TCS Daily

Knut Rock Me

By Douglas Kern - April 6, 2007 12:00 AM

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the meeting where the German environmentalists declared the fatwa against the baby polar bear.

"So, Helmut, what was wrong with my 'Kick a Puppy to Eliminate Air Pollution' promotional campaign proposal?"

"You're not thinking big enough, Konrad. We need something more compelling - more dramatic! How about 'Mock Handicapped Children to Prevent Global Warming?'"

"Ach! Derision of the enfeebled is too baroque; too recherché. Perhaps 'Deface a Cemetery to Raise Awareness of Mercury Contamination?' Or what about 'Fart Noisily in Public to Protest Fossil Fuel Dependence?'"

"Those are no better than my 'National Day of Spitting on Subway Seats to Save the Rainforest' or 'Cut off the Guy in the Next Lane If You Hate Urban Sprawl.' We need to think bigger, Konrad! Something dramatic. Something that will show the petty bourgeois that we aren't just spoiled trust fund kids engaging in low-impact street theater!"

"I've got it, Helmut! Let's demand that a polar bear be killed in the name of animal rights."

"Eh. Pass."

"But it's not just any polar bear, Helmut. It's a baby polar bear."


"You don't understand. It's not just any baby polar bear. It's the cutest baby polar bear who ever lived. It's absolutely heart-meltingly adorable. It has a cute name and cute beady little black eyes and a cute back-story and soft fuzzy white fur that was made for hugging."

"...I'm listening..."

"It will sell cute pictures across the globe. Animal lovers the world over will pay good money for little dolls of it. It will captivate the media and win the hearts of billions. I say - we condemn it to death!"

"Sounds good! But what reason will we offer for ending the life of our enemy, the adorable baby polar bear?"

"It must perish...because it is inauthentic."


"Yes. Its anthropocentric upbringing has forever alienated it from its polar bear nature. It can never achieve a state of one-ness with its true primal self. It is a dead baby polar bear walking. For its own good, for the good of all polar bears seeking spiritual integrity, it must be euthanized."

"Konrad, I believe you've found a symbol for our cause. The sweet fuzzy baby polar bear must die!"

I'm not joking much. The Berlin Zoo has recently displayed its newest baby polar bear to the world: Knut, a cub whose mother abandoned him at birth. Raised with love by his surrogate human parent, Knut is on his way to a fine career as an international photo model and celebrity spokesbear.

Don't take it from me. Look at the pictures. Read the story. The Germans have precision-engineered Knut to win your heart with a kind of cuteness whose intensity borders on the ruthless. Behold: Knut, playing with a ball. Knut, rasslin' with his blankie. Knut, waving to his adoring fans. He sleeps every night with a teddy bear. The zookeepers play guitar for him. Show me the man who can reject such sweetness, and I'll show you German animal rights spokeskiller Frank Albrecht, the Grim Reaper of Lovable Animals. "The zoo must kill the bear," said Captain Killjoy. "Feeding by hand is not species appropriate, blah blah blah kill the cute bear, blah blah blah goofy animal rights reasons, blah blah blah I hate everything good and pure." I paraphrase, but only a little. In fairness, Albrecht has clarified his homicidal rant, claiming that he only wanted to see the little fellow croaked when he was tiny and especially helpless. "'If a polar bear mother rejected the baby, then I believe the zoo must follow the instincts of nature,' Albrecht said. 'In the wild, it would have been left to die.'" Thanks for the explanation, Angel of Baby Polar Bear Death. Can't we just buy some dead baby polar bear offsets instead?

The real motivations for snuffing Knut have more to do with the ideological predilections of his would-be assassins than with any harm that Knut may suffer or inflict. Says Knut-knocker Ruediger Schmiedel: "They [the zoo] cannot domesticate a wild animal." The real problem for these people isn't the wild animal; it's the domestication. Isn't it odd that the same people who want to leave cuddly Knut to the tender ministrations of "nature" reject out of hand the possibility that "nature" plays any role in the domestication of the baby humans? How strange, that those who embrace natural law so energetically for animals reject it so completely for humans.

Yes, let's concede the point: Knut is not an authentic polar bear. He likes people, he eats people-prepared food, and he lives in a people-controlled environment. So what? Authenticity is a hang-up for neurotic Western intellectuals, not polar bears. Animals crave food, sleep, health, and reproduction, and Knut will probably receive as much of those things as he can stand. Then again, environmentalists will also receive those things, and yet they are discontented and Knut is not. But one good solution for discontent is righteous suffering. The radical environmentalists want to inflict it on Knut - and on you, too.

