Bill Weir has a newborn son, born during the quarantine. That’s a cause for celebration, maybe even more than usual, against the backdrop of this time of disruption and social isolation. After spending part of the lockdown watching hours of Youtube videos of surprise pregnancy and twins and even triplets announcements – with all of the accompanying shouts and cheers and tears and joyful shock – I’m even more attuned than usual to appreciation of new life.
But there are some red flags for the newborn Weir boy.
First, his dad named him “River.” And no, it’s not a “Boy Named Sue” situation, in which you stick a kid with a name guaranteed to toughen him up because of all of the expected abuse he’ll suffer because of it. He’s just the kind of dad who names his kid “River.” Strike one.
Second, Bill Weir works as the Chief Climate Correspondent for CNN. Strike two.
Third, he wrote a ridiculous letter to his son, and published it for all the world to see. And it is long, and tiresome, and packs more wrong-headed leftist tropes into one column than I would have thought possible. (And I’m known for packing lots of tiresome and wrong-headed political tropes into over-long columns myself!) (By people who are wrong about everything, I mean.) Strike three.
I won’t put you through the whole thing, but I think it’s worth sharing a few lowlights.
The letter starts, “My dearest River, Against all odds you were conceived in a lighthouse, born during a pandemic and will taste just enough of Life as We Knew It to resent us when it’s gone. I’m sorry. I’m sorry we broke your sea and your sky and shortened the wings of the nightingale. I’m sorry that the Great Barrier Reef is no longer great, that we value Amazon™ more than the Amazon and that the waterfront neighborhood where you burble in my arms could be condemned by rising seas before you’re old enough for a mortgage.”
Yikes! There’s so much wrong with that, I don’t know where to start.
No, wait a minute: I do know where to start.
Don’t tell your kids where and how they were conceived! The letter starts and ends with references to a vacation that he and his wife took to Croatia, and the Dubrovnik lighthouse they stayed in. Where – he wants River and the world to know – they “did it.”
Ugh. First, I can’t think of anything more gross for this young kid to read as he gets older than the details of his parent’s love life. Second, what an erotic narcissist: “You plebes probably conceived your normally-named kids in a bland 3 bedroom tract house, in the missionary position. Yuck. Meanwhile, my lover and I (and you know this is the kind of gag-inducing male who calls his wife his “lover,” just to stick you with a mental image that you do NOT want) hiked up a wind-swept cliff-face in a romantic foreign land during a thunderstorm to break into a century-old lighthouse, where we alarmed the livestock with our creative lovemaking and exotic outfits.”
As you regular readers know, one of the best life strategies you can follow is to ask WWMD (What Would Martacus Do?), and then act accordingly. So what have I told my children about their conception, I know you are wondering.
Did I tell them, for instance, that their mother and I – having grown bored after romping our way through a series of sexual escapades that made the Kama Sutra look like a spring 1956 edition of the Saturday Evening Post – decided to try something different, when the Ringling Brother’s Circus came to town? So we broke into the big tent at 2 in the morning, and after spending a half hour getting the hang of the trapeze, managed an aerial encounter involving several flips, hanging onto a bar upside down with just my knees, and finishing in a fall into a giant net, and 9 months later our oldest was born?
Or that four years later, we came up with the idea for an assignation on the back of a 2-year old Palomino that incorporated the kind of horsemanship worthy of a young Crazy Horse at the height of his powers, in a little trick I like to call the ol’ “canter-canter-trot-TROT-GALLOP!” And that 9 months later, our youngest was born?
Perhaps I’ve said too much.
The point is that of course I haven’t told them that! All they know is that when a man and woman love each other very much, the man carries the woman through a bedroom doorway that is in black and white for some reason, and then the door shuts and the credits roll (“Gregory Peck as Martacus,” “Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Simpson.” “Nancy Pelosi as the Mummy,” “Elizabeth Warren as the Cigar Store Indian.”). And nine months later, one of them is born.
And nobody is named “River.”
