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Slogans and other viral language

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"Slogans and other viral language"

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I have two cartoons for you today on language.  The first is “Energy Policy Campaign Slogans,” from Matson in Roll Call:

Image Not Available

The second is from the terrific Tom Tomorrow (via DailyKos):

Comic for April 11, 2011

Related Post:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/10/965457/-Language-is-a-Virus
« »

55 Responses to Slogans and other viral language

  1. Mike says:

    Laurie Anderson-Language Is A Virus
    http://www.greektube.org/content/view/16937/2/

  2. llewelly says:

    If the Democrats had any sense, their “Energy Policy Campaign Slogan” would be one word: “Renew”.

  3. Tom Bennion says:

    It is fair to call Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with limited vouchers “elderly cap and trade”?

  4. 350 Now says:

    Al Gore went along with some good hearted humor in a TED talk from 2006 at the link below when Tom Reilly poked fun at the rebranding of global warming – at the 13:00 time stamp and again at the 17:50 time stamp. Those not having seen the other talks of 2006 may not think this to be funny; after hearing the talks of those mentioned, it really is quite hilarious and some would say genius.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/tom_rielly_delivers_a_comic_send_up_of_ted2006.html

    I’m always glad to see links for humor connected to this heavy topic. Day in and out of reality is so damn depressing; when a muse throws it under the humor microscope, it is a breath of clean fresh air. More please!

  5. 350 Now says:

    Does anyone have a collection of “global warming” bumper sticker-sized quotables? Such as “the laws of physics are not negotiable”…

  6. Mike Roddy says:

    The brain police have officially taken over, as the cartoon shows.

    A Republican politician says pretty much anything, but makes sure he mentions “working American families” two or three times. The suckers go for it.

  7. Leif says:

    Think of the Children…

  8. Merrelyn Emery says:

    350 Now. The Earth is our Mother

    We belong to the planet: the planet does not belong to us

    You can’t get economic growth out of a dead planet

    You can’t eat money

    Climate catastrophes cost money

    I still like Wit’s End “Koch Kills”, ME

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Leif…it would be a mistake to target the elderly, they tend to vote. [snip]

  10. dp says:

    @ tom bennion

    “It is fair to call Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with limited vouchers “elderly cap and trade”?”

    the science is settled: catastrophic global nursing is a dire threat to our way of life and anthropogenic medical care is the key cause of excess nursing. the only sure way to stabilize our hospitals is with immediate cuts to dangerous medical care pollution. the best way to achieve these cuts is to put a price on codgers.

  11. Dan MB says:

    Nature Bats Last

    The GOP vs. God’s Green Earth

    21st Century Jobs

    Stop Taxing Billionaires!

    Clean Tech Jobs (NO Mideast Oil)

    Drill Baby Drill – SOOO Slick

  12. P.G. Dudda says:

    …what is that old capitalist saying about “having to spend money to make money”? I wonder if we could recast that to our own ends. Or use the malapropism “Penny foolish, pound wise!” to reinforce that sometimes spending money now *saves* you money in the long run…

  13. catman306 says:

    When Times Get Tough, Eat the Rich.

    Study Up On Economic Sabotage.

    Even the Rich Won’t Survive Climate Change.

  14. Pangolin says:

    I still like the old standby:

    “Pave The Planet: one planet, one people, one slab of asphalt”

    Ultimately disrespect about the environment is refusal to acknowledge that reality is complicated and that getting what we want today could be bad for us later. When we simplify the argument we’re playing on the terms of the destroyers.

  15. Dan MB says:

    Here are a couple more for 350 Now:

    The first is a response to Drill Baby Drill, since this slogan is the essential question at the core of DBD:

    Clean or Dirty?
    Life or Death?

    More bluntly:
    New Energy or Death?

    Pointing out the transition point we sit upon:
    New Energy or Old?

    - This assumes that people associate “Old”, fairly or not since I’m on the verge of “oldness”, with “Dirty Old”

    Big Bucks for Dirty Energy?

    or the converse, which might be more effective because it utilizes a potent figure of speech, irony:

    Megabucks for Dirty Energy!

    and the opposite again:

    Die Dirty Energy

    and a variation that ramps up the rhetoric:

    Dirty Energy DOOMS ALL

  16. Renewable Energy is Homeland Security

    is my bumper sticker.

    My 11.04 kW solar PV system is called “Homeland Security”. My meter is running backwards. :)

    Last month, my electric bill was $3.52. I will end this month with a net credit. :) :)

  17. “The only ladder out of this hole is renewable energy.” -jpalmer

  18. Richard Brenne says:

    Why does the donkey look pregnant?

