Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rites of Passage

There are those big “growing up” moments, first kiss, first paycheck, graduation, etc, and then there are the silly ones. Allow me to elaborate on the latter.

Yesterday I bought a bottle of wine without being carded. I usually don’t mind being asked for ID--- after a few years one gets used to it, and my license picture isn’t THAT bad. I felt very smug and grown-up. So grown up that I didn’t brag to anyone about the experience. Oops, didn’t brag until now.

Today a friend and I found ourselves in a public restroom chugging water out of Dixie cups. We opted for the women’s room since, as he observed, they tend to be cleaner. As we were fixing to leave a woman came in. She yelped and stopped in her tracks to stare at us. We brushed past, leaving her to wonder whether she was in the right bathroom. Déjà vu all over again, but the encounter left me smiling. These things feel a lot better when one has a partner in crime. Guess I’m not too old to be read as an adolescent boy after all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Friday Night at the Movies

I kicked off the weekend by watching The Future of Food, a documentary about GM (genetically modified) food. It was the Simpson’s Tomacco episode minus Bart, Homer, and a happy ending. Depressing stuff, but worth watching.

I went to the screening wary of our (the USA’s) current food system for a myriad of non-GM reasons. That’s a whole ‘nother post. Heck, I was even wary of GM foods specifically. Cross-pollination and the spread of seeds is effectively impossible to control, so once we release GM plants there is no going back. That reason alone had me solidly behind safety studies, and labeling GM products as such.

What I hadn’t yet wrapped my mind around was how shortsighted and thuggish GM companies are in their pursuit of profit. On the one hand, Montsanto sues farmers who are the unwitting growers of their crops due to seed spread, cross-pollination, etc. How farmers can avoid that? I am not sure. As long as there are birds, humans, wind, seeds & pollen will spread. Adding to that threat is the fact that agricultural areas are chock full of Montsanto test plots, but farmers can’t know whether they are near one. That’s proprietary information. On the other hand, they are inserting terminator genes into their product. Plants with these genes don’t reproduce. That is a huge threat to the food supply, and renders ludicrous claims that GM companies are trying to end world hunger. What they are really trying to do is make farmers, and in turn eaters completely dependent on their product.

In a similar spirit of sly greed, Montsanto patents plants. Ordinary old plants, not just ones with designer genes. They didn’t invent the plant. They didn’t discover the plant. If they are the first to the patent office though, the variety is theirs, and if you are growing it you have to pay up. No one patented sarcasm yet---race you to the US Patent & Trademark Office.

In case you were wondering, here’s why the movie picks on Montsanto so much: with “roughly 90 percent of GE soy, cotton and canola seed markets and has a large piece of the corn seed market” they are the biggest game in town.” Moreover, they are mighty cozy with the US gov’t Don’t worry, Dems too, its fair and balanced.

I wanted to run straight from the movie to the farm stand. My craving for local veggies, was tempered by the prevasiveness of GM foods. If its organic you know its not GM, but that’s about it. I really don’t know whether the family farm down the road is GM free. Chances are better there than at the supermarket though, and at least that produce hasn’t taken a fossil fuel powered journey around the world before it hits my stomach.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


When visiting this site over the summer , keep in mind the following principle: the length of a post is inversely proportional to the temperature and sunshine surrounding the writer. In the pseudo reality of this blog it is just as real as the law of gravity

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean Can’t Dance is going on summer vacation of sorts. The sun and warm weather won’t last a week in these parts.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Can I Speak to the Person in Charge?

B: I don't know what you are thinking. I'm not exactly inside your head.

Me: Makes two of us. If you find anyone who knows what's going on in there, lemme know.

Monday, June 4, 2007

full speed ahead

Ego be dammed--- I've added a stat counter.
Besides, it is quality, not quantity that matters, and you are a quality reader.