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Showing posts from February, 2008

Small really is beautiful

I finally finished E.F. Schumacher's book ( I've been reading it since late November) Small is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. This book in conjunction with the Ecological Economics course that I attended last summer has broadened my view of the world. I had a humanities bias: if it didn't ask or address the big questions I wasn't interested. And in many ways, economics doesn't. That's because economists are only concerned about growth--constant, illusory growth. Schumacher says that this attitude only alienates people and greedily devours resources that are not unlimited. When economies, political powers, corporations become too big they become unconcerned with individuals unless they can deliver consumption or votes. This is not how humans are designed to relate to each other or the world.

The book is only two years younger than I am and still has much to say about economics of our current temporal position. There aren't many economic t…

Fidelity

I wanted to quote at length some passages from Berry's Fidelity, the title story of his fine collection of five short stories, but dadgumitall, I didn't highlight any of them and I can't find them. Essentially the story concerns an old man's death and the act of love that his son performs. Additionally, it contains some of Berry's thoughts on the medical establishment and the (joyful) burdens of community. I had posted previously about another story, but I think that four out of the five stories are simply wonderful and it would behoove you to find this collection and read it.

Mystery Meat indeed!

During my grocery shopping today I was asked to pick up some hot dogs for some meal or other. Now I am not an aficianado of the 'ot dog, but will usually have a corn dog or BBQed version of one or two during the summer. If my children like them, so be it. The trouble came when trying to find a package that didn't arrive from a chemistry lab. Nitrates and nitrites, sugars (including HFCS), the preservative sodium benzoate, and other fun substances littered every package I picked up. Even Hebrew National which "Answers to a Higher Standard" was doped. Apparently Kosher doesn't mean it can't be injected with a chemical cocktail. So-called "Natural Casings" were prominently displayed to catch my eye. As if sheep or pig intestine somehow offsets Agricorps tinkering. I ended up buying the brand "sold at Tiger Stadium" not because it was chemical-free, Hell no! It was merely the brand with the least additives. Why does a hot dog need s…

Gentlemen, start your Lenten fasting. . .

Epiphany, that blink of a season, barely known to most Protestants is over, now we begin our time in the desert.

The upper branch of the Rouge is swollen by me, snow once again has plated the topside of branches. I think this is a quiet time to start Lent. The world outside my window wet and white.

I just finished reading the Didache for my picking up of something for Lent. There's a program to read 10 church fathers during Lent here.\
It's taken less than a year for my first rambling nonsensical post. Congratulations to me. Now, this is just like all the blogs by young Asian girls I've come across.

Juno Is a Keeper

Lots of buzz about this movie, Juno, and rightly so. Well written with crisp, believable dialogue, solid acting with performances reflecting oscillating teen attitudes, and direction that shows concern for both character and story. OK, so if you don't know, Juno is about a high school junior who becomes pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. She meets up with a couple who are unable to have their own biological child and want to adopt. The story centers around Juno's relationship with her parents, the friend/father, the adoptive couple, Juno's best friend, and herself. Smart, pro-life without trying to be polemic, and very funny. Not raunch-funny like Knocked Up, but still irreverent at times. This is a great, well-rounded film.

Don't visit The Island

As with so many disappointing movies, The Island has an interesting premise; clones who live together unwittingly until they are called up to serve as body parts donors for their genetic "parent." Unfortunately, as many reviewers pointed out when this came out in '05 the movie degenerates into an extended chase scene, viscerally exciting but narratively unsatisfying. Additionally, some of the escapes and character turnarounds strain credulity. Can't people write something better than this? A much more pleasing experience could have been created if they stayed on the emotional and moral impact of the creation of a slave class to serve the needs of the wealthy. Oh well...maybe a movie version of Never Let Me Go is in the works. Stay off The Island.

Onward Consuming Soldiers. . .

Buy Nothing month in the Martin household has only about a week left. Here are my observations so far. 1) As predicted I found things I want to buy. The most pressing, however, was a small frying pan, as one of the ones we have is probably coated with teflon (cough--cancer!) and the handle has rotted off--if plastic can rot. I didn't buy a pan, but in another week or two I'm sure I will. I'd like a cast iron one, are those constructed anymore? And, yes, I'll recycle the old pan. I might be able to get $.02 for the metal. 2) I was at a library today doing research for a short paper for my class, Making Modern Science, and passed a Friends of the Library book sale. I thought, well, if I bought some books for my classroom at a deal, that wouldn't be breaking the spirit of the experiment. Then I further thought as I walked that the point is not necessarily to save money or find bargains, the point is to STOP BUYING STUFF. Even used stuff. Even stuff for the…