Two Words for Two Worlds

There is a thick line between veganism and the celebration of violence. The chasm between the desperately impoverished and the decadently entitled widens by the hour.  We witness the disparity at broadband speed and with the suddenness of a tsunami.

Africa is an enormous continent that gets depicted as approximately the size of Greenland on the very faulty default Mercator projection, used to depict everything from an extraordinarily specious perspective — one where the North Pole and the South Pole are infinitely large. This is to say that a single point with no dimension gets presented as limited only by infinity. Altogether all you need to know about the specie that finds Mercator’s single-purpose map indispensable to everything.

WorldMapper, it is scaled according to meat consumption.

meat.production.world

“Meat, as shown here, refers to all animal products that are consumed by people. Meat consumption per person is highest in Western European territories. Nine of the top ten meat consuming populations live in Western Europe. The anomaly in this ranking is New Zealand, a territory that is famous for its high ratio of sheep to people and the production of lamb. The most meat is consumed in China, a quarter of the world total. A fifth of the world population lives in China, eating on average 510 calories of meat per person, which is above the world average of 432 calories of meat per person.”

— WorldMapper

pangea_supercontinent_map

Two very different journalists on Korea.

First the vegan, Charles Newkey-Burden, author and journalist. He also writes for Shortlist, the Daily Telegraph and Four Four Two.

Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust you’ve never had a bacon butty

“Yes, dogs are smart and friendly – but so are pigs. Researchers from Cambridge University found pigs are as smart as three-year-old humans. They can play computer games and recognise people they met several years ago. They develop trust and empathy like we, and dogs, do. Few people relish the thought of any animals being slaughtered so it’s normal for those who eat meat to try to justify it. Just as westerners get angry about people in Asia eating dogs and cats, many Indians get outraged by westerners eating cows. People shake their heads in disbelief at guinea pigs and alpacas being served up in South America.” — Source

How much is your approach to meat a reflection of inculturation? Whom does the culture incarcerate and whom does it traffic?

The next article is by the non-vegan Andrew Keh, an international correspondent, covering sports from Berlin. He has previously covered Major League Baseball and the N.B.A. and has reported from the World Cup and the Olympics.

An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t

At a restaurant near Gangneung Olympic Park, a colleague and I slipped on plastic gloves and each grabbed scissors. (When I’m president, scissors will replace knives on everybody’s dinner tables.) We pulled crab parts from a bubbling pot as deep and wide as a witch’s caldron. We broke our busy silence only to marvel at the ribbons of red and white meat dangling between our fingertips: They were feathery soft and, yes, so sweet. When all the legs were gone, we asked for a couple packs of instant noodles to repurpose the cloudy russet broth. The place also serves sannakji, raw octopus so fresh that the slices quiver on the plate. For non-Korean visitors, the dish exists almost exclusively as a dare. — Source

If you have the stomach click on I have the stomach to eat menudo.
Is it ethical to eat an animal that is still alive when it arrives at your plate. Could you eat live octupus? Andrew Keh celebrates it. It’s not something that I can un-see, but as a vegan I must bear witness to the banal.
Thanks for reading.

To Serve Man

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a laudable mission statement signed in 1948. It’s a worthy list of inalienable rights. Unfortunately they are self-ordained by a single self-admiring specie for a self-admiring specie.  There were two billion humans alive in 1948, there were 7.6 billion by 2018. At least 70 billion animals who do not qualify for human rights will become “what’s for dinner” and other consumer products by this time next year.

http-::www.cartoonistgroup.com:properties:bizarro:art_images:cg50a3d418f0ac2

Universal rights? No. Membership is limited to just one specie.

Inalienable rights? No. I can violate them each and every day, with or without impunity. At a supermarket for example.

Can you name any species as selfish, self-serving, arrogant and violent? Humans excel at both inter- and intra- species exploitation. They are toolmakers who waste no time weaponizing every clever invention they devise into a long list of engineering marvels — to serve man. Damon Knight’s story is also set at the UN and is also a curious take on human rights.

Galaxy_195011

Humans domesticate every creature on this planet: inter- and intra- as well. They are toolmakers who can transmit their will at the speed of light, who recreate by watching blood sports and who domesticate their domestic realms with domestic violence. Do I hint at patriarchy here? Yes, it’s by design and by inheritance. How many matriarchal societies can you inscribe on the head of a pin?

