Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
What’s with the president’s war analogy on the oil spill? It’s as if some alien force, “The Invasion of the Slippery Sludge,” suddenly attacked us. “Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al-Qaida,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his White House speech, “and tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.”

What nonsense. The oil was minding its own business until some multinational corporations, enabled by a dysfunctional government regulatory regime, decided to wage war on the ecological balance of the oceans by employing technology that they were not prepared to control. Cleaning up the oil spill mess we made by raping the environment to satiate our consumer gluttony is not a glorious battle against evil but rather obligatory penance for the profound error of our ways.

You wound Mother Nature by punching a hole deep in her pristine ocean where you have no business going and when she bleeds uncontrollably you dare blame her for the assault? This from a president who shortly before this disaster had given the oil companies permission to pillage in the deep seas at will. At least now he admits to having been extremely naive in his belief that they knew what they were doing [...]

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Well called Mr Scheer...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 03:21:02 AM EST
Much as a I loathe BP, and the oiks who run BP and other comparable companies, the 'teh rape of our mother!' meme is only nominally saner than the psycho-culture that drives these people.

What's wrong with the simpler but equally accurate point that if you're living in a house, it's not a good idea to set fire to the living room?

Exaggerated sexualised rhetoric has made the job of the serious oil people much easier than it would have been if more straightforward and inclusive language had been used.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 05:10:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm yes well, I agree and disagree...  gendering "the earth" as female and "humankind" as a male assailant of course erases women as (more than) half of humankind.  and it's glib and cartoony.  and it often comes from the mouths of those who haven't much to say about actual, non-metaphorical rape of non-metaphorical women and girls.

that said...

OTOH there is a long-standing connection between misogyny and technocracy, and between warrior masculinity -- aka probative masculinity -- and hubristic risk-taking.  disregard for consequences interpreted as "courage", etc.  Veblen described it as accurately as any contemporary social critic:  the valorising of "force and fraud" in the hunter/warrior mythos.  I suspect that the highly gendered language derives in part from some subconscious recognition of this (and of the nearly exclusive maleness of the industrial establishment).

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 11:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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