Clearly, I need to be punished. Linda will be screening applicants.
So many, many things have happened in the last week.
Last weekend, for example, rioting broke out around the world due to global increases in food prices, particularly in staple foods such as grains, leading to massive shortages, particularly in the poorest countries in the world. The Haitian government pretty much collapsed over the weekend, thought it is at this point being propped up by UN peacekeepers. This is not due to drought, or war, as has been the case in the past. It is mostly caused by the world's addiction to cheap energy, and its unwillingness to take the steps needed to deal with problem. Instead of developing ways to cut consumption of energy and work on truly alternate fuel sources, we've decided to take the easy way out and grow our own fuel. Demand for Ethanol and biodiesel from corn has caused the gross amount of land-use for food to decrease dramatically, particularly for crops such as wheat and rice. The result is less food to go around, combined with dramatically increased costs to move it around.
And instead of being smart and trying to grow more of our food locally to decrease transportation costs and reduce fuel consumption, we grow biofuels that may in fact meet the goal of decreasing dependence on "foreign oil," but still do little to improve the greenhouse gas emissions problems.
And then, the other day, Emperor Bush welcomed the Nazi Pope with open arms, with these words:
In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism and embrace a culture of justice and truth.
So. Two people who have been using their not-insignificant power to try to impose their values on the world, telling us not how we could act and think, or how we should act and think, but how we must act and think, now together have issued what is tantamount to a declaration of war against the idea that maybe there's more than one valid way to live one's life.
Speaking of atrocities, I heard a song on the radio the other day: Kid Rock, in a failed attempt to be clever (or in a successful attempt to get airplay) has put out a song called All Summer Long, in which he cribs half the lyrics of Sweet Home Alabama and sets it, along with a few original lines, against the music of Werewolves of London. The punishment for this should be to be chained to Kenny G (who deserves this fate for his ill-conceived concept of dubbing his own solos into Louis Armstrong songs) and set adrift on a life raft.
It's not been all bad, of course.
I came across a story called A World Painted by Birds, by Katherine Vaz, in The Green Man anthology. It's a fascinatingly surreal story that speaks many truths about love and beauty.
Her feet were large, and she had a habit of whistling badly, but these things made her worthy of being loved. A Goddess might be adored for a moment, but only a real person can speak forever to the rest of us.
There is more in those two lines worthy of discussion than I have time this week, or perhaps this month. But I encourage you all to do so anyway.
ps I've (finally) almost finished writing the prose version of the song filkertom wrote (see http://filkertom-itom.blogspot.com/2007/01/023-suit-of-armor.html for the song) after reading my essay on art and genre way back when. Right now I just need names for some of the characters - The Knight, The Princess ("Princess Buttercup" has been vetoed), and the Knight's legal council. Any suggestions will be entertained.