Saturday, December 22, 2007
Mumbling Towards Babylon (Some Bull)
Physical tiredness seems to take the mental energy out of me for this blogging thing. Or maybe it's just that I'm doing a lot of yoga and a lot of zazen and I'm just a little less adamant about, well, everything, but it feels like I'm just more inclined to equivocate. The one firm commitment I have now is to go down to Atlanta to see the New Year in with Michael Elliston and the ASZC; it's been years since I've felt like going out and partying on New Year's Eve or any other Amateur Night, so normally I've just gone to bed before midnight. 2007 was a very good year but it's ending in a minor key so I feel the need to start 2008 with a major chord, 'cause I feel like things are gonna get worse before they get better.
As Hunter said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." God, we need that guy now.
The layoffs at work seem inclined to spread; I'm not sure how much jeopardy my job is in (I think I'd be kept as long as anyone, but you never know), but my income may be primed for a big hit anyway, and it's not that impressive to start. The police state is oppressing my friend in ridiculous, Kafka-esque ways.
Since my fiftieth birthday in November, a few things I'd wrestled with seem to have become clear, or maybe just not worth wrestling with any more. Brain chemistry seems paramount and I see no need to disturb it any more than with my required dosages of caffeine and a little occasional aspirin. The health of the physical self also seems paramount. I am tired of seeing really fat people in my environment, and seeing my own self image in them; not so much for ego or style, but because I know we're being poisoned by the fake food they feed us for profit and I really resent being fucked up so they can make money off me.
Some things are good. I'm really bad at yoga, but I love it more and more. Over seven years of doing something badly, you'd think I'd have given up by now; more maturity? And step aerobics, a dying art, stuff I still love -- about the best moving meditation I've ever done. So what if most of the people who do it are assholes?
And more about the stuff we eat. I need to get over this sugar addiction we all have now, me less than others but still enough to annoy. And I've found my position with regard to the omnivore thing. We are natural omnivores, it's true. Man was a hunter-gatherer long before he invented agriculture, so vegetarians and vegans who claim that eating meat is some kind of an aberration are just historically and scientifically wrong. Our bodies are still designed for it. On the other hand, I am a being with the ability to make choices, and I really do empathize with mammals. They do feel pain, and I don't like to see it, or be the cause of it. Not so with birds (I kind of detest them) or fish (who were put there for me to eat, cause I love them so much). The problem with poultry is just that the way it's raised is so nasty. So in a perfect world, I'd eat no mammal flesh or poultry, with good seafood when I can get it.
Forget the "don't eat anything with a face" folks. Have you ever seen the "face" on a monkfish? Anyone who can't see the difference in a fish and a cow is a pure idealist. I want to keep this real. Of course there's the other side of the issue. Am I going to offend my 85-year-old dad by turning down a steak when he cooks it? Of course not. The beef is already dead. And yes, if you've been sick, meat is a good way to get a lot of nutrition in your system fast. The healthier I am, the less I need it, and the less of it I eat, the better I feel.
Of course, the driving force behind these decisions; the factory-farming system, like most of modern agriculture (and modern overpopulated "society") is evil, evil, evil. Occasionally I get all these new-agey things on the internet; I like some of them. But somewhere I saw that old Native American ritual where the people who are about to eat some meat thank the animal who died so they could live. It struck me as a really sick joke that someone would do that when the hamburgers came from Kroger. Now, you already know what I think about people who cringe from bearing the consequences of their actions by dissociating their McShit from living animals. No one should be allowed to eat meat if he can't hunt, kill, clean and cook the animal himself (not every particular animal, mind you).
But the Native American ritual makes sense if you're talking about a man with a spear or a bow out on a plain with a buffalo. Winter is coming. Only one of them can live. So the man, after some effort, kills the buffalo and supplies meat for his family for a while. I can respect that; I can respect the man and I can respect the buffalo. When the man in prayer before eating thanks the animal, I can respect that. The buffalo would respect it too, if a dead buffalo could respect things.
Butwhen a bunch of hippies sit down stoned or blissed out on "meditation", hold hands and thank their Big Macs for dying for them, I want to vomit. Because those cows were raised in pain, tortured and forcefed and imprisoned and treated in ways I'd like to treat Dick Cheney. You know what they'd say if they were thanked? Fuck you! Fuck you, Nazi! You and your endless hungry idiot children! I hope you get e. coli and die! And I'd agree with them. Death to McDonald's customers!
But enough of that. I think you get the point. If you don't, I'm wasting my caffeine rush.
Next up: Is the Nashville Buddhist Festival fast food for the spiritually retarded? Stay tuned!