Life Goes On, Maybe

Office Workers Clapping at Office PartySometimes you are going along just fine, flying like the wind and living the dream. Everyone loves you–you are riding high. Then the gods of perversity decide you’ve been having way too much fun and decide you need another one of those little reminders of your own mortality.  Perhaps you said something that offended someone, perhaps you didn’t say something you should have.

Perhaps you were less than kind when you should have been generous.

It appears to be an unfortunate fact of life in our society that when someone in the public spotlight appears to enjoying their success too much (Paula Deen, Frank Gifford), the carrion-eaters gather about them, waiting for them to stumble, plotting their downfall, desperate to be part of the feeding frenzy that is sure to follow.  That which passes for ‘news’ at 6:00 is frequently little more than juicy gossip and holier-than-thou finger-pointing by people with something to gain from the debacle. To me, the personal failings of public figures is not news, it is a terrible glimpse into someone else’s life that I wish I had never seen. People do wrong all the time–how can that be news? It reminds me of my mother and my Aunt Jo gossiping at the kitchen table about some neighbor caught with their pants down.

Eye on Flat Panel MonitorTo me, the real news isn’t that even famous people do cringe-worthy things.  The real news is on a more global scale. The real news never gets any airtime, because the real news-makers have the power to see to it that the populace is spoon-fed pap like who used the ‘N’ word (which is most certainly NOT cool) or who has been cheating on his wife (also not cool.) While I agree these are not good things for anyone, much less respected public figures, to do, I simply feel it is gossip and not news. This is the sort of thing that better belongs in scandal-rags like People or The National Enquirer.

In the US we have a free-press.  This means what you see on the television is what the big corporations want you to see, since they own the press, and it ‘s a free country, after all. We hear little of the real news, mentioned only in passing, such as the recent proposal for a  regulation by the European Parliament and of the Council. This proposal regulates the production and availability on the market of plant reproductive material (plant reproductive material law.) (Seeds.)

What this proposed law says (quoted from The Real Seed Catalogue):

The law starts from the premise that all vegetables, fruit and trees must be officially registered before they can be reproduced or distributed. This obviously is a major restriction on seed availability, as there are all sorts of costs in both time and money dealing with the bureaucracy of a central Plant Variety Agency. Then, after making that the basic rule, there are some exceptions made in limited cases:

  • Home gardeners will be permitted to save and swap unregistered seed without breaking the law.
  • Small organisations can grow and supply unregistered vegetable seed – but only if they have less than 10 employees
  • Seedbanks can grow unregistered seed without breaking the law (but they cannot give it to the public)
  • There might be easier (in an unspecified way) rules for large producers of seeds suitable for organic agriculture etc, in some (unspecified) future legislation – maybe.

There are also clauses that mean the above concessions could be removed or reduced at any time in the future without coming back to the Parliament for a vote.”

MH900438728Who benefits from this law? Only the ten largest seed companies in the world, who also just happen to be the largest pesticide producers in the world.

1.Monsanto (US)
2.DuPont (US)
3.Syngenta (Switzerland)
4.Groupe Limagrain (France)
5.Land O’ Lakes (US)
6.KWS AG (Germany)
7.Bayer Crop Science (Germany)
8.Sakata (Japan)
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark)
10.Takii (Japan)

Source: ETC Group

Variety in our seed crops is an absolute must, if we are to have strong, healthy sources of food. Genetically modifying crops so they are resistant to certain chemicals (patented, produced and sold only by these companies) and creating a monoculture food chain is not beneficial to the world, no matter how these companies proclaim their charitable desire to feed the world.  If they truly did care about that, they would not be trying to put the small farmer out of business. If their motives were truly as benevolent as their propaganda declares them to be they would be supporting and encouraging small farms, not putting them out of business and destroying entire cultures.

I leave you with this quote from the Daily Mirror–oddly enough I did find ‘news’ in a newspaper!

MH900438718“The social impacts of large-scale monocultures are often disastrous for communities who continue to grow local foods using sustainable practices. Small-scale farmers often cultivate local species which not only contain important minerals for the soils and for human health, but also have adapted to the local environment over many years.

When small-scale farmers are confronted with industrial large-scale monocultures in their area, they are faced with water and other resources shortages, contamination from pesticide spraying and from GMO crops.

The takeover of land by monocultures also causes rural depopulation, destroying local community life and local economies. Monoculture plantations usually provide only temporary labour, for which workers are often hired from outside the region. Land grabbing and forced evictions of local populations are strongly linked to the expansion of monocultures.”

This, to me, is the real news.

I leave the gossip to the corporate news giants who cultivate it as a way to divert our attention from the true threats to our existence, and to those who find pleasure in watching others fall from grace.


Filed under Adventure, Books, Epilepsy, Food, Literature, Vegan, writing

2 responses to “Life Goes On, Maybe

  1. Couldn’t agree more Connie. I hate gossip news. It’s a boring distraction from the real issues that take time and thought to address…which of course is why it’s so much easier to just consume quick sound bites of gossip. Do you think if there was less gossip news people would tune into the real issues or just tune out of news altogether? I’m not sure.