Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Alice Walker...


Blogger Deirdre said...

Wish I had found that bit, but it's good, thanks.

October 12, 2005 9:48 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

No no no... Thank YOU, Deirdre. You directed me to the site where I found it. It's all your fault... :-)

October 12, 2005 11:14 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

I'm not even gonna follow the link. I don't wanna be reminded of the awful things that homus sapien does to other species. If you want to eat a sentient being, then to preserve your own integrity you must kill it yourself.
Pigs in cages and chooks in cages and cows which have their calves removed so they provide milk for humans, truckloads of tragic beasts on stinking hot days not to mention the tree-less paddocks they came from. A pox on all who profit from torturing animals.
Alice Walker wrote The Color Purple which Oprah Winfrey produced as a film and got an Oscar for her performance. Maybe women and especially women of color, can identify with the needless suffering of animals. Life is too short to be mean to anything and we are all hurtling through outer space clinging to a revolving ball of molten rock. peace n love to all.

October 13, 2005 12:01 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Brownie, you're a lady after my own heart! Veganism rules!

October 13, 2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oh dear. All I wanted to do was give Alice Walker a bit of a plug.

Now I feel like a mass murderer because I'm not a vegan. Oh dear...

October 13, 2005 6:36 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

You can big up Alice Walker all you like. She's great.

That quote doesn't explicitly advocate veganism anyway, it's a matter of interpretation. I read it more like making the point that blitzing the planet for profit is to the detriment of other species as well as humanity, and we don't have the right to make those life and death decisions unilaterally.

October 14, 2005 5:29 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

And Brownie and Ron have a point too, Fox. If we eat meat we're part of the problem vis-a-vis the treatment of animals. We're hypocrites. And as Kent point out a while ago, even with regards to global capitalism/consumerism, we're hypocrites.

I think that's one of the big problems with "Western society" - it advocates lifestyles which cause one to go blind to principles and values or else one finds one is a hypocrite.

I'm going nuts trying to find an answer...

October 14, 2005 8:11 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

What do you mean, Gerry? How does eating meat make us hypocrites? All lifeforms feed off the death of others, even plants. The problem is in the way farm animals are treated, but that needn't be the case. I think if there's any hypocrisy involved, it's just in the way we pretend that "nature" is so lovey-dovey. (That's a special technical term, y'know.) I think that quote is doing the deep ecology thing - life has intrinsic value. We should respect other things, not because they're useful to us, but just because they exist.

October 14, 2005 7:59 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Deirdre, I can't say you're a hypocrite. But I can say I'm a hypocrite (because I know the meat I eat comes from maltreated animals.) If animals are, as Alice Walker says "not made for humans", and as Brownie (and buddhists) say, they are sentient beings, then eating them may be "wrong". There are no absolutes in this, it's all subjective. It depends on what you believe. I think the Kalahari bushmen may be onto something - they kill animals to eat but they apologise to the freshly killed carcass and beg its forgiveness.

October 14, 2005 9:12 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

I wouldn't eat ANYTHING produced from or by animals again regardless of whether they are factory-farmed or 'free-range'for my own reasons. However, for the general meat-eating public too not take into consideration the cruelty of the way meat, whether from cattle, poultry, pigs etc is produced is unconscionable and possibly hypocritical.

And it's not just meat 'production'. Into today's world the dairy is considered by many to be as cruel, even crueler, in its production methods.

October 15, 2005 9:25 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

No argument with you there, Ron. My point was relating to the use of meat and dairy, not the methods of production. Cruelty is bad, no question, and there must be ways of improving the lives of farm animals. But how is it hypocritical to use meat or dairy? Other creatures eat meat - are they being hypocritical? If it's not wrong for an eagle to rip a rabbit apart, why is it wrong for us to chew on a chop?

October 15, 2005 10:06 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

"how is it hypocritical to use meat or dairy?"

Perhaps it's hypocritical if one pretends to care about the other species and then eats them. I doubt lions pretend to care about the gazelles' welfare. I think if you adopt the position of caring about the welfare of a given animal, to then kill it and eat it is the height of hypocrisy.

October 15, 2005 5:54 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Okay. Agreed.

What matters to the other animal is what you do, though. They don't care how you feel. The concept of "hypocrisy" is human-centred; worrying about it has actually nothing to do with the other animal, it's just about you. Not that there's anything wrong with that - that's what ethics are about, I guess.

October 15, 2005 8:25 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

It's all too hard for me, Deirde...

October 15, 2005 8:35 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

Deirdre's argument is most persuasive.

October 17, 2005 3:34 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

That's what I hate about Deirdre. she always puts up a good argument. Grrr :-)

October 17, 2005 10:00 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

The eagle doesn't torture terrify or artificially breed the rabbit first. The eagle doesn't bulldoze forests into paddocks to breed rabbits. The eagle doesn't pump chemicals into or onto the rabbit or the paddock. It's not WHAT one does in this world, it's HOW one does it.
It cannot be healthy to eat meats full of chemicals and fear hormones. Please do not read my comments as a slur against your personal character.

October 18, 2005 12:05 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I agree with all of what you say, Brownie.

Last night I was watching TV (4 Corners) and a woman (I think she was an academic) said something like: "Human beings have outsmarted themselves. They're too clever for their own good." I raised my glass (of cheap red) to her and said "Right on, girl!!!"

But what to do? This juggernaught of egocentricity, greed, corruption, and hedonism, will not stop until we're all slaves to its masters.

Consumerism and its entourage of prostitutes, namely adverising, marketing, and public relations, has driven us insane.

