Or recycling a post title.
Words Have MeaningsSo much depends on what words mean - and what the folks in charge want them to mean. Like "apathy."
An online dictionary gives a pretty good definition of apathy:
- An absence of emotion or enthusiasm
- The trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally
It's not that the Lemming doesn't have emotions - it's that the Lemming thinks it's better to think with the central nervous system and feel with the endocrine, than the other way around.
The Making of an Apathetic LemmingGrowing up in the '60s didn't help. The Lemming was (almost) caught up in some of the fads of the time: and is still concerned about pollution and recycling. Concerned, not scared silly.
Which is, from some points of view, frightfully 'apathetic.'
Part of the problem, in the Lemming's opinion, is that the Lemming has a pretty good memory. And a habit of paying attention to what folks say.
The part of the world where the Lemming grew up had some - colorful, to be polite about it - end-of-the-world Bible thumpers who ranted about the commies, Catholics and coming Armageddon.
A Report From the Department of Unintended ConsequencesThe Lemming took a long, hard, look at communism: and decided that it looked good on paper, but probably wouldn't work with large groups. Eventually, the Lemming became a Catholic.
When headlines, professors, and anonymous experts serve up a crisis du jure - the Lemming pays attention.
Sooner or later, that lot could get one right.
So far, though - not so much.
Then there are the Bible-thumpers and their perennial proclamations of the coming end of the world. In about four or five years, the Lemming noticed. The deadlines came and went - and the end-of-the-world crowd didn't seem to notice. They were, back in the Lemming's 'good old days,' too busy being excited about the latest prediction of Armageddon.
The secular analog of Bible thumpers? The Lemming's posted about that before. Fairly recently:
- "Lemming Tracks: Blasphemy! Or, 'We're All Gonna Die' Predictions That Fizzled"
(December 30, 2010)
As the Lemming wrote before: "The boy who cried wolf (AKA The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf) found out that after a while, folks stop listening. Or, rather, did: back in Aesop's day."
Delicate? Pandas, Maybe: Nature, NoAnd, of course, destroy the delicate balance of nature - which was dealing with periodic ice ages and the occasional asteroid impact for hundreds of millions of years, before every crippled grasshopper was humanity's fault.
Starting somewhere around the middle of the 19th century, generally. Which is almost another topic.
Is it important to avoid dumping raw sewage in the drinking water? Yes.
Does safely removing asbestos matter? Yes. Was it a good idea to use asbestos as insulation? As it turns out, no.
Does this mean that the Lemming writhes in agony, fearing the imminent destruction of poor, defenseless Mother Nature? No:
- "Frail, Delicate Little Mother Nature?!"
(December 20, 2009)
And has, for some time.
- "Lemming Tracks: Taft-Hartley 14(b), or 'Who Needs a Secret Ballot?' "
(May 21, 2010)
- "Pangolins: Anteaters From Another Planet?"
(May 4, 2010)
- "Auburn, New York; Eminent Domain; Earth Day - and Lint"
(April 21, 2010)
- "Atomic Cookies, Recycling Wine Corks, and Rampant(?) Sexism in San Francisco's Restaurants"
(April 13, 2010)
- "Apathy is Rampant, But Who Cares?"
(October 15, 2009)