December 08, 2003

When Nature Attacks

AS PART OF HIS LONG-STANDING QUEST to raise the level of discourse among Americans, Dean Esmay has linked to the text of a Michael Crichton speech on the environment. In this address, Mr Crichton looks at issues surrounding the environment with a very, very sharp lens.

We particularly found one portion of this speech of interest:

In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.

Now, we cannot independently confirm the veracity of Mr Crichton's views on this matter, although we do believe them to be awfully sound.

We do believe that it's important to have a clean environment, so folks -- if they desire -- can go and enjoy the country without having to deal with smoggy air and tainted water; so folks can go see the natural wonders God has given us; and so folks can go see how things used to be before Man's guiding hand reshaped the landscape. How we accomplish that as a society is another matter entirely, but we would argue that folks everywhere pretty much agree that goal is a good one to have.

That said, we go further than Mr Crichton in his remarks. We here at The Rant do not merely respect nature; we generally fear it. Indeed, we hold to what we call the Annie Hall Theory of Communing with Nature.

In short, when faced with a hostile living thing such as a giant spider, our initial reaction is to kill it, for God's sake. If we are unable to do so, we have two options: retreat from the field of battle, or somehow prevail upon William F. Buckley to kill the spider. (If readers have no idea what we are talking about, clickez ici).

Indeed, long-time Rant readers know full well about our inability to deal with citified nature, i.e. the scavenging animals which in the summertime lurk around our dwelling and cause trouble. Indeed, we were quite shaken when we last found ourselves dealing with a meddlesome skunk, which had the audacity to attempt spraying us with its foul-smelling ichor one summer evening. Sadly, we were not able to finish the war of aggression which this bold woodland creature began against us; but we are hopeful that the skunk was subsequently contained, and sent someplace to prevent it from ever again unleashing its weapon of mass stinkification.

Given this example, readers will undoubtedly find it no surprise to know that real nature is not something we're all that keen about. If other folks want to go out and enjoy the woods and streams, that's their business. But as for us, we'll stick with the sterile, ultraviolet, tame arena of the indoors. Especially during black-fly season.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 8, 2003 08:04 PM | TrackBack

Heeheehee! Ahem. I'm not laughing at you.

Posted by: Allison at December 8, 2003 10:11 PM