Wednesday, 28 May 2008

ON A MATTER OF SEMANTICS...

Did you know that “overpopulation” is actually viewed as a judgmental word? A word that has become “racially, religiously and ethnically sticky, and thus totally uncool.”

Well, I only learned this recently.

But it is apparently a fact that for decades no one in the demographic field has touched the word “overpopulation” with a bargepole. Instead, a genre was emerging: semantic escape from verbal commitment. Another way of putting this is to say that 'semantics' are a means used to elude the properties of a gist that are essential to it being it. And political correctness, thus understood, is an extremely agile conviction, an amalgam of lingua franca, pig-headedness and wishful thinking; but astonishingly, it is a conviction - indeed a doctrine - that remains a central tenet of urban cosmopolitanism in the West.

Indeed, it is hard to run against a movement. And I’m being sensible here.

Converting “queer” into “gay,” was the antidote to arguably the most notorious and certainly the most ambiguous sex-related phenomenon of the last century. As Raymond Chandler said in The Long Goodbye: "The queer is the artistic arbiter of the age. The pervert is the top guy now." Or you can turn a blatant miscarriage of justice into a politically correct comedy featuring O. J. Simpson as a saint. One ought to realize, of course, what kind of havoc can be wreaked with this sort of story by a director with an ability to believe his own fantasies and the requisite measure of hidden contempt. So instead of using the term “overpopulation” why not refer to it as “Non-invasive Consensual Acknowledgement Of Global Demographic Surplus Bounty (NCARGDS)?

Well, I am afraid the answer isn't that simple; and let’s cut to the chase on this, shall we?

Humanism is an ancient philosophy based on the idea that human existence may be bettered through reason. So when, in the deteriorating relationship between the global economy and the earth's ecosystem, the sun disappears in a gritty haze and traffic crawls through a noontime gloom with headlights ablaze on a planet swept by hate, xenophobia and toxic industrial effluents, there is, so far as I am concerned, no such semantic support structure. In fact, my thinking is not only “correct” - it is visionary. And like all visionary nightmares, I’m compulsively and horrifyingly attracted to it.

(Alternatively, of course, you can always try and solve a problem by pretending it doesn’t exist!)

Written in my own hand on 28 May in the year of grace 2008.

Dreamy

9 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Well you are very clever no doubt .... still there is only me listening. I wonder - do you like to do like role play during sex at all?

Jonathan said...

There is no overpopulation in the desert, I discover. Except on its fringes.

I liked your definition of the discourse of the thought police: an 'amalgam of lingua franca, pig-headedness and wishful thinking.'

There is only a population problem on this planet because of our socio-economic-political arrangements. There is no intrinsic overpopulation problem at all. I wish people would realise this. Ok granted, the problem may be rooted in that human nature which gives rise to our arrangements.

All Shook Up said...

Overpopulation has been a fact of human life for millennia. Previously, it's been possible to overcome it by mass migration to lands where the incomers were able to fare better than the indigenous populations, thanks to their advanced social and technological structures - you only have to consider how much more overpopulated Europe would become if 300 million Americans were forced to be repatriated to the lands of their forefathers. What's so unusual and potentially damaging about current migration patterns is that economic migrants are supposed to be here by consent of the existing peoples when, on the whole, they are arguably less fitted to succeed in their new homelands in the developed West than those who built it. Political correctness is, as ever, wheeled in to obscure this uncomfortable truth.

Jonathan seems to be implying that a different "socio-economic-political arrangement" could overcome the effects of overpopulation. A laudable aspiration but, I'm afraid, one that's doomed to failure due to a fundamental core of human behaviour that's as inherent in us as it is in the blackbirds fighting their turf war on my lawn as I write.

Selena Dreamy said...

...they are arguably less fitted to succeed in their new homelands in the developed West than those who built it

If you don’t mind me saying so, ASU, that, in my opinion is a misjudgement of astonishing proportions.

Aliens may be “less fitted to succeed”, and rumour may be what Shakespeare called it, nothing but long-tongued, babbling gossip, but the truth of the matter is nevertheless that Western civilization has reached its peak and is imperceptibly deteriorating (and, indeed, declining), whereas the “reproductive fitness” of alien (economic) immigrants is plain for all to see.

Nor is it for me to pass value judgements, but for better or for worse, this will certainly bury the old England, together with its civilization as it existed to date.

Selena Dreamy said...

There is no overpopulation in the desert

Indeed, everything is calm, peaceful and dignified. One can sense the unmistakable stillness of a cemetery. There are, on the other hand, 82,000 people in jail in England and Wales, or roughly one in 500 adults. Or, to put it differently, it is one of the most unpleasant falsehoods that there are ways of applying concepts from natural physics to statistical demographics.

I.e., in the sea of demographics, water does not find its own level!

Selena Dreamy said...

“do you like to do like role play during sex at all?”

I do, Mutley.

And I can see, you have a lot of qualifications for the job, except, of course, discretion isn’t one of them...!

D.

All Shook Up said...

I don't mind you saying anything, Dreamy.. it's your blog.

I think it's difficult for you to argue though, in a discussion about over-population being the Doom Scenario, that greater “reproductive fitness” is a recipe for success.

But anyway... you took the part you disagreed with away from its context in the first part of the sentence. So I still stand by it, as a whole.

Deuce.

Selena Dreamy said...

Admittedly, ASU, my entire polemic, is raised on an unfortunate premise. And it's even more unfortunate when you absorb the simple fact that the consequence of the Biblical admonition go forth and multiply is bound to be Armageddon.

And no one put this aspect of my premise more brutally than Thomas Malthus: “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. To say nothing of global pollution, or, indeed, the need for Lebensraum!

Am I hallucinating? I think not.

Richard Madeley said...

'go forth and multiply is bound to be Armageddon'

Which, when roughly translated, means: why do the dumbest people have the most children? All the intelligent people I know are childless.

The plant is doomed. You can take that as a Madeley Fact.