Posted Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, at 3:29 PM
A man named James Lee is acting on his long-held paranoia about environmentalism and population control by holding at least one person hostage at the Discovery Channel headquarters. Here's part of his manifesto:
The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have dailytelevision programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "MyIshmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be donein the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by peoplebuilding on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on howpeople can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human childrensince those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A gameshow format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leadingscientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science andthe problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until somethingWORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilizationbuilding STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH ANDAPPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!
This is the kind of thing that sparks a three-part reaction in the opinionoverse.
1) Investigation . Who is this guy? Right and left partisans immediately worry that it's one of their team (defined loosely -- a white liberal might worry that it's a Muslim radical who'll prove Frank Gaffney right).
. The identity of the perp is discovered -- in this case, we find that it's an anti-human population activist. Everyone pretends that their previous theories about what might be happening were never really serious.
3) Polarization . The people whose ideology most matches the perp cry loudly that he is crazy and has nothing to do with them. The people whose ideology is antithetical to the perp's -- in this case, conservative skeptics of environmentalism -- subtly hint that the perp is too representative of the other team. Oh, sure, they're not saying that. But every time someone goes crazy on the other side, they get blamed , so it's only fair .
In 24 hours or so, a few articles will be pitched and sold about the political meaning of the story. Everyone else will forget about it and feel vaguely dirty for having thought so hard about it at all.