Ξ August 3rd, 2010 | → 29 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time |
Stu Smith is not a happy man. Besieged on all sides by fantasists, charlatans, fabulists, religionists, Greens, vegetarians, and a viral Double Rainbow video, he has had enough. He has bravely decided to take a stand against such pretenders and their intellectual deformations, and maybe just save the world. His target is more sinister than Monsanto, more damaging to the environment than the whole of the petrochemical industry; it is colder than the heart of a Wall Street banker, hotter than a sweatshop. What is his target, one that robs the young of innocence, leaves a trail of broken communities and bodies around the world? Well, Biodynamics, of course. You see, it turns out that ‘dynamizing’ water and burying cow horns are the greatest threats to Culture the world has ever known.
The story begins quietly enough. According to Mr. Smith’s well-informed reading of Western History, civilization was moving along swimmingly until a small, sickly man by the name of Rudolf Steiner opened Pandora’s box of miseries and plagues upon humanity. With the publication of a slender volume of agricultural thought experiments this one pied piper, Steiner, set back the progress of Reason and Enlightenment by centuries. Suddenly darkness descended. The mind of Man became infected with thoughts of ‘preparations’, compost heaps, spinning water, the destructiveness of synthetic fertilizers, of cows and manure, land regeneration and speculations on the unity of all life. Jehovah, Christ, Muhammad, even a laughing Buddha, are mere bit players when compared to the starring role Mr. Smith’s feverish imagination has given to Steiner in the eclipse of Reason. Indeed, Mr. Smith’s militant atheism has no use for art, music, or literature if it has been created by an author in the thrall of religious ecstasy or mere inspiration.
And that he claims to write in the name of Science and Rationality is all any of us really need to nail the coffin shut on this style of thinking. His is a shameless display of disrespect, of throwing elbows when civil exchange is what this world really needs.
Most galling is that he pretends to be an organic or sustainable farmer himself, though we never read any proof of this on his site. I’ve asked him many times to tell his readership the specifics of his practice. Silence. Besides, after a certain point, all certified farming practices are suspect. They’ve been legislatively constructed with plenty of escape clauses and exceptions. My suspicion is that Mr. Smith is sufficiently cynical of both the certifying agency and the consumer so as not to finally care what methods he uses. Only Biodynamics is at fault, not industrial agriculture.
So, after reading his latest bit of nonsense We Use To Burn Witches In America, wherein we read some wrong-thinking guy is “dumber than dirt”, I felt it important to respond. And I did. But Mr. Smith is no longer posting my replies. Censoring dissent has become the form of his latest insult. I’ve decided to post it here.
I’m trying to figure out how to live my life according to scientific principles. I know fantasy is not real, I’ve gotten that far. But I’m having trouble with completely banishing the former. Perhaps you can help me. For example, particularly perplexing is the fact that almost all of my relatives believe in a deity of some kind despite all of the excellent scientific evidence to the contrary. God this, god that… They are always whining about one dead family member or another. They tell me stories of when they were young, about their farming days, the Great Hail Storm of ’46, how they saved the world from communism. But between you and me, they always get the details wrong. They leave stuff out. Yet they insist their memories are real! Must be the Miracle-Grow they use on their flower beds. Judging by their memories, I think they drink the stuff as well.
The problem is huge. There are entire nations who organize their self-understanding around scientifically inaccurate fantasies. David slays some really big Goliath dude, Washington tells the truth about a cherry tree, I mean, WTF? The stupid stuff people believe!
Not too long ago a cousin of mine, a veteran, gave a part of his liver to his mother. Now, he needed his entire liver! I tried to stop him, telling him that his altruistic impulse was a fantasy; that his abiding love (another fantasy) for his mother was irrational. His health would be compromised (as has happened); the health of his mother… well, what is a mother anyway but a drag on the bank account, especially when they get old and have absolutely no rational purpose for hanging on? “What if you were adopted?!” I implored. Nothing I said worked. Now everybody is old and in debt, and the son has gained like a thousand pounds, lost his ability to work while the mother went back to baking cookies. Where is the rationality in that?!
I’ve written multiple times to the federal govt. to DO something! But each day I lose a little more confidence that our chronic mistaking of fantasy for reality may have a federal solution! So I’m turning to you, Stu. I’m hoping! Fingers crossed! Knocking on wood! I even went to the mall and had a bumper sticker made up. It reads, “What Would Stu Do?”
Please also see my Reflection On Biodynamics.