Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When Good Faith Vanishes

Oh shit not you again
So Dr. Huxtable may be a rapist, Governor Nixon declared a state of emergency before the grand jury decision about Ferguson even comes down, and President Obama is doing everything by executive order to get around our worthless Congress.

Some parts of California are sinking into the earth at the rate of a foot per year because so much ground water is being pumped out to irrigate heavy water feeding crops like almonds during the worst drought in centuries.

Farmers now routinely soak our GMO wheat and corn in glycophosphate poisons because they can, and corporate meat farms are breeding deadly treatment resistant diseases.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court looks for a way to back out of Obamacare even though it is helping millions of people, the Keystone pipeline is getting another thumbs up from the GOP even though it now snows in the deep south, some guys in the Mideast are nasty so we have to be at war with them for another gazillion years, and just about the whole world thinks America has lost its mind.

Well, it has.

When ordinary good faith vanishes, society falls apart. When no one trusts the other guy to basically do the right thing 80% of the time, everyone starts doing the wrong thing proactively, out of fear.

Americans are encouraged to spend a lot of time worrying about terrorism, but what about the terrorism promoted by our own media, our own politicians, our own corporate overlords?

Is it possible that we are encouraged to mistrust and even hate each other because it makes it easier for those already in power to control us through fear?

It's what's happening.

The collapse that started in 2008, the one that really started in the 1970s, that collapse has not stopped, it hasn't even slowed down that much.

It's like we are all just sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And then what?

Then you will need your neighbor but maybe he will shoot you.

Then you will need the police but they won't show up. Or they will, but they will shoot you.

Then we will all wish we did something when it was still possible to make a difference.

Do I sound a bit discouraged?

Well that's what chocolate is for. Did you know that, globally, we are running out of chocolate?

Happy Wednesday.


It's only Tuesday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Pox on Both Your Houses

I'm not a scientist, but my opponent...
I just can't care about American politics anymore.

The process has become so farcical it is painful to watch: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum running around pummeling each other on a sinking shop, arguing about whether the deck chairs should be red or blue. Or purple.

I cried the first time I saw Titanic, not because Leonardo DiCaprio was so cute before he got all hairy and paunchy and middle-aged, but because I saw the film as this big sappy metaphor for what was happening to the United States.

Here we are, seventeen years later (is that even possible?), and the nose of the ship is pointing almost straight up, and most of us are floating around in the ice water thinking, "Wow, this is some serious bullshit," and what do we get from our fearless leaders?

Don't ask. It isn't funny anymore.

I did learn some good stuff this week though, stuff that might turn out to be helpful at some point. Like, did you know that you can make bread out of wood?

You can!

Start with a type of wood that doesn't have tannin in it, like beech. Most woods that are heavy in tannin are conifers, but I confess I am not well-versed (yet) in the best-tasting types of wood for bread making. I suppose it depends on what kind of bread you are making.

Anyway, chop the wood into the tiniest little slivers you possibly can, then boil it for a long time, then boil it again, then boil it again. Oh hell, boil it one more time.

Now, let it dry a bit, and then spread the chips on a baking sheet at bake at 275 degrees or so for a long time, like, until they are bone dry.

Take the baked woodchips out, let them cool, then pulverize them with a meat grinder, a food processor, a coffee grinder, or whatever you can lay your hands on until you have a fine powder, or at least a coarse meal.

Now, make your bread out of that.

You can also eat acorns, which are high in protein and not bad tasting if you know what to do with them. You have to either peel and boil them for 45 minutes, or soak them in fresh water for a week, changing the water every day.

That gets the tannin out, which is bitter and nasty. It also smokes out any bugs.

Once you've soaked your acorns you can toast them in the oven or grind them into meal and add them to your wood bread to give it some actual nutritional value.

And here's the important thing:

Once you've gone to the trouble of making bread out of wood and acorns so you don't fucking starve, share it with your neighbors, because you don't want to pull a Little Red Hen on everyone.

But your Congressperson?

That guy can go suck a rock.