  19. Richard Brenne says:

    Not such a great bumper sticker, just an observation. . .

  20. Richard Brenne says:

    That (#19) was an even worse bumper sticker, just explaining #18 – oh never mind.

  21. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Richard Brenne, not pregnant, just overweight in a world of want and misery. A sign of our unequal and maladaptive cultures, ME

  22. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    While on the subject of communication, today is the last day to vote for Climate Change Communicator of the Year. Vote here:
    http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/award.cfm

  23. Joan Savage says:

    Pay your share of taxation if you want representation

    Live Future Live

    Buy fresh sunlight, not fossils

  24. Brooks Bridges says:

    Chesapeake Climate Action Network has a great slogan for project to fight oil drilling off Virginia coast:

    “Windmills, not oil spills”

    http://chesapeakeclimate.org/template/page.cfm?id=723

  25. BioMapper says:

    “Renewables NOW!”

  26. Mark says:

    “Ban toxic plastics, adhesives, and dyes.”

    “Jesus loves solar”

    I’d like to see some Jesus art like this,
    http://www.mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom/?artpiece_id=353#
    but with good&evil being shown as caricatures of different forms of energy

  27. Picture of planet Earth with banner:
    Children on Board!

  28. It is fair to call Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with limited vouchers “elderly cap and trade”?

    How about “cap and die”?

    We cap how much we will pay for health care for the elderly. If they can’t come up with the remaining payment, they die.

  29. Kermit says:

    Mostly US biased…

    “No Representation
    without Taxation”

    “Oil slavery or
    energy independence”

    “A Clean Earth for
    Healthy Children”

    “Buy American – Go Solar”

    “Vote NO on Droughts and Floods”

    Merrelyn – while the Earth *is our mother, my Southern Baptist relatives would say that was paganistic and demonic :(

  30. dp says:

    i like “good jobs, green jobs”

  31. dp says:

    i like “good jobs, green jobs”

  32. dp says:

    ok maybe not twice as much.

  33. Andy Velwest says:

    OIL Subsidies
    Steal Your Money
    Then Kill You Slowly

    You can replace OIL with COAL or NUKE and it’s still true.

  34. Joan Savage says:

    Warm enough
    Wet enough
    Dry enough
    Windy enough

    Enough, already.

  35. Chris Winter says:

    350 Now,

    Try this thread from last December:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/12/26/good-climate-bumpersticker/

  36. 350 Now says:

    Thanks so much, Chris Winter! I recalled seeing lots of brilliant slogans on CP somewhere but couldn’t locate them. I’ll save them to a doc file this time.

  37. John says:

    Sustainable living – Make a Billionaire work

  38. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Kermit #30. If it’s a battle of the spiritualities, I’ll take the one that lived in harmony and cooperation with the planet, and each other, for over 60,000 years, ME

  39. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Kermit, if you wanted to divorce your relatives, you could try “Think Gaia not God”, ME

  40. Richard Brenne says:

    Merrelyn (#40) – I admire your expertise and sentiments but feel the notion that humans have lived “in harmony and cooperation with the planet, and each other, for over 60,000 years” would be disputed by most anthropologists I know.

    Sometime around 50,000 (maybe 60,000 or more) humans experienced the “Great Leap Forward” in brain development and language that allowed them to sail to the part of New Guinea then connected to Australia, and within some small number of thousands of years many of the largest and most docile animals on your continent as you know went extinct.

    Same story in North and then South America beginning around 13,000 years ago, then the same extinctions of many large animals and birds on the islands in the Mediterranean beginning around 10,000 years ago, then the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans ending with death of many of the largest and most docile bird species on Hawaii about 1500 years ago, New Zealand 1000 years ago and the Dodo on Mauritius 350 years ago.

    Our ancestors the Cro-Magnons out-competed Neanderthals in Europe from the time they arrived 40,000-some years ago to 25,000 years ago or so.

    Whether these species were overhunted or the rats and other non-native species we brought with us did the killing, and in the case of predators whether we killed them off directly or decimated their prey, humans in most of these cases were probably responsible for these extinctions.

    If most hunters and gatherers have always behaved the way the more modern ones studied by anthropologists behave, they probably had murder rates many times those of most modern industrialized societies outside of the horrendous (with all the additional technology available) but comparatively rare times of war and genocide. Jared Diamond among many others has written about this extensively, and his study of New Guinea for most of half a century leads him to believe that New Guineans could often negotiate travel into the next valley, but would often not survive a trip many valleys over, since most valleys were inhabited by different tribes.

