This site has a seriously crazy video on the homepage that I just had to share. The most shocking thing I’ve seen since the scene in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution where none of the kids could recognize a vegetable. To me this video is an example of how capitalism drives industries of all kinds toward cruelty. If it weren’t for the profit margins driving these industries and the laws protecting them from all the furious and horrified people out there, these kinds of scenes wouldn’t occur.
I was thinking, isn’t it funny how many parents shield their children from the concept of death, sometimes even lying to them about the death of their pets. In my favorite show, Kid Nation, there was an episode where the kids killed a few chickens for dinner and I read later about the fact that some people found this controversial, like kids shouldn’t have the right to have a real understanding of what they’re eating and learn proper respect for the animal. At the same time we’ll feed them meat from these factories without telling them about the cruelty they are supporting. Sure it’s not traumatizing, and the parents don’t need to go through the effort of talking to their kids about it, but I wonder what it does in the long run to a kid’s ability to feel compassion in general when they grew up ignorant of and unable to do anything about the cruelty they themselves are committing.
I was looking for some names for painkillers that sounded like they might still be in use ten thousand years from now for a story I’m writing and I came upon this page and thought I’d quote it for other reasons:
I found this to be an interesting example of the type of thing that drives me toward anarchism. How do people see law enforcement as such a good thing when it’s involved in this kind of cruelty?
The inclusion of high amounts of acetaminophen with all these medications is a rather CRUEL attempt by the pharmaceutical companies to prevent abuse, since overdosing will result in the destruction of the liver. I would describe this, at best, as “not very nice”. The Puritanical ethic at work, destroying livers, and lives. “Let’s kill off all the druggies.” This is way beyond cynical.
Knowing that these drugs are abused, and then filling them up with the poisonous acetaminophen, is criminal malfeasance by the drug companies.
I just posted a new, very short true story under my ‘silly and pointless’ category, called Twinkies and Ho Hos. I personally think it’s a pretty funny little story about some of my little quirks. I suppose it’s not entirely pointless because it draws attention to the health crisis in modern society.
I’ve been on a real obesity kick lately. In fact, I’m riding my exercise bike as I type this. I’m not sure how I got on this kick exactly. Perhaps it’s because of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu or the fact that I got plantar fasciitis recently in my foot and when reading up on it, found that fat people get it a lot more because of all the weight we’re putting on our feet. As an overweight man who walks long distances on a regular basis, my feet can take a beating. Or perhaps its because I want to be more attractive to the ladies. One way or the other, I’m determined to get into shape. Hopefully writing about it will help because everyone will know if I fail.
So on a related topic, I am dumbfounded that our government can justify outlawing marijuana and other drugs, spreading hatred and destroying lives over things that have never killed anyone, but won’t do a thing about the obesity epidemic and continues to allow McDonald’s and Taco Bell to market themselves as though they are actually selling food as opposed to garbage. I know someone, for example, who thinks I’m insane for not supporting law enforcement and has repeatedly made an example out of nudity and says that if we didn’t have laws, half the people would be running around naked, as though that would be some kind of miserable society and something we don’t have the capacity to get used to. But she is obese, and doesn’t seem to consider how she (and admittedly myself as well) appears to others, especially children (and hungry people in other parts of the world). Kids see us and think that if it’s okay for us to neglect and disrespect our bodies, it’s fine for them too. It’s not okay to get piss drunk in front of children, so why should it be okay to be unhealthy in other ways in front of them?
We often make rules in schools that kids must wear uniforms because we don’t approve of their choice of clothing, but for some reason there’s no rules against teachers being morbidly obese.
Many people are disgusted by obesity in the same way my acquaintance is disgusted by nudity (perhaps the obesity issue is part of the reason so many people are opposed to nudity). But people who want their partners to be thin and healthy are portrayed as being “shallow”, and “only concerned with appearance”, and this idea is becoming more prominent, and overweight people seem to be increasingly convinced that they should be treated the same as everyone else, and in some cases get special treatment, and that they deserve to be seen as just as attractive as healthy people. We’ve reached a point where overweight people outnumber the healthy ones and are having a real affect on politics. This is only going to make things worse.
I think what might be what got to me was the high-school student on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution whose doctor told her that she only had seven years to live because of her unhealthy eating habits. This wasn’t someone he seeked out to make an example out of. This was someone who just showed up and wanted to help Jamie in exchange for getting some help herself. And I have met people who were bigger than her.
