I ought to create an award for overheated rhetoric. For people who just can’t call a spade a spade without saying it’s a threat to Western Civilization. Or comparing someone to the Nazis.
Problem is, there is currently no one around Stockton who practices such foam-flecked rhetoric (I’m omitting some of the feverish online comment posters, of course).
I’ve noticed, however, one place that abounds in over-the-top rhetoric: Visalia.
There, the Visalia Times-Delta routinely gives space to farmers and others with such a keening animosity towards environmentalists — or anybody who denies them somebody else’s water — that one can only assume the editors share their rural, 1930s mentality.
Here’s a gem from Don Curlee, “a freelance writer who specializes in agricultural issues.”
Writes the fossiliferous Curlee: “hatred and enmity at the base of true ‘environmentalism.’”
“The chilling disappointment of the “piling on” by environmentalists and their fringe supporters is that it exposes a deep-seated hatred by this element of our society toward farming …” Curlee writes perceptively.
This is pretty bad, Curlee writes. “This societal rupture has the potential for outpacing even racial prejudice as a flaw and potential cancer.”
“Most farmers, those who consider themselves the original environmentalists, enjoying, protecting and improving the world around them long before the environmentalist movement took its current aggressive shape, are disappointed in and disgusted by the radical nature of the “enviros.”
R-i-i-ight. South-Valley farmers improved the world so much they made the San Joaquin River the most distressed river in the nation. The most important estuary in the Western Americas is dying not only because of their blinkered consumption but because provincial media such as the Times-Delta fail to be more than echo chambers for the same viewpoint. Which, sheltered from other perspectives, inevitably soars over the top and achieves bathos.
“Hatred by one group of society toward another group is a sociological tragedy,” Curlee concludes.