“This government’s [England] whole strategy for higher education is, in the cliché it so loves to use, to create a level playing field that will enable providers to compete on equal terms with public universities.” – Stefan Collini, “Sold Out,” London Review of Books
“The society that loses its grip on the past is in danger, for it produces men who know nothing but the present, and who are not aware that life had been, and could be, different from what it is.” — Aristotle, Politics
The title is an unapologetic P.T. Barnum hook. The three reasons? Why not a sacred ten? Or 350 million? Doesn’t everyone have his or her own take on Twitter? Isn’t reason what is behind our opinions, or my “whatever” about your reasons? Continue reading
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
“The organic-food movement is in danger of exacerbating the growing gap between rich and poor in this country by contributing to a two-tiered national food supply, with healthy food for the rich. Could Wal-Mart’s populist strategy prove to be more “sustainable” than Whole Foods? Stranger things have happened.” — Fred Maloney
Why I Created a Millennial Lemuel Gulliver and Wrote Travels of a New Gulliver
“Investments in zero-carbon energy are relatively inexpensive and good for the economy . . . But it’s tough –pointless? — to make these arguments to the energy companies and their Congressional lackeys, who will fight as they have been effectively paid to do.” — Mark Bittman, “Let’s Not Braise The Planet,” NY Times, July 2, 2013
All manner of crises, fierce arguing, unfathomable advocacies, and Yahoo level (Jonathan Swift’s “Yahooes” and not the search engine) absurdities accompanied me as I wrote Travels of a New Gulliver over the past three years.
Gulliver’s Travels in Food, Farming & Cuisine: Chronicle Three
Over the years I’ve remarked that what Americans do to food is not just growing, cooking and eating it but what I call “weaponizing” it.
This is done not in the service of feeding an increasing multitude but in the service of an array of reasons I list as if they sprang from Pandora’s Box:
Gulliver’s Travels in Food & Farming: Chronicle Two
“[O]ur culture’s food madness tips into food psychosis, at least among those with keen appetites and the means to indulge them.” — Frank Bruni, “Dinner and Derangement,” NYTimes October 18, 2011
Only 51.3% of the voter age American population came out to vote in the infamous 2000 George W. Bush/Gore “chad” presidential election. According to the wisdom of 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, 47% of Americans who pay no income tax will vote for Obama because Democratic candidates attract voters who believe they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
My maternal grandmother grew tomato plants in huge coffee cans on a rooftop veranda in Brooklyn. Before that in a town called Patti (Greek for “on the shore”) on the Bay of Patti in Sicily, she made bread for the burgher class and pastries for the Baron and his family, a Sicilian version of Downton Abbey. The “contadini” made their own bread. She owned a filbert grove (nocciolanoc; namesd after St. Philibert whose feast day coincided with the ripening of the nut) and fed a neighbor’s hog which she received half of at butchering time. Continue reading
My thoughts were feverishly gestating.
I here pen a précis of that to which I refer, attempting to bring to reasonable account what in fact was veiled by dark derangements brought on by my fever and a long fortnight in which irrationality and a nightmare circus ruled.
“When the economy recovers, you’ll still see all these problems persisting for reasons that have nothing to do with money and everything to do with culture.” — Charles Murray, American Enterprise Institute
“`The problem is a puzzle,’ he said. `No one has the slightest idea what will work,’ he said. `The cupboard is bare.’” — Sabrina Tavernise, “Rich and Poor Further Apart in Education,” The New York Times, February 10, 2010
In a new kindle book, Occupying Here & Now: The New Class Warfare, I re-kindle a radical-in-theory approach to Occupy Wall Street. That approach is most likely most radical for representing any gasp of postmodernity or post-postmodernity as still “radical.”
The extinction of the word is apt within the postmodern’s own narrative of the rise and fall of the significance of signifiers in accord with the rise and fall of … narratives. The postmodern fell upon its own sword. Or, you could look at its demise as one impaneled at its very unclear and never quite nailed down beginnings. We were all anxious to see the end of such troubling and annoying opaqueness. Continue reading
The Author finds himself in a Dark Wood
My dear Reader, I feared traveling during the day when I could be easily seen from above, from that floating Isle which could, I knew, espy, like a hawk, anything below and swoop down upon it instantly.
“You wouldn’t be able to get your message out there without us.” — Griff Jenkins, Fox News producer
“If you put every single left-wing cause into a blender, this is the sludge you’d get.” — Sean Hannity Show, Fox
“Here we don’t think of prohibition. Because the ruling system has even suppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. An asteroid destroying all life and so on. But you cannot imagine the end of capitalism.” — Slavoj Zizek, address October 9, 2011 to Occupy Wall Street protesters
There’s always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. — Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World”
Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns – or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other. — Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged “
By the Democrats, the Game Has Been Played Like This Since the ’60s
The Author is drawn up to the Floating Island of Babel
I spent a day and a night in a ditch, alternately shivering in the cold and scorched by the sun, which suddenly was eclipsed by a dark mass a hundred meters directly above my head. A grappling hook was lowered and I, too confused to fathom the event, was drawn up, rail, tar and feathers.
After several days I can report that I was again myself in body but my mind, having gone through a humiliating assault at the hands of the Trickle Down barbarians, was not as it had been on the day I had set out on my voyage. But as my own self-esteem was grounded as the blind Bard says on the just and right, I did not allow the injustices and lack of charity of others to abide with me for long.