Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #4: Imagine…If John Lennon Had Graduated From Harvard

If John Lennon had graduated from Harvard (and not been assassinated, of course) he might have written the ridiculous insufferable screed I just read in my anniversary report. I knew the author as a freshman, and did not enjoy the experience: the fact that he appears to be just as big a jerk today as he was when he was 18 confirms my long-held conclusion that maturity is a myth and most people don’t change as much as we would like to think.

Of course this guy is obsessed with climate change. He is downcast about the “prospects for the future of human civilization,” seeing “pending catastrophe” due to our “abuse of Mother Nature,” and there’s “very little time” to turn things around. No, Al Gore was not in my class.

Millions are going to die, “water wars” will rage, nuclear wars are inevitable, and hoards of climate-displaced refugees in the millions will roam the earth. Everyone must reduce their carbon footprint to zero–ZERO!—immediately, “not next year, not in five years, but now” or we are doomed. That means, this expert says (I can’t figure out what his real area of expertise is, but I don’t care, either), going cold turkey on fossil fuels and buying electric cars or, presumably, using bicycles and roller skates. Airplanes are right out, I guess.

He goes on to lecture on the need to abandon “tribalism,” self-interest, nations, success (“tribal dominance”) basic human aspirations and ambitions, all of it, because it is these maladies that have brought us to this perilous state. I’ll give him credit for one thing: at least he realizes that the kind of ascetic existence that he demands of humanity can’t possibly occur under the current governmental and societal structures, though he never has the guts to come right out and say what he’s advocating: world dictatorship by some body or individual who is wise and beneficent. For that would be the only way his formula for survival could ever be carried out, and that formula is exactly as absurd as Lennon’s lyrics in “Imagine.” It can’t happen, won’t happen, and most important of all, shouldn’t happen. Two and a half pages and 2,000 words of environmental, utopian virtue-signaling, all culminating in an urgent, indeed hysterical exhortation to not only do the impossible and impractical, but also do it without any reasonable assurance that such radical measures will work.

Good plan!

Then, after making his case for totalitarian world government, my old acquaintance predictably defaults to…

“We will not survive if we continue to pursue tribal dominance as some kind of North Star, and we see just how vulnerable the United States is to fulmanent tribalism…

Fulmanent tribalism”??

..in the seductive lies of Trumpism…

And what would those be, exactly? Ask David Brooks…

…and the shocking Capitol insurrection, as close as we have come to fascism and an American Nazism…

Riiiiiiiiight…

This genius just advocated turning over our liberty to one world government that would force every human being to live according to rigid imposed restrictions, and he says that a bunch of goons wearing funny hats and throwing a four hour tantrum while armed with fire extinguishers and bear spray endangered our democracy.

 The frightening thing is that probably half or more of this report’s readers reacted to the silliness with shouts of “Right on!” and the vigorous shaking of heads and jowls.

25 thoughts on “Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #4: Imagine…If John Lennon Had Graduated From Harvard

    • Res ipsa loquitur. High SATs forge the following:

      “If I have high SATs and get into Harvard, therfore I’m smart.

      “If I’m smart, therefore I’m correct.”

      • I’m not sure the snippet below is accurate but it’s on to something. The sixteen-year-old 1600 SAT holder in our entering class, who went on to be our valedictorian and a Yale Law School grad partner in a Wall Street firm, was incredibly disciplined. But there were other guys who were high SATs who couldn’t sit still or write a cogent sentence.

        “It’s essential to understand what kind of student was particularly well-served by the SAT: the kind who is bright and talented but who had failed to live up to their potential in class. These students tended to be the brilliant dreamers; they were the ones in possession of uncommon cognitive skills, but who performed poorly in knowledge-based exams because of bad time management, resistance to the indignities of organised education, or an inability to prioritise school over their own interests. For decades, excellent SAT scores got students into colleges that they wouldn’t ordinarily get into, creating opportunities to find diamonds in the rough who had perhaps never found their footing in school.”

        https://unherd.com/2022/12/dont-blame-sats-for-american-inequality/

    • Too few deep thinkers …too few capable of genuine debate, and too many ostriches unable to see what their limited sheep-like perspectives have wrought.

