Monday, September 27, 2010

Things I like

Most of my blog post are about things that piss me off, or insights that I think will piss off others. I'm going to try to post more about things I like, not because I'm a sunny kinda guy, but seriously life's too short not to acknowledge what what we think is good... So, let's start with Fergus Henderson, someone I admire.. check out this video:


And his book, which is a foodie classic

Off to the Side - Jim Harrison again

Another of the great insights from Harrison's memoir -

"Among a certain group religion is used to effectively cleanse money and the Gospels' admonition to take care of the poor is misinterpreted as "a few of the poor." How many times have we heard that five million children go to bed hungry every night? Not certainly as many times as we've read and seen pieces on the laudatory aspects of great wealth. The top two or three percent of our population has had a decade-long field day that never trickled down to the bottom fifty percent. In my own lifetime I've seen the apotheosis of greed as a virtue, and brutal insensitivity become enlightened self-interest. We may do as well as all but a few countries but that scarcely makes us a Christian nation except to those who bath in patriotic gore out of habit and stupidity."
Jim Harrison - Off to the Side

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Replaceable" People

"...our pop culture priests have succeeded in filling the population with shame and nervous self-loathing to the point where they think of anyone who isn't an employer as a parasite, and anyone who isn't rich and famous, or trying to be, as a loser. People even think of themselves this way, which is why there are so many down-and-out people voting to give tax breaks to the same bankers who've been robbing them for years..."
Matt Taibbi at his Rolling Stone Blog - "On ESPN and "Replaceable" People"

Absolutely brilliant cultural insight from Taibbi. I've said before that if you ask any kid you happen to know to name his/her hero's, I bet you won't hear them mention many poor folks, but the sad fact is, if you ask adults to name life's winners the list is going to look very similar.

A month or so back, Rachel Maddow and O'Reilly were having a back and forth and O'Reilly offered only his higher ratings as a defense of his argument... Maddow offered this wonderful reply:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Genius

"Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."
Albert Einstein - 1949

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rewards

A crazy fundamentalist with a congregation of 50 can get on every major network and have every politician and talking head talking about him... he got what he wants, what the hell does everyone else get out of the deal?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off to the Side - Jim Harrison



I'm just into this, but Jim Harrison is one of my favorite authors and in his memoir I think I see someone who has struggled to find his own peace and to learn, often in reflection, what really matters and is important to him. His section on drinking should be required reading to those of us who indulge (sometimes in excess) - an excerpt: "The reason to moderate is to avoid having to quit, thus losing a pleasure that's been with us forever.
We don't have much freedom in this life and it is self-cruelty to lose a piece of what we have because we are unable to control our craving."