And our leaders, in thrall of this madhouse called "the economy", are the most insane of the lot, because they will use the instrumentalities of the state (Military, police, security personnel etc) to protect this "free trade" monstrosity on whose teat they suck.

So how do you take this thing on?

Armed and/or violent uprising? Modern military weaponry and tactics will smash you to a pulp.

Sabotage? They'll hunt you down and kill you long before you can bring the system to its knees.

A peaceful people power uprising? You need huge numbers to make this work. Not enough people are prepared to take to the streets and stay there for weeks till the job is done.

Anyway, dissent is dead. They're now passing laws which can be used to silence and quash even nonviolent dissent.

And another thing. Even if we brought this monster to its knees, what would we do then? We cannot agree on alternative political/economic models. There would be chaos and societal disintegration. The meanest, toughest mobs would rape and pillage the countryside for whatever they can get their hands on.

Someone show me how any workable alternative to GlobalCorp will be allowed to flourish for any length of time and I'll get more optimistic, but all I can see is the worst kind of sci-fi scenario of a global fascist tyranny in which people are slaves to an enclaved, decadent elite.

Democracy? "You can have any democracy you like as long as it supports GlobalCorp."

Freedom? "You are free - to support GlobalCorp. And GlobalCorp will tell you what freedom means." It will own the schools and universities (and the internet). Fail to support GlobalCorp, and watch what happens to your freedom! Bzzzzzzzt...

Tell me I'm wrong... Tell me this is not where we're headed... And then give me a believable rationale for this...

October 18, 2005 7:28 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

I feel you are right, Gerry, and it scares the living shit out of me. I am so disappointed that Australia seems to be right up there in the front of the GlobalCorp charge: egalitarianism a distant memory. I do believe that once a majority of Aussies had, at least, an iota of social conscience.

Over the last few days I have been thinking of relatives who served in WWII - my uncle who died when his plane was shot down near Singapore, my father who died aged 57 from 7 war-related accepted disabilities, my grandfather (also WWI vet and father of my dead uncle) who finished the war as a wing commander in the RAAF after joining as an enlisted man and the list could go on ... What I have been thinking about with these people is wondering what their reaction would be to the Australia we have now under Howard. Would they feel the sacrifices they made worth what has happened to their country over the last 20 years or so?

My father, who died in 1980, voted Liberal all his life but I can remember him, and this from a man who wasn't political, expressing a growing and very critical dislike of Howard. I distinctly remember him saying that Howard was a dangerous man. Unfortunately it looks like the old boy was right.

Poor fellow, my country.

October 18, 2005 12:57 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

They told me I was fighting for freedom and democracy. Many years later I realised we'd been fighting one lot of totalitarianism by covertly trying to impose another. And now this capitalist totalitarianism is about to show its true stripes. The stripes of global fascism.

October 18, 2005 1:51 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Brownie (sorry I'm a bit late getting back here) - I agree with what you've said, apart from the eagle not terrifying or torturing. That's what I'd say it was doing if I was the rabbit :)
The eagle only takes what it needs, too, and has to do all its own dirty work, like those Kalahari bushmen: no separation between killing and eating, they basically mean the same thing. Not that I'd want to do this myself, but it must produce a different way of living than the one we're used to. No waste, for one thing. Everything is used.

Gerry, if GlobalCorp is the evil giant ruining the kingdom, how did it manage to get in here in the first place? Did we invite it in? Create it on purpose? Did it just wander along from some other land? What happens if we kill it - would some other giant come along to rule us instead? What does it eat - could we just stop feeding it? And who is "we"? (Not being flippant.)

October 18, 2005 9:54 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hah, Deirdre! You think I have answers? You think I even understand enough to dare to have these opinions? Nah... Just another idiot howling at the moon...

How did it GlobalCorp get here? Big fish gobbling up little fish. We (the proles) had no say in it. They preyed on our insecurites, needs, wants, desires and vanity. Their ads and marketing strategies employed the most brilliant psychologists and rat-cunning sales shysters to exploit our every desire. They sold us the consumerised culture we are now so dependnent upon. Like junkies, we're on a hook. And most of us have no desire whatsoever to go retro. We want more - not less.

"We" are the consumers, the geniuses who reckon "Western Culture" is what we want and what we must prop up at all costs.

What happens if we kill it? I'm not sure we can kill it. But I am sure it is a desperate, dying beast that cannot (and should not) be saved. We should be working like crazy to build domestic (local) economic cushions for a softer landing. Even then it will be brutally hard, but the way this gung-ho mob is going it is just going to make the crunch even harder.

What will replace it? No idea, even after the crash the richest will still be in the best position to exploit the recovery and then dominate us yet again. We'll be slaves working for peanuts. Fascism will survive. The ruling elite will not allow any wealth sharing systems to take root on a large scale. That's what the last 100 years have proven. Anyway, I doubt that the selfishness and greed which has been bred into us "Westerners" would allow us to see any benefits in wealth sharing.

And if another socialistic or communistic system took hold, it too would be totalitarianism dressed up as democracy.

I have no answers. Only cynicism. I am after all, Diogenes the Cynic.

October 19, 2005 1:09 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

Hear hear!. Over at Go Away, Please my mission statement is 'reclusive cynical and appalled'. Not only does the maltreatment of animals upset me, but I also could not read any of Alice Walker's sad novels; or anyone else's sad books; or TV dramas about violence and evil. Life is too short.

October 20, 2005 9:18 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Brownie, if it didn't sound so insincere and corny, I'd say "I feel your pain"...

October 22, 2005 8:47 PM  

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