The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 June 2003

Grit your teeth and grab the stick

What is the spiritual thread that connects the Sonicare to Sonic the Hedgehog? The Palace of Reason's Francis W. Porretto finds the link:

[I]n the Sixties the electric toothbrush, a relatively new item, was demonized by the environmentalists as the emblem of human rapacity. Many of the same denunciations we hear today were heaped upon it, in particular those about our "out of control consumerist culture."

The electric toothbrush wasn't important of itself. As Ayn Rand pointed out at the time, it consumed almost no power or resources, and contributed greatly to the maintenance of oral health. Therefore, it could not fairly be considered pointless or wasteful. It was a symbol, a totem object, by whose execration the green radicals of that time sought to reify their hatreds. Today, the video game console is taking its place.

The fruits of a consumerist society, of course, have proven to be a bumper crop of totem objects for present-day green radicals; I suspect most of them have a list of a dozen or more Truly Hated Things, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that they actually own a couple of them just the same. And this further supports Mr Porretto's point that green, today, is not so much a political movement as a religion. For further illustration, see, for instance, the Horologium examination of the US Green Party platform, a collection of policies from wacky to woeful, about one-fourth policy-wonk jargon and three-fourths exhortations to the faithful. Their scriptures are already generally available; once they figure out how to insure the damnation of infidels, the transition will be complete.

Posted at 10:10 AM to Political Science Fiction