I know this is an angry, possibly offensive rant, but I’m as angry with myself as anyone else. I’ve been overweight most of my life and even during the times when I was skinny, it was because I wasn’t eating much rather than because I’d actually gained a healthy lifestyle, so this entry is sort of myself demanding that I make a real, long-term change in my life.
Okay, I’ve been on the exercise bike for two straight hours now (the first hour I spent playing Mario Kart Wii) and I’ve soaked through two bath towels, so I think I can afford to give myself a break and start working from my big computer.
For a long time my desire to write has directly conflicted with my desire to get in shape (both conflict with that damn Hulu but that’s another issue). I bought a little recumbent exercise bike a year or so ago, but I’ve usually watched Hulu or played Mario Kart Wii while riding. Now I’m hoping I can change that and finally kill two birds with one stone with my new lounge-book laptop stand. I sound like a commercial, I know I’m slowly becoming one of those people I despise, but I think I might really like this thing. I searched for a long time for something like this but most of the options I found were at least $500. I’ve been using it for an hour now (with a wireless keyboard instead of a laptop) and I’m keeping up a good sweat and getting some writing done at the same time. Perhaps this will finally allow me to feel really feel productive in an evening.
I wish it was a little taller so I could get it over my knees. The mouse platform is too small for a mouse, but that’s not a problem for me since I’ve discovered the superiority of the logitek trackball which requires almost no space.
Today I got an email me telling me that someone mentioned my novel, Against a Rock, in a review on Amazon.com about The Burning Life, an official EVE novel released recently. Basically he said that people are better off reading my book. This put me in a good mood all day today, to know that the quality of my writing can hold its own against at least some professionally published works. I don’t know if I’m actually going to read The Burning Life… I suppose I should since I’m technically still writing EVE fiction, but judging from the fact that it hasn’t gotten any decent reader reviews on Amazon, and the fact that the first official EVE novel, Empyrean Age was pretty bad, it’s probably not gonna be worth it.
There’s a couple anarchistic viewpoints to be had from this. I feel significantly more motivated to sit down and write now since getting that free plug on Amazon. It’s amazing how far a little appreciation can go to getting a job done. It seems crazy that appreciation could replace currency as our primary motivation for getting things done, but once you get into something that you’re passionate about but doesn’t really make any money, like writing, art, open-source programming, running a website, volunteering, or political activism, you should be able to see how easily you can be motivated to accomplish things with little more than a sense that you’re having a positive affect on other people’s lives. Without currency I would certainly still be writing and programming.
The other thing I take from this is the familiar feeling that the better works are not being bubbled up to the top nor fairly represented. The books that get promoted are the ones by the people who know how to sell themselves, who are not always the most talented. It’s sad to know that so many talented artists have been lost in the shuffle because they didn’t know how to promote themselves or just didn’t get the right opportunity. I know that under real literary critics, Against a Rock would beat Empyrean Age and from what it sounds like, The Burning Life as well… but they’re the ones making the money.
I know this is a totally self-serving entry… perhaps this is my attempt to market myself more aggressively. Sometimes I feel I need to let my ego show a little more.
Last week I was hanging out at the local dive bar drinking my gin and tonic and the guy next to me was complaining about how he’d lost his weed. He started pulling everything out of his pockets and dumping them on the bar, crumpled wads of cash, cell phone, headphones, note papers, etc, but couldn’t find his pot. He finally gave up and went out for a cigarette. He came back in and told me that he had just accidentally bought some crack. Someone outside had offered to sell him a 20 sack, and of course he thought the guy meant marijuana. When he realized the mistake, the dealer refused to give him his money back and ran off. This guy asked me what I thought he should do, and I told him the only thing he could do was count it as a loss and flush it. He told me he couldn’t stand to waste money and was considering trying some of it just so that he didn’t feel like he’d been totally hosed. He told me he’d tried crack once before and didn’t enjoy it at all, but was still thinking about it.
I can sympathize with this as I feel the same way about money. I’ll stuff myself with a meal that I’m no longer enjoying and I know is not healthy for me, simply because I don’t want to see my money going to waste. It seems like there’s something about our society that ingrains this concept of money and the instinct to hoard, even when you know full well that it’s not in your best interest. I personally believe that this is a learned behavior, and another reason to believe that capitalism is not a long-term healthy solution.
