Friday, August 28, 2009

Smoke and ashes

I love watching Mad Men, but it makes me want to smoke and drink like crazy. Everyone smokes. Everyone drinks. All the time. I remember ashtrays in movie theaters and hospital waiting rooms, but it seems like a dream of the Dark Ages. Was life really like this? It doesn't seem possible.

My grandmother used to tell the story of how her doctor thought she was gaining too much weight during her pregnancy, and encouraged her to start smoking to help her not eat so much.

I think that was an entirely different world, an alternate history. How could we have been there and ended up here?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Daily Death: When A Celebrity Dies Every 15 Minutes

The Daily Death: When A Celebrity Dies Every 15 Minutes: "

In the future, a famous person will die every fifteen minutes. Already it’s happening. The ascent of the microcelebrities, the 24 hour news cycle, citizen journalism, and our darkest fantasies all collide on Twitter now. The website’s rhetorical question “What are you doing?” sometimes feels more like “Who died today?”

Every day on Twitter, news of another death. Les Paul, John Hughes, Farrah Fawcett, those big names, but also the editor at this publication, the founder of this startup, the people who we might not all know, but someone you know knew them and they are using the space to remember them.

Sure, Maria Shriver’s euology made me sit up straighter and think I want to be like that. But, I mean, was I supposed to be shocked that Eunice Kennedy passed on? I guess it’s small talk of a darker sort. You could talk about the weather or whose heart stopped.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Michael Heath can always be counted on for some rainy summer entertainment. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. And keep on keeping on, my queer friends: I'm not such a fan of the hot weather anyway.

A ‘cloud of error’ hides the ‘light of reason’:
"Our crops are faring like our moods. The potato crop is blighted, and corn and fruit fields wither. In one historic building in Augusta, rain flooded the basement, as water from another source poured down through the ceiling and extinguished a century-old chandelier.

Few people would be bold enough to suggest the cause of the endless rain and gloom, that the moral climate in Maine has caused the sun to hide its face in shame.

Worse than the rain is the fact that Maine voted in homosexual “marriage.”

In May, our elected officials overturned a law of nature, and in its place paid honor to evil and unnatural practices. Our leaders allowed a cloud of error to hide the light of reason, and then the rain began. How fitting that this eclipse of human reason is mirrored by the disappearance of the sun!


It's nice to see a logical, well-written reply to the locavore/small farm/slow food movement. But I still think this writer is wrong

The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals — The American, A Magazine of Ideas:

"On the desk in front of me are a dozen books, all hugely critical of present-day farming. Farmers are often given a pass in these books, painted as either na├»ve tools of corporate greed, or economic nullities forced into their present circumstances by the unrelenting forces of the twin grindstones of corporate greed and unfeeling markets. To the farmer on the ground, though, a farmer blessed with free choice and hard won experience, the moral choices aren’t quite so easy. Biotech crops actually cut the use of chemicals, and increase food safety. Are people who refuse to use them my moral superiors? Herbicides cut the need for tillage, which decreases soil erosion by millions of tons. The biggest environmental harm I have done as a farmer is the topsoil (and nutrients) I used to send down the Missouri River to the Gulf of Mexico before we began to practice no-till farming, made possible only by the use of herbicides. The combination of herbicides and genetically modified seed has made my farm more sustainable, not less, and actually reduces the pollution I send down the river. "


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