 

 

Look at the Elephant in the Room as it looks back at you. The eyes have it.

theres.an.elephant.in.the.room

Built-in optical systems for locating sustenance and for detecting danger are not trivial physical characteristics. Eyes are something that homo sapiens have in common with other sentient beings who developed them during the Cambrian — about half a billion years ago.

we.dont.serve.your.kind.here

Creatures with eyes possess an astonishingly complex central nervous system that channels cognition to intention. Sentient creatures share a long list of extraordinarily similar organs, systems that pump lifeblood from the heart to each organ and back again — sentient beings possess extraordinarily similar oxygen-breathing mechanisms and waste elimination processes. Glance at the corresponding organs found in pig and in man.

If this all sounds a bit like a rant, initiating a discomfiting mood, I provide the following bit of reading material that contains much more “conventional wisdom” on the state of bacon in contemporary American thought on comfort food:

Where bacon comes from on a pig

for.sheer.horror.thanksgiving

Here is where I found the Dan Piraro (fellow vegan) cartoons. You may also wish to visit Dan’s website, Bizarro dot com

Thanks for reading.

 

 

It’s All About Meme

a wise meme once said

About 10,900,000 results (0.40 seconds) 

Did you mean: “a wise man once said”?

No, but thank you for the algorithm, G. Oogle. I didn’t mean that.

Did you meme: “a wise woman once said“?

Thank you Mr. Oogle, but those results are more helpful. Your bots do fine fast work.

Disinformation_vs_Misinformation
Memetics is a term invented by Richard Dawkins (1976: The Selfish Gene) to describe how information propagates in a network. The internet permits you to inform and misinform as rapidly as web-crawling bots can jump from here to anywhere.
A borg in Macedonia, a bot in Minnesota or a Shakespeare-typing monkey may be squinting at a computer screen as you read this.
Misinformation
Mr. G.O. Ogle, what’s a “meme generator”?
About 1,270,000 results (0.53 seconds) 
Why an all-caps serif-free dishwater-grey font? Personally, I would prefer Henry Ford black.meme.font
Why would Gandhi quote Martin Luther King on Einstein’s memories of Logan Paul?
Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Calling Culling Killing

Living a vegan lifestyle is its own reward: it is personally satisfying, it improves your personal health and stamina, it rights the injustice of generational theft and recognizes the inalienable right of all sentient beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being outnumbered 33 to 1 doesn’t erase that simple fact of life and death.

vegania

Yes the very word “vegan” often elicits quite a reaction from non-vegans — sometimes a shudder, sometimes a groan, sometimes a laugh.

…and y’all make the rest of us sick because we were created to eat meat and to have dominion over the appetizing entrees on the land, in the sea and in the air. That includes hunting, butchering and fashion. All fair game. 

I consider myself a citizen of an Earth without boundaries, a planet where one-citizen one-vote includes all sentient beings — those yet wild and free and those imprisoned without charge in slaughter houses.

racism.speciesism

I’ve just finished reading an article by Dr. Will Tuttle. It appeared in a helpful and useful resource —  one written with earthy sustainability as a goal: One Green Planet. There you may enjoy a bunch of greenish suggestions for halting the crime of generational theft

How can spiritual teachers be meat eaters? Well, most people searching for spiritual insight are not yet vegan, but that long arc leading from here to full rights for the 75 billion units served per annum? It’s way out there: way, way — but gets closer with each non-meat bite.

From experience I know that you may have to hit proverbial rock-bottom before turning the train-wreck of your existence around. The clear and present threat to vegans as well as non-vegans is not found in the news. Most news organizations are either corporately owned or corporately sponsored, advertising is their lifeblood.  An endless flow of 40′ containers course their way on the open sea. When you buy cheap eye-candy manufactured of plastic, your purchase triggers an order to a factory. What’s the harm of that?

  1. you are most likely sanctioning human trafficking.
  2. you are contributing to further global warming
  3. you are consuming the limited amount of biomass of a past extinction event.
  4. the eye-candy goes to a landfill, but it eventually ends up in the oceans to maim, kill and pollute: from phytoplankton to the formerly land-based whales. Whales are highly intelligent fellow mammals who fared better in the ocean because their legs didn’t evolve very well.
  5. Old plastics don’t die, and they don’t just fade away —they go on to kill the creatures downstream who were around before “civilization” arrived to kill all not already marked for cull. Culling is killing.

great.whites

Generational Theft. It’s as unreported and as stark as the deaths of 75 billion sentient beings each year. Leave the grand kids to fend for themselves.