    When the New Zealand Maori people heard of an island inhabited by those descended from their shared ancestors who had developed a more peaceful culture, they took their boats to the island and massacred them.

    I love and admire the spirituality (that you know infinitely more than I, I’d like to learn more) and egalitarian nature of hunters and gatherers, but also recognize much of the latter came from the fact that most hunters and gatherers had to migrate to find food, and so they couldn’t and didn’t carry much with them and thus competition for and accumulation of possessions didn’t mean much to them.

    Perhaps history’s richest hunters and gatherers were here on the West Coast of North America where the salmon run in huge numbers with predictable patterns. Here the Native Americans controlling the best fishing sites like Celilo and Willamette Falls in Oregon had slaves and hierarchies and anthropologists have found that the less affluent Native Americans had diets including minnows and many other marginal foods.

    Still potlatches were means of distributing wealthy from rich to poor, and this was voluntary and a primary means of status, which appears to be about the opposite behavior of our society’s richest people today.

    Finally, it is not only human nature that makes us Homo Assholis if given the chance, but even some Great Ape nature as well. Many males in common chimpanzee groups will patrol their territory and kill or attempt to kill other chimps encroaching. Paul Ehrlich tells the amazing story of a group of such male chimps killing a mother and her baby, and after an apparent attack of conscience one of the chimps took the dead baby at least a couple of miles to Jane Goodall’s forest home, depositing it on her doorstep!

    As I’m sure you know the bonobo, pygmy or “hippie” chimpanzee is almost exclusively peaceful, and sort out differences by everyone having sex with everyone else much of the time especially when conflicts could develop, like when they come upon a new feeding ground.

    The bonobo societies are matriarchal, and as you so correctly point out that culture seems to prevent the bad behavior the males might be inclined to carry out if not reined in by such a culture (testosterone being perhaps the worst drug of all).

    So there is great merit to the vast majority of what you say, but I’m not sure nature-worship (How does one explain away all the competition, predation, disease, suffering and death in nature?) and hunter-gatherer worship (given the evidence above) without examination is among them.

  41. lizardo says:

    Here’s my idea (cross posting):

    “Negawatts – clean, safe and cheap”

  42. Richard D says:

    “climate change
    deal with it!”

  43. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Richard Brenne #41. I’m sure you know as well as I do that anthropology is as fraught with argument as any other discipline. I prefer to take my advice from people who actually lived with these ancient cultures before they were too disturbed by our own. Try anything by Ronald M Berndt or the Keesings.

    You could also consult ‘The Earth Spirit’ by Johnn Michell, ‘Tribes without Rulers’ by John Middleton and David Tail, ‘The Wisdom of the Elders’ by Knudtson and Suzuki, ‘The Garden of War’ by Heider. Rianne Eisler has also done a good job reconstructing the ancient matriarchal culture and I am sure you know the Iroquois constitution – the power actually rested with the grandmothers and from my work with some of these people, I can tell you it still appears to today.

    The problem with some of the current anthropologists is that they have been corrupted by today’s dominant culture to the point that they cannot imagine that people ever organized themselves differently. Thats where the theory that Australian Aboriginals wiped out the large marsupials comes from. Others point out that the extinctions occured during periods of climate change and please note that some Aboriginal art has now been reliably dated at well over 60,000 years.

    What many anthropologists today fail to see is that people, unlike chimps and bonobos, have a conscious choice of design principle, how to organize themselves, and different cultures have chosen differently at different points in history. It is true that some have chosen to use the first design principle (yields chiefs and competition) while others definitely chose the second design principle (groups and cooperation) while others again such as Torres Strait Islanders and PNGs used a mixed system of chiefs with group working for the non-chiefs. Some animals such as wolves and dogs also use a mixed system with groups for hunting and a dominant hierarchy for breeding.

    As far as the hunting and killing for food goes, you will find that throughout the cooperative cultures there is a saying “We have a ceremony for that” which is essentially paying respect and saying ‘thank you’ to the animal. Killing was restricted to necessity. These cultures knew the Earth was their Mother and weren’t so stupid as to destroy what they knew they depended on! ME

  44. Paul Ray says:

    From Lean and Mean*
    (*…and killing your Mother)
    To Clean and Green**
    (**…and loving your Mother)

    with appropriate cartoon characters of course

  45. Richard Brenne says:

    Merrelyn (#45) – Beautifully said! You’re winning me over all the time. You’ve obviously thought about this a great, great deal. Do you have a book of your own out or one you’re working on? Or do you prefer as I do to meet in the dark alleys at the end of aborted posts like this one? Maybe our friends Mulga or Sailesh are lurking as well and will join us.

