Monday, May 21, 2007

Alternate Universes: Iraq and Global Warming


Earth One and Earth Two.

Some of the greatest comic book story arcs of all time revolved around the divergence or collision of multiple worlds, during which heroes and villains fought each other and the powers of the cosmos to prevent, or in some cases, hasten, total annihilation.

In DC Comics' now classic Crisis on Infinite Earths series from the 1980's, hordes of superheroes from parallel earths came together in a final battle to save the space/time continuum. Ultimately, the many versions of earth collapsed into one another, allowing DC comics to in effect re-invent its superhero universe, and start from scratch. Tabula Raza, if you will.

This plot has been re-hashed many times over the years in the comic book world. Alternate realities, parallel earths, dopplegangers, the end of time, etc.

However, with every re-telling, the tale only gets more stale.

Which, in turn, brings me to the real world, a world in which we are living, (or so it would appear) among two divergent realities.

We have one reality (Let's call it Earth One): an overzealous President, who is perceived to have abused his office and used the pulpit to create an artificial climate of fear. Those who have assailed the President's rhetoric about the war on terror, such as Daily Kos, have described it in terms like Domestic terror 'plots' as disinformation:

On this story, and every other, that's really all a vast majority of Americans want from the media -- "a healthy dose of skepticism -- given this administration's track record with truth."

and others have written pejoratively On "terror":

The war on terror has created a culture of fear in America, he noted, adding that the Bush Administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact in American democracy, on America's psyche and on US standing in the world.



Another poster on Daily Kos similarly sought to downplay terror fears: The German Terror Plot Media Scare [Translation of German Article Inside]

And now for the alternate reality, or as I'll call it: Earth Two.

The alleged Terror "fear-mongering" of Earth One seems to parallel another highly politicized issue that has also gotten a great deal of media attention of late. Its most outspoken proponent, Al Gore, has not been shy about the dire straits humanity has found itself in:
Former US vice president Al Gore on Friday warned that global warming presented the most severe crisis ever faced by humans but said the planet could be saved if the right steps are taken.


And the response from Daily Kos? Let's not jump to conclusions. Oops, no, my mistake, that was in response to the [fortunately] timely arrest of the 'Fort Dix Six' before they could act out their homicidal terrorist plans. In any case, the writer went on:
The government tells us there's a war on terror, but most of the claims seem to be exaggerated. I don't know what is real news and what is Fox propaganda drivel. So I'm a skeptic, for now, until I hear and read all of the facts. I expect Keith Olbermann to give this story the scrutiny it deserves.


Excellent point, should we apply this logic to Global Warming, Kos?

Global Warming Week: Antarctica's Melting! Mountains of Madness [UPDATED]

Perhaps not. Apparently, the characteristics of 'hyperbole' in Earth One doubles for selfless alarm-bell ringing in Earth Two.

Instead, in Earth Two, celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio are promoting a new film about global warming, which "uses a barrage of images and reams of interviews with the world's top environmental scientists to paint a bleak but still optimistic picture of the fate of our planet."

Hype? Hysteria? Of course not! More akin to Merry swearing loyalty to Théoden at Edoras after the lighting of the beacons!

In Earth Two, glamorous self-promotion has become reality. We have students forced to watch An Inconvenient Truth four times a year in public school.

In Earth Two, yet more celebrities, like Rosie O'Donnell, are promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories on national television, and equating American troops with terrorists:
"I'm talking about a word: terrorism, that the administration has used to terrify this country. They're terrorizing Americans by using the word terror and taking away our civil liberties!"




Although in Earth One, the "German government warns Australians to stay away. New “Al Qaeda In The Lands Of The Villains” cell expected to strike soon."

And although in Earth One, experts such as Victor Davis Hanson have said that "stateless terrorists can be more dangerous than past conventional threats."

And although in Earth One, Christian civilians in [democratic?] Turkey, (for example), have been tortured to death for not being Muslim...

...Earth Two persists in believing that this threat is overblown, overhyped, and politicized. Terrorists are a minor nuisance at best, they argue.

...

With a glance around my flank, they fall upon a George Perez drawing of Superman, a heavily inked battle epic landscape of super heroes littered across a double splash page, oozing color and kinetic energy.

It's a great picture. But I live in the real world. Given that immutable fact, I can only take stock of the rampant hypocrisy among limousine liberals and opportunist politicians to elevate and promote a questionable cause, of which the effects are ethereal and arguable at best, at the expense of an actual threat which has already killed thousands of Americans.

If we lose the war on terror to raving bands of Islamists bent on turning our world upside-down and installing a Caliphate, who will mourn global warming?

Alas this is an opportune time to quote the prescient Al Gore, taken out of context, of course:
"Are we going to say to our children that we were too busy to pay attention?"


Are we?

4 comments:

JeepersMeepers said...

What about Earth 3? You know the Earth where Evil is Good and vice versa? Surely that is the Earth that we live in since the Bush Administration came into power?

Nick Brunetti-Lihach said...

"jeepersmeepers,"

I think you probably took the metaphor too seriously. Wake up from your video-game induced ignorance, pull your nose out of those Catwoman Comic Books, and maybe you will see the point I was trying to make.

jeepersmeepers said...

I guess a little sarcastic humor isn't appreciated around here...video game induced ignorance and Catwoman comics? Umm okay, I apologize if I don't read as many political books, NY Times Editorials, blogs and non mainstream news outlets as you, but that does not define me as being ignorant. To me ignorant (not to mention naive) is someone whose reasons for wanting to join the Marines include: "looking for adventure" and "giving a 'FU' to the Democrats for their recent actions".

Nick Brunetti-Lihach said...

You don't have to apologize, jeepersmeepers, you're free to live your own American dream. Enjoy it now, before we're forced to bow to Shari'a law.

And those aren't all the reasons to join the military, but they're a good start.