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PO-MO BEAR

The SMH’s Elizabeth Farrelly discovers a new species:

Pity the postmodern polar bear, waking famished from months of hibernation only to find the ice melting underfoot, with a hundred-kilometre swim before breakfast and the likelihood then of being too weak to catch it.

Or is the postmodern bear’s prey too strong to be captured? These things tend to be relative, after all.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/28/2007 at 03:27 AM
  1. with a hundred-kilometre swim before breakfast and the likelihood then of being too weak to catch it.

    I thought that these bears caught their breakfast and other meals in/from the sea. Do post-modern bears eat ice?

    Posted by Nic on 2007 02 28 at 03:41 AM • permalink

  2. Pity the poor Herald columnist; doomed forever to miss the facts and cite the fiction.

    Posted by Ian Deans on 2007 02 28 at 03:43 AM • permalink

  3. ...poor Mr Bear then remembers he has a 3000 word discourse due on Sartre and Camus’s rejection of meta-narratives. To top it off, it’s starting to snow and he has no money for a bus. The day has barely begun and he wants it to end. Mr Bear checks the TV guide to see what time The Glasshouse is on… “GOD DAMN IT!”, he shouts to know one in particular. Life as a postmodern bear sucks like Paris Hilton on Prom Night. Mr Bear’s anger is boiling over, when out of the blue Tara Brown and a 60 Minutes crew appear…

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 02 28 at 03:46 AM • permalink

  4. So the waste continues. A drenching summer rainstorm, once typical but now so rare, can drop 350 billion litres, almost a year’s worth of water for Sydney. An intelligent culture, such as the Roman or Ottoman empire, faced with a serious water shortage and a sandstone city riddled with unused and largely unmapped tunnels and caverns, might capture some of that water. Might even produce something lovely from this exigency; a water culture of arcaded aqueducts and glorious subterranean cisterns, like Istanbul’s many-columned Yerebatan Sarayi.

    I’m not familiar with the Australian ecology, but I do know that if you begin diverting water into storage (cisterns or reservoirs, matters not), then that water is not available for natural uses.  This is a major argument against hydroelectric dams in the US. 

    In fact, at one time, the City of Los Angeles proposed diverting a large portion of the Columbia River down into southern California (a distance of a couple thousand miles over a few mountain ranges….technically feasible if you want to invest a huge amount of capital).

    Their reasoning?  “All that fresh water is just wasted going into the Pacific Ocean, so send it down here!”

    Elizabeth seems to be making the same false reasoning here, although she recognizes the need for natural water flow in other parts of her opinion piece.  Assuming, of course, that the local environment doesn’t need all that water.  If so, she’s long on emotion, short on logic, and typically leftie.

    So, in the spirit of Iowahawk, and making herself truly useful, perhaps Elizabeth might sacrifice herself to feed a starving po-mo po-bear?

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 02 28 at 03:58 AM • permalink

  5. Well, then, if he’s too weak to catch fish, seals and other arctic creatures - all the better. PETA and all that (Polar bears for Ethical Treatment of Animals).

    Posted by Rajan R on 2007 02 28 at 04:08 AM • permalink

  6. These people seem to have suddenly awakened into a new world, where nature no longer retains the power to regulate anything at all, much less polar bear populations. 

    They talk about the evil hubris of the men of science and industry, who would adapt the environment to man’s use (understanding that “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed”)—which is man’s principle means of survival, then seek to overrule the dynamism of nature and turn it into something static, or “stable” as they call it—in the name of survival.  They rail against change itself, which gainsays the nature they claim to worship. 

    Of course, they also simultaneously rail against, or outright deny, man’s rational faculty, which is what gets them in this kind of trouble in the first place.

    Posted by saltydog on 2007 02 28 at 04:33 AM • permalink

  7. Pity Elizabeth’s Post Toasties brain.

    Posted by Hucbald on 2007 02 28 at 04:42 AM • permalink

  8. postmodern polar bear
    postmortem intelligence

    Hearing the endless streams of verbal diarrhea spewed from the left is the reason I have to take acid reflux medication twice a day.

    Posted by Texas Bob on 2007 02 28 at 04:59 AM • permalink

  9. PETA must take a stand against animal-on-animal cruelty.

    Posted by blogstrop on 2007 02 28 at 05:39 AM • permalink

  10. The polar bear story she was relating was on the latest attenborough nature story on Aunty.  This polar bear decided to cross a vast stretch of open water rather than fossic along the shoreline, and eventually, after a couple of days swimming, made it to an island. 

    Now, at this stage things should have been hunky dory, except for one thing.  The island was crawling with walruses, who had already seen off every other kind of wildlife, and are big and mean enough to not become polar bear fodder. 
    So the bear, because it had a brain prone to poor choices, ensured an improvement in the polar bear gene pool.
    Technology, OTOH, has liberated humans from the grind of evolution, such that even self satisfied prats like Farrelly could survive to wank on about things other than architecture.  Fortunately the type generally doesn’t tend to breed.