Don't think for a minute that the sheer perversion of killing a sweet cuddly baby polar bear is incidental to the goals of Frank Albrecht and those of his ilk. The sheer perversion is the point. For example: have you ever noticed how the global warming aficionados almost seem to relish the prospect of massive economic rollback and worldwide belt-tightening? Al Gore and his minions aren't interested in arguments that global warming might make people healthier and richer on balance; neither do they care about proposals to reverse global warming through relatively simple attempts at global weather engineering (e.g., lacing the world's oceans with iron to stimulate plankton production, thereby changing the atmospheric CO2 balance). To make such arguments is to misunderstand why global warming alarmism is so popular. Its adherents embrace it because they savor the doom that it portends. They want a massive shrinkage of the world's economies. They want reduced industrial development. They want a world made spiritually pure, liberated from the defilement of modern life. And in the same way, radical greens want little Knut sacrificed on the altar of a fictitious, pristine nature. They want these things because some neglected part of the human heart yearns for sacrifice; for a rejection of worldly goods and concerns in pursuit of higher goals.

Rightly or wrongly, the Western world is committed to affluence and consumption. We make little room for the renunciation of what we like; we look upon any kind of material deprivation as an intolerable ill. The cult of environmental doomsday-ism allows otherwise un-spiritual people to express their otherwise suppressed ascetic desires in a socially acceptable way. For many soft-core green disciples, the fight against environmental catastrophe is more an aspiration than an imperative; a bogeyman, but one to be resisted incrementally, at one's leisure, in much the same way that Sundays-only Christians casually resist evil.

Consider Al Gore again. No man who genuinely believed in a looming apocalypse would live like a prince while soothing his conscience with carbon offsets - the latter-day equivalent of plenary indulgences. For Gore, and for too many environmentalists, global warming is simply a pretext for a secular Lent: a time of sacrifice and reflection, but without that pesky God business to get in the way of the really fun stuff. As aging Baby Boomers look with trepidation upon the much-avoided reality of their own mortality, expect ever more stringent acts of self-denial camouflaged as environmental politics. Our graying cultural overlords have a great many sins for which to atone, and a great deal of money to waste atoning for them.

Into this morass tumbles our little Knut, whose only crime is making people happy about nature at a time when our environmental betters want us to be sad about it. It's fun to wallow in apocalypse porn for a time, I suppose; it's pleasant to believe that our sacrifice and purity of suffering will somehow redeem the world from its failings - environmental, moral, or otherwise. It's nice to feel that important; to believe that our pain gives us that degree of control over the world. But I refuse to trust any ideology whose righteousness deprives us of the ability to appreciate the unbought grace of life. And sometimes that grace is as simple as a cute baby polar bear enjoying himself at the zoo.

So God bless Knut, and all creatures that annoy the right people for the right reasons.



death wish
Good story and funny too. How ironic that these Green-fascistts want to kill this polar bear because it isn't natural enough. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, after all they also like killing babies as they're coming out of the girl by drilling a hole through its head; what do they call that partial-birth or whatever. It's ironic on another count too because Berlin has(or used to, maybe it's banned now for not being PC)a holiday to celebrate when the last normal bear was killed in that area. This is what post-modern germany has come to. Better off if they're america's enemy again in any future war; who could count on an ally like that. These are the same guys who didn't want to impose trade sanctions on iran when the took the hostages the other week. How pathetic.

Save the seals
I need a bit of help. I can contribute to anti-global warming campaigns to keep the polar bears from drowning or I can contribute money to save the seals.

So far so good, who wouldn't want to save the polar bears and the seals? But, if the polar bears don't drown then they'll eat the seals, so if I save the polar bears then the seals die. On the other hand, if I don't save the seals then the non-drowning polar bears will starve. It's a frosty conundrum.

Any thoughts? I don't want to spend any more good money after bad, I've got enough problems with my migratory bird chopping wind turbine. Anybody need some feathers?

Very well
Very well written. A touching story about the evil enviro-fundamentalists.

Beautifully done...
You said it all. Thank you.

No Subject
"No man who genuinely believed in a looming apocalypse would live like a prince while soothing his conscience with carbon offsets"


Inflicting Penance
This is the second time this week I've had occasion to post this, but it seems to fit perfectly:

The Loonytunes Left (LtL) seems determined to blame their own civilization for something. First blame ourselves, then blame ourselves, and when all else has failed, blame ourselves. One can almost hear in this the old declaration Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. All the old sins they have declared to be virtues, but they have this voice whispering in their ear that they have some something wrong. And so they answer it. They find the place where they haven’t gone far enough, where they haven’t carried their new virtues far enough, and they hammer that one place, and keep hammering, louder and louder, to drown out any voice that says the the old virtues are the real ones, and the new ones just idols made by men to serve the desires (distinct from the needs) of their creators. And the voice keeps whispering Contrition! Contrition! and so they demand greater and greater exercise of their new virtues, and when that doesn't answer their needs, they look for suffering to experience to buy off their consciences. But since they are already holy and others are not, they demand that others suffer the penance that they feel is due, but that they are convinced they don't need themselves. And the one thing that they must prevent at all costs is the sinners falling back into the old ways, the unwashed scrubbing through the new ideology and new virtues to return to the unthinkable old virtues that they have forsaken.

And that is why the LtL and the Islamofascists so often seem to be reading the same playbook. Each abhors the real virtues, and is determined to silence and destroy them so that they may substitute their own.

Great article
"Can't we just buy some dead baby polar bear offsets instead?" is a killer punchline.

