Veganism Confronts Alternate Reality

Philip K. Dick has a great definition for reality. Slip into a time machine of some rare device and glide back 39 years to this PKD instruction manual:

“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)

Philip K had a way with clever titles too.

From that essay:

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

it-is-sometimes-an-appropriate-response

I’m confident he would be amused to visit this place 39 years after publishing that essay, but consider the depth of his vision — he may have understood the fearsome circumstance of contemporary reality with fierce accuracy. Science fiction is good at that sometimes. 

Alternate histories are the unexpected consequence of historic events preceding the present moment. Charting the present is a matter of connecting historical dots.  The past is fully explicable, though it might have struck you at break-neck speed. Many suffer from whiplash. I am but one.

Days that happened include the 8th of November 2016. Once you regain equilibrium you wake up to a hard (or soft) landing. You realize that “it” happened.

Let’s consider that really real reality — the one that doesn’t go away just because you stop believing in it.

That reality devours every nanoparticle of a belief system that failed you somehow. 

So it seems quite appropriate to preface m wild-eyed views on veganism with article from the another perspective, an opposing viewpoint: veganism is a travesty. Click Not Healthy to weigh a specious argument from the Fruit Doctor.

The truth of veganism doesn’t go away. Animal rights still exist — even when those rights are inexpedient.

Veganism is a truth recognized by the many but practiced by the very few. Still, many non-vegans are aware of a resemblance between the typical factory farm and a death-camp. Well, slaughter does imply imply a certain amount of death.

The specie homo sapiens is capable of much denial and not a small measure of ignorance. You heed a call to close your mind to disagreeable facts, make room for more spectacle — blood and circuses.

Intergenerational theft is a reality. Old thieves like me grasp the spoils of war and limit resources, insisting that future generations fend for themselves. 

There are three-times as many homo sapiens on the same planet as there were in the year of my birth — that’s the 1947 part of my eponym. Human population consumes an equivalent number in the animal husbandry economy each year.

greedhurtingeconomy

The next celebration on the calendar in the US of Us features super-sized bowls of chips, plates with slathered wings mechanically separated from a billion birds. The hearth of America becomes a stadium filled with a 100,000 seats for 200,000 buttocks — attending a “game” that is a metaphor for war. Flaunt, preen and consume so that the economy falters not. An audience slightly larger than 100,000 observe the spectacle from the comfort of a frenetic television screen.

Enormous shopping carts roll forward with product of the grossest national product that end-stage consumerism can muster. Together they supply trillion-dollar industries that provide product for all manner of mastication. Each with a nutrition label. Here is an aphorism that may cheer you  will reading those labels: “Well I’ve got to die of something!

protein-vegan

Blood and circuses. 

Here’s an alternative to viewing Supper Bowl LI — read something from Phillip K, perhaps “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Better yet, read my other posts on a theme of vegan. 🙂

Happy reading.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

What’s an Empire without an Emperor?

The US chief executive has long kept all Earth inhabitants under his imperious thumb — it’s the thumb that presses the scale of balances down. An empire requires an emperor. Every four years we get to meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

But what’s an empire without an emperor?

Stanley Cohen‘s recent article “From War to More War” addresses the role of the US military in preventing the threat of peace.

stanley-1-600x399-sarah-ferguson

From wingtip to shining eagle wingtip. One wing to rule them all. One wing to find them. One beak to snatch them all and in the darkness bind them.

10-000-mile-eagle

I watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate in real time 1960, not yet knowing that both candidates stood on the shoulders of an ever stronger military incarnate — sow the seeds, harvest the weeds. 

U.S. bombs dropped in 2016.

I see dead people.

The School of the Americas is located near Columbus, Georgia. The other Georgia (the one in Eurasia) had a favorite son: Joseph Stalin, seminary dropout.

The SOA is a training site for staffing all the tyrants needed to maintain global control in the “Free World.” Graduates are groomed to play the part of imperiously moved  chess pieces. Sing the national anthem while waist-deep in the Big Muddy for the land of the Atlanta Braves and the home of the free (from freedom fries).