The futures market is a place to earn a return on livestock before they become deadstock. Pork belly futures go up and down, but the pigs heading to market only go down — they asked for it by dint of yumminess. Don’t forget the little piggy that had roast beef, the little piggy that had none (or tofu, it’s the same thing isn’t it?).

Dr. Tuttle asks a direct question on a puzzling state of affairs. The incredible made credible, the inexplicable explicated.

“Why Are Few Spiritual Teachers Vegan?”

“While it’s relatively easy to bemoan and blame corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, and sociopathic decision makers in the military-industrial complex for our woes, the obvious and undeniable fact is that these leaders and power brokers are, inevitably, an accurate mirror of the consciousness of we the people. Attempting to improve the quality of our leaders without improving the quality of ourselves is an exercise in futility.”

The vast majority of physicians eat meat, but that circumstance is changing rapidly as more homo sapiens arrive at the epiphany that convinces former meat-eaters to eschew body-parts, to realize that we’re on the way to a day when homo sapiens refrain from wiping out entire ecosystems at a time. Ecosystems have died out in five previous extinction events, creating your own such event is not something to brag about. So, what do each of those events hold in common? Carbon dioxide induced glass house effect. Sustainable lifestyles not tied to fossil fuels do not fuel the greenhouse effect.

defensive.omnivore.bingo

In closing, let’s see what the doctor ordered. I found the following in WebMD, the largest pile in the waiting room.

But if your vegetarian co-worker is noshing greasy veggie burgers and fries every day for lunch, is he likely to be healthier than you, who always orders the grilled salmon? Definitely not!” —  WebMD

The WebMD article does not mention that the salmon is culled from an increasingly threatened ecosystem. It probably did not want to end up on the patient’s or physician’s plate in the first place.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

The Hungry Tigress: Mettamorphosis vs. Meatamorphosis

Just before Y2K failed to bring a bold end to global warming, I read a collection of Jataka Tales published by Rafe Martin: The Hungry Tigress — I own a much prized signed copy.  Each brief account centers on seemingly inexplicable acts performed by the Buddha, sudden jabs of insight that make all mystery wonderfully explicable.

hungry.tigress

It left quite an impression on me, as the lessons in this collection recalled so very well my personal attempts to instantly make sense of existence before all meaning instantly dissolved into nihilism, decadence or other shades of folly. It seems that life is nature’s way of cleaning house, today fossil-fuel dealers seek to extract as much instant energy as possible from the Carboniferous (300+ million years ago) be disinterred and burned in their entirety at the earliest possible moment. What is the irony there? That the instant energy released by igniting that fossil biomass insures the successful conclusion of a sixth extinction event, appropriately assigned the moniker “The Anthropocene.”

Not to worry, it’s not the end of the world — Earth abides and is in the prime of her life..

Let’s consider that Jataka tale about the tiger and her nearly dead cubs:

“Once, the Bodhisatta was born in a respectable family of the scholars; and mastered several Shastras. Soon he was disillusioned with the worldly life and renounced the same for the spiritual uplift. In course of time, he proved his excellence in his pursuit and became the guru of several ascetics.”

The story of the mother looking into the eyes of her hunger-ravaged cubs tells of dark nights and glaring days of painful death by starvation. Such spirituality speaks to my vegan soul, refusing to consume the flesh and hide of fellow sentient souls is a step toward enlightenment, something that allows a glimpse into the eyes of the beings incarcerated in slaughter houses.

One day, when wandering in a forest along with his disciple Ajita, he saw from the top of a hill that a tigress was lurking to kill and eat her own cubs out of hunger. Moved by compassion he thought of sacrificing his own body to feed the tigress and save the cubs. So, he sent away his disciple in search of some food for the tigress lest he might prevent him from his sacrifice. No sooner than Ajita left the site, the Bodhisatta jumped from the precipice in front of the tigress and offered his body. The noise of the fall caught the attention of the hungry tigress, who in no time scooped over him and tore him off in pieces and feasted upon them with her cubs.  