    I will add those books to the stack sitting next to my bed that’s just a little higher than the 100 foot trees on our property. Really that should be everyone’s property. . .

    When buying an (electric) car, where you start the negotiation largely determines where you’ll end up. If you start at the dealer’s sticker price, it’s hard to get them to knock off even a thousand, but if you start at the dealer’s price Consumer Reports or others publish, the dealer can make their $3000 but you can easily save $3000 off the sticker price.

    This has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to mention it. (And really I’d most advocate walking, biking, kayaking, sailing, light rail, heavy rail, busses etc, in that order.) So similarly in economics I wouldn’t start the discussion with the status quo economic system that is insanely unjust and literally suicidal. Instead I’d begin with a system you designed based on the models you provide, and the starting point would be completely egalitarian, maybe slightly adjusted so that someone who always worked twice as hard as someone else could have twice as much, but not a billion or billions of times as much as our current system encourages.

    Really my anal tendencies come into play here, because your original quote was “If it’s a battle of the spiritualities, I’ll take the one that lived in harmony with the planet, and each other, for 60,000 years.”

    It is the absoluteness of that statement that bothers me, because I don’t think all hunters and gatherers always lived in harmony with the planet and especially each other all the time. If you slightly modify that to “I’ll take the one that lived in GREATER harmony” I would completely agree.

    I don’t know the particular arguments in each case and I’m sure you know them far better than I ever will for Australia, but most people living someplace have an understandable emotional connection to that place and claim that climate change (or something else, often it was just their time to go) killed off many of the species native to their land, but these events range from Australia 50,000 (or as you say 60,000 or even longer) years ago to North America 13,000 years ago, South America 11,000 years ago, Mediterranean Islands 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, to Hawaii 1500, New Zealand 1000 and Mauritius 350 years ago.

    First, most animals had lived through a number of similar or even more severe climate changes before, Second, it seems awfully coincidental to have dramatic climate change always just as people arrive, and Third, I don’t have a third so I don’t know why I said third.

    My feeling is that denying humans had it in them to kill off species during those times smacks more of ideology than evidence. To me it’s a little demeaning to those most-expert (often ever, especially given their weapons relative to later ones) hunters, and I think that we’ve proven to be a fundamentally lethal species to many if not most other species as well as to each other.

    Realizing that is kind of freeing from racism or culturism, because it isn’t one race or culture that has done these things, but many or maybe most races and cultures. (And I like this because the worst has been my own race, culture, generation and gender.)

    I do agree with most of your points, that we can organize ourselves infinitely better than current industrialized society does, but as with renewables I worry about scale. Successful hunter and gatherer tribes appear to have organized themselves in numbers ranging from 150 to larger numbers you know better than I do.

    How do we organize a society 2 million times larger in the U.S. or 45 million times larger in the world?

    I’ll also read the books you suggest because my intuition has long been that indigenous people everywhere often lived their spirituality more completely than all but the smallest numbers of those from industrialized nations, trusting their spiritual sense or intuition sometimes with every step they took.

    That is something I’m seeking in my own life, and feel so far I’ve succeeded not with every step I’ve taken, but maybe with about one and a half steps or so (with a margin of error of at least 2).

    Again, thanks for your beautiful thoughts and uplifting spirit. Although probably too young, you can be our grandmother leader any time.

  46. Merrelyn Emery says:

    re my debate with Richard Brenne, I have just watched ‘Human Planet’ on ABC TV1. I recommend it for anyone who still does not believe that cooperation is the law of life. Specifically watch the segments on human-dolphin cooperation on mullett catching and shark calling, ME

  47. Aubrey Enoch says:

    “Sunshine is the only income we’ve got.”

  48. Christine says:

    My favourite so far – Terry’s @ #17 – “Renewable Energy is Homeland Security”. That’s great – reaches out to those on the Right in a very concrete way.

  49. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Richard, I am already a great grandmother but have no desire to be ‘leading’ anybody anywhere. In fact the whole cult of ‘leadership’ is one of the things that is so symptomatic of our malaise.

    Yes, add ‘Searching’, 1982 to the pile next to your bed. But you can’t really get to grips to all this until you understand the genotypical design principles that underly all organization. For this add ‘Participative Design for Participative Democracy’, 1993, to the pile.