In the 1940’s the radio sports broadcaster Bill Stern aired a tribute to a certain regular Joe, a guy who hailed from Georgia (hint, hint). Stern’s weekly radio program Colgate Sports Newsreel produced serial hacks — fake news of the day. Fake news is another phrase for propaganda. A country never reveals to its patriots that propagandists are prevaricators. 

bill-sterns-sports-book

I like Ike famously warned of the military-industrial complex in December 1960, but it received little attention in a country focussed on Camelot —that was before a Bay of Pigs epic fail of 1961. Guantanamo is one of many bases enforcing Pax Americana.

American celebrations anchored by celebrities reside in the culture’s marrow. Saying “thank you for your service” is as mandatory as standing for the blood-spangled banner. It’s a pledge of compliance. Freedom fries are not free. Football is a metaphor for war. And what are sport metaphors?

What if you rage against the military-industrial complex and its close relative, the prison-industrial complex? You become a valued resource of some isolated prison “campus.” Prisoners are human resources that yield “GREAT” profit.

teddy-big-stick

Here is a link to my other 16 posts on Mr. Cohen.

Thanks for reading.

Inverting Pig Rectums for a Living

Rated V — Very vegan friendly post. May offend some non-vegan readers

Vegan Sayings and Cute Things

Every molecule of “meat” represents a return on investment in the multiple trillion dollar industry that scavenges the hide and the marrow of our barnyard friends. Meat and meat byproducts, mechanically separated flesh, slime pink, love pink.

why-vegan-bearing-witness

Workers eking out a living in inexpressibly incomprehensible “meat-processing centers” risk emotional evisceration. As a wise man never said: “if you can’t take the PTSD, stay out of the death camp.” 

Did I mention that those rectal returns on investment increase as processing technology drives down production costs? Where do those profits accrue?  To the workers? No. They are funneled elsewhere. Here’s a hint: think financial-market capital traders. New York City?

There are worksites where people invert pork rectums for a living.

boneless-pork-rectums-inverted

Consider spraying compressed air into pig skulls? What? This is done to prevent “resource waste.”   Remove brain before directing the skulls to the bone-crushing mills. 

Remove all brains and keep your brains right. I got my mind right boss. My factory floor poster suggestion. Display at the employee entrance.

swimming-pig
A vegan-friendly alternative. Here they have the run of the island.

Use squeegees to direct blood from the stainless steel cutting stations and slough it into the collection containers provided for that purpose. Remember — blood is the lifeblood of our prosperity.

Waste not — do not waste animal lives.

Go vegan.

Consumers enjoy factory-farm-fresh sausage served with factory-farm-fresh eggs. Healthy profits rely upon advertising campaigns, you don’t want to squander resources by sullying a good name with idle talk of screams, stench and pollution. “Bob Evans — down on the farm.

3-batterychickens
Nine billion animals served annually

 

Take a look at the geography of animal processing. Contrast and compare with the geography of our prison-industrial complex. How are they similar?

See not, hear not, know not. Because complicity sucks — a lot.

Did any Soylent Green consumers know about rectal processing? It’s not just a camp classic.

Thanks for shuddering.

We’re Just Out Of Waldorfs

Some decades ago, in another millennium, I learned how to teach German language at the Cincinnati Waldorf School — by learning to flow smoothly.

waldorf-painting-turtle

Waldorf pedagogic method follows the thought and moment of Rudolf Steiner.

We’re still here, Bill. And we have a question. Is there a difference between pedagogic and pedantic? By the bye, we are bored.

Yes, there is a difference. My apologies for the tedium that now threatens tedia.

Each student had this blank book and a set of block crayons.

stockmar-beeswax-crayons-16-blocks

A fine point between  a pointed crayon and a block crayon. Boundaries are the literal point of a more muffling model. Art, dance, theater and connection to the Earth. Veganism was the norm, as it should be.

You have a gift for wandering off task. Do you know that?

The German for poison is das Gift. Snow White (Schneewittchen)  bit into a gift from a person of some political moment. The gift was Gift. On a side note — where I prefer to spend my time — you can frequent souvenir shops all over the place called: Das Gift Haus. Caveat emptor!

Bilingual puns are the death of wit, an affront.

Some few years ago, between 1989 and 2013, I enjoyed another singular privilege: teaching at the TriState German-American School. It’s a local institution that arose from a large number of emigrees to Cincinnati, arriving from German-speaking countries.

