Saturday, December 26, 2009

Go Green?

Friedrich Schiller in his first play was concerned with the problem of good and evil. It's a problem that has been relativized out of existence. I notice that young people, the ones I used to teach, hardly discuss such big questions anymore, not because they are uninterested in these questions, but because limits have been enforced on their thinking. In a world of postmodern relativism, however, they do cling to certain sureties. I always noticed, when I still taught, that no matter how bad the spelling, grammar, organization of their papers were, students never made the mistake of using the male pronoun. They always wrote, very correctly, "he or she." Similarly, they have all become environmentalists. If I had expressed skepticism about the influence of men (or, rather, humans) on global warming (or, now, climate change), they would have been very uncomfortable, because for nearly a dozen years they had been taught the opposite. I might as well have expressed doubt that the earth was round.

Reusable bags are everywhere, and Con Edison, when I receive my monthly bill for electricity consumed, reminds me to be "environmental." So does capitalism, as Marx observed, move in tandem with the reigning ideology.

Christmas lights thanks to "Queens Crap"

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