Icy Lesbian Food Stuff

More randomness from a very random mind:

A little tame, as protests go, but ultimately effective (and to be fair, this was from December, not the crescendo of  few weeks ago).

A little tame, as protests go, but ultimately effective (and to be fair, this was from December, not the crescendo of a few weeks ago).

Dillywren, whose blog is listed to the right, mentioned about ten days ago that she heard the government of Iceland had collapsed. Interesting, I thought, but strange that I heard nothing about it in the mainstream media. Then I found this article by Rebecca Solnit. Holy cow, street protests of a grand scale in a little country led to the demise of the centrist (neoliberal) government and the rise of a left/socialist party, led by the world’s first out lesbian head-of-state. Cool. Not cool for the Icelanders, of course, that the financial h-bomb devastated their nation, but cool that the people were angry enough to take action. Hmm, why would the MSM media not want to report about the changing of the guard in this fashion in a democratic country? They certainly loved to talk about people power and velvet revolutions when it happened in Communist nations 20 years ago. Of course, if the current economic upheaval led to protests on a similar scale here (one report cited 3,000 Icelandic protesters, in a country of 320,000, so just under one percent, if my math is right; a similar percentage here would be slightly under 3 million people), we probably would have had the martial-law clampdown Henry Paulson warned about last fall. Imagine if 3 million Americans could get angry enough to protest the greed and malfeasance and benign government neglect that got us to where we are now in the banking/housing/credit crisis…

And speaking of angry lesbians…interesting article in last Sunday’s Times about the last of a dying breed:  separatist lesbians who formed their own communities 30 or so years ago.  I know, so predictable to say “Some of my best friends are…” and while maybe the lesbians I know are not my best friends, they are friends, and in some cases former lovers (back when they still weren’t quite sure which way the wind was blowing, sexuality-wise). So what I’m saying is, I know and like plenty of dykes. But this article…I don’t get the rage that leads to women saying they want nothing to do with any man, ever. The article recounts that at one commune, a member’s daughter brought her 6-month-old son for a visit. “There’s a man on the land” was the message sent out to the tribe, “perhaps only partly in humor,” the reporter wrote. Straight women aren’t allowed either, such as the adult daughters of members. I get, only intellectually of course, that these women came of age at a time when they had to lie to themselves and others about who they truly were. They faced prejudice and perhaps abuse. But a) times have somewhat changed, and b) how do you think you got here, and your children, except for men? We are shits, at times, I know, but we do have that still-important biological function, if nothing else. But I guess that’s not enough in these women’s eyes, and I guess I have no grounds to argue.

Now, this is the kind of food we can all stand behind...

Now, this is the kind of food we can all stand behind...

And finally, back to the under-reporting in the mainstream media. The Trib ran an op-ed piece the other day by David Martosko called “Gourmet Activists: Food for Thought.” He basically ridiculed the voices calling on Obama to promote a food revolution: organic, sustainable, non-corporate. Who are these deluded demanders, the author questions? Why, just a bunch of elite folks who combine “misguided activism, food snobbery, and celebrity gossip.” Well, I and a lot of other folks like me who would like to see some changes in the government’s food policies may be misguided, I don’t know. But the peasant food I mostly cook (beans, grains, veggies) is hardly snobbish, and I don’t even know any celebrities to gossip about. So what is this yahoo getting at?

Ah well, the activists favor “ideology over science.” Hmm, you mean the ideology that says chemical-free food, eaten as local as possible to its source, is healthier than processed crap grown by agribusiness? Then call me an ideologue. And is the science the belief that more chemicals are grand, more GMO food is just the way to go? I betcha. Martosko then browbeats one of the ideologues by saying his figures on the percentage of greenhouse gases from meat production  are way too high and out-of-date: the bad guy says 18 percent, while the EPA, Martosko claims, puts it at just 3 percent. But this article from 2008 uses EPA figures that put all of agriculture’s share at 9 percent as of 2006, which “does not include transportation and processing of livestock and meat products.”  So maybe Martosko is a little off too.  Of course, the 2006  EPA figures do not break down the meat prodution out of the whole agriculture number. Still, maybe Martosko has an axe to grind or an industry to protect? Well, you wouldn’t know it from the little blurb the Trib included at the end of the article, calling Martosko the “director of research for the Center for Consumer Freedom.”

Gee, how can somebody for consumer freedom be bad?  Aren’t you for consumers freedom, Mr. Blogger? Sure, within limits – just as all freedoms have limits. I’d also like it if the Trib told its readers that the Center is basically a front for a conglomeration of huge industries – tobacco, alcohol, and Big Food – created by lobbyist Rick Berman to create other front groups for those same industies that pay his salary, using pseudo-science (if that) and ad hominem attacks in the process. Here’s one interesting tidbit about Berman and Mr. Martosko. Bottom line: the Trib can print any op-ed piece it wants. But it and other papers have a duty to point out when the contributors are basically frauds. And maybe they have a duty to report about real news too, like protests in cute little democratic countries that could be bellwethers for other nations teetering on financial ruin.

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~ by mburgan on February 8, 2009.

6 Responses to “Icy Lesbian Food Stuff”

  1. I sent a letter to the editor to the Trib. You should, too. (By the way, the Sun-Times ran the same Martosko piece.)

  2. Thanks for the heads-up on the Sun-Times, and you’re right about sending a letter. I will. And I am adding your blog to the links list. This site was not meant to be about veganism and animal rights, but somehow that has become more of a focus, especially as I see the work of so many bloggers with similar outlooks as mine on those issues. Thanks.

  3. TIME Magazine had a blurb about the Iceland news, complete with photo of demonstrators & mention of “the world’s first openly gay woman to serve as head of state.” Still…surprised the papers didn’t cover it.

  4. To be fair, it might have been in the Trib and online sources and I just missed it. But it was not a lot of play, I don’t think.

  5. Actually, I saw coverage of Iceland’s collapse and the lesbian head of state in mainstream news coverage online. The AP had a pretty big article on it. Iceland’s collapse was happening as our economy worsened and the election got down to the wire, so maybe it got lost in the shuffle somewhat, but I saw coverage of that, too. And by the way, thanks for commenting on our blog–thoughtful stuff.

  6. Ah well, I must have been MIA during those few days. And your welcome for the comment, and thanks to you too.

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