Pedantry alert. Pedantry alert.

The TGAS principal did not impose a curriculum on my class “Getting Around in German.” If the students were happy she was happy. My students were happy. This happy happenstance allowed me room (did you know that the name Zimmerman arises from the German ‘Room Man’ for carpenter. A Ziegler lays tile. The first mayor of Cincinnati was David Ziegler.

david-ziegler

My green italic critics shift nervously on respective chairs.

You stray like a thief in the night, Herr Ziegler. These Pults are a horror.

God save us from the prison that the Prussian system of student control imposes. Just my 7 1/2 cents.

From Fawlty Towers: “I want a Waldorf Salad.” Fawlty: “I think we’re just out of Waldorfs.”

fawlty-out-of-waldorfs

It’s quite a comfort to holiday at the Fawlty Towers. Let’s listen in on a few fellow guests recently arrived from Deutschland.

“We didn’t start it. Yes you did, you invaded Poland.”

But to return to something completely different, I developed a number of techniques in my Saturday German class that offered a more gentle way in my lesson un-plan. I introduced concrete objects without recourse to the succor of English.

Point at the sun, define a circle with your fingertips. The sun is big. She is yellow. She is big, round, yellow and hot. How can you remember that something is round — leave the round part “o” out, and so rund.

Two favorite verses did I glean from Waldorf and refresh in my class:

Hutsch He! Hutsch He! Der Ackermann sät.

The classroom floor became a plot of land to sow in Spring. In Autumn (Herbst/harvest) that same floor became a field of wheat that flowed with the wind and became ready for harvest.

Hutsch He! Hutsch He! Der Ackermann mäht. 

Use the same arm movement used for sowing the seeds, but then suggest a scythe that cuts the grain and readies it for baking bread.

sowing

Spring to Fall   —sät to mäht.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

An Uncertain Will (reblogged from Summa Amare)

 

An Uncertain Will

German Nazis Embrace Vegan Cooking

 

2000px-ingsoc_logo_from_1984-svg

From the comment thread:

The synopsis here is that there is a generation of superficial people who are utilising moral concepts as a fashionable tool rather than for any genuine concern; being a vegan is ‘cool’ and thus an image while fraudulently promoting products that is completely anti-animal rights and if not, certainly is lacking in morality such as cosmetic surgery. These same people talk of being an individual and ‘unique’ – a very trick in itself instigated to promote the idea that they have not actually submitted to this ploy – obvious since they are all doing the same thing. That is because they themselves have become a product.

They are reverberating the same tools that has been instilled by marketing and advertising ploys; ‘marketing’ is basically the master indirectly telling the slave that he is ugly – thus making him feel anxious – before convincing him to willingly submit to his enslavement by offering him the opportunity to be relieved of the anxiety. He profits and since the slave becomes willing and thus more productive, the profits become sustainable.

The problem here is, if we have a generation of people who submit to this speciousness, then why would it be presumptuous to assume that they will soon submit to something like neo-Nazism where they too are now utilising an effective method of justifying their hatred through fashionable tools.

The problem here is, if we have a generation of people who submit to this speciousness, then why would it be presumptuous to assume that they will soon submit to something like neo-Nazism where they too are now utilising an effective method of justifying their hatred through fashionable tools.

nazihipster

Con artists do not preface a pitch with  the disclaimer: “First, I must tell you that I am a con artist.”

 

Losing Rumi in the Translation

A couple years ago I attended an interfaith discussion at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati: “Welcoming the Stranger.” Their guest, Ismaeel Chartier of the Clifton Mosque, spoke to this theme. One attendee literally thumped a Qu’ran on a table and demanded an answer of Chartier:

“Do you know what is written in this book?”

He delivered this inquiry with a sharp accusatory tone. Then he gave the Qur’an interpretation another thump.

The Imam calmly replied:

“It depends on the translation.”

dua

Translation is a science, it’s an art, and there’s a lot at stake. Interpretations that serve a trenchant agenda may wish to cloud understanding, to close open minds. This is an odious breach of ethics and a declaration of cultural militance. An imperious position that lusts power. Most Muslims are not Arabs, but each adherent relies upon a faithful transmittal of the Word in Arabic language. It is in the marrow of Islam.

