Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Calvin and Hobbes

Count me among those who were crushed:

In today's cult of celebrity, it's a rare phenomenon: an artist who produces much-loved work, wins the hearts of fans and critics, and then abruptly retires and attempts to lead a normal, sometimes reclusive, life.

We're talking about the likes of Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger and "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip creator Bill Watterson, who recently gave what's believed to be his first interview since 1989, to his hometown newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Watterson, now 51, crushed millions of funnies readers around the world in 1995 when he suddenly retired Calvin, a 6-year-old, philosophical version of Bart Simpson, and Hobbes, the stuffed tiger who comes to life in his imagination. Watterson has never really talked about it publicly, until now.

Read the rest at the link. C&H may have been the funniest, most intelligent "cartoon" strip ever. I don't begrudge Watterson his desire to retire, but I wish he hadn't.


How the Climate Change Movement Died

Margaret Wente at The Globe and Mail looks at the state of the global climate change "movement" and finds it on life support if not altogether dead. After summarizing all the scandals, shoddy science, and unseemly suppression of dissent she notes that:

None of this is to say that global warming isn't real, or that human activity doesn't play a role, or that the IPCC (Intergovernmental on Climate Change) is entirely wrong, or that measures to curb greenhouse-gas emissions aren't valid. But the strategy pursued by activists (including scientists who have crossed the line into advocacy) has turned out to be fatally flawed.

By exaggerating the certainties, papering over the gaps, demonizing the skeptics and peddling tales of imminent catastrophe, they've discredited the entire climate-change movement. The political damage will be severe. As analyst Walter Russell Mead succinctly puts it: "Skeptics up, Obama down, cap-and-trade dead." That also goes for Canada, whose climate policies are inevitably tied to those of the United States.

The shame of this is that it seems undeniable that something is happening to the earth's climate, but the people tasked with determining what, exactly, it is have so discredited themselves that it will be very difficult to regain the trust necessary to take collective action if ever we do gain a comprehensive understanding of the problem.

Read the rest of Wentke's column. It's very good.


The Green Police

I don't know if the folks at Audi were intending this to be a parody of the brave new world to which modern progressivism is taking us, but they couldn't have done a better job if they were:

As funny as this spoof is I fear that there are a lot of folks who watched it and didn't see the absurdity of a "green police" force at all - and that's pretty scary.


John Murtha, RIP

Congressman John Murtha is dead at the age of 77. For those who don't know who Murtha was or why his passing is worth noting please read this.

Murtha represented almost everything that people find disagreeable about American politics, his name was sullied by his involvement in the Abscam scandal and he was one of the all-time champions of earmark pork (Do a Viewpoint search on John Murtha to find more on the controversies surrounding Murtha). On the other hand, he was also a man who served his country admirably, volunteering when in his thirties to serve as a combat Marine in Vietnam, winning two purple hearts and a bronze star. When he came to Congress he was perhaps the strongest advocate for the military on his side of the aisle.

His constituents loved him for the truckloads of federal largesse he brought to his district and those who campaign for virtuous husbandry of the taxpayers' money found him to be a major obstacle to their efforts.

He was a complex man in complex times. May God look favorably upon his soul.