth Hour is approaching. I really don't think about Earth Hour much, or I wouldn't if it weren't for my father. It seems like a cute gesture, though, and I really have nothing at all against it. Still, I'll probably spend Earth Hour catching up on my Netflix queue. Not my father. He is taking the opportunity to celebrate Civilization Hour. It's the hour where you turn on all the things that make you civilized. Every light, every reasonable appliance, and every other thing he can find will be switched on full blast while he rages against the machine, as it were.  But that's not the person my dad is.

My dad is an organic farmer who rallies against companies like Monsanto and actively fights to support sustainability in our food. Our family buys raw milk on the black market to make cheese. It’s all very exciting. He’s also a hunter who loves the forest and the natural world in general. He taught me how to trap and I'm teaching him how to forage. This summer he's asked me to help him grow some marijuana. On most other days he's the very picture of sustainability. But come Civilization Hour it all goes out the window.

No seriously. The noise machine kept telling him global warming is a liberal lie and, blam, he's happy to flick on all the lights because ‘fuck Obama, that’s why’. On Earth Day (Scorched-Earth Day in this neck of the woods) he burns Styrofoam. Now, don’t get me wrong, we burn stuff all the time like briars and, when we are bored we throw aerosol cans into a bonfire and take cover before the explosion launches shrapnel into our bodies. Southerners are crazy about fire and, in that, we are no exception. The crazy here is that he is so incensed by the very idea that we, as stewards of the earth, should protect our only home that he actively works to make the world a shittier place. Because it would make democrats sad. Because that’s what the news made a big deal out of. When Fox News rallies against the green agenda then, no lie, people around here quit recycling because fuck the democrats.

I wonder why they do this, how the cognitive dissonance doesn't split their skulls open. My father isn't some ignorant hick. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met and I respect him a great deal. I just don't understand what's going on in his head, how he can support these people who oppose so many things he loves and support the very people he is dedicated to fighting. Republicans are weird.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Last year, when I posted on Fb that I (9+ / 0-)

    was observing Earth Hour, my Tea Bagger brother-in-law responded that he was going to run every single appliance in his house and idle his car for the entire hour.  I was flubbergasted.  I had no idea this was some kind of RW meme.  Thanks for the clue.  

    Oh, tempted though I was, I did NOT suggest he idle the car in his garage with the door shut.  ;-)

    "The facts have a well known liberal bias." --Steven Colbert

    by JAM11 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:18:10 AM PDT

  •  Sounds lke they have the Mad Cow.... (6+ / 0-)

    That's totally irrational behavior. Maybe they're dying for a 5-minute Hate.

    Please sign the White House petition to Flush Rush from AFN (Armed Forces Network).

    by OleHippieChick on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:34:02 AM PDT

  •  This is the same effect (6+ / 0-)

    That being a vegetarian or vegan has on people. You tell them you don't eat meat anymore and they go "%#*! you, I'm going to go out and eat steak every night now to compensate for you". People do not like the implication that they're doing something morally wrong, and they chafe against it even if you're not even pushing it on them. Just your very EXISTENCE as someone who cares about the environment or animal abuse offends them. Whether you like it or not, it's rubbing in their faces that they're not doing the right thing. People don't tend to like that. Look at the reaction on the left when we're told that gay marriage is immoral - same deal.

    •  Haha, yes, the old crazy carnivore routine... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pwn3rship society

      I'm a vegetarian, have been for almost 10 years.  Sooooooo many people have started unprovoked arguments with me, demanding to know how I survive and then vowing to destroy their body at double by the rate by eating all the meat I choose not to consume.

      But whatever, to each their own, it's not for everyone.  I don't get all preachy about the carnivores lifestyle unless they provoke me.  

    •  in my experience (0+ / 0-)

      Those people always complain about "preachy vegetarians" somewhere in their lengthy rants, without a hint of irony.

  •  Propaganda is powerful stuff... (5+ / 0-)

    if received by the right people.

  •  They love to HATE... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, grannycarol, AnnieR

    Republican "leaders" know that if they tap into the reservoir of hate and contempt that they can persuade even intelligent people to ignore the facts, ignore their own self-interest in order to get on the team.
    You might point out that the hatred mongers may hate lawlessness, but only when the poor are stealing or cheating on food stamps. They don't express any hate for the corporate People that lie, and cheat, and steal, and pay off our political system.  That sort of stuff is called FREEDOM from government.  Getting pulled into the game of HATE is a character flaw. It is a sin. It is a vice.  Keep trying to talk to your father, but let the topic be HATE.

