Thinking and Starving and Tolerance 9 9 10
Summer is ending in golden rays round here in Beachtown, NE USA. Windblown crazy waves yesterday. Saw Raj Patel on ‘Democracy Now’ yesterday talking about markets and deforestation in Pakistan and the food riots in Mozambique where 34 people were killed. He’s brilliant. Worked for the WTO and World Bank and then became activist against these pro-corporate organizations dysfunctioning the world they’re supposed to be helping.
I’m a bit miffed how he spoke about AGRA being spoken for by Kofi Annan, but it’s actually a front for genetically modified food. Raj just called it ‘hybrids’ instead of the dangerous gunned-in gene sequences messing up the DNA of way too many crops Monsanto and friends want to patent and privatize. GMO’s ( genetically modified organisms) is the abbreviation all of us should know about. See other articles on this website for your edification on what these are, and how they can impact our immune systems and vital organs, including our brains, testicles and livers.
GMO sugar beets are taking a temporary setback in the USA (and when they are re-approved irrationally making 50% of USA sugar not ‘natural’ but genetically altered, and very questionably safe to eat- and surely unlabelled in all your Dunkin’ donuts and cakes and un-organic tomato sauces), but the media is sleeping deep as our food is being compromised by demons like Islam Siddiqui and Tom Vilsack – our current Secretary of Agriculture and former biotech governor of the year (out of Iowa). Bill Gates is the big name backer of biotech in Africa, as AGRA pushes privatization over public assistance for the raisers of food – mostly women in Africa. And WATCH OUT FOR WHEAT being the next crop being sacrificed to the Gene Giants’ patenting attempts.
Should life be patentable? Should corporations be able to control the seeds
and the technology of our food? Be aware that 70-90% of Monsanto’s Research & Development monies lately are NOT going into the dangerous in-exact gene-gunning technique to develop new unique crop lines and DNA bases. NO, their money is going mostly into ‘Marker Assisted Breeding’ which is much safer. Genes are being marked all over the world, publicly, especially in universities, in connection with physiologic traits of plants and animals. Then, more natural cross breeding can be enacted that will not wreak so much havoc on the genetic make-up of what exists now, and what comes out as the offspring of two mated chosen plants or animals to perhaps then have a good new strain of whatever… that may or may not survive the test of time and nature.
Corporations are the big evil of the world today. They are not flesh and blood. They cannot go to jail for killing and maiming thousands of people or fish or plants in Bhopal or the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, their sacrificed people/workers can be put behind bars, but why should these paper entities get ‘freedom of speech’ to pay exorbitant contributions polluting our already pitifully compromised political system and the campaigns that seem to draw the rich and the arrogant, more than the caring and the foresightful?
Then there’s the Terry Jones bobo Belinski who wants to burn the Koran, but is praying about doing it. Intolerance with religion or thought is such a sad side of our wankier exhibits of humankind. Live and Let Live. Love. Yes, that is the way we will survive as greed gets more prominent, and our media more superficial in its presentation of how our world looks and speaks.
Please allow me to finish this post with a quote from George Steiner in an interview in the Paris Review’s 1995 Winter issue, pages 75-77: ‘Great writing, great thinking, flourishes under pressure. Thinking is a lonely, cancerous, autistic, mad business: to be able to concentrate deeply, innerly. Very few people know how to think; real focused thinking is about the most difficult thing there is, and it profits enormously from pressure. Asked about Catholic censorship, Joyce said, “Thank God for it. I’m an olive; squeeze me.” Asked why he didn’t leave the dangerous Buenos Aires at the time of the Peronistas to take up a position at Harvard, the smiling blind Borges said “Censorship is the mother of metaphor.” It isn’t I who say these things, though I’ve been much attacked for them; it’s the lions, it’s the people who know about thinking and first-class writing.
For a while still, probably, we’re going to get tremendous stuff coming out of
recently freed nations. But it’s fading very rapidly. Jackie Collins is filling
the windows which Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Gogol once filled. The young say, “Cut the crap.” They want the latest videocassette. “Your high culture was horrible,” they say; “it was rammed down our throats. Nobody asked us whether we liked Goethe; we loathed him.” I know that. I’m not totally stupid. In which case I will soon find myself belonging to a kind of mastodon, a partial mandarin survivor of elitist high culture. I know that….