Meet your meat eye to eye, do not lock yourself into complicity with the dark captains and kings of industry who would assure you that unending war, supremacist incarceration of the inconvenient and disagreeable bright souls and spirits is a seal of quality, that which brings value to the coin of the realm.

hair.in.my.food.large

I may be coining a word here: “meatamorphosis” — something to describe the process that transforms non-human creatures who possess the same optically connected nervous systems of the sentient beings that developed eyes during the Cambrian. What do you see when you look into the eyes of chickens, pigs and cows. Let’s ask the meat man.

That website even portrays a pig in cap and gown with a pointer to tap on each cut of cow. Holy wow!

When Ajita returned and did not find his guru in the same place, he looked around and was surprised to see that the tigress no longer looked hungry. Her cubs were also frolicking. But soon, he was shocked to detect the blood stained rags of his guru’s dress scattered there. So, he knew that his guru had offered his body to feed a hungry tigress and protected her young ones as an act of great charity. Now, he also knew why was he sent away by his guru. 

Jataka text extracted from Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Please Don’t Slam Islam

Lisa and I celebrate 25 years together this very year, remarkable marks we have made together: 7 years in the 20th Century and 16 years into the 21st Century. So, two millennia and counting 🙂

We met online at the speed of a dial-up: 1200 baud via a Unix powered bulletin boarding system called TriState Online, a public service of the local phone company. One anniversary I printed a long set of conversations and placed the matrix-dotted leaves  in a binder — it’s in yonder armoire.

1200.baud

The sound of a dial-up

Human shadows grow long and weary over time. Consider this, consider this: Ibrahim the Patriarch and his family. Lisa knows more about that soap opera than do I, and she knows her sources. She is well versed in Biblical affairs involving affairs, being one who believes the actual teachings of Jesus, something long lost in trampling, trampings and rumors of war) lost or defiled in the translation. Once you die there is no telling how your follows will bend, fold and mutilate the spoken word become Word.

Lisa:

I am always moved by my husband’s compassion for the “underdog.” I know the Palestinians have religious customs we may find archaic. I had a close friend whose belief was performed daily with 5 prayers from the 5 aspects surrounding her, the knowledge that God’s eyes were on her always.

Allow me to quote a descriptive text from the pen of John Walton, a soul seeking balance rather than judgement, understanding rather than divisiveness.

John Walton:

…please be patient and take the time to read — realizing that as Christians we share in the same salvation offered to the Arabic people whose religion grew up around that God — with their own Prophet to guide them in the dogma — the same as as with Pauline doctrine… Later, Hagar bore a son to Abram and named him Ishmael, as the Lord had told her to (Genesis 16:15). Hagar’s story resumes fourteen years later when Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21). Shortly after Isaac was weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael taunting him and took the matter to Abraham: “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac” (Genesis 21:10). Although it grieved Abraham to do so, he gave Hagar and Ishmael some provisions and sent them away, and Ishmael and his mother wandered in the desert (verse 14).

When Hagar’s food and water ran out, she did not know what to do. She put Ishmael under a bush for shade and then went a few paces away so she would not have to watch him die (Genesis 21:16). As Hagar wept, the Lord called to her from heaven with words of comfort (verse 17); God then gave her a promise: “Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation” (verse 18). The Bible says that God “opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” that she had not seen in her distress (verse 19). God rescued Hagar and gave her hope and direction. God was with Ishmael as he grew up in the desert (verse 20).

BethlehemChristmasSmall

Abraham’s sin with Hagar has resulted in centuries of sorrow and bloodshed, as the descendants of Isaac (the Jews) and Ishmael (the Arabs) have been mortal enemies since Bible days. Mohammed, the father of Islam, is said to have been from the line of Ishmael, which is one reason Muslims claim a right to the Promised Land, Israel. Hagar is a revered woman in Islam since Ishmael is the father of the Arabic people. The Qur’anic version of the Genesis account twists the story to make Hagar the heroine of the story and her son, Ishmael, the child of promise instead of Isaac.alhamdulillah

The apostle Paul uses the story of Hagar and Sarah to teach a spiritual truth concerning our salvation. In Galatians 4, Hagar represents the Old Covenant, based on the Law (given at Sinai in Arabia) and human works. Sarah represents the New Covenant, based on grace and the saving work of God. In Paul’s analogy, believers in Christ are like the child born of Sarah—we are free, products of the Spirit. Those who try to earn their salvation by their own works are like the child born of Hagar—they are slaves, products of the flesh. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:31). Paul counsels believers to “get rid of the slave woman” (verse 30)—that is, cease trying to earn salvation, because the inheritance of the children of promise can never be shared with those who live under the dictates of the flesh.