    Posted by entropy on 2007 02 28 at 06:40 AM • permalink

  11. Bears starving?  The seals rejoice.

    Posted by anthony_r on 2007 02 28 at 07:13 AM • permalink

  12. We all know that prior to mankinds appearance on earth all animals lived in peace and there was no suffering in nature.  Now we are here, and the polar bears are weeping tears of blood for Gaia.  We must atone for our sins.. who will save us???

    /Al Gore enters, stage left

    Fear not, guilty young human, for I am Carbon Offset man and I am here to make some money save the world!  Have you seen my new DVD, an Incovenient Truth?  Its available in all good (but also evil) global coorporate video chains now!

    Posted by bondo on 2007 02 28 at 07:29 AM • permalink

  13. #12 bondo, that’s brilliant!!

    Carbon Offset Man. With a cape made of polar bear skins.

    Need a damn HUGE phone booth to change in though.

    Posted by Pogria on 2007 02 28 at 08:06 AM • permalink

  14. Okay, we have Captain Kyoto, who’s got a photo of Carbon Offset Man?

    Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2007 02 28 at 08:16 AM • permalink

  15. Post-modernist bears - surely they would have to be gay. No wonder they are facing extinction.

    Posted by Contrail on 2007 02 28 at 08:17 AM • permalink

  16. The icepack is nothing but a social construction anyway. Complaints about its deconstruction privilege existing power relations between bears and seals.

    Posted by Paul Zrimsek on 2007 02 28 at 09:03 AM • permalink

  17. here he is- the C.O.M don, aka President of the alternative universe, Saviour of the world and the wintersmith-Big Al

    Posted by eeniemeenie on 2007 02 28 at 09:47 AM • permalink

  18. Generally, only pregnant polar bears hibernate. (See the last section of this link at the page bottom, above the list of bear-type links. But read it all, too, like polar bears can swim about 100km without a problem.)

    http://tinyurl.com/2p5x53

    (And I decided to Google “polar bears hibernate hibernation” because it sounds pretty stupid to hibernate in winter when that’s the best time of the year for hunting on ice. So suspicions confirmed about Liz’s research, even if it was just a throw-away line to start the column and not its main purpose.)

    Posted by andycanuck on 2007 02 28 at 09:51 AM • permalink


  19. Ogden Nash

    Adventures Of Isabel
     
      Isabel met an enormous bear,
    Isabel, Isabel, didn’t care;
    The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
    The bear’s big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
    The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
    How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
    Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry.
    Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
    She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
    Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

    Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2007 02 28 at 10:04 AM • permalink

  20. Hibernating polar bears. Wow. Another media hack who can’t do even the most basic research.

    Posted by Crispytoast on 2007 02 28 at 10:55 AM • permalink

  21. The ‘postmodern polar bear’ has learnt to live in a world of shifting identities. The concept, ‘polar Bear’, after all, is a discourse, a construction it finds problematic. Why not move north and become a sheepdog like Babe? Or make a documentary on a subject it knows fuck all about? The polar bear has learned that being a predator is fascist.  It no longer seeks to impose its will on other creatures by violence or by the maintenance of ‘truth regimes’. It no longer has any will at all. 

    It also knows that the root cause of the emnity seals feel for it is its fear of the seal ‘other’. The fear and loathing of the not-polar bear. The postmodern polar bear has discovered complexity and sits on its floe abolishing the sins of the killer whale by reflecting on its own past.  It knows that the only evil is to find some things ‘good’ and some things ‘bad’. Have many dead seals lie at the foot of truth?

    The ice was never white but only shades of grey.

    Posted by Inurbanus on 2007 02 28 at 11:42 AM • permalink

  22. Pity the postmodern moonbat, waking famished from months of dreaming stuff up only to find reality melting underfoot, with a hundred wpm rant before breakfast and the likelihood then of being too weak to manufacture another lie, falsehood or forgery.

    Posted by alien kiwi on 2007 02 28 at 12:47 PM • permalink

  23. LOL! How many brain-numbing lectures did you have to sit through, Inurbanus?

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 02 28 at 12:50 PM • permalink

  24. “as any six-year-old knows, all water is rhythmically premetabolised”

    Well guess I’m dumber than a six year old, I had to google this but alas with no results. So if anyone can educate me I would appreciate it.

    Posted by alien kiwi on 2007 02 28 at 01:22 PM • permalink

  25. “Pity the postmodern polar bear…”

    I don’t pity animals that would happily kill and eat me.

    Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 02 28 at 01:37 PM • permalink

  26. Pity those readers endowed with logical abilities.

    Posted by moptop on 2007 02 28 at 02:20 PM • permalink

  27. This is tragic, if the polarbears drown we won’t be able to turn them into blankets.

    Posted by aaron_ on 2007 02 28 at 02:24 PM • permalink

  28. Hmmm.

    A post-modern polar bear?

