Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A Texan99 post at Grim’s Hall led me to look up Ecocriticism. “Ecocriticism is the study of literature and environment from an interdisciplinary point of view where all sciences come together to analyze the environment and brainstorm possible solutions for the correction of the contemporary environmental situation.” I’d never contemplated the notion that string theory might have something relevant to say about the relationship of Tom Sawyer to the Saharan deforestation. There's a word for that.

Going on:

Such anthropocentrism is identified in the tragic conception of a hero whose moral struggles are more important than mere biological survival, whereas the science of animal ethology, Meeker asserts, shows that a "comic mode" of muddling through and "making love not war" has superior ecological value.

From this I gather that Meeker holds that mere biological survival is more important than any moral struggles (but isn’t that a moral statement?), and that “making love” has “superior ecological value.” I thought these folks didn’t like babies very much, though. (Bumper sticker seen yesterday: “I hope we live long and die out”)

Some are—let me just quote again: “All ecocritics share an environmentalist motivation of some sort, but whereas the majority are 'nature endorsing', some are 'nature sceptical'. In part this entails a shared sense of the ways in which 'nature' has been used to legitimise gender, sexual and racial norms” So if nature tramples on other PC pieties, even nature has to be deprecated. There's a hierarchy to be maintained.

To be accurate, the article does not mention string theory, though they take on the mantle of "the sciences", nor does it mention the ongoing ecological problems resulting from Saharan deforestation. But if they can read in meanings the author never intended, so can I.


Texan99 said...

Just as I've concluded I should answer all survey questions asking for my race with "transethnic," I can now identify myself as a "naturo-skeptic." That is, I have all the correct views about the environment except when nature is used to impose heteronormic views on any other topic. That should about cover it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

People want to sound impressive when they talk, and to have opportunities to show off. This group wants to lay down markers that they care about the environment so much that they think about it all the time. And you don't.

Texan99 said...

Actually, I do! It's just that I don't believe CO2 or fracking are environmental hazards. But my neighbors can tell you that I evangelize as much as I can get away with on subjects like a saner use of potable water, pesticides, fertilizers, feedlots, and any number of other things. I try to stop before I bore them too much, because I'd really like to convince them and don't want them to stop listening.

(Naturally I hope they'll also be impressed with my virtue and brilliance.)