You know the old cliché: “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”
Not true, it turns out. A Pew Research Center poll earlier this month shows that only 59 percent of Americans believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming, down from 79 percent in 2006.
When asked a slightly different question, “Do scientists agree that the Earth is warming because of human activity?” pollees were split, 44 percent believing there is such consensus, and 44 believing there is not.
There is, in fact, broad scientific agreement that the Earth is warming because of human activity. So why so much confusion in the public? Well, look a little deeper into the results.
Among Democrats, 79 percent believe global warming is real. Among Republicans, it’s only 38 percent. Among Republicans who “agree with the tea party,” only 8 percent believed the Earth is warming because of human activity, while 70 percent of tea partiers do not believe the Earth is warming at all.
As the notorious pinkos over at The Economist noted after the results were released:
“It is simply a fact that the planet is getting warmer. That many people who previously knew this have come to un-know it indicates that people are busy at work promoting ignorance.”
Well, that’s their opinion.
It’s a sad part of getting older that so many of Bites’ counterculture idols have sold their music to be repacked as commercial jingles.
The list is long, and includes Iggy Pop (Carnival Cruise Lines), Modest Mouse (Nissan) and, perhaps most dismayingly, the Flaming Lips (Land Rover and Kraft Foods). After a while, you get used to it.
Wait, no, actually, you don’t.
Especially when the result is as disorienting as the new spot for Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.
The commercial opens with the unmistakable stuttering, stabbing, off-kilter chords of Gang of Four’s 1979 post-punk classic “Natural’s Not in It.” On the screen, a series of happy people are jumping around in front of their entertainment centers, and the narrator perkily tells us, “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about how you play the game. You are the controller.”
Lyrically, the song is either perfect or perfectly mismatched for the product:
The problem of leisure / what to do for pleasure
Ideal love, a new purchase / A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life / Economic circumstances
The body is good business / Sell out, maintain the interest
Don’t forget the chorus, everybody sing: “Repackaged sex / your interest / Repackaged sex / your interest.” Now, who’s ready for some video games?
Gang of Four were famously left-wing, feminist and anti-capitalist. No less an authority than Wikipedia tells us that “Natural” is about the “Marxist concept of alienated labor.” And probably it is, but in the commercial you just hear the groove, not the lyrics. Because that would be icky and weird.
Hopefully, the band is making a ton of money off the commercial. They earned it. And who knows, the little teaser might even get a few Xboxers curious about the band, which, coincidentally enough, has a new album, their first new material in 15 years coming out in January.
The body is good business, indeed.\