Students can see through hypocrisy as through a glass darkly. They know
who is merely trying to please and flatter them. You cannot have it both
ways. A person for whom Plato and Bach and Shakespeare and Wittgenstein are the stuff of his dreams, of his love, of his exasperations, of his daily
life, of his communication, cannot pretend that he is a populist creature.
It is that which nauseates me. If I come up against someone like Camille
Paglia, who said Jimi Hendrix is more important than Sophocles, or if I meet
someone who is really living that style of life, with all its dangers, then
hats off. I may disagree with them. I happen to believe, for instance, that
heavy metal and rock are the deconstruction of all human silence and of all
hopes for human quietness and inwardness. But if somebody tells me that
they’re the voice of the future, and they are living that, and not
pretending to do it from a white clapboard house with a large lawn and
tenure, then there’s absolute mutual respect, no difficulty. It’s the cant
of our profession, the cant, the bloody hypocrisy which gets me: wanting to
have it both ways, running with the PC wolves in order to be loved.’
so, ‘Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947) is an American author, teacher,
and social critic. She has described herself as a dissident feminist.
Since 1984, Paglia has been a Professor at The University of the Arts
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, published in 1990, became a bestseller.’ are the first lines about her from Wikipedia. Jimi Hendrix was very important. He was definitely, in my estimation, one of the three most important people in music in the 20th century. I’d have to make Miles Davis number one. Not sure who I’d say would be number two or three. But Jimi still has to be considered the greatest electric guitarist ever. Sophocles and history and his surviving writings and thinking of course have been seminal in the trail of humanity across the planet as it rounded and rounds the sun for the next decades and centuries (if we don’t blow us all up prematurely).
George Steiner gets these first two paragraphs describing him from Wikipedia:
‘Francis George Steiner, FBA (born April 23, 1929), is an influential European-born American literary critic, essayist, philosopher, novelist, translator, and educator. He has written extensively about the relationship between language, literature and society, and the impact of the Holocaust.
Some consider him both a polyglot and a polymath, he is sometimes said
to have redefined the role of the critic.
Among his admirers, Steiner is ranked “among the great minds in today’s
literary world.” English novelist A. S. Byatt described him as a “late, late,
late Renaissance man … a European metaphysician with an instinct for the
driving ideas of our time.” Harriet Harvey-Wood, a former literature director
of the British Council, saw him as a “magnificent lecturer – prophetic and
doom-laden [who would] turn up with half a page of scribbled notes, and
never refer to them.”‘
In 1995 then, Steiner was 65-ish and maybe didn’t/doesn’t like/appreciate
rock and roll. I don’t know if he is a meditator, but he must appreciate
quiet, so’s he can be and do his thinking. Very interesting words tho, from
him. As for myself, I have to say I just discovered a very hot punky rockin’
band called Conshafter. I recommend their 2004 release ‘Fear The Underdog’ if you like great drumming, singing, guitar, bass, changes in theme in each of 11 songs including tunes like ‘The Last Day In The Life Of A Rocket Scientist,’ ‘Sleep When I’m Dead,’ ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ deconstructing your human silence. Then there’s the lovely ‘Autopilot’ for my seaman son Blake and the very topical right now prettiest tune on the CD ‘Serotonin’ with its lines ‘end of the summer, it’s always a bummer’…..
Live now. Surf now. For you never know when that cholesterol plaque will finish off your joy, or some drunken dodo may run across your pelvis when you were happily crossing the street after one heck of a party at midnite.
All the Love,
Conrad Miller M.D.
PS Raj Patel’s latest book is ‘The Value Of Nothing.’ During the Democracy Now show he was talking about how speculation has driven up the cost of food, that over one billion people are now hungry because food is not being distributed to them, [global population is about 6.8 billion people], and much of global warming is coming from poor decisions by people and governments.