Patch, the subject of an incredibly sappy feel-good movie, is apparently a bit confused about current events:
"I am literally comparing Bush and his cronies to Hitler," Adams said, "only Hitler had a smaller vision."
Patch also doesn't understand basic economics:
"[I] don't understand why a ball bouncer makes more than a schoolteacher," Adams said.
Finally, Patch and cohort Dr. Helen Caldicott, a "vehement opponent of nuclear weapons", seem to be unable to grasp the difference between ends and means:
"I think there are a majority of people who want love, peace and cooperation," said Caldicott. "But we find it hard to reach out to each other."
Which leads me to the second part of my subject. What we've seen here is another application of what I'm calling the Folk Song Army Fallacy. Basically, the FSAF is what happens when an advocate confuses the ends for the means to those ends. Someone who is "for peace" or "against crime" has committed the FSAF if he or she:
Peaceniks are commonly afflicted with the FSAF. As the Jo Walton quote that Patrick has on his page indicates, "peace" is not the same as "not fighting", but the distinction is lost on those who'd rather chant than think. It's my belief that the more simplistic and sound-bite-like an advocacy group is, the more likely that they have a bad case of FSAF. Once you know the symptoms of this syndrome, it's pretty easy to recognize it in its sufferers. It's also pretty depressingly common.
Naturally, you didn't have to come here to read a barrel shot of this particular fish. You've probably already read Lileks' screed. Lileks is a great writer and all that, but does he make metaphorical use of Tom Lehrer songs like I do? (Don't tell me if he does; it'd just depress me.)Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 15, 2002 to Skepticism