And just like that, a meme is born, courtesy of James Taranto in his "Best of the Web" column at the Wall Street Journal. Sadly, this time, he's discussing the Worst of the Web:
What kind of people blow up children?
White supremacists, for one example. On the morning of Sept. 15, 1963, members of a Ku Klux Klan "splinter group" set off dynamite under the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four girls: Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. Denise was 11; the other three were 14.
Islamic supremacists, for another example. Groups like Hamas and al Qaeda not only attack civilians indiscriminately but frequently employ Muslim children as suicide bombers. Our friend Brooke Goldstein made a whole movie about it.
There's a new kind of supremacist on the scene: green supremacists. They haven't blown up any children--not in real life. But they've been thinking about it.
A British outfit called the 10:10 Campaign hired Richard Curtis, a writer and producer of cinematic comedies, to produce a four-minute video promoting its effort to encourage people to cut "carbon emissions." The result, titled "No Pressure," struck James Delingpole, a global-warming skeptic who writes for London's Daily Telegraph, as "deliciously, unspeakably, magnificently bleeding awful." He's being too kind.
You've likely seen the video, thanks to the amount of traffic my post on the topic received (thank you again to the folks at Glenn Beck's The Blaze and other sites for linking to it), but if not click here for the full visual horror, and some of the earlier ads leading up to it.
More from Taranto:
GreenwiseBusiness.co.uk reports that the video is scaring off corporate sponsors. Kyocera Mita "was keen to point out" that it "had no part in the film, or knowledge of it" and "is now considering its sponsorship relationship with 10:10," and Sony said "that it was 'disassociating itself' from the climate change campaign group for the time being."
The 10:10 site formerly featured a statement from Naomi Climer, "chair of Sony's sustainability leadership group," who said that the organization's efforts are in line with Sony's "long-term corporate targets." An ominous choice of words! What happens to Phillip and Tracy if they buy a Vizio TV set or an H-P laptop?
The ad has drawn a few defenses, mostly on the ground that it's intended to be humorous. Typical is Jim Edwards of CBS Interactive, who faults 10:10 for backing away from the video rather than "standing proud and telling the deniers to suck it up":Whatever. No one but the most extreme climate change denier believes this is actually what environmentalists want. It's obviously just a joke outrageous enough to actually get people's attention.
But a joke at whose expense? If a "climate change denier" had made such a video in order to lampoon global warmists as fanatical and antihuman, the effort would have been denounced as invidious and over the top--and rightly, or so we would have said a week ago anyway.
No, this video was made by green supremacists themselves, and with a high degree of technical proficiency. As 10:10 itself observed in a statement (since removed from its website), the video required the efforts of "50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras." Blogger David Burge notes that "somehow, throughout this entire process, not one of the hundreds of people involved seemed to have questioned the wisdom of an advertising message advocating the violent, sudden death of people who disagree with it."
One may hope that Jim Edwards is right when he denies that "this is actually what environmentalists want." But it's bad enough that this is what they fantasize about--and that they manifestly felt no inhibition about airing such a depraved fantasy in public.
And of course, as was the wont of the original White Supremacists, the Green Supremacists really dig fantasizing about a few lynchings, as Australian journalist Andrew Bolt recently discovered. Click on the next page for a fairly disturbing Green Supremacist image.
Writing in Australia's Herald Sun, Bolt notes that the photo below is a screen capture of a flier promoting a tradeshow last year put on in Cannes by ACT-Responsible -- the ACT stands for "Advertising Community Together." Not at all surprisingly, Kofi Annan was announced as attending, meaning that presumably he was OK with this image:
A PDF file of that flyer is still online here; you might want to download a copy yourself as we did, in case it disappears itself in the not too distant future, as the 10:10 clip started to do after those of us who aren't Green Supremacists longing for the eco-Anschluss discovered it.
