by Russell Seitz Copyright 2007
Of all the Weapons of Mass Derision deployed in the Culture Wars, few have proven more lethal than the PoMo Jargon Generator,
Invented in 1999 , the software of this diabolical device takes real quotes from deadhead literary theoreticians and randomly assembles them into essays . Some of these demonstrations of the formidable artistic power of Artificial Stupidity ended up published in leading academic journals of Critical Theory . To the predictable delight of conservative editorial writers, and the undying dismay of their liberal opponents, few noticed the imposture.
The stunning success of such cynically correct software in raising hell in the Humanities suggests another form of constructive deconstruction. What could be easier than re-programing the PoMo Generator to run amok in the Climate Wars?
The tone of the debate could only be raised by randomizing the top ten climate change mantras dear to Fox sound bite engineers and op-ed writers who call themselves conservative..
Here's a list of themes often seen in climate op-eds aimed at The Base today :
1.Belief in global warming is an elitist superstition based on a hoax.
2.Arctic sea ice melted down in the middle ages, for Lord Monckton says a Chinese admiral found none in 1421.
3 The "Hockey Stick" is broken.
4.The UN study does not reflect real science.
5.Ice cores prove rising C02 is due to warming.
6.Satellites don't show warming.
7. Science can't work by consensus.
8.Michael Crichton and 17,000 scientists agree with us.
9. 98% of the greenhouse effect is water vapor.
10.There is no such thing as average global temperature.
Few of these sound bites , mantras, and factoids are more divorced from objective reality than the elements of postmodern literary theory, so they should fit seamlessly into the old Deconstructor's software scheme.
Now for the best part. Computers work for free . Randomized climate Op-eds will leave Al Gore tongue-tied, for they are innocent of any attainder of being paid for by the energy industry. And being completely random, they are likely to be no worse that 50 per cent of the Op-eds that think tank ideologues running on autopilot have generated over the past 50 years.
Revising the meme crunching software might cost 100,000 rupees at most if outsourced to Bangalore , a $2,000 investment that promises far more bang per lakh than K-Street operatives can get trolling ten grand through the academic hinterland in hope of hooking a few new kindred climatic spirits. So who wants to pass the hat ? if there's money left over, I have this other list of 10 things Al Gore keeps saying over and over whenever An Inconvenient Truth gets stuck in my laptop's DVD drive.