Global Warming Set To Song: Withering in the Heat

Little Aitan Grossman, just age 13, and cute as hell, has taken Honorable Mention in the 2010 Action For Nature International Young Eco-Hero Awards! A hero—an eco hero—and only 13! Applause, please.

Aitan was beaten out by Alexander James Zerphy, 13, of Maryland, who found his calling in worrying his friends and neighbors about Atlantic horseshoe crabs, and by Sarah Connor, 10, who has taken vows to support “environmental causes through her lemonade stand and Web site.” Yet Aitan’s work was still significant enough to merit mention. Aitan Grossman

What was Aitan’s achievement? Fending off the bullies who mercilessly beat or tease him for his name? No. The adults at Action For Nature instead praised Aitan’s extreme nervousness over the calamity which is called global warming.

Before we go further, it is essential to understand that I am not picking on somebody not my own size. Aitan is just a sweet-faced kid who doesn’t know better. It isn’t his fault that he wastes his youth wringing his wee hands, cowering in the corner, hiding from imaginary heat goblins.

It is his Californian—where else?—parent’s fault, probably the fault of at least one of his teachers, and certainly the fault of the supposed adults at Action For Nature. All these alleged responsible people have addled young Aitan’s mind to the extent that the poor lad was driven to seek relief in song.

Angst is always an ugly thing to see, most especially when set to music. (Right, U2?) Now, much, or even nearly all, modern pop music is, at best, nausea-inducing. But “activist” music purposely designed for political purposes, “We Are The World”-type torture tunes, are the nadir’s nadir of song.

Not surprisingly, it in this kind of music that young Aitan found his inner eco-hero, and thus his reward. Of course, it is certainly possible to compose at such a young age—Mozart started at five!—but it is highly improbable that most youthful attempts will have worth.

It is not Aitan’s fault that his horrible song found such high praise. I repeat: I am not criticizing Aitan, who is too young to have fault. But I do question the adults who have placed such foolish notions in the poor kid’s head. Here is his song (it can be listened to here).

My eyes are burning.
This is the biggest storm,
The tide is turning
I see the waiving wheat,
I see the redwood tree,
They wither in the heat.
What will become of me?

——Chorus——
Hawk you fly into the wild.
I am like a little child.
You and I, we share the same elation.
River run down from heaven’s hill,
Ever flow I know you will,
Lasting for 100 genera—aaaaaa—tions.

All of the bread we eat,
All of our farming,
Will there be any meat?
The world is warming.
Our streams are full of tires,
Our trees are burning
In wild forest fires.
We must start learning now.

[Chorus]

The sun shines through the clouds
And beams right on me.
I shall not put on shrouds
To weigh upon me.
Here comes the giant flood
And fifteen hurricanes.
I’ll open flower buds
With the fresh air and the rain.

[Chorus]

The melody is nothing; certainly no worse than any other song in this genre, but no better, either. It is horrible in the same way the notes emanating from the ice-cream truck are: repetitive, sickly sweet, banal. I say nothing more about it.

But just look at those pathetic lyrics! They describe a nightmare: burning eyes, dying trees, out-of-control fires, withered forests, pollution-choked rivers, floods, a sun so fearsome that “shrouds” must be worn to protect oneself, and fifteen—fifteen! not fourteen, nor thirteen, but fifteen—hurricanes! What perplexing specificity!

These bizarreries are no different in their driving malevolence than those induced in the minds of sixteenth-century children addled by Hieronymus Bosch paintings. A song this frightening is not the product of a mind causally aware of events of the day. It is not a cynical attempt at public relations by an aging pop star. No, sir. These lyrics can only have come from a mind convinced that the End Is Near.

And just what evidence satisfied young Aitan that “It’s worse than we thought”? It cannot have been the testimony of his own eyes: the weather in California is exceptionally clement. From his web site, he appears healthy. Hurricanes have not increased, the redwoods have not withered, food production increases. Thus, his trembling could only have come from promises of future retribution.

Global warming then, as a fear, is not different in class from the threats promised by old Hieronymus. Eternal torture and clusters of fifteen hurricanes are evils that will “eventually” befall us, lest we repent and lead a sinless life.

It has long been recognized that environmentalism is a religion, and young Aitan’s song tells us that he is a dedicated convert. Given the appalling content of this song, we anxiously await intellectual Daniel Dennett’s pronouncement whether this religion, as he says of other sects, is a form of child abuse.

22 Comments

  1. It may be that environmentalism is being treated as a religion by its fervent adherents and activists, it does not mean that environmentalism is a religion per se.

    Now, it’s all too easy to taint a whole field with the most fervent extreme and paint it as an fringe and lunatic ideology. Look, I can do the same with Libertarianism or Objectivism. I can do the same with the whole right-wing. Does that mean that none of these people have anything to contribute to the society as a whole?

    And to read a song as a literal exercise…. from you, an educated man… is just presposterous. Not defending its high poetry value, but come on, it’s something that comes out of a 14 year old. And if you are trying to find some left-wing “desperate” band, U2 is soo 80s. Try Radiohead instead.

  2. Luis,

    I think you are still smarting from Portugal’s early exit. Time to hoist a brew and cheer on the Netherlands!

  3. Hehe. Portugal didn’t leave early. I’m surprised it even got to play Spain.

    And I’m right and you know it :).

  4. I much regret that I was once taken in by the Chief Seattle speech many years ago (http://www.snopes.com/quotes/seattle.asp). I even gave a copy of it to a substitute teacher here in Eugene, Oregon (one of the moonbat capitals of the planet). She later told me it was spread throughout the school system. Only later did I find out my mistake. I am very sorry that I contributed to some of this misinformation.

