Readings from The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

Bruckner’s The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse is different from the other texts we have read in class. Sullivan and Abbey wrote their pieces with a principal purpose of entertaining their readers, and providing enjoyment in doing so. Bruckner’s writing style, in contrast, is geared towards getting his message across. Throughout the text, there were many parts that required re-reading, in order to fully understand the author’s point. At times his writing tends to overwhelm the reader, and I found I had to take breaks in between reading the sections. What Bruckner presents, for the most part, is quite negative and laden with sarcasm. Although, the text is wordy at times, Bruckner does incorporate some thought provoking quotes.

When the reader is able to overlook the satirical content Bruckner includes in all his quotes, one finds that his writing is neither unreasonable nor fanatical. The book is set up as a critical cultural essay, incorporating belittling, sarcasm, and fancy words. At times I thought his word choice was over the top and considered aloof or even offensive to others. “If the latter wins out because of a crisis or blackmail, if the extremists drown out the moderates, the new sobriety will have the bitter taste of concentration camps and prisons” (159). Now, I understand that themes throughout his writing are influenced by his childhood growing up and attending a Jesuit school, but to make extend the reference to the Holocaust I thought was way out of proportion. If Bruckner had included more clear evidence to back his views, I feel the book could better inform readers regarding how to make change. One of the quotes he includes in The Poverty of Maceration discusses our “anxiety with transformation.” Bruckner resolves, “What should we conclude from these pious exhortations? That we can not allow a minority of Green autocrats to decide for us whether or not renunciation is important” (158). In making such a long-winded pronouncement regarding the leadership and direction of the Green movement, Bruckner manages to leave the vast majority of “troops” behind.

Bruckner’s essay is a long rant, with no supporting empirical evidence. He is man who is scatter-brained and closed off from the rest of the world. Bruckner is a writer that “has a way with words” but never actually has a point. His isolation from what is going on makes his argument unsubstantial and irrelevant.

His book was eye opening due in great part to how closed-minded many individuals are. It is an example of how to argue, without a genuine substantiated argument being presented in the first place. Typically, people use evidence to support the validity of their opinions. In a surreal world, maybe his point would matter.

How has radical ecology added to a greater debate?

When searching online to see what other people had to say someone brought up this question: Do people have the ability to redefine expectations in the face of troubling fiscal/physical realities?

I also found someone else write up this comment/critique:

Bruckner’s article is a long philosophizing journey within his own mind – but it is decidedly divorced from any objective appraisal of what’s actually happening upon our planet. Heck, I’ll bet Bruckner could write a five thousand word paper musing on the question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make noise?” I do agree somewhat this person thought, I believe that if he droned on and on.

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