  1. Let’s try to imagine, for a moment, what the world would really look like if everyone stopped using fossil fuels today.

    First, we don’t have nearly enough renewable or even nuclear generating capacity to meet current demand. The power grid collapses. The average household could perhaps receive enough power for a hotplate and a few lights. There would not enough for charging electric cars. There would not be enough for electric heat. People in rural areas, with proper wood stoves, will burn wood to keep warm. People otherwise situated will burn whatever they can, however they can, to keep warm. Electric fire engines are effectively non-existent. Nobody is coming to put out the resulting fires. Of course, without heat, pipes are freezing and bursting everywhere, so water distribution is crippled anyway.

    There aren’t enough electric cars, there were few enough electric trucks to begin with, and there won’t be power for the kind of industry it takes to produce more. The distribution of consumer goods, including food, would simply stop. Big cities would begin to starve within a few days.

    We could probably commander enough private electric cars (and enough power to charge them) to keep the police mobile. But our current police forces would be woefully inadequate to maintain order in the face of mass starvation, and the military runs on fossil fuels. The National Guardsmen won’t be showing up; they can no longer drive and their families are in the same boat. In the starving, burning cities, law and order breaks down.

    Maybe sometime later, the kind of authoritarian society you describe could be established among the survivors – but it would be much, much smaller than the society from whose ashes it sprang.

    • Shortly longer term, water pipes will not only freeze, but run empty. The pumps and valves required to fill and navigate water around also require electricity. Water treatment plants are right out. Nonessential uses of electricity will have to be curtailed, too. The internet, television, street lights, possibly even radio would come to a screeching halt. You’d still have a lot of people with gas in their tanks who could drive around a bit, but gas pumps require electricity, too. Most people’s jobs require vast amounts of electricity, too. Every city within a day would be innundated with hungry, thirsty, helpless, and worst of all, bored and angry mobs, with no hope of helping them.

  2. We must reduce our carbon footprint?…to zero? Carbon is bad?!?

    Funny thing that carbon is. Climate alarmists have taken it – one of the elements that every living thing depends on for survival – and made it the enemy. And lots of people – even some Harvard grads who should know better – have bought in to the madness.

    It takes a special kind of stupid – or a special kind of hatred of living things – to do that.

    • I’m pretty sure CO2 comprises .04 percent of the atmosphere. Powerful stuff, that naturally occurring gas. Shouldn’t we be attacking water vapor and reducing our respective water vapor footprints? Clouds, clouds, go away. Come back again some other day!

  3. “…and the shocking Capitol insurrection, as close as we have come to fascism and an American Nazism…”

    So how many years of “mostly peaceful” violence, looting, arson, etc. from Antifa brownshirts and their fellow leftist goons will it take for THEM to be awarded that distinction?

  4. Jack wrote:

    Of course this guy is obsessed with climate change. He is downcast about the “prospects for the future of human civilization,” seeing “pending catastrophe” due to our “abuse of Mother Nature,” and there’s “very little time” to turn things around. No, Al Gore was not in my class.

    Umm. Was this guy a climate scientist? Is he speaking from expertise, or just rambling on about a subject he has absolutely no qualifications to opine upon authoritatively? I have a feeling he didn’t go to Harvard to study geophysical science. Correct me if I’m wrong, and I read later that maybe you don’t know.

    “Fulmanent tribalism”??

    Heh. Such an egregious spelling error on a $10 word deserves mockery. One imagines he doesn’t pull that one out unless he’s waxing all authoritative… or should that be “authoritarian?” Sometimes I get lost on $1 words.

    This genius just advocated turning over our liberty to one world government that would force every human being to live according to rigid imposed restrictions, and he says that a bunch of goons wearing funny hats and throwing a four hour tantrum while armed with fire extinguishers and bear spray endangered our democracy.