Simple answers to complex societal questions are wrong-headed and arrogant, but they are widely believed and have entered the body politic like a body-blow.

Yesterday I happened upon an article in the The New Yorker on the inescapably important Persian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī . Coleman Barks is a decades-long lover of Rūmī, but it is unfortunate that his is an interpretation that informs his Christian upbringing. Barks is not disingenuous in working the poet through that innate filter, but the heart of Rūmī speaks to Islam — the faithful focus of his heart and being is integral.

rumi-calligraphic

From the article:

Rūmī is often called a mystic, a saint, an enlightened man. He is less frequently described as a Muslim.”

Source: The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi – The New Yorker

Memes that attribute heartfelt insight through search-engine algorithms often misattribute, mistranslate, misinform. Truth becomes an early victim. Allow me to repeat the oft repeated:

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

This quote is attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a voice much worth hearing. But this very popular attribution adopted by innumerable memes is not sourced to Moynihan.

lies

To quote the late and astonishing John Ciardi: writer and world-class translator of Dante.

“Good Words to You.”

irvine-welsh
As an incurable pedant I assign vetting this quote as a reading assignment 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

Another Billboard the Mainstream Media Can’t Quite Fathom

from: Fig Trees and Vineyards

Banksy is a gifted and prolific artist. He informs his audience with paintings that tear at the fabric of disinformation perpetuated by those who will perpetuate apartheid if not confronted.

banksy_calais__01_2015

The Palestine Poster Project is another source for powerful portrayals of the Nakba, Naksa (the occupation of 1967). An abundant source for inspiration and resolve.

 

Stanley Cohen: 2016 Person of the Year

Stanley Cohen was a bright silver lining in 2016 — and now in 2017. By simply being himself he bestows hope to the most fiendishly exploited  and he always buoys the spirits of his worldwide supporters.

I flip the calendar back to 2015 and remember when Stanley spent 11/12ths of 2015 in the Canaan PA prison ‘campus’ — down in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Imprisoned without cause. His voice temporarily muffled, but he witnessed Prison America firsthand. And so his full-throated voice is back and he’s upped the volume 🙂 Certainly made my 2016 — and not just mine. Click More on Stanley for more on Stanley.

stanley-cohen-haaretz

Trumped up charges raised over the years by a convenient and expedient arm of federal government (IRS) repeatedly found nothing. Investigators found no basis for charges because none exist. So they sent him to Canaan (aIn’t the promised land) anyway.

Wait a minute you may say, this is America.

Read about Kalief Browder. Then discover how he died.

Did the IRS find Stanley Cohen’s secret rumored lucre?

No.

It’s what happens when you speak up for the über disenfranchised on this planet. People such as Palestinians.

See my blog category Palestine for complete details.

How does Israel get away with the longest occupation in modern history? You can stay up to date on that question by following Stanley Cohen on Twitter. He’s eloquent, he’s prolific, he’s been at it for 50 years.

A quick unrelated aside. Does white phosphorous demonstrate characteristic trails?  On Gaza for instance.

white.phosphorous
Distinctive white-phosphorus trails in Gaza

Fortunately, Stanley’s Twitter-feed nourishes the humane soul daily. Click Caged but Undaunted. #UpTheRebels

Stanley Cohen is a dedicated, determined and honest human-rights attorney, a man of integrity — that rare endangered specie of homo sapiens known as Menschen. No vested interest has ever owned Mr. Cohen and none ever will. Truth guides him, honesty defines him.

Few even know that Stanley Cohen exists. Electoral results confirm insatiable ignorance.   

We teeter at the edge of impending dystopia. Thinking critically is passé. Unthinking is the more modern way. I find it curious that George Orwell is the antithesis of Orwellian, but in proper NewSpeak fashion, his very name now defines it.

warispeace

Oddly timely that my favorite  NewSpeak website is no longer available.

 

What is Winston Smith’s job. Where does he work? What does he do?

Winston Smith works as a clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to rewrite historical documents so they match the constantly changing current party line.

Wikipedia

“To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken. — Caged but Undaunted 

Thanks for reading.

anon
Source