Saturday, August 13, 2011

Darkseekers of London


Almost as if on cue, Mark Steyn picks up the monster movie analogue in order to better describe what has transpired this past week in the United Kingdom's capital.  Steyn on contemporary Britain where: of children are raised in homes in which no adult works — in which the weekday ritual of rising, dressing, and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. One tenth of the adult population has done not a day’s work since Tony Blair took office on May 1, 1997. 
If you were born into such a household, you’ve been comprehensively “stimulated” into the dead-eyed zombies staggering about the streets this last week: pathetic inarticulate sub-humans unable even to grunt the minimal monosyllables to BBC interviewers desperate to appease their pathologies. C’mon, we’re not asking much: just a word or two about how it’s all the fault of government “cuts” like the leftie columnists argue. And yet even that is beyond these baying beasts. The great-grandparents of these brutes stood alone against a Fascist Europe in that dark year after the fall of France in 1940. Their grandparents were raised in one of the most peaceful and crime-free nations on the planet. Were those Englishmen of the mid-20th century to be magically transplanted to London today, they’d assume they were in some fantastical remote galaxy. If Charlton Heston was horrified to discover the Planet of the Apes was his own, Britons are beginning to realize that the remote desert island of Lord of the Flies is, in fact, located just off the coast of Europe in the north-east Atlantic. Within two generations of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, a significant proportion of the once-free British people entrusted themselves to social rewiring by liberal compassionate Big Government and thereby rendered themselves paralytic and unemployable save for non-speaking parts in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And even that would likely be too much like hard work.
For perhaps too long in our disagreements with liberals, we conservatives have emphasized chiefly the theft, the unapologetic taking of the fruit of another's labor, the outright denial of the right to property that is BIG GOVERNMENT.  When we weren't focusing on that we had much to say about how it's all a waste, how it just doesn't work.  Both arguments remain true and should be enough, more than enough, in fact, to convince anyone possessing even the semblance of an open mind about the dangers of the modern leviathan.

But sadly, we don't live in such a world and arguing in this fashion can sound to the few who may still be listening querulous and self-serving.  Perhaps a more convincing conservatism, a more compassionate conservatism (oh how I despise that phrase), might be to emphasize instead the human costs of the nanny state, what it actually does to people, how it degrades and dehumanizes them.  Witness the city of London just this past week.

In the most recent film version of I Am Legend, Will Smith plays the lone healthy survivor in a quarantined New York City.  We learn that in what was at first a well-intentioned attempt to uncover a cure for cancer, a man-made variant virus has been released, a virus that in short order kills most of the humans on the planet.  The few survivors include those who, like Smith, are for some reason immune to the virus, and others who are turned by it into marauding, menacing, gangs of what Smith's character calls "Darkseekers", subhuman creatures who can no longer bear the sunlight, who emerge only at night in order to feed their otherwise inchoate and insatiable appetites.

Sound familiar?

In a telling line from the picture, Smith intones: "God didn't do this, we did."   

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