Re: Heston Speech

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 23:38:34 MST

On Wednesday, February 21, 2001 9:57 AM wrote:
> Damien Broderick wrote:
> > Was he deeply offended to the point of boycott because `millennium nuts'
> > were
> > being unfairly portrayed as Christians? Was he miffed because deranged,
> > crazy Christians were being unfairly pilloried as `millennium nuts'?
> > is a nuance that only an American could unpack, I suspect. Could someone
> > please make it clear to this poor boy holding up two crossed Vegemite
> > sandwiches?
> He was miffed because of media portrayals of millennium nuts as being
> mostly nuttier varieties of Christianity. Unfortunately for him, it was
> largely true, as non-Christians don't attach much importance to arbitrary
> numbers in a Christian dating system. I assume he wasn't referring to
> the Y2K "nuts" as that was a different issue and they weren't portrayed
> as particularly Christian, because they weren't.

Also, in the United States, religion is a hot botton issue. Attack some
religious views and it's seen as an attack on the believers of those
religions or perhaps the believers of all religions. I usually tell people
I respect their right to hold stupid views.:) (Of course, this is not to
say I don't hold many stupid views myself.:)

> The speech conflates several different issues - some cases of ridiculous
> behavior, like punishing the 8-year-old kisser, with some not-so-
> ridiculous cases, like the media portrayals of millenium nuts. Standard
> rhetorical tactic for building support for your side of certain issues -
> link it to other issues where no reasonable person would disagree with
> you.

You got that right. However, the particular hodge podge here is the result
of a certain package-dealing typical in the United States. American
conservatives like Heston tend to have a particular mix of positions -- some
tenable, others not -- that are peculiar to American culture. Their
official rivals, American Liberals (welfare statist for those in other
countries, as "liberal" here means someone who is for ever more government),
tend to hold an opposing mix and neither side looks for a dialectical
resolution of these differences.

Nor do they try to rationally reconstruct their views. Instead, both tend
to just refine stuff that will support their prejudices and slug it out with
the other side, as if, to paraphrase Camille Paglia, 2300 years of Western
Civilization only gave us two options in everything. Round and round we


Daniel Ust

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