    There is absolutely no evidence that Australian Aboriginals killed off the mega-fauna – it is pure speculation. It may be true of other cultures and I have no wish to argue about things I am not sure about. As I have explained above, not all Aboriginal cultures around the world used the second design principle. But a lot of them did and still do, ME

  50. Richard Brenne says:

    Merrelyn (#51) – Do you mean a great grandmother as in four generations or a great grandmother as in excellent, which I’m sure you are, or both?

    Thanks for the additional reads, I think you teach this subject in college, yes? You have very fortunate students. I’m going to turn my daughter who attends Quest College in Canada onto your comments because she’d like to read this stuff and see it incorporated into their curriculum (they use 3 and 1/2 week blocks rather than longer quarters or semesters), ideally with you as the tutor if you were interested.

    Also Merrelyn (at #48), speaking of the “Human Planet” documentary:

    Just to beat a dead horse (but cooperatively) slightly further, I look forward to seeing that documentary and humans and dolphins each alerting the other to sharks, and also to Eighties heavy metal hair-dos (mullets, more hair-don’ts), which of course are far more dangerous. (By the way, when we kill sharks at a many thousands to one ratio compared to their killing us, why do we focus only on our fear of them?)

    I agree with you that cooperation is the law of life. In my view that is true in the spiritual reality the greatest spiritual thinkers I know about were saying is all around us if we look most deeply.

    But in the life that we can see all around us, competition from trees out-competing others for sunlight, soil and water to predators out-competing prey and individuals out-competing those of their and other species appears to be as much or more the law of life.

    I think your vision of cooperation as the law of life is the one we need to hold to but feel that that is a spiritual vision, and that when we focus on the materialism of apparent life we often see more competition than cooperation.

    It appears that most of the current dominant society feels that we’re here to grow everything materially (population, consumption, possessions) when I feel we’re here to grow spiritually (kindness, caring, cooperation, generosity – in a word, love).

    There is nothing but the apparent limits to growth we’ve run into like a buzz saw in materialism, but there are no limits to growth in genuine spirituality. In fact true spirituality leads to more understanding that leads to more practice of spirituality in a positive feedback loop that never ends.

    But we need to begin and stick with that journey, or we’re literally nowhere.

  51. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Richard #52. As in 4 generations, not at all sure about the excellent part!

    I would love to work with your daughter if she is anything like her Dad but if that is not possible and she is interested in this stuff, she can meet with some of my colleagues and friends in Montreal.

    Please do not confuse the need to survive with the genotypical design principles on which organizations are built. Every living creature strives to survive in the same way that people strive to eat but there are very different ways of approaching that need. Even at the genetic level, it would now appear that while Darwin was right about one mechanism for genetic survival, there are others as well, e.g. horizontal genetic transfer and interchange.

    The design principles are tough hard realities with tough hard consequences and we have ignored them to our peril. There are some bits and pieces on http://www.thelightonthehill.com. This is reputable social science not spirituality. One part of my work is working with organizations that wish to change their design principle so that they will survive through the creativity and productivity of their people rather than beating them into ever lower wage slavery, frustration, anger and a sense of being trapped.

    It is not difficult. In the Participative Design Workshops, the people who work there redesign the org so that responsibility for coordination and control is located with the people doing the work, whatever that is, rather than it being located at least one level above where that work is being done. That latter option yields what Americans call the command and control org and also representative democracy where you hand over responsibility for your collective affairs to a ‘higher’ being for a term of government. That works as well as c and c orgs [I am being sarcastic] as it produces the same dynamics and affects. Even people who have fought and died for rep dems feel either anger or apathy a few years after they have achieved their great goal.

    All people are purposeful systems and we have denied them the basic human right of making decisions about their lives and their work in just about all our orgs and in our systems of governance. We have done the same thing in our schools. We have in fact done it just about everywhere and we are reaping the whirlwind, pun intended.

    Sorry about the rave but this is now a matter of life and death.

    Yes, please watch the doco. The segments I described are separate. At the end of the shark calling segment, the caller lets it go as he knows he must because he respects life.

    Why do we fear sharks? Because when it’s us and them as is endemic in our destructively organized culture, even when it is clear that we positively dominate them, we always implicitly or explicitly fear the ‘thems’, the other, the different, the enemy, that which is not ‘us’, ME

  52. Christine says:

    How about “Change the Politics, NOT the Climate”

  53. idunno says:

    Drill baby kill