...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Mirrors as we're used to them only have one surface, so the analogy won't carry too far, but the mirror of the mainstream, the what-was-once-only media - CNN, the NYTimes etc. - have lately held up two prominent figures to personify the "green" transformation.
Even as Poznan sputters back into geographic obscurity, even as the excessive cold and wet of this winter so far contradict the simple forecast of heat rising to the terminal, neither Thomas Friedman nor Anderson Cooper seem to be able to much more than advocate for smarter consumer choices, though I think what's really working there is a softening, a getting people ready, accepting the fact that the quickest most certain way to reduce the carbon footprint of humanity is to reduce the size of humanity's foot, though neither says anything slightly near that at this time.
Both of them, in their role, or guise, as eco-praetor give out the tacit sense that they've risen spontaneously to this task, and both of them cite no one as predecessor or exemplar. Certainly nothing even close to a recognition that there have been voices and lives up against the inertia and momentum of the seduction process that brought us all here, whether we chose it or chose to work against it.
They're mirroring the shallowest part of the collective mind, the thin consciousness that wakes up now like the fabulous brontosaurus, nerves sending impulses down the football field of body length and back, news that something's happening.
None of the atomized multitude have reason for guilt because none of them did anything intentionally to bring this change.
Like Iraq, it was all a mistake, but a goodhearted well-intentioned mistake with only a little greed and heartless indifference out at its edges.
The thing is there are people among us right now whose lives are as "green" as "green" can get, people who've never stepped outside the harmonic, whose ways of being in the world don't lead, didn't lead to this and won't, because they're old ways, very old, and the result of necessity not desire, or rather the only desire the most basic one - to live, to survive and not foreclose the survival of their children.
Do Friedman and Cooper turn toward these examples? No.
No, they do not. Should they?
Yes, they should. We all should, not because we need to live in exactly the same way they do, but because we need to remember, and we need to feel, as we once did, the way they do still.
San Bushmen
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