Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tim Blair, the Bushfire Wars, Ignorant Armies and the Folly of Passion and Fierce Beliefs

Over at Tim Blair's looney tunes world, it didn't take long for the culture wars and the history wars to revert to the climate wars, sub-genre bushfire wars. See Voices Needed.

With fires still burning and people yet be buried, the debate is fierce, but one thing's certain - when ignorant armies clash by night, there might be much noise and heat, but very little light.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

(Matthew Arnold, last verse of Dover Beach).

I draw no comfort from the cries of the frenzied, howling loons, whether left or right, pious green or free market mean, where passion and fierce irrational beliefs are just different words for stupidity.

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