The story of Hagar is full of God’s goodness, and we can learn from the way God worked in Hagar’s life. She was a nobody, a foreign slave girl. Yet the Lord of Heaven saw her in her distress, provided for her need, and blessed her son because he was the child of Abraham. Hagar gave us the term El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” And her story reminds us that, no matter who we are or where we are, the Lord God sees us.

mashallah

 

Thank you for reading and I hope the desperation of a people being forced into a ghetto, with dwindling resources and constant raids by military police may remind you of something the current Israeli government seems unable to recognize as the same forest they survived — for its blind focus on the trees. God bless all of us and may we share the security and peace we enjoy with those less fortunate, at home and abroad.

alhamdulillah.meme

Whisper Alhamdulillah softly and reverently in an aircraft, or suffer slings and arrows. Speaking at a conversational volume and you may find yourself immediately and roughly removed from the company of some very nice people. Very nice indeed.

“Is Islam a religion of peace?”  91,400 results (0.36 seconds)
“Is Christianity a religion of peace?” 5,970 results (0.44 seconds)
“The Rosary is an assault weapon with a 50 round clip.” Philosopher Dave.

Thanks for reading.

The LOKi Keyboard

One of my star editors, Loki the Tortie, favors a workstation with instant access to the keyboard and the monitor. Please note that this strategic location also includes a cardboard box of suitable size and, as cat fanatics know well, an empty box is filled with a cat in the earliest possible nanosecond. She puts in long hours, so a workplace with good ergonomics contributes to overall productivity.

loki.keyboard
The coincidence of the alpha characters LOKI suggests that a trickster may also be at work here 🙂

Loki possesses some skills that make her work remarkable:

  1. The ability to patiently ponder an interwoven nexus of data trails, this sometimes requiring deep concentration.
  2. A studied demeanor suitable to sustained mindful concentration.
  3. A profound understanding of breathing in and out in a supra-autonomic way.
  4. Sustained purring, understood here as a low vibratory murmur that is punctuated with sudden twitches of insight.

I have recorded the intervals of Loki’s breathing/purring ratio by applying a number of statistical measures, each calculated, graphed and annotated in the spurious index I maintain in apocryphal lab notebooks stored nowhere or other in an unrecorded carrel deep in the bowels of the hypothetical library of the unknown university where my research may not or may be conducted.

IMG_0774.jpg
Loki the Tortie in a familiar research station

Let us now proceed to Loki’s most recent research. Least, but for from first, Loki issues keystrokes in a discrete amount of time, typically in the range of 0.75 to 0.85 seconds — all conveyed with a stroke of a paw and the trail of a claw.

Here is a link to some signature work, that my fellow mammal recently keyed  in 0.732 seconds:

2p;;;;;;lok

A cursory glance suggests that Loki needed to urinate: 2p. The semicolons may be delimiters, some code or an urgency to cover the distance to the litter box — perhaps indicating 3 sets of paws (3×2=6 semicolons). In this vein, it is interesting to speculate on that missing “i” from an expected “loki”. Clearly, more research is needed.

These eleven (11) characters are as compact as any regular expression I’ve ever seen, they recall the intense memory restrictions of mid 20th Century computers such as Eniac. Coding in those days placed enormous restraints on code size at the machine level, so rapid nimble paw and claw strokes are a tribute to Loki’s computational genius and the elegance of her code.

semicolon.claws

Right now Loki  the Tortie is in the middle of a mind meld with a couch cushion. I eagerly await the results of that meld 🙂

Meanwhile I want to read up on the work of Marc-Antoine Fardin, winner of the Ig® Nobel Prize for 2017:

PHYSICS PRIZE [FRANCE, SINGAPORE, USA] — Marc-Antoine Fardin, for using fluid dynamics to probe the question “Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?”

Thanks for reading.

 

May the Meek Inherit Al Quds

The persons most affected by a decision are always the last to be informed of that decision. The Palestinians are the persons most affected by Trump’s nod to Netanyahu. But:

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Palestine. 

“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” said Mark Levin on Monday, while broadcasting from Israel. “They’re Arabs. I’m sorry, they can call themselves Palestinians, or Palestinian Arabs – I don’t even know what that means.”

By 2020 there will be more Palestinians than Israelis inhabiting the same geography. Israel didn’t even exist before May 14, 1948.

