Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No rest for the weary

So people are reporting — fragmentarily, without serious confirmation — that things in the Astrodome are starting to go to hell as they did in the Superdome.

Okay, so they tell us the situation in the Superdome was caused by flooding, lack of food and water, lack of FEMA employees, and the like. Not a single one of the refugees can ever be held responsible for anything, we are commanded to believe. But the same ugly minority of refugees is reported to be behaving the same way in Houston, and once again (if the reports are true) too few of the peacable majority are banding together to put a stop to it. Most are waiting for somebody to fix it for them.

I wonder how much worse this is than an average night three weeks ago in underclass neighborhoods in New Orleans. Worse, definitely, what with dislocation, confusion, and no front doors to lock.

Am I "blaming the victim"? If somebody's sitting next to a dead body that he doesn't care to be near, and he continues to sit there for three days without moving the body himself, and he's complaining the whole time about how somebody should do something about it, then what are you to make of that guy's attitude? Unless there's a whole lot more to the story than meets the eye (if he's quadraplegic, he's got my undiluted sympathy — but then why isn't anybody else helping?) I'm not saying the guy deserves the things he can't conceivably control, but if he's going limp on the things he can control, there's something wrong. And there are always things you can control, or at least influence. Always.

Most lefties would be very upset with me for saying these things. That man is a victim, isn't he? They're all victims. Therefore, they get a blank check. Their Moral Authority Is Absolute, right?

Wrong. Not all of them. Not the ones who couldn't be bothered banding together for mutual defense (many did, just not nearly enough). People who help each other in disasters deserve not just sympathy (with its undercurrent of contempt), but plain admiration: How about the eighteen-year-old kid who comandeered a bus, filled it with refugees, and drove it to Houston? Who taught himself how to drive it along the way? Now there is a man who did not sit down and complain. He's one of the best of us, the real thing, like the ones who started in a small corner of Kenya and dominated every environment from the Cape of Good Hope to Tierra del Fuego, with nothing but stone tools, travelling on foot, in the space of a few thousand years, eating every damn animal that crossed their path along the way. Those guys didn't get to make excuses. If they had a problem, they had no option but to solve it themselves, or die trying. They did their best with what they had, and they didn't lay down and die just because what they had looked inadequate at first glance (N.B. many of you will never believe this, but you can often make the inadequate more than adequate by ingenuity and determination). When you're a hunter-gatherer, you don't get to hand teacher a note excusing you from hunting that day. "Teacher" is nature, and nature doesn't care. You're on your own out there.

The left would have us believe that the descendants of those paleolithic ass-kickers and name-takers are, if they happen to have more melanin than the average lefty, inherently incapable of looking after themselves unsupervised. The left thinks these folks are inherently incapable of feeding themselves without white middle-class liberals to hand the poor dears a check.

That's crap. People are people are people, and once they get used to the idea, people can feed themselves just fine. Everybody on earth survived for tens of thousands of years, in conditions generally harsher than modern Americans can even begin to imagine, before white middle-class liberals existed in their modern form.

Nobody genuinely needs the Great White Father. You (you personally) were born with the potential to kill wooly mammoths for dinner. You were not destined at birth to require a gilded nursery like welfare or tenure to protect you from the elements. The left, after all, is as dependent in their own way as the "minorities" they patronize (most of the rest of us are more upholstered than we ought to be, too). They blame everything on Bush because they think the Republicans are the grown-ups, the ones who take responsibility and get things accomplished. They really do think he's responsible for everything. They're the grasshopper, conservatives are the ant. When the left fights tooth and nail against flood control for decades, when they loudly ridicule any effort at disaster preparation as fearmongering and survivalist lunacy, they're doing these things in the sincere belief that it's all just play. They don't really believe Daddy will actually let them screw themselves. Not really. Daddy wouldn't let us experience consequences, would he? He'll always fix it somehow, right?

Right? That's what they're all shrieking about right now: "Why didn't you protect us from our own irresponsibility? Isn't that your job?"