Weir moves from erotic narcissism to climate narcissism: “I’m so sorry that we broke your sea and your sky?” I’m pretty sure that the sea is still there, and I was just looking at the sky this afternoon. Doesn’t seem broken.
And because he’s apparently learned all his science from Al Gore and Captain Planet, he thinks that his house is going to be underwater in 20 years or so. And just like with my old lefty buddies who were sure that the oceans would be dead by now, and acid rain would have wiped out half of our population, and a new global ice age would have wiped out the other half, I’d like to call Weir and remind him of his hysteria and laugh at him, as he sits in his un-condemned and totally dry house.
Weir goes on: “See, for decades, scientists told us that if we weren’t careful, humans would unleash an invisible enemy out of the jungle and into our lungs. But that was a story few wanted to believe. So we kept cutting down jungles — and prairies and mangroves and the last few the places where the wild things are — to pave and plow, develop and devour everything inside.”
Does this guy think that the Flu Manchu came from humans cutting down jungles? Has nobody told him about the Chinese boneheads eating the bats, or the Chicom boneheads and their fifth-rate lab safety procedures, or the progressive slave-state bureaucrats in Beijing who lied about everything (as commies are wont to do) until it was too late to stop a pandemic? Apparently not.
“As you get older, this will be hard to understand. But we were under the spell of Genesis 1:28: to take dominion over every living thing.”
Good lord! I love when non-Christians who wouldn’t know Saint Paul from Minneapolis-St.Paul expound on how the evil Bible teaches that we should destroy the environment. “And God said, go forth and cut down the jungles, and pile up the wood and make a great fire, upon which thou must roasteth the bat, notwithstanding that it is the least delicious of all the fowl that flieth through the air. Then shalt thou cough on thy neighbors, who must thenceforth flee to the airports and disperse throughout the globe, spreading the pestilence while your vile and indolent government lieth about it all, and keepeth on with the intellectual property theft and the exporting of lead-based toys and contaminated drywall.”
I’m no theologian, but you don’t have to be Aquinas to understand that the Biblical mandate is for humanity to be stewards of the environment, not destroyers of it.
Weir isn’t done: “We had the strange urge to carve straight lines out of nature’s curves and were under the spell of a uniquely human force called “profit motive.”
You mean like the profit motive that has allowed you to get a six-figure job writing terrible “journalism,” and allowed you to afford a house to take River home to?
The article goes on and on, but it’s too painful to spend any more time on. I just find myself feeling sorry for his son, because he’s less than a month old and his dad is already filling his mind with alarmist doom and gloom. “We’ve killed the planet, we’re all cursed, you’ll never know how things used to be so great, but now they’re terrible, and getting worse every day. Sorry about that. By the way, did I ever tell you the story about the time I absolutely wrecked your mother doing downward-facing dog on a faux bearskin rug on the flagstone floors of a Dubrovnik lighthouse?”
Not since the Cuyahoga was so filled with chemicals that it caught fire has any River been so badly treated.
To get the bad taste of this article out of my mouth, I’ve written a letter to my daughter, to cosmically balance Weir’s toxic letter:
First, aren’t you glad to have a great name like “Katherine,” which is classic, timeless and versatile, and not something ridiculous like “Conifer” or “Aquifer” or “Saguaro Cactus Simpson?” You’re welcome.
Second, never mind how your mom and I made you. You’re here now, and you’ve been nurtured and educated and equipped to make your own way in the best nation ever. You’re welcome again.
Third, we used to be much worse stewards of the environment that God has given us responsibility for, but because we have free markets, we have gotten wealthier, and our wealth has allowed us to innovate and improve our treatment of nature. We’ve found ways to grow more food on less land, and our modes of building and transportation are becoming cleaner and less destructive with each passing year. If we can just not watch CNN, elect less leftists, and get the Chicoms to stop eating the freaking bats, your future is going to be brighter than for any other generation in history.
Now get out there and be an Ameri-CAN!”
Avenatti/River Weir 2020!