  •  It's About Clan and Authority (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannycarol, Philpm, Skylarking

    That's how the right motivates, and they do it because it works very well with millions of people. They start out with 35-40% of the vote for that reason alone.

    I'd say your father is more keyed in on affiliation and authority than he is on reason and outcomes. It's not at all a rare condition.

    We've spent 40 years, both parties, reducing the prospects of the masses, so there is less and less for ordinary people to apply reason to and expect a successful outcome, while there is more and more about the world that we may as well approach with faith and authority for all the good it won't do us to think about it.

    We're restoring the historic norm of civilization: a tiny rich informed elite, and poor/working-poor masses with little information and less power.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:53:32 AM PDT

  •  My Dad was the same way (0+ / 0-)

    He could be so smart. . .identifying various problems the world faces including population growth. But then, he would do just like your Dad. . ."fuck those Democrats, those bleeding heart liberal fucktards".

    Dad's gone now and I miss him and think of him every single day, but am glad he isn't voting.

  •  Like the lightbulb brigade (0+ / 0-)

    when even the companies making the light bulbs agreed that the change was necessary, the cries of "keep your hands off my light bulbs' became a talking point.

    You know- i marvel even at myself.

    I think about how it wasn't so bad going without electricity for the two days following hurricane Irene.  I read,  my husband and I talked, we interacted more with our neighbors.

    When I didn't have a car for several weeks, I walked everywhere.

    But now, I 'use it up' just ;like everyone else.

    I think I'm gonna change that.

    Thanks for the wake-up call.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

    •  Not just lightbulbs, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, grannycarol

      toilets too! Where does the toilet and lightbulb insanity come from? Using the new bulbs decreases electricity costs, using LED bulbs does so even more! Low-flow toilets decrease water use. And yet somehow it is all an evil liberal plot to... deprive people of wasteful relics?

      The way my dad puts it he should be allowed to use wasteful relics if he wants to. I just don't see what he would want to when he knows they're wasteful relics.

  •  anyone who has been farming for a while has (0+ / 0-)

    seen the effects of climate change, if from no other source, then the changes to the watershed in the last 30 years and the effects of El Nino and La Nina.
    For a quick and dirty example, compare chill charts for apples and see how the number of chill hours to set fruit has not slowly declined over time

  •  The official term is "Human Achievment Hour." (0+ / 0-)

    Brought to you by Ayn Rand-loving, gummint-hating reactionaries.

    I learned all about it from my vegetarian friend who can't afford a car, relies on public transportation and can barely afford her electrical bill from month to month.  She also has no children because she thinks it's wasteful.

    Her inconsistencies completely balance her out.

  •  Bah: it's a childish "don't YOU tell ME" thin (0+ / 0-)

    You may think your dad is smart, but the evidence is against him.

  •  I Feel Your Pain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto Cratt, ThePencilPusher

    I grew up eating organic vegetables from our garden and even organically raised beef, lamb and rabbit.  My father also hunted, foraged and kept bee hives.  He has a degree in Zoology and spent most of his working life in the field of science.  He was also asked to join Mensa at one time.
    Today my father believes G.W. Bush was a fantastic president, global warming is a hoax and Obama is a Socialist.  And this all started with Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  I hate those f#ckerz for what they did to my dad.

    Ezra Klein is my "freebie"

    by Skylarking on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:43:25 PM PDT

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      This means a great deal to me. I know precisely how you feel and I'm glad at least one other person feels exactly the frustration I do. Very intelligent people can be taken in by... well, something. I'm not quite sure what. It's this bizarre thing where the person involved is brilliant but their politics are not lining up with their intelligence and they cannot be talked logically into anything else, even when logic would typically work.

      "Of course evolution is real! You girls don't forget to take your birth control. Rick Santorum for president." Right?

  •  Paternal Bonds (0+ / 0-)

    I brought this post to the attention of my students today. Out of a class of twenty-five, twenty-two of them shared a similar experience. I don't know why it shocked me so much, but each of them told a similar tale of how members of their family, most often headstrong aggressive males, were exhibiting the same behavior.
    When I shook myself out of the madness that had swept me, I asked them what they plan to do about it. I was met with blank stares.
    Eventually someone spoke up and said that there was nothing they could do about it. It depressed me horribly. I recommend reciprocal socialization. The best kind of parent/child relationship is one in which each party learns from the other. The trouble is: how do you get them to listen?  

    Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by ThePencilPusher on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:47:58 PM PDT

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