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Big fat hypocrite


Can’t stand it. I know it’s been blogged to death, but every time I think of it, I get another painful flareup. The burning. The itching. I’ve got to get this out.

On Monday, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research published a press release revealing that Al Gore’s mansion in Belle Meade uses more electricity in a month than the average family uses in a year. And I keep coming back to that. Belle Meade.

Belle Meade.

The words Belle Meade give Nashvillians a little involuntary shiver of class envy. Like Beverly Hills or Manhattan. It’s a startle response. Shhhhh…be still. Very large money is passing nearby.

I grew up near his farm in Carthage, but somehow I never realized he had a mansion in Belle Meade. There are no mere houses in Belle Meade.

Belle Meade is where the Nashville money is. Not the tacky hayseed country music money — that’s way on the other side of town, in places like Hendersonville. Belle Meade is lawyer money. Newspaper money. Plantation money. Gentile money. Multi-generational inherited money. Old money.

It’s a whole separate, incorporated township inside Nashville, with a mayor and a town hall and a police force. Residents pay taxes to both cities. They can afford to. I’ve heard it said Belle Meade is the fifth richest per capita city in the US. A membership in the Belle Meade Country Club would set you back thirty grand in 1978. God knows what it is now.

Belle Meade is the huge, snoring carcass of the old Old South. The Battle of Nashville, the South’s last gasp on the Western front, was fought in the front yard of Belle Meade Plantation; there are still bullet holes in the famous white limestone columns.

All down Belle Meade Boulevard, becolumned and verandah’d antebellum piles snooze in the hot Tennessee sun. I have stood, a poor and distant relation, in the vasty vastness of a few of those gilt and marble caverns. I was a small, gray, disconsolate object in a mad sea of European rococo excess.

When one denizen of Belle Meade bought an automobile in 1935, it came with the negro to drive it.

Now, I have no objection to the wealthy, on principle. Even those who inherit wealth they had no hand in creating. I find it rather irritating that I’m not one of them, but I don’t advocate hunting them down like dogs or anything. In fact, I’d feel better about Al’s house if he’d inherited it; I could forgive him preserving a bit of extravagant family history in an extravagant way. But he apparently bought his manse in 2002, and added to it extensively since. Without making it conspicuously greener.

But, damn it chaps my ass to be preached a doctrine of personal austerity by some ex-beardyweirdy who, it turns out, lives like Scarlett Bloody O’Hara befo-ah the wo-ah. Does anybody really believe you’re walking the conservation walk when one of your three houses uses twenty times the amount of energy the average family consumes?

Carbon credits? Kiss my ass! Putting money into renewable energy research doesn’t somehow, magically wipe away a lifestyle of gross waste and profligacy. If you really believe the earth to be in imminent peril, wouldn’t you invest in greenliness AND live modestly? He can live how he likes — he can obviously afford it — but he can’t live like the Sun King and hector me to turn out the lights when not in use or we’re all gonna die.

I’m waaaaay over on the skeptical side of the Global Warming teeter-totter, and this level of pointless improvidence makes me feel a little sick. Shouldn’t the True Believers be fucking furious?

And if they’re not, what exactly are they true believers in?


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 2, 2007, 2:10 pm

Putting money into renewable energy research doesn’t somehow, magically wipe away a lifestyle of gross waste and profligacy.

Especially since he’s doing so by buying stocks in his own company. Yeah, there’s some sacrifice.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: March 2, 2007, 2:17 pm

Come on Mr. Weasel – tell us what you really think about this. It’s even worse than you think, the company that Algore supposedly buys his carbon credit indulgences from is owned by Algore.

I hope I never meet Algore. I don’t think I would be able to prevent myself from punching him in the face if I did. He really is despicable.

Comment from Alissa
Time: March 2, 2007, 2:19 pm

As a reader: Yay! You did it! You’re starting to air the toxic stuff!

as a liberal: Shut up.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: March 2, 2007, 2:20 pm

Gah! CT stole my thunder! Gotta type faster, I guess.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 2, 2007, 2:27 pm

There used to be dark rumors about how he and his dad made money off that farm, but I have no idea if they’re true nor any desire to have my backside sued for defamation.

Well, not really dark rumors — they weren’t selling body parts or anything. Iffy cattle transactions. That sort of thing.

Comment from Sarah D.
Time: March 2, 2007, 9:23 pm

Hurrah Oh Mighty Stoat! Heh.

You should be added to the FOAD thread.

Comment from nbpundit
Time: March 3, 2007, 8:17 am

Iffy as in rustling? Heh.
Probably take lots of shovels (big ones) and lots of
money to Digg that out.
He is probably of the mind that he is really
His Hindness and has the right to decree instead of
just preach. We can all laff, but I believe the man is
serious in thinking of how he can control the peons
so much better.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 3, 2007, 3:07 pm

Get a rope

Pingback from A little bit of background on “the boy” Massa Gore
Time: March 4, 2007, 10:23 pm

[…] Have a look here at the latest post by Weasel Times and Intelligencer: […]

Comment from vkaryl
Time: March 4, 2007, 10:40 pm

I like you. I like what I’ve read here so far. I’ve bookmarked you. And I’ve trackbacked from bitchslappin.net.

