Friday, July 15, 2011

How Carbon Tax Made Me An Idiot

(NB: this piece is dedicated to Erin Riley)

For a while now, I’ve been increasingly convinced of the need to have an opinion about various subjects such as politics, in order to be a normal thinking human being. But I was torn: my belief in thoughtful, sober reflection and reasoned argument as a path to enlightenment made me lean towards having intelligent opinions, while my love of reading tabloid newspapers and listening to talkback inclined me more towards the gibbering imbecile end of the spectrum.

It was a difficult decision, made more so by the enormity of the consequences. I knew that whether I decided to be smart or stupid could determine my future career prospects, the course of my intimate relationships, and how loudly I could talk on trains.

But with the announcement of the carbon tax, the decision was made easy – the only possible response was to become unbelievably stupid.

To be honest, to call it a “decision” is almost a misnomer: the announcement of the carbon tax really leaves those of us who desire to avoid the unexamined life with no option: it is a compulsion, a calling, and yes, a duty, that we transform ourselves into morons, for the good of our country.

It happened almost without my noticing it: I was just toddling along the day after the carbon tax announcement, and suddenly I realised that for the last three hours I’d been telling people that the tax wouldn’t decrease temperatures by a single degree. Not just like that, of course: what I’d actually been saying was, “Did you know the so-called carbon tax won’t lower temperatures AT ALL? Do you? Do you know? So much for ENVIRONMENTALISM!” Sometimes I’d poke them in the chest.

And it felt liberating. I knew I’d followed the correct path. If I’d decided to be intelligent about the carbon tax, how could I ever have derived the deep emotional fulfilment that can only come from inserting “(dioxide)” into sentences? You have no idea how satisfying it is to do this – you should try it. If you thought it was fun complaining about the carbon tax, you will be practically orgasmic once you start complaining about the carbon (dioxide) tax. That’s why Terry McCrann always seems so happy.

Quickly I began to expand the scope of my idiocy, exploring the creative possibilities of using the word “socialism” in as many disconnected contexts as I could possibly think of. I found that once you get into the swing of things, “socialism” can mean anything, really. Pricing carbon, taxing the rich, giving money to the poor, taxing the poor, giving money to the rich, preferring market mechanisms to a command economy, being a woman – all these and more are socialism, once you make a true commitment to stupidity. I’m hoping that in time, I’ll be able to call every policy of every political party socialist without even breaking a sweat.

Of course it’s not that simple, being an idiot. You can’t just scream “socialist” and expect to be taken seriously in the stupid community. You also need to say things like, “the carbon tax will completely destroy our way of life” and “we need an election NOW to get rid of the worst government since Federation” and “I am the shadow Treasurer”. If the carbon tax really riles you up, you can go the extra mile and start delving into advanced mental degradation, for example: “Carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant it is a necessary element for life on earth”. Not that you want to over-reach. It’s wise to warm yourself up, stretch your stupid-muscles with some thank-god-for-Tony-Abbotts and we-shouldn’t-move-before-the-world-doeses before you go the full Thank-God-we-have-Andrew-Bolt-to-stand-up-to-the-Green-groupthink.

Not that you have to stick to an anti-Green line. That’s the beauty of the carbon tax – it gives us scope to be idiots in any direction we choose. You can call up 2GB claiming that Bob Brown wants to put 90 percent of Australians out of work, or you can call up 3AW claiming that the carbon tax will create six million new jobs in geothermal energy and Great Barrier Reef curating. It’s up to you! As a matter of fact you can do both of those things – it’s the advantage of choosing stupidity over intelligence, you don’t need to be consistent at all (refer to discussion of socialism, above).

And so I’ve found that the carbon tax has really allowed me to be me, to free the spirit within, to release the latent intellectual atrophy that had been inside me all along. Much like a baby bird who, taking its first tentative steps out of the nest, suddenly finds itself able to swoop and soar and slam headfirst into windows, I am finally able to express myself as nature intended. To leap like the salmon, to run like the gazelle, to ride a tractor like Bob Katter. I am free to stand on the rooftop and cry to the world, “Yes! I am stupid, and I am proud! Furthermore the earth has not warmed for 12 years!” I am free to write letters to newspapers. I am free to refer to wealth distribution without even the slightest sense of irony or shame or basic understanding of reality. God, life is sweet when you’re a dullard.

