Sunday, March 25, 2007

Culture Shifting

"People are crazy
Times are strange;

I used to care
But things have changed"

-Bob Dylan

Here are two powerful articles worth your time, both excerpts from books I have recently read. The first one here is by Michael Pollan, and it articulately sums up the food system in the USA: Fast, easy, cheap. He also explains how (and why) corn is slipped into nearly 25% of the items in your local supermarket, subsidized by the taxpayer to give out empty calories fast, easy and cheap. You get what you pay for...

For more, visit his website.

The other is by Bill McKibben, author of the new release Deep Economy, which is just about as brilliant a wake up call I have ever read. He challenges the prevailing wisdom on economic growth, and shows in example after example, how more does not necessarily equal happy. He is a strong advocate of local economies, and the power behind communities. His article here has very salient and timely points from the book.

Ever since Rodney King let out those simple words "Can't we all just get along people?" in the middle of Southern California riots so many years ago, I always think about it.

One either gets along, or not. Situations change, people change. Different people definitely do things differently.

If it is true that "we don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are", then getting to know how others are, might be a good start to getting along.

The World Values Survey is one place to find out more about those who live in this world with you, their values, beliefs, and how they are. Neat map, too.

For instance, on the subject of drugs, there are many different ways people choose to intoxicate themselves, or relax however you view it. Not many of them would be good for you, but there are some that are clearly less harmful than others. Depending, of course upon usage. These latest British studies reported in the Guardian, are rightly putting spotlight back on the likes of alcohol and tobacco, so long having the free ride, because of their legal status. Dangerous is dangerous, and these experts are rating what is and what is less. Interesting stuff.

If you are old enough to remember Soupy Sales, then you will most likely want to click on this link to see a short clip of him that explains why he is laughing so hard...

Could it be an unrehearsed surprise (in the form a stripper), greeting him on the usual closing gag was just a bit too much? This guy was alright. Very early days of T.V. comedy

Whole Foods, that cathedral of "organic" foods in the States, gets a once over from a British journalist on the eve of its entry into the U.K. They are nice supermarkets, as supermarkets go, and they certainly have their legions of fans, but are they really doing all they can to source local, fresh food, or are they the green version of Wal Mart?Watch this space.

Bill Maher is a pretty funny guy, and he pushes his satire right to the edge sometimes. I do not watch his show, as it is not carried here in New Zealand, but what I do see, especially his New Rules segment are quite good. Here in this YouTube clip he decides he has had enough of having his patriotism challenged, and asks whether the current president is even a patriot.

Well, you know it had to come. Perfect for the Japanese, that love to talk and smoke, this Cigphone has everything you need right at your fingertips. A must have gadget, I will not have..

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