Enter The Canardvark

The Canardvark
The Canardvark

Bittersweet. The graciousness of our common friend, Bookworm, inspires a modeling of our own behavior. Leadership by example, I believe we still call this. And I am pleased and thankful that she has allowed me to share a small corner of her space from time to time. The sweetness.

But for the bitterness, all of this affection would remain privately between us as it has always been. Ah, but for the bitterness. How charmed life would be without it. The very need for The Canardvark’s existence. Frequenters of this space all have an inner Canardvark, sniffing out lies and deception that are either the story itself or the pillars used to support the story under false pretense. Ignorance truly would be bliss. But ignorance is for the intellectually lazy. And ’round here, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

And so it is. The bitterness. I’ve worked hard at ignoring it for a few years. My own “Occupy” movement, distracting my mind with disconnected morsels of personal indulgence and relative quiet. Delving deeper into the work that pays the mortgage. Slipping into the pure fantasy that blowing things up on Playstation affords. Throwing myself at the punishing world of cycling and its hours and hours of self-inflicted misery and pain in search of those fleeting moments of triumph and the undeniable peace of solitude.

I find it hard to really enjoy anything much at all. Not because I am miserable – I’m a pretty happy guy. But rather, I simply don’t enjoy things like most normal human beings do. Thanks in large part to an early and brief career choice of becoming a southern California television station’s program director, I instinctively analyze everything I see and hear. And I mean everything. Most people read the news scroll at the bottom of the screen. That’s what it’s there for. But I am cursed with looking first and instinctively for typos and misstatements. I wish it were different.

I analyze everything. Labels on cans of soup. Advertisements for cars in magazines. Disclaimers on websites. Patterns in phone numbers. Words chosen – and not chosen – in conversation. The background images and small text on big billboards. I look for the sight unseen and listen for the word unheard.

And canards in reporting and rhetoric. My mind gravitates toward the obscure yet vital detail, missed but disproportionately consequential. Whether by design or the subconscious oversight caused by unwittingly trained habit, the canards matter.

And the canards each are a mean to a desired end. Those ends are usually political in inspiration and often destructive in implementation. Take, for instance, the canard of man-caused global warming. Without attempting to provide analysis here, let’s just accept two facts: That A.) the climate has always been changing (explains sea creature fossils in the Arizona desert) and that B.) pollution is bad (go for a run in Mexico City or Beijing.)

In order to push the “big lie” beyond debate, the greater canard is supported by a lesser canard – that the issue of man-caused global warming is “settled science.” If enough newscasts and stories use this phrasing in their daily coverage, it becomes widely accepted as fact among those who are not “in the realm” of science to quantitatively or qualitatively declare otherwise. You know. Housewives, realtors, carpenters, teachers, firemen… Basically, everyone else. If “everyone” is saying it, then it must be true. So it goes.

The problem is that it is not settled science. How then to explain the thousands of signatures of scientists, meteorologists and climatologists worldwide who argue that such a conclusion is not settled science? The problem is that this is not part of what most see, hear and read. And thus, the big lie is supported by other lies. Canards, one and all.

And the problem isn’t that someone lies. It’s about where the acceptance of false conclusions leads. In the case of the “settled science” canard in support of the “man-caused global warming” canard, it leads governments to begin inventing a commodity (carbon credits) and begin taxing industries and individuals by charging them for the rights to these credits, which are nothing more than paper protection from the government in charge of distributing them. The government in question does not distribute anything tangible or provide access to any resource. The industries and individuals in question are merely allowed or disallowed to carry on. In a free society with open markets, we call this a shake down. Protection money. A racquet.

All built upon a canard supported by lesser canards and fueled only by fear and ignorance, not fact and indisputable consequence.

So, unable to just m0ve along with nothing to see here, I am once again compelled to think aloud. At least from time to time. And I’ll usually share what compels me with both attitude and sarcasm, with bitterness and laughing cynicism. Right or wrong, in brilliance or in error. Always open, always honest, and too infrequent to support a blog of my own. And so I am thankful for my wonderful friend, Bookie, and appreciative that she is renting out a small corner of the Bookworm Room to house my wares. I get along well with worms. It’s pissants that drive me crazy.

I am the Canardvark. Coo-Coo-Ka-Choo.