Responding to the above flyer, Ed Morrissey adds:
I’d say that ACT-R is creatively challenged, all right. Bolt also objects to a video embedded on his site that exploits a child’s supposed nightmare (while hugging a polar-bear doll, natch), but that one is more stupid than offensive. It argues that we should allow governments to impose Draconian policies because a child has a nightmare, and ends with several children saying “Save the world!” into a camera. It’s a good way to avoid acknowledging that the AGW hysterics still haven’t built a single successful predictive model proving their assertions about future weather systems, still haven’t addressed the serious data gaps in their studies, still have Rajendra Pachauri at the head of the IPCC despite the serial scandals regarding their academic standards of inclusion in the report, and in general having offered little but apocalyptic posturing. Putting a noose around a little girl on an ice cube is all they really have.
Bolt describes Act as "a group of Left-wing advertising executives (!)" and the exclamation mark was in his original post. But after ads such as these and these and these and these, and from what I know of the industry, I'm not at all surprised that the days of Don Draper and Bert Cooper are long, long ago, and that these days, many in the industry are much more likely to be reading The Assault on Reason than Atlas Shrugged.
But as James Lileks writes at Ricochet, linking to the unintentionally hilarious Australian PSA making the rounds of a mother in a dark, dingy room strapping a rubber tube around her son's arm before they heat up some...hamburger (no really):
[PSAs] were always stiff or dull or painful, like they’d brought over the creative team from East Germany. (“We’re the team who came up with the slogan, “The wall looks the same on the other side, so why bother?’) It was a mystery: ad people can make you want to buy Corn-flavored Ice Cream if they try hard, but give them a Big Issue and they act like someone who couldn’t sell a pail of water to someone whose pants were on fire.
One reason why might be found in the pages of a marvelous book written around 1970 by veteran advertising man Jerry Della Femina, with the classic title of From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor. The book reads like an extended episode of Mad Men, and it's no wonder; Della Femina is an advisor to the show. But at one point, Della Femina writes that a lot of ad men think that because their ads are appearing in magazines like Time and Newsweek (remember, this was back when people actually bought Time and Newsweek -- and in dead-tree form, to boot), they're on the same level as those journalists as writers. But ad writers often forget that people view their work as a distraction -- they want to read the news, they have to get past the ads to get to it. In contrast, nobody's looking forward to the latest ad promoting Seagram VO. Perhaps having been given the chance to sell something that isn't whiskey or Diet Coke, ad men compensate badly for whatever loathing they have for their day jobs, and thus really let it all hang out for the world to see.
(Until the world sees the results of their efforts, reacts in appropriate horror, and the ads are pulled, only to be rediscovered, collated, and preserved a little while longer by enterprising bloggers.)
Oh, and speaking of Green Supremacists and Assaults on Reason, as the Washington Post wryly notes, "Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore."
Can't say I'm at all surprised, myself. But then, as Mackubin Thomas Owens wrote in September of 2002, “9/11 revealed an emerging geopolitical reality: that the world’s most important fault line is not between the rich and the poor, but between those who accept modernity and those who reject it.”
Update: More from Mark Hemingway in the Washington Examiner, responding to a Tweet highlighting the above ad from actor Adam Baldwin (whom I interviewed earlier this year for PJM Political). Mark writes that the Treehugger blog dubbed the above lynching imagery some of the "Coolest Environmental Advertising;" click over for screen shot:
Incredibly, Baldwin points out that the website Treehugger, where this is included in a feature on "Coolest Environmental Advertising," is owned by Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel. That's the very same place that a crazed environmentalist with a radical population control agenda recently took hostages before being shot by the police.
As Mark writes, "Why do environmentalists keep depicting child murder?"
Update: At the Blaze, Jonathon M. Seidl attempts to ascertain the lynching ad's origins:
The picture does not include any immediate, decipherable clues as to who is responsible for the picture. The only reference to its origin is an illegible “concept by” line near the side (and at the bottom of some versions):
[Click over for close-up]
Further digging on ACT’s website shows that the letters following the “concept by” section may belong to a company called Ayrine. A quick Google search and a few minutes on that company’s website reveals a section called “solutions” that features A.C.T and the same picture featured above:
Solutions? That has a rather final-sounding ring, doesn't it?
Update: From Zombietime, it's the Week in Eugenics.