You are one cool weasel, boy….

I live in far southwestern Utah, closer to Vegas than SLC, at 7k feet on the highest farthest south mountain in the state. We get weasels here frequently…. not long back I had one jump up on the little table outside the living room window, and stare in the window at us.

Weasels are cool. You go guy.

Comment from whig
Time: March 5, 2007, 1:32 am

Good presentation. At the moment I’m thinking it’s best he not run. I think he would be disserving the Democratic party by sucking up all the air out of the process. It would reduce his moral authority to speak on climate issues, which he would have if he remained out of office voluntarily to champion them. Hypocrisy, though. You have a point.

Would you mind giving your opinion of Barack Obama?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2007, 5:53 am

I was tempted to give a negative assessment, but realized that was pure reflex. There’s so much hype around Obama, I have no idea who he is, really. First impression: charming and very liberal. And young.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: March 5, 2007, 8:40 pm

Save it (assessment), Weasel. It’s a long way to the ’08 elections, and there will be plenty of politician-induced guffaws and opportunities for “assessment” for everyone!

Not that I don’t look fwd to your commentary, of course. And…Obama is a target-rich environment, after all. He’s a one-man BS eco-system, IMHO.

Great site. BTW. I got here via Pirate Ballerina, so you should shamelessly kiss J Paines’ butt next time you talk to him.

Comment from whig
Time: March 6, 2007, 4:47 am

I’ve discovered that a lot of the difficulty in understanding liberals is that we’ve been so demonized by right wing hate radio that many people who think they are supposed to be conservatives think they are supposed to hate us.

The fact that you did not instinctively hate tells me you are not like that. And all the labels become irrelevant, when you understand this.

Comment from whig
Time: March 6, 2007, 4:52 am

I want to make a point that Barack Obama is a deeply religious man, and by that standard he is a true conservative.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2007, 7:51 am

Oh…ahhhh…<koff>…well, I actually built this site to give vent to just that sort of anti-liberal, hate-filled, mean-spirited screedy rant. Or was it ranty screed? Somehow, I haven’t gotten around to it.

By the time I hear about something, everybody’s already blogged it. That’s how I hear about it, after all. And other than “me too,” what have I got to add beyond a sulphurous whiff of mental instability?

Or maybe I’m just a pussy.

Anyhow, I have participated in sites where the two sides try to talk to each other using their grownup voices. Sometimes it’s enjoyable to try to have a level and calm conversation with the Other Side. Mostly, it’s painful and exhausting. Once you get to know each other a little better, you STILL disagree violently on the most basic concepts, but now you’re doing it with somebody you know.

Apologies in advance for whenever I stop catblogging and start making with the monkey noises.

Comment from whig
Time: March 6, 2007, 12:40 pm

Using grown-up voices all the time can be tiresome. A little humor goes a long way.

Realistically, the Republicans have nobody running for president that has a chance of winning. Many conservatives are preparing to go into opposition, and continue the cycle of political warfare. I think it’s a good time to figure out how to live together peacefully, if we can.

Have you also checked out my blog?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2007, 1:14 pm

I did check your blog, but I didn’t read much past the title. As the door to Cannabisworld is sadly closed to me now, I figured a lot of it wouldn’t mean much to me any more.

However, I have a feeling we’re fated to talk past each other. A statement like “the Republicans have nobody running for president that has a chance of winning” is so 180° to the landscape I see, I think we’d have to start by inventing a new language to talk in.

And that was another tiresome part of the site I mentioned earlier. Before we could begin to talk, we had to break every question down into tiny pieces and define the pieces. Because both sides have been talking among themselves for so long, we’ve attached a huge amount of baggage to simple statements. Which would be okay, except each side has attached a huge amount of different baggage. So we had to explain both mountains of baggage to each other before we could move on to the next simple statement in the argument. We seldom got far.

Comment from whig
Time: March 6, 2007, 5:55 pm

I invented a new language we can talk in, if you are musically inclined.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2007, 6:41 pm

I like banjo music, so I suspect the answer is technically no.

Comment from whig
Time: March 7, 2007, 4:46 am

I suppose, but it seems like they found a way in Deliverance. 🙂

Comment from whig
Time: March 7, 2007, 4:54 am

Surely you’ve seen this.

Pingback from S. Weasel
Time: May 29, 2008, 10:47 am

[…] to task for flying around the world to tell people not to fly so much. So what if one of his three mansions uses twenty times the electricity of the average family? Don’t you get it? He’s the […]

Pingback from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2009, 5:04 pm

[…] Al Gore has a fucking GIGANTIC carbon footprint (I remind you, one of his three mansions uses twenty times the energy of the average American family home). If he’s not ashamed, why would I […]

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