“The May 19 Metro article ‘Judge: Terror suspect’s words can be used at trial’ stated that a terrorism suspect’s parents “immigrated from Palestine.” Last I heard, there has been no peace accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority resulting in a country called Palestine. For people who immigrated after 1948, it is factually incorrect to state that they “immigrated from Palestine.”   Herbert Chubin, Bethesda
In 1948 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were driven by well armed soldiers into a diaspora that continues to this day. Palestinians only possessed arms inherited upon the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire — pretty much all the armaments they have today.

what.it.is.to.be.palestinianDe facto Israel is America’s 51st State, or at least its second District. Puerto Rico is a territorial island inhabited by a people with skin too brown for racist tastes. The Israeli ideal appears to be Northern European, fair of skin and akin to the skin favored by most empires.

Where do the Palestinians stand in Trump’s estimation? Well, what grabs his attention? Trump is as decisive as he is incompetent. POTUS 45 is every bit as racist and corrupt as POTI 12, by any ethical measure.  Each president denies the racism behind their actions. Trump envies Netanyahu’s wall and Israeli engineering firms bid for Trump’s dream barrier. Ethiopian Jews try to attain Aliya but can’t get past detention centers. Both blame Islam: Radical Islamic Terrorism but ignore White Supremacists’ terror aimed at Muslims and the survivors of slavery: America’s Black population.

Netanyahu uses his intelligence, and the intelligence at his disposal, to remain in office. Trump doesn’t have enough intelligence to function as an adult. He knows what corrupts absolutely and he grooms it. He’s far closer to a Caligula than any previous President.

I doubt that Trump could find Jerusalem on a world globe, but he has Fox and Friends to cover that from behind their coffee table. They have his ears and the dark matter between those ears. F&F spur him on to spurt his soul-deadening tweets, his talking points.

latuff.2017

The last two empires to make global choices for Palestine have been English-speaking realms with world-counquering ambitions. In 1948 the former imperious spoke the Queen’s English. They passed the baton to the next imperial deciders, the ones who speak English American style.

The United States had already ethnically cleansed indigenous Americans who stood in their way since the arrival of Columbus (notable racist) to today. The 50 states carved into North America arrived by dint of legally sanctioned genocide. Manifest Destiny squeezed life blood from sea to shining sea — State by flagged-star State.

History is always written by the conquerer. Of course “mistakes were made,” but their monotheistic God did favor the features of the Northern Europe didn’t he? Jesus, Mary and The Father depicted with European features and a skin lightened by many cloudy days.

Let’s take a look at how the English speakers ordained the ancient land of Palestine, home for three aspects of a monochromatic God in situ. Each find a place in respective scriptural scripts for the characters at play.

The sons and daughters of Ishmael find themselves at the crosshairs. 1.8 billion gentle worshipers are either “Radical Islamists” or they support “Radical Islamic Terrorism” because they honor the Quran. Is that beyond all possibility in 2017? No, homo sapiens are ever capable of reaching to any depth of depravity to attain greater depravity. Venture capital is always available to fund decadence, be you a Drumpf or a Caligula.

Children as young as 12 enter the Israeli prison system if they throw a single rock, or an IDF soldier merely states that the youth threw a stone.

israel-children-cages

Were it not for the United States of America (and the Marshall Islands) the Palestinians would already have a homeland, one recognized by the world community.

May the meek inherit Al Quds.

Thanks for reading.

Just Don’t Think About It

Of course “it” will get you down if you keep thinking about it.

What’s this shit?

The things you can change. Epictetus (circa 65 c.e.), a Greek slave, is often quoted, usually without attribution, on such matters.  You may know it by its most familiar incarnation: The Serenity Prayer. Epictetus represents the more stoic side dreamt of in philosophy, a view from the complement.  The other side of the coin features the much better known Greek philosopher: Epicurus. Eat, drink and live as comfortably as possible.

Out-of-Sight-Clutter-Quote

A coin has two sides, you won’t encounter many one-sided coins in the agora. Any of the way, imagine a coin with the names of those two philosophers, may each take a side.

Epictetus Epicurus.

There’s nothing new under the sun, even Earthly extinction events; in fact, we live and love in the shadow of extinction possibility number six. The sun abides however. No wonder so many worship. Sol so.

We will return to tet and cur following these words from our sp*ns*r.

We’re whispering because Bill is hard-of-hearing (we have switched off closed captioning too). He can’t hear us. Please don’t spill the beans. It’s just us, just us. 