  5. As I recall there are something like 175 significant rivers and major “creeks” in little Aitan’s home state, so I have no idea how many “streams” contribute to those water courses but “streams full of tires” do not exist here so has gotta be something he’s been told about elsewhere. Last I heard it was Morris County, New Jersey, that had that problem. Aitan receives a B- for poetry, and a D- for research accuracy. There goes the honorable mention.

    Apparently Luis Dias has never heard of  Gaia, ecology’s high priestess.

  6. Give the kid a break. Send him some educational stuff to counteract his indoctrination. The NIPCC will do. Tell him to hide it under his bed so no one will find out….

  7. Aitan,
    If you happen to be reading this, I’d like you to know that I think you’ll grow up to be a happy and contributing citizen, for which you have your parents to thank.

    My Dear Mr. Briggs, this post stinks.

  8. We’ve always raised a lot of maleducated dopes, is this a new trend? I’m sure this kid will follow the Al Gore path, some folks will do anything to save the planet, except take a science course.

  9. “waiving wheat”?

    Redwoods depend on forest fires to survive, so he shouldn’t worry too much about them withering in the heat. I doubt the people who gave him the prize know that either though.

  10. You should have upper-cased your declaration about not picking on Aitan, but the adults around him. Apparently this was not clear, as some of the comments indicate.

  11. JH,

    He might grow up happy, but if those lyrics are at all representative of his current mental state—and they can hardly be unrepresentative—then he is not happy now. His daydreams are exceptionally lurid, are they not? And false.

    This is not the poor kid’s fault. Somebody that young is unable to make world-changing, political pronouncements like those without they have been implanted by his guardians.

  12. Perhaps he should have included a dance. It’s common knowledge the award can be had for a song and a dance. He obviously is a slacker. How else could he have been outflanked by the horseshoe crab even if they are cute (but smelly)?

    Is it possible that the message is there is no place for art in Eco-science regardless of how artfully crafted the Global Warming argument is?

  13. Is Aitan happy? I’ll have to ask him and his parents. Are his daydreams lurid? No, not according to the judges of the award. It’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. From the standpoint of a parent whose children had attempted to write songs, your unkind, unhelpful criticisms towards his song’s melody and lyrics are uncalled-for.

    And it’s his parents’ fault? What’s next? An environmentalist such as James Hansen (or an intellectual or an academic or a liberal, your usual target) is not fit to be a parent because he/she can “pollute” a child’s mind with opinions different from yours?

  14. Come to think of it, one would think the proclaimers, worriers, and even singers of impending doom would welcome the event with joy as expressed by another clueless singer with the words “party like it’s 1999!”. Most (that I know) do not experience angst when contemplating a holding a party to end all partys. Never understimate the adolescent mind in seeing doom in every adventure.

    JH, one can only imagine the he now feels after being drummed out by a horseshoe crab enthusiast and a 10 y.o. lemonade stand/web site entrepreneur. Humiliated is probably the best out of his current emtional set. Or perhaps the worst — no one in California is humble. The reality must burn!

  15. JH,

    No fair. I’m asking you, not the organizers of the contest. Do you find his dreams lurid? I have given my reasons why I say so. What are yours for denying this?

    But you have convinced me that I would have been off posing this as a letter to young Aitan from his Uncle Matt. Next time I’ll be more careful.

  16. Briggs,

    How am I supposed to judge the lyrics of a song? Do the lyrics need to be fact-based or to be strong lines that convey an idea or feeling? Am I supposed to interpret them literally? It’s a song written by a 13 year old! Please also see my comments below.

    DAV,
    The reality? You mean, e.g., the BP oil spill? Yes, the spill burns me (and Aitan also, probably) up, and I bet it would have a significant effect on the horseshoe crab population. ^_^

    I have no idea what this Honorable Mention means to Aitan. As I’ve said, Mr. Briggs is entitled to criticize his song (and therefore, him) and his parents. It’s something that I won’t do, but it doesn’t mean other people won’t/can’t/shouldn’t. It’s obvious that I was a bit bothered that our pal, Mr. Briggs, had chosen to do so. Well, let me put it this way, if the author of this post were Glenn Beck or some wacko, I wouldn’t give a damn.

  17. JH! Comparing me to Glenn Beck!

    Let’s not forget that little Aitan ventured into politics—via the persuasion of his dotty elders. He managed to trot over the world—think of his carbon emissions!—and kerwangle other kids into singing his political song. The point of creating the thing was, was it not?, to have people talk about it. Were we only supposed to say nice things about it because he was a kid? Or am I right in saying his parents could find better ways for this fine young man to spend his time?

  18. Mr. Briggs,

    No, not entirely because he was a kid. Anyway, to me, saying nice things and being kind are two different things. Being kind and giving constructive criticisms are the right things to do, will enable you to come out a winner in ways you might not realize and, believe it or not, will give you a more peaceful mind (ha, think about all my annoying comments for this post).

    Better things for the kid to do? All I can say is that I wish I could get my own kids to do what I want them to do, you know, the things I believe are better for them.

    No, I am not comparing you to Beck. I am saying that I could’ve easily ignored this post, but I didn’t because I care.

  19. Amazing, some of you can predict what this kid will turn out to be! Did you grow up to be the person your 13 year old self thought you would?

    John Galt, I’m sorry that you’ve raised some maleducated dopes.

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