Test Tube T-Bone?

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently read an article on NPR about growing meat in labs. At first glance, I thought “holy shit has science progressed! Who could have imagined the day that humankind could produce a steak in a lab?” My second thought was, “WTF? This is nuts!” Read part of the article here:

Specter explains that part of the motivation for growing meat in laboratories is animal welfare: billions of cows, chickens and pigs would no longer spend their lives force-fed grain and antibiotics or cooped up in factory farms.

“There is something inherently creepy about [growing meat in labs],” Specter tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “But there is something more inherently creepy about the way we deal with the animals that we eat. … They live a horrible life, and they often die quite cruelly. So the idea of being able to eliminate some of that is extremely exciting for a lot of people.”

Another motivation, Specter says, is the positive environmental impact test-tube meat could have on the planet. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, global livestock is responsible for nearly 20 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions. And as the population grows, he says, more resources will be needed to sustain the agricultural industry. Source: NPR Fresh Air.

We have come a long way

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

John McWhorter’s thoughts on the  MLK  Memorial:

“The Rev. Martin Luther King, resurrected, would be prouder of black America than many of its leaders and thinkers. Economic disparities remain, but in 1960 nine in 10 blacks were poor, whereas today three of four blacks are not. Tracing the remaining disparities to racism becomes trickier by the year. The ‘institutional racism’ many trace these statistics to is something black people of King’s time would have considered a much more workable adversary than open bigotry and segregation. Some holdouts remain bigots, but not enough to keep Barack Obama out of the White House, and overall, racism is considered as socially embarrassing as pedophilia. King could never have predicted that this would happen so quickly. Is America ‘post-racial’? Afraid not. But is the treatment of black people in America still so transparently and grievously unjust as to make a mockery of our democratic ideals and require redress with all deliberate speed? Afraid not, again, and Dr. King would rejoice, as we should with him.” Taken from:  http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2011-08-24/Other-views-Dr-King-would-rejoice/50127094/1 

I am generally off and on about John McWhorter, but I consistently praise his thoughts on black achievement–that with greater societal equality, we African Americans need to get our shit together. Now is the time for parents and young black women and men to make choices that will lead us victoriously into Canaan Land. Although there is a fight in the halls of Congress to strip social  programs (like Pell Grants, etc.) we have it the best that it has ever been. Black people have the history of Booker T, Frederick Douglass and Bethune to look to for inspiration. Vicious dogs and fire hoses aren’t the obstacle anymore.

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Musings and the rest

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Tomorrow, I officially get back into my academic regimen. I have not been able to post here much because I have been absorbed in trying to provide for myself, write a paper and drink good beer (too much of it.) I am not ready to give up on the blog yet. It will help me throughout the coming school year with airing my academic flatulence. The paper that I have been working on is for the McNair Scholars. I am writing on the negro Moses archetype in black leadership and its provenance in the African American interpretation of the biblical Exodus account. When I am close to finishing it, I will post it in chunks. It is an academic paper, so it looks like nothing that I have posted before. I am excited about getting back into school, but I hate that I have to continue to work a monotonous job that gets increasingly uninteresting as time passes. Can’t wait for the day that I find a profession that brings joy. I am hoping to get  “Where love is at work, work is mostly play.” This is not the reality for most people in the world. My parents never expressed to me how much they loved slaughtering and processing chickens for the many years that they were enslaved by the local poultry industry.

It makes me think that although I am at the bottom rung of the economic scale, that as an American I do have increasing opportunity to remake myself (my teaspoon of patriotism for the day.) Neither my parents, nor grandparents had the tools to do this. I often wonder whether I am dreaming when I think that I will find that profession that I will enjoy. I would like to corrupt the minds of the next generation in academia, but as a humanities student, my prospects are bleak. Besides, there are a shit-ton more people out there much more intelligent than myself. I almost spelled intelligent incorrectly. All of the things that I enjoy offer little of the green paper that makes the world spin. I started out in the helping profession, but I left because of the emotional toll coupled with the shit-wages. I then went to the humanities because that’s the only other thing that gives me a mental boner. I don’t know where I will end up.

Speaking about ending up, I went to church services last week for the first time in months. It was only because a subdeacon there jokingly told me that if I were at liturgy that he could sing many years to me. My birthday was last week. Everyone made mention about how long it had been and how they wished that they could see me more often. I think that they were genuine and it was great to see all of those folks. I also enjoyed singing the chants that had become visceral imprints on my vocal cords. Truth is, my heart isn’t there. I am quite satisfied where I am. I was thinking earlier that just  two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I would not be at Sunday services for months, but shit happens and life goes in directions that we do not expect.  Currently, I do not participate sacramentally, so I would just as well sing prokemenons in my bed at 9 a.m. on  a Sunday morning instead of washing my face and pressing a shirt while hungover. This Sunday, I did not attend services. I wanted to sleep off the alcohol and the taste of hookah before starting my day. I have no intention of ever returning to full practice, but who knows what will change. My icons continue to line my walls as relics of a distant soul that I once knew intimately.

Tomorrow is my first day of class. I’ve always had a problem with keeping my mouth shut. Since childhood, I’ve always had to say something to get a circle-jerk going, the attention of which is focused on my own ideas. It is my goal this semester to listen more and to speak when I have something productive to say. I am not sure how far I will get with this, but I will accept it as a challenge. In times past, when I have been able to do this, I’ve felt a great pleasure come upon me. Don’t know what that’s about.

This is all for now. I’m hungry.

“Stop Sniveling”

July 20, 2011 Leave a comment

“See? See what you can do? Never mind you can’t tell one letter from another, never mind you born a slave, never mind you lose your name, never mind your daddy dead, never mind nothing. Here, this here, is what a man can do if he puts his mind to it and his back in it. Stop sniveling,’ [the land] said. ‘Stop picking around the edges of the world. Take advantage, and if you can’t take advantage, take disadvantage. We live here. On this planet, in this nation, in this county right here. Nowhere else! We got a home in this rock, don’t you see! Nobody starving in my home; nobody crying in my home, and if I got a home you got one too! Grab it. Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on – can you hear me? Pass it on!”

-Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

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Life Lessons from a Sinner Man

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

 

 

FolkStreams » Born for Hard Luck.

Peg Leg Sam is what my grandmother might have called an old sinner-man, yet the lessons that he gives us in this short video are quite valuable. He even teaches us how to hold that “carn-likker.” Click the link and go back a few decades.

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WTF Man?

June 26, 2011 4 comments

Marx may have been right about religion. Cause this woman is trippin’ on something. The preacher-man, Bishop Eddie Long, was accused of trying to do the nasty with some young men in his congregation. He settled out of court for around $15 million. If the man wasn’t guilty, why he giving up all that cash? What is especially tragic is that this homophobic, pimp-dress alike, s-curl wearing,  low life still has a significant and faithful following. The woman in this video is clearly deranged and she would probably fair better in a Christian Science meditation room.

Before this scandal. This man’s salary totaled around $3 million a year. I’m starting to think that I should have become a preacher. To be fair, this church has substantially helped the poor Black neighborhoods of Atlanta. But can you really go sit under a man who rails on gays frequently, yet secretly has his eye on Brother Ricky’s backside. I am totally one for forgiving and showing mercy to people who have fucked up, but it is especially the one’s who “act all sanctified” that I have a hard time feeling sympathy for. I think it is high time that black people begin putting their dollars into less religiously affiliated organizations, because while you may be helping the recovering crackhead down the street, you are also putting money into the pockets of men like this guy.

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Emperor Obama

June 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Click here for an example of change we can believe in.