Monday, September 15, 2008

"Size is the answer"

Thomas L. Friedman, from a column in Saturday's New York Times:

Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of "drill, baby, drill!"

I'll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — "Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!" — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. "Typewriters, baby, typewriters."
Me, I'm reminded of the William S. Burroughs routine about the dinosaurs:
Fellow reptiles, at this dark hour, I do not hesitate to tell you that we face grave problems . . . And I do not hesitate to tell you that we have the answer . . . Size is the answer . . . increased size . . . It was good enough for me . . . (Applause) [. . .] We will increase both in size and in numbers and we will continue to dominate this planet as we have done for three hundred million years . . . (Wild applause).

"The Hundred Year Plan," in The Adding Machine: Selected Essays (New York: Seaver, 1986), 122–23

comments: 1

Tim Walker said...

Well played! :)