Who are we? We are an apocryphal (in your dreams!) den of con-artisans who conspire to keep the population glued to a shiny entertaining crystal, one with innumerable facets, like a diamond formed from coal under heat and pressure — a distillation of a rich biomass: a rapid metamorphosis: life to death at nearly the same time, and without a funeral service. Ironically that biomass is organic matter long dead but now continually pressed into the stuff of instant energy, such as coal, such as oil. Bringing it to the surface quickens carbon dioxide accumulation in Earth’s thin atmospheric. Lungs like yours breathe it. Take a deep one and hold it.

Don’t forget: we don’t exist. We’re more gravy than grave. Relax and enjoy, enjoy and relax, relax and repeat….

…Hold on a second. Did I fall asleep during a nightmarish commercial? I don’t feel very well, actually quite nauseous. What the freak?

die_verwandlung___metamorfosis_by_jalpal-d4ab0yq

Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt. Er lag auf seinem panzerartig harten Rücken und sah, wenn er den Kopf ein wenig hob, seinen gewölbten, braunen, von bogenförmigen Versteifungen geteilten Bauch, auf dessen Höhe sich die Bettdecke, zum gänzlichen Niedergleiten bereit, kaum noch erhalten konnte. Seine vielen, im Vergleich zu seinem sonstigen Umfang kläglich dünnen Beine flimmerten ihm hilflos vor den Augen.

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing Eye to Eye

In regione caecorum rex est luscus — a proverb from at least as early as 1500, authored by Desiderius Erasmus. A short story by H. G. Wells.

illustration of 3 reaching hands to nunez
The guys without the eyes are trying to locate those two roundish objects  in Nuñez’ face. They feel like peeled grapes, perhaps the source of the hallucinations that cloud his mind and prevent Nuñez from fitting in. Would enucleation (surgical removal of an eye or two) correct his vision?

My father once mentioned to me that a curious aspect of growing old is a realization that you no longer fit contemporary society, and that immortality wouldn’t help you socially adapt. My dad was a sagacious fellow, he often told me that he would rather be healthy and rich than sick and poor. A little sage makes the dressing. That’s what I think.

I didn’t wait for old age to know that feeling of disorientation, confusion and re-disorientation that the inexplicable brings. The only thing 100% predictable in life is the unexpected.

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Let me tell you about my friend from Edinburgh, from that town north of Hadrian’s Wall that isn’t Glasgow.  Well, he met my son around 1981, said son was going on three — it’s what happened to earthlings born in 1978.

Any of the way, that Scot spent some time with my boy and proclaimed that he liked him because the youngster recognized the essential absurdity of life. Recognizer of essential absurdity, ‘twould make a fine line on a business card, would it not?

These are the confessions of a guilty bystander, to borrow a few words from Thomas Merton, a philosopher I heartily commend to your attention. He died young and he died tragically, but his works are immortal and always fresh. I wish to confess generational theft: squandering limited resources for a lifetime and lifestyle of self-absorbtion by elders who do know, or should know, far better. If the glove fits, don’t acquit. I must remember to have “generational thief” included in a future obituary.

We’re supposed to leave the planet better than it was when we inherited it. You don’t improve a tightly shared planet by chowing down on the products of animal husbandry, that’s what I believe.  No eyeball-equipped planeteer should consume similarly eyeball-equipped planeteers for the dining pleasure that meats you from the inside out.

You don’t just have a law passed that decrees husbanded animals as free of pain, so that you can just get on with it all legal-like by saying “So there! Now let us serve man.”

You’ve inspired us to write ad-copy, Bill —

“The only grass our cows eat spring from the fruited plain.”

“Our contented cows eat only amber waves of grain.”

Let’s talk about the creatures who developed eyes during the Cambrian Era. Eyes improve your odds of surviving, you see something dangerous and you get out of the way, you see something nutritious, like an apple, you eat it and you’re better for it.

james.herriot.soul.animals

Creatures with eyes also possess a highly developed nervous system, complete with complex nuanced nerves from brain to brainstem to tailbone, from tailbone to brainstem to brain. Back and forth, forth and back. Creatures with eyes are not interested in ending up on a plate next to peas and potatoes, or transformed into Andy Capp’s Hot Lardy Fries and Pinker Pork Rinds, Perky Pig Ears? Would you?

Thanks for reading.

 

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