    Because he knows, or thinks, he’s one of the elite and won’t have to put up with the consequences like us little folk. That’s my take, anyway.

    • I think this guy has a fairly standard issue case of “everything is terrible and we’re all gonna die” unless the enlightened, i.e., lefty agenda is embraced by everyone, even the people who can’t understand it. It’s one of the most common rationalizations going. It’s just so pervasive that it’s no more recognizable than air. And of course, things being so terrible, we have to do something.

      • It’s the utterly unethical “Something Must Be Done!” argument we hear so often. Never mind the “Something” would be ineffective and, in fact, actually destructive of more people’s lives and quality of life than the threat they are allegedly responding to.

        Lunacy.

  5. I volunteer to be world dictator! I would be very good. Well, if not good, at least benevolent. Mostly benevolent. Okay, nice to the people I know. And like. On second thought, perhaps it’s better if we don’t do that.

    It’s weird how people like that want more centralized government and I think we’d all be better off with less. The kind of person who would want that power isn’t the kind of person I would want to have that power.

  6. Interesting thought. A corollary: anyone who wants to be president is unqualified to be president.
    Substitute Senator, Governor, Representative if you like.

  7. This is where my comment was supposed to show up not as a reply above.

    My response to that climate screed would simply be, “fuck you and the carbon farting horse you rode in on”.

    Seriously, the man sounds like a brainwashed cultish imbecile.

  8. … I’ll give him credit for one thing: at least he realizes that the kind of ascetic existence that he demands of humanity can’t possibly occur under the current governmental and societal structures, though he never has the guts to come right out and say what he’s advocating: world dictatorship by some body or individual who is wise and beneficent. For that would be the only way his formula for survival could ever be carried out …

    There are actually other ways to skin that cat than “world dictatorship by some body or individual who is wise and beneficent”, i.e. that would not “be the only way his formula for survival could ever be carried out”. For instance, it could also be done by a sufficiently intolerant and widespread quasi-religious fanaticism among the general public, which seems to be what is currently being aimed at. Imagine a horde [sic] of Greta Thunbergs, stamping on your face forever – just ask Andrew Tate what that’s like. (Please don’t be tempted to classify that, or any other thing that worked to that effect, as being ipso facto world dictatorship; that’s a “No True Scotsman” thing. Papo-Caesarism is not Caesaro-Papism.) Regardless of whether that is more or less achievable than world dictatorship, the possibility of it is enough to leave it open to your fellow inmate plausibly to deny seeking world dictatorship as a means to his ends.

    … that formula is exactly as absurd as Lennon’s lyrics in “Imagine.” It can’t happen, won’t happen, and most important of all, shouldn’t happen…

    You mean, like the raft of human stupidities that people saw coming and so said the same things about, but which still happened anyway? At least wiser heads like G.K.Chesterton both knew dictators for what they were and called out pacifists for that sort of reasoning about dictators. You are letting an “ought” fool you into thinking there is an “is”.

    … an urgent, indeed hysterical exhortation to not only do the impossible and impractical, but also do it without any reasonable assurance that such radical measures will work.

    Actually, that sort of thing is indeed a very good sort of plan for near desperate situations, which is what he supposes to be his case. For instance, I once heard what a First World War pilot did when his engine failed over the trenches, in thick smoke from the artillery that obscured the ground and with cratered or entrenched terrain and barbed wire below. He reasoned that he would be doomed unless he tried something desperate, so he repeatedly did dummy approaches and flare outs on the off chance that one would coincide with contacting the ground in an open enough space; if not, he would have hit harder but not deader. As he was interviewed about it in a TV documentary, we can reasonably infer that it worked and indeed was very sensible – even “without any reasonable assurance that such radical measures will work”.

    … This genius just advocated turning over our liberty to one world government that would force every human being to live according to rigid imposed restrictions …

    Technically, that is not a lie if you sincerely believe he was dog whistling that without actually, you know, advocating it in so many words. I suppose we could request clarification from him, if only we knew how to contact him without closing him down.

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