It’s only been a few days, of course – barely time to form an opinion on the carbon tax at all if I weren’t so stupid – and I foresee a lot of strong, enriching dumbness permeating my life moving forward. I see myself poring over graphs and declaring “see? It’s a myth!” I foresee writing pompous and lengthy political analysis pieces about the government’s inability to sell its policy. I foresee tuning into Channel Ten on Sunday mornings a lot. I foresee quoting Ian Plimer. I foresee feeling powerful pangs of sympathy for people earning over $100,000 a year. I foresee saying “Ju-LIAR” and spending the next 20 minutes touching myself with pride at how witty I am.

It is indeed a golden age for the idiot, and I’m grateful to Julia – oops, I mean Juliar, ha ha! – for allowing me this opportunity to realise who I really am. Stop this great big new tax, remove this illegitimate government, STOP LYING, and up with morons. Join me, stupid brethren, and together we will make this country a true paradise for all of those of below-average intelligence and below. It’s time to stand up against this unjust tax and the people of normal intelligence who want to discuss it. Jump on board, idiots!

We can start in the comments of this post.


Anonymous said...

My father-in-law ACTUALLY SUGGESTED that instead of taxing it, the CO2 emitted by factories etc could be captured and used to make softdrinks fizzy.
...I guess that's the level that people who were already stupid get to?

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip. Whenever you are talking carbon dioxide, always make sure you mention that its colourless and odourless. For some reason this confuses and impresses people. Don't know why but it works a treat.

Anonymous said...

“the carbon tax will completely destroy our way of life”

yes but they have seen it all before and as Mr White quips.

..."In the end there are the trees. These still stand in the gully behind the house... quite a number of them that have survived the axe...the white and the ashen and some the colour of flesh."

Anonymous said...

I could also say that Tony Abbott is colourless and odourless but he will still be toxic.

My cat's breath smells like Cat-food by the way

Anonymous said...

Dear Ben,

I agree with the general thrust of your sword but aboloshing the only the carbon tax doesn't go far enough.

We must also find a way to cut back on job-destroying renewables.

We can start by banning windmills in this country and to kill two birds with one stone we should also outlaw clogs because they're even more stupider than on carbon (dioxide).

Concerned and disturbed,

Rod O

ps if carbon (dioxide) really does make drinks go fuzzy then what will people think when the cost of fuzziness in their drinks goes up by $23 a tonne??!!

clawsout said...

I read every 5th word of your agitprop and understood maybe 1/8th of what I read, but I can't help forming the opinion that you, sir, are an Socialist intent on destroying our way of life!

Oh sure, you think you're clever with your elitist sarcasm but I know The Truth when I hear it ejaculating from the mouth of "Aussie Battler" Lord Count Monckton-Spidforth-Holmes-Ptang, Thrice Chancellor of the Known Universe.

Crispy said...

Well you are stupid, because stupidly you left out all the tiny tiny numbers... like CO2 is just .049% of the atmosphere and Australia adds just 1.5% of an extra .00024% per year and we're gonna cut that by 5% by 2020 so that's .0000125% less we'll be adding and since a doubling of CO2 to 550ppm gives us 2 degrees of warming not adding .0000125% will be a .00000072534% difference which will reduce the temperature by only .00000000000438 degrees. And that's Celcius by the way. Communist madness which is also Fascist!

Anonymous said...

Um hello! Trees NEED Carbon (dioxide) to live. Duh! If you are against Carbon (dioxide) then you are aganist TREES!

Anonymous said...

I seriously love the proposition about fizzy drinks. I reckon with all that CO2 some of the wine glut could turn into wonderful gov-subsidised bubbly, and we'd be celebrating all the time AND making the world safe for coal. On top of that, all that el cheapo drink would annoy the you-know-who.