He showed me the crack later, a tiny little rock, that we thought may have actually been chalk. This was only the second time in my life that I’d seen a harder drug (unless you count LSD or ecstasy), despite being a marijuana dealer for nearly ten years. I told him again he should just flush it. I could have bought it off him I suppose and flushed it myself, but I had this fear in the back of my head that I might be tempted by it. It was one of those weird, surreal experiences, even though it shouldn’t have been such a big deal. It was more than just a sign that I’m in the big city now. It was like the crack had some kind of ingrained spirit attached to it that I know has been a result of our general ignorance about it and reliance on government and television to tell us all about it. The problem with crack is that it’s hard to not be ignorant about it and not also seriously risk fucking up your life.
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So on a somewhat related topic, I found this fascinating and surprisingly entertaining presentation about the economics of selling crack, which gives a lovely comparison of crack dealing to the McDonald’s corporation, pointing out some fun parallels with legal capitalism as well as some fascinating facts about the crack trade. My favorite part was his slam against the death penalty, pointing out that people on death row have a longer life expectancy than street crack dealers, making it kind of a joke to think it’s going to be an affective deterrent.
Okay, I know everyone can do a layer dip, but I think mine is the best. I also know that posting recipes has almost nothing to do with the goals of my site… but… whatever.
can of refried beans,
12 oz sour cream,
shredded green leaf lettuce,
optional: lime juice, juice from a jar of jalapenos, chopped parsley, green onions, tomatos, onions, olives, diced ovacodo
Make your bean dip first by mixing a couple tablespoons or more of taco seasoning into your beans along with enough jalapeno juice, lime juice or water to soften it to the point where you can use a chip to dip without breaking the chip. Optionally mix in some finely chopped jalapeno or onion. It’s better if you let this refrigerate for 24 hours before use.
Spread your bean dip across a serving platter. Add some water to your sour cream and mix until it is thin enough to properly dip a chip, but not so thin that it runs like liquid. It should spread easily across the bean dip. Optionally scatter the diced ovacado into the sour cream. Mix the cilantro, lettuce and optional parsley and veggies together and spread liberally along the top. There should be as much lettuce, cilantro and veggies as bean dip and sour cream, making this kind of a salad on a tortilla chip.
I just discovered this new show on Hulu, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution about some famous chef I’d never heard of who went to the fattest city in America to try and transform their school lunch program and promote healthier eating habits in America. I’ve only seen a couple episodes but it can be quite shocking at times to see how some people eat and what the schools are feeding to our kids, so I wanted to pass on the link to sign his petition to start making a transition in our public schools.
Junk food and healthy eating is something I struggle a lot with. It’s certainly a weakness of mine, but at the same time, our whole capitalism based society is blatantly promoting poor eating habits because it’s the quickest and easiest way to make a buck.
Check out his PDF of some shocking facts and figures on obesity.
The other day a squirrel was foraging by the sidewalk and when I came near he scampered up a tree. The decorative trees in the city are pretty small and far apart so he had nowhere to run and hide so I held out my hand and asked him if he wanted a peanut. After a few seconds he climbed down to the lower branches. He grabbed my fingers and opened my hand and when he couldn’t find anything checked the back of my hand and between my fingers. He paused a quick moment before giving my finger a good bite, not enough to break the skin; just enough to let me know he thought I was an asshole.
So that story had nothing to do with anything. It’s not even that funny or interesting… so here’s something else totally pointless that has nothing to do with anything:
I’m kinda trying to figure out what I’m doing with this blog. The advice I read all says that I should stick to a single topic, which I suppose in this case would be anarchism, and perhaps atheism as well, which would both fall under the same topic of the theories that I truly believe could bring peace and harmony to our world. The problem is that those subjects get really heavy and depressing sometimes and most people don’t want to listen to what people like me have to say because they don’t want to consider revamping their whole mode of thinking about society.
My old website was called Get to Know a Marijuana Dealer, and my intent was to talk about myself and try to show that marijuana dealers are generally decent people who care about right and wrong just as much as everyone else. Instead I mostly used the site to rant about problems in society and other people’s lack of morality. People seemed to enjoy my rants, and I had lots of readers, but I never felt like I’d accomplished any of my goals. Sometimes I think KalinBooks should become something like Get to Know an Atheist/Anarchist Who Used to Sell Marijuana. Perhaps posting random crap that happens to be on my mind is the best way to do that, and helps lighten the mood between the times when I talk about the horrifying things that I’ve seen done in the name of God, Jesus and law enforcement.