Good stuff
I dug the article, the writing was entertaining and hard-hitting, providing a spot-on accurate rendition of the Green fetish for self-immolation. Indeed, it was so accurate, it brought to mind one of my favorite passages in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:18-22.

"I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?"

Why kill baby Knut if he's no different from us? What sense does zero-impact man make if man is no different from nature? If a bear has won the right from Darwin to crap in the woods, why can't the Pope?

The way I figure it, religion often devolves into a failed attempt to systematize the understanding of God. Deify nature and attempt to systematize its understanding as a deity, and you get the Church of Green Lunacy. Sigh ... and I'd hoped that mankind had made it past world wars and mass political murder.

Doug gets dumber and dumber

Put your brain into gear why would a animal lover want the bear dead. If you had run the story a week ago with the rest of the silly pack you would just look silly. Running it now shows your much worst.

You're just wired wrong, that's why
It's interesting that these sick bastards were loudly denounced by other animal rights activists. ( At least some people are genuinely concerned about animal welfare and don't wank off to death porn.

Yes yes, I know you have to be a good little "progressive" and lock-step with the official Mao party line, but I promise that it won't kill you to think for yourself once in a while.

can't seem to get your source to load. Can you paste it here?

Why would an animal lover want the bear dead? I don't know, why don't you ask them?
Are you honestly trying to claim that these events never happened?

he can't, al gore put his brain in a lock box.

Did you read the web page at the link he gave?
It indicated all this was taken out of context and misrepresented. Hardly a first in the media.

basically the story was made up, but the real problem is many people run with it.
In order to have a good media then sources and stories should be fact checked whenever possible. Now the internet gives us the abilty to do that with ease however it's beening done less and less by our news orgs and opinion writers.

In MarkTheGullible's world he believes what he thinks he's supposed to
If he had any self-respect, he'd apologise for his personal attack but you'll be waiting a long time, wwgeek1 - such is Mark's arrogant nature.

Mark doesn't need to read it. He knows it all already - even when he's so utterly wrong
The irony is that Mark et al fell hook, line and sinker for a story generated from sources they'd describe as the MSM. LOL!

Half the article was devoted to the author's self-indulgent fantasy of conspiring, murdering enviro fundies. It's a shame he was too busy stuck in his basement making this s*** up to be aware that the story was utter hokum.

Thankfully, three of the last four paragraphs were a more grown-up portrayal of Green fundis and their anti-growth agenda. The childish fantasy in the first half demonstrates that some people will believe anything they're told.

BTW, I read it...
...however, it's one link out of MANY. Most non-German-speaking press outlets are still reporting it as-is.* Personally, I read it from the Daily Mail, and they've issued no retractions or corrections that I'm aware of. (For that matter, neither has Spiegel)

If the religious socialists such as wwgeek1 insist on telling us that if there's only one source reporting that it was out of context, (and I Googled far, his is the only link I've found on the "true story") who am I to argue? I'm simply holding him to his own standard. That's fair, wouldn't you say?

*- I'm going to assume that this is true and that Albrecht WAS taken out of context. (and I can certainly sympathise, but you have to admit that was a pretty stupid way to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the German court system) HOWEVER, that *doesn't* excuse those "animal rights" activists who truly think that way -- PeTA, for example. (They're hated by the left AND the right for very good reason, especially by those of us who are genuinely pro-animal rights)

A question...
I would like to know why your amusing and insightful editorials always bring the moron "liberals" to the yard. It's is if they can't handle dissenting opinion or something. Rather socialist of them, actually...

You mean, like...
"Doug just gets dumber and dumber"?

Hypocrisy, thy name is "liberal"...*

*-And stop calling yourselves "liberals" and slurring our good name. Just own it and call yourselves "Socialists". It's not as if you have to worry about PR, anyway.

Hardly, merely sloganeering.

Your's and Mark's gullibility is there for all to see and all you can respond with is :

"Yes yes, I know you have to be a good little "progressive" and lock-step with the official Mao party line, but I promise that it won't kill you to think for yourself once in a while."

wwgeek1 was spot-on to expose the repitition of this non-story. You continue the self-deception that it must be true despite the evidence something to the contrary. Follow your own advice - it won't kill you to think for yourself once in a while.

Which icons you are supposed to be smashing God only knows. Maybe 'strawmanoclast' would be more appropriate.

Then you'll know that Albrecht's words taken out of context. The question you need to ask is why everyone ran with it. Including TCS. Whatever the merits or demerits of his method of raising the issue, it was the distortion of his words that was the genuinely sinister aspect of the whole story.

Frankly, if you believe what you read in the Daily Mail, then I'd question your ability to think critically at all. Talk about toeing the party line! Jeez!

An interesting question ...
... would be why you all fell for it?

It's as if you and your ilk can't handle being wrong about anything, even when the evidence is staring you in the face. Rather blinkered of you, actually ...

'Moron "liberals"'? 'Socialist'? 'Mao party line'? Your slogans and tedious insults are nerver-ending.

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