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Showing posts from June, 2008

The First Emancipator part II

Finished Levy's book this morning. An interesting read if you find the Revolutionary period facsinating or the most challenging puzzles of the human heart to be simultaneously enriching and depressing. In the last chapter Levy lays out his reasons for why Carter's story is virtually unknown. Among those are the academic tendency to flatten religious experience and motivation--Carter moved from Epicopalian to Baptist to Swedenborgian in his journey to become a former slaveholder.
Levy also writes: In addition to controverting pro-slavery claims that emancipation was impractical, for instance, Robert Carter's story offended nineteenth-century Northern pride as well, which was founded, as the historian Joanne Pope Melish has recently written, in the belief that Northerners stood for "liberty," Southerners stood for its abstract opposite, and during the Civil War "New Englanders had marched south to end slavery," conquering a region infected by what Geor…

Black Gold

While not finished with Sir Albert Howard's The Soil and Health, I am amazed at his common sense findings that the agribiz seems to ignore. The overarching idea appears to be--composting will solve many, many problems of agriculture. The artificial fertilizers (the use of which was starting to ramp up after WWII) leached the soils of nutrients employed by plant and soil to fight off diseases and pests. By adding, sometimes tiny amounts, compost, many, if not all of the problems would disappear. The appearance of the fruit and vegetable improved, as well as yield.

The first three or four chapters of Howard's book would probably appeal to everyone; I'm in the middle and finding some of it tedious--the research he did during his tenures in India, Africa, and the Carribean, while sometimes interesting, can be a bit dry. He's not terribly techincal, which is good since I ain't no botanist, so that isn't the problem. He needs to moisten, rather needed to given t…

What Would Jesus Buy?

An interesting concept but only so-so as a film, this documentary, produced by Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock, examines consumerism using Christmas as a focus. Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping travel from New York to California during the high holy days of shopping to raise consciousness concerning the move of Christmas from giving to recieving (Didn't the Puritans complain that Christmas was just an excuse to get drunk?).
The choir bits were interesting as they had a few mishaps on the way to Disneyland for Christmas day, but that wasn't enough to hold the film together. A few facts about American spending and debt, loosely titled sections combining Christian iconography and social satire, and interviews with three families about Christmas spending habits just didn't work as glue to make for compelling viewing.
I suppose the highlight was the climax as Reverend Billy and his choir sneaked in to Disneyland and then began their call to "…

Self-congratulations are in order

So I found this link from "Church of the Masses" blog and thought I'd plug in this perpetually obscure blog. The results? Movie Reviews

On the left hand, I suppose that's a good thing--this blog isn't dumbed down. However, pride puffs one up like a dollar store pool inflatable; I don't need more of that. On the right hand, who am I leaving out with this "supposed" rating. Is this blog inaccessible to 12-18 year olds? Unimportant, unrecognized, yes. But too hard? Is that a bad thing?

Eschaton Now?

"I heard the news today, oh boy," five dollars gas by 4 July. What does this mean? Well, probably the beginning of the end of a short age. The trouble with expensive gas means not only more expensive transportation, but also nearly everything will rise in cost. Already food shortages in places like Haiti have caused havoc and those are indirectly related to rising petrol costs. We have by virtue of its abundance and low cost become so dependant on the liquid that to extricate us from its use will require years of sacrifice, expense, and discomfort. What politician is seriously talking about this? Where are the statesmen? They aren't running for president this year.
On a more selfish note, what does this mean for my agrarian dream? Is it wise to look for property in Manchester (or Washtenaw County) at this point? If we already had land purchased or building started that would be one thing, but considering we live about an hour from a plot we like. . . how …