    That just made my brain explode.

    Posted by memomachine on 2007 02 28 at 02:46 PM • permalink

  29. #10, Entropy is spot-on about the source of Elizabeth’s newfound knowledge of the plight of the po-mo po-bear.  I’m not saying the sequence was staged, but people like Elizabeth don’t seem to realize that these ‘real life’ nature scenarios are assembled just like any sequence in a fiction movie, from pieces of footage whose original relation to each other we have no idea of,  with the addition of stirring music, and the poignant breathiness of David Attenborough’s narration.  Watching it myself, I couldn’t help asking: “So this has never happened before, in the history of the planet?” 

    Attenborough is far from being the worst of these people, but sometimes even he buys into an absurdly PC view of nature: in the most recent episode, a remarkable sequence was shown of chimps hunting and terrorizing a rival troop.  Finally, they caught, killed and ate one of the enemy chimps.  Attenborough pondered: “We’re still not sure why they do this”.  Excuse me?  An animal kills and eats another animal, and Attenborough wonders “why”?

    Posted by cuckoo on 2007 02 28 at 06:11 PM • permalink

  30. Ms Farrelly appears to be fully trained member of the SMH jihad against intelligence.  I hear they have a training facility in the foothills of Mosman.

    Posted by allan on 2007 02 28 at 06:52 PM • permalink

  31. Ms Farrelly was the architecture writer for the SMH I thought?

    What’s a postmodern polar bear got to do with architecture?

    Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 02 28 at 06:53 PM • permalink

  32. #32.

    What’s a postmodern polar bear got to do with architecture?

    White, everything should be white, and in a sculptured form, like an iceberg. But white, except for the red splashes, that’s the 60 Minutes reporter

    Posted by Contrail on 2007 02 28 at 07:03 PM • permalink

  33. If the polar bears are going to go all soy-latte-sucking post-modern on us, then they can just go ahead and drown.  There are too many nonproductive eggsuckers on the planet as it is.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 02 28 at 07:20 PM • permalink

  34. A drenching summer rainstorm, once typical but now so rare, can drop 350 billion litres, almost a year’s worth of water for Sydney

    Well, maybe, but…let’s look into that number a bit. 1 liter of rain is equal to 1 mm on an area of 1 m², and likewise 1 million liters equals 1 mm on an area of 1 km².

    So, how do we get to 350,000 million liters of rain? Either by increasing the area or by increasing the rainfall. Googling around for ‘amount of rain single day’ gives a few interesting hits:

    San Diego, 2004
    Rain has never fallen any heavier in San Diego than on Wednesday. The 2.67” deluge surpassed any Oct. 27 total since 1850.

    Fallbrook, CA, 2005
    Fallbrook’s 3.48” for the day Sunday, January 9th was the most ever recorded by WeatherCurrents on a single day

    Bangalore, India
    The highest rainfall recorded on a single day has been 10 cm [actually, 9.5 cm] during the month of May in 2002.

    Since she’s talking about unusually strong, but presumably not record-breaking rains, let’s use 50 mm (which is far too high, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt). So she must be talking about rainstorms covering at least 7,000 km². Good luck capturing even .1% of that.

    Good to see that innumeracy continues to be rampant in journalism offices, especially if it helps write an eco-beatup.

    Posted by PW on 2007 02 28 at 07:33 PM • permalink

  35. PS:

    I’m reminded of those utopians who claim that solar energy could easily provide for all the energy needs of the United States, and when you check into their claims you find out that 40% or whatever of the entire US mainland would have to be covered with solar panels for that to work.

    Posted by PW on 2007 02 28 at 07:38 PM • permalink

  36. Darn, I got all excited because I though we were talking about Polar Beer!

    Posted by Captain Sensible on 2007 02 28 at 08:57 PM • permalink

  37. Spiny Norman #24

    Many.  I listened carefully, empathetically and with a completely open mind.  I want to thank those lecturers. Without them I would not have discovered the full, resonant meaning of the word ‘bullshit’.

    Posted by Inurbanus on 2007 03 01 at 12:44 AM • permalink

  38. More correctly, a pole-modern poster bear. We can, of course, ameliorate their fate with Polar Animal Carbon Offsets.

    Posted by triticale on 2007 03 01 at 01:29 AM • permalink

  39. #19- love the beige, COM is such a beige sort of chap, I bet he’s got a huge collection of cardigans.

    He’ll fit right in with all the other diversity celebrating, eco-defending members of the League of Worriers.

    Posted by Habib on 2007 03 01 at 02:00 AM • permalink

  40. Serves him right for all those carbon dioxide ridden post-penguin munchin’ polar bear farts.

    He should just have a soy latte and some bran flakes like the other SMH readers and life would be OK.

    Posted by Hump B Bare on 2007 03 01 at 04:27 AM • permalink

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