This post was essentially for Monsieur Chambres, our Comrade on the Continent, which is why his name is in the title.
To whom it may amuse,
It may amuse you to peruse the abuse I enjoyed under this post at the world’s most-read climate-change blog.
Starting from here, furrow your brow as nemeses from HotScot to Jeff Alberts post multiple comments disputing, in all seriousness, PRIMERO my familiarity with Anglophone culture and idiom and SEGUNDO my membership in the club broadly identified as climate skeptics, a.k.a. Our Side of the “debate.”
Why prima facie teammates like Hotty, Alberts and the hapless davidmhoffer should develop such a large hadron for me, is a question no particle accelerator on Earth can answer. I can only hypothesize that it all goes back to a surreal exchange that attended an earlier post called ‘100s of Millions of People Will Die.’
Halfway through the thread below that story, I opted to reprise my parody of population-bomber argumentation (we need to kill a lot of people today, or a lot of people will start dying).
The gag had bombed (no pun intended or achieved) last time I told it, and the time before that, so I was hoping against hope—or against the definition of sanity, if you like—that someone would finally get it if I phrased it transparently enough:
In my experience, people [like the one I’m replying to] minimalize the overpopulation problem because they don’t have kids. Without a genetic investment in the future of the world, who cares, as long as my DINK (double-income-no-kids) lifestyle isn’t impinged on by tax-happy bolshies, right?
Wrong. Wait till your youngest daughter becomes a mother for the fourth time. I defy you to hold your miracle-triplet grandkids in your arms and explain to THEM why you can’t be bothered doing anything about the overcrowded world you’re bequeathing them.
The science is clear, and it’s piling up every day, with peer-reviewed authors in every imaginable field all reaching the same conclusion regardless of what their papers are actually about: that unless we take draconian steps to cut our numbers on this planet, immediately, people are going to die (High Confidence, Moderate/Low Evidence).
But my eyes were still sore from winking at the reader when I had to rub them in incredulity at the incredible credulity of the uncritical literalists whose philosophy seemed to be: if a comment doesn’t end in the mythical /sarc tag (not endorsed anywhere in the W3C’s specifications for HTML usage, by the way), then you can hardly expect us to avoid making fools of ourselves by taking it at face value and replying in deadly anger. Caveat scriptor! Why should we have to engage our faculties every single time we have to defend the thread from hostile sentences and paragraphs?
Now, I, of all people, am keenly aware that it takes non-zero cognitive work to detect sarcasm by textual clues alone—hey, I’m half-American by nationality. So I feel the pain in your brain. But still. I mean, dude. Come on. Really.
Both posts offer an embarrassment of riches to anyone interested in the embarrassing poverty of pop language use.
By the time Atropos has bestowed her coup de grace, “HotScot” has persuaded himself (at least) that I’m a born and bred German from Klimanürnberg, and that a Kant-like life of parochial seclusion has left me clueless about the peculiar humor of English speakers. It’s only to be expected—he graciously explains—that my exertions in such an alien tongue should invariably go “tit’s up.”
(Thank’s for the tip’s, my Thermocaledonian friend. I know you have a busy greengrocer’s to run, so its good of you to take the time.)
Before all is said and done, I’ve also advocated the application of German engineering and Swiss design to the problem of too many people on the planet who aren’t Teutonic, and recommended Teutophobes be “legally compelled” to read “my pro-tolerance blog.”
As davidmhoffer grasps, I’m totally earnest about all this:
So the [Brad Keyes] persona and the blog and all it represents is real. There’s someone that believes and promotes this filth.
(And that someone is me, is what davidm is getting at, I think.)
What Herr Hoffer has pulled off, by seeing through my absurdisms to the sincerity underlying every single statement, is remarkable enough.
But what’s even more impressive is the laser-like focus it must have taken to ignore the hints, dropped by a handful of denizens, that I was somehow engaged in “Mickeynehmung” or “Entpissung.” No, the Hoff isn’t about to let MCourtney throw him off the scent by calling me a “very naughty boy :-)” and urging me, for compassion’s sake, to forget the strict letter of W3C specifications. Nor will he be deterred by the word of a genuine German called Hermann, who chides,
Jeepers some of you are thick. (“Boah seid ihr blöd.”)
Sure we are, “Hermann.” Thick like a fox!
This is all well and good, but in science there are no silver medals. Ultimately it’s Jeff Alberts who builds on the ingenuousness hypothesis by finding that I’m being completely disingenuous, thus decrypting my agenda once and for all:
Brad is actually not a skeptic. All of his comments are jabs at skeptics.
Another denizen cracks the same mystery independently and contemporaneously, but makes the costly mistake of posting under ‘Non Nomen,’ which apparently isn’t her legal name. So Mr Alberts’ full share of the Nobel prizemoney isn’t threatened by the Nameless one’s epiphany…
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.
That Mr. Keyes seems to be the Volkssturm, the last recourse, in the fight against skepticism.
…spot-on though it is.
I’m no virgin to what happens When Hadr-ons Collide, so I’m no longer surprised when my first instinct to ramp up the hint-dropping (or “lay it on with a trowel” as we say Down Here) succeeds only in entrenching the literalists in their literalism, deepening the Americans/people-who-read-English polarization.*
But it still gets a chuckle out of me. And if you can’t laugh at your own [practical] jokes, what’s the point?
That’s the saying, right?
All absurd things must come to an end, if only because farce is rather tiring for the actors.
Having survived another volley of blanks from HotScot, I’ve just shot a wad of olive branches in his direction. Let’s see how he responds to this:
Listen, HotScot, we both know that if you could read as well as you write you’d have avoided the unenviable position of having to insist, with a straight face, that I’m an unfunny warmist [!] who doesn’t speak English.
(No part of that is true—a reality most people here grasped years ago, literally, when I first started commenting.)
Whatever face you think you’re saving by sticking to your delusory guns, forget about it. I release you from your obligation.
We all misunderstand things. So you failed to spot the cornucopious comical clues in some long-forgotten comment by yours truly… big deal.
So your reading-comprehension fail caused you to go off half-cocked, again and again, with increasingly laughable results… so what?
Have the grace to laugh at yourself and move on, and you’ll find the rest of us are only too happy to move on too.
Or prolong the needless fatuity.
PS some of your comments at WUWT are so insightful and well-informed, it’s hard to believe they’re by the same person “whose idea of funny seems to involve channeling an unfunny bore and boring me with diatribes against foreigners who think they’re funny,” or however I put it a couple of days ago. So I’d much rather we be allies than sparring partners.
Well, Hotty, the wad is in your court.
* I suppose this naradox is predicted, after all, by the insight that someone who’s publicly invested in a particular interpretation will avoid admitting ze or ze was wrong at any cost, even if it means zis interpretation gets more and more baroquely wrong as the evidence comes in.