Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Glimpsing our future, part 37, or "Would you like jam on that?" (Better yet, skip this, it's just more of the same tired old sh*t.)

Yesterday I saw something on TV I don't remember ever seeing before - a Fritos commercial! I imagine Fritos are in for the fight of their life with the ethanol corn people.

Obviously, were we more in tune with Nature, we might be a little more concerned for Fritos. But the interconnection between Man and Nature and its subset of signs are things we most often chose to ignore. How many salmon, honey bees and Fritos must we lose before we realize the endangerment and eventual extinctions of these and others are but a portent of our own demise?

How many thousands of years did it take for humanity reach 1.5 billion of us on planet Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century? We know it only took the last one hundred years to add another 5 billion more to that number! I wonder how many of us there will be left in another 100 years?

Burnt Toast by Paul Hutchinson

According to Gus Speth (Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University) in his new book, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (Yale University Press, 2008), if we just maintain our current world population and take no action to heed the signs we've ignored to this point, mankind can expect to realize his future -- as TOAST!

Signs given, ignored according to Speth:

* being, not having
* giving, not getting
* needs, not wants
* better, not newer
* community, not individual
* other, not self
* connected, not separated
* ecology, not economy
* part of nature, not apart from nature
* dependent, not transcendent
* tomorrow, not today

Without quick action, Speth sees a world unfit for habitation by the end of this century. A world already inhabited by polar bears (and soon to be experienced by corn chips?).

8 comments:

eProf2 said...

I think I'd like to read more from Gus Speth and his idea of "the bridge at the edge of the world." We all need a renewed reminder on what's at stake if we just continue on our merry way of exploiting everything and everyone in our path to personal happiness, whatever the hell that is!

DK's post earlier and her reminder of "So Long, And Thanks for the Fish" has intriqued me all morning long and the possibility that dolphins are from another planet. Why not? Thanks DK.

Jefferson's idea that there should be a revolution every generation, in my opinion, doesn't mean we should tear everything up and start anew like Mao's cultural revolutions but that each generation should add new benefits and new and progressive ideas to the Constitution and the meaning of government. Teddy Roosevelt and FDR would fit, I believe, Jefferson's notion of revolution. Then, again, I might be wrong!

dada said...

re Jefferson, I suspect you're right, eprof, but then that part where he explicitly says "let them take arms" or the tree must be refreshed "with the blood of patriots and tyrants" sounds like an advocation of violence to me. (And I hope not, but wouldn't be surprised if it didn't inevitably come to that. I don't think Washington is going to let us just secede and walk away.)

Of these "self-help" books to save the world I take little comfort. If measures be taken, the most dire, the most needed, will be taken not voluntarily but of necessity as last resorts, likely too little, too late. It's the nature of mankind in my pessimistic mind.

I guess in today's blog, I was trying to appeal to those who don't feel a necessity for polar bears or honey bees, but who NEED things like Fritos, I guess. (grin)

BTW, as a former Navy man (you, not me), I'm enjoying "Carrier"...I must be, because remarkably I don't fall asleep during it. (Wonder who'll drop the first bomb?)

My curiosity is born out of missing the USN recruiter the day I went to enlist and the sign on his door said, "Gone to L.A. Be back tomorrow."

As for Doug Adams, I loved his slightly twisted take on the Universe. If he's still in it, I'm sure he's having a blast.

D.K. Raed said...

Hey EProf, the more you study dolphins, the more they do seem like aliens who are studying us! Their facial grimace has been misinterpreted as a smile.

"When the birds and bees have all flown away, and the dolphins gone from the sea, someone may find a way to survive, but it won't be the same & it won't be me." {D.K.}

We're DVRing Carrier to watch later. The "making of" was intriguing. Maybe I can get my dad to watch it with us, him being the old navy grog (WWII-Pacific-China).

Dada, perhaps The Burnt Toast is a submovement of Dadaism? I was thinking your use of Jefferson's Blood of Patriots might've been inspired by listening to Scalia pontificating Sunday on 60-Minutes about strict construction. Jefferson would've smashed him in a debate. Instead, Scalia only had to riff off the lightweight head of Leslie Stahl.

Border Explorer said...

Good post, Dada. I appreciate you. Thanks for the link to Paul Hutchinson. Cool!

Fran said...

Fritos! Ay yi yi yiii- I am a Frito bandito.
Thinking in terms of planetary demise-- if one thing don't kill ya, another thing will.
I remember getting a small vending machine bag of said Fritos & bravely reading the nutrition content. Not only did it provide a lifetime supply of sodium, but that one tiny bag was three servings!

Kind of amazing Fritos are even still around.
But I saw a political cartoon today- a guy at the gas pump touting corn based ethanol, and a starving child holding up a bowl, begging for food- the man said sorry- he had another mouth to feed (his gas guzzler).

Your burnt toast graphic fits the bill.

dada said...

Fran: I guess the more calories and saturated fat a bag contains, the more servings it represents, huh? Like a two oz. bad of Fritos with 1600 calories must be 8 servings, right?

In that gas and Fritos are made from the same thing, I was wondering if there might not be a direct price relationship between the two. Apparently not. That's because Fritos doesn't raise their prices, they just cut bag contents.

Now if gas stations could do the same, we could continue to have $2.00/gallon gas (which would really be $2.00/1/2 gallon, a quart, pint, cup, etc.)...it's just a matter of perception...but it would establish a connection between the two so we could decide the better bargain, i.e., to eat or to drive.

But Americans have been extremely bad with in recent times with perceptions. (This, however, appears to be dramatically improving all of a sudden!)

And I feel really sorry for the Bush administration which is trying desperately to avoid calling it a recession before he leaves office. I don't know if they'll be able to successfully fend off calling a spade a spade another 8.5 mos. UNLESS they can redefine the parameters of what actually makes a recession. Like, instead of a recession being a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two or more consecutive quarters, maybe Bush could redefine it to be a deline of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 12 or more qtrs!, thus allowing he and Cheney to be safety tucked away in their new homeland of Uruguay before the recession hits, which will then fall upon president McCain! ("Trashed again by that bastard!" would declare McCain)

Jesus! Now we all can see the significance of Fritos to the nat'l economy, recessions, depressions, etc., huh? (

Which begs the question, what will Fran substitute for those golden corn crunchies when they become extinct?

dada said...

B.E. I really liked most of Hutchinson's paintings. Am I remembering right...that he paints these quite small. That's my kind of painting...the kind I should do more of because all the mistakes are more difficult to see.

dada said...

D.K. - Scalia...OMG! Mrs. Dada listened to much of the story and got me in on it towards the end. Jesus, Scalia's living proof if all it took to be a Supreme Court justice was to have the intelligence of a Scalia, ANYONE in America could become a justice (to include sheep, dead snails, slime mold and slugs--sorry no offense intended to any in those groups reading this!).

Thankfully, the story she was listening to ended soon after directing my attention to it, saving the blood vessels in my neck and wrists from having to be slit.