Can you say mid-life crisis?

Paul Cutler's picture

I can feel it pulsating through me - you and I oldnick are one - my conclusion was different - this morning I had the epiphany I'm free - so I started a YouTube channel to realize that :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSFhPLnEhXI
The first song.

pbc

hrant's picture

Serves me right for thinking I could get away without using a smiley.

hhp

Paul Cutler's picture

This moment I feel the prolonged drone of existence.

pbc

Paul Cutler's picture

I don't trust anyone who's goal it is to be in charge of me. I trust my fellow citizens more than I trust the people in charge. Call me crazy.

pbc

Chris Dean's picture

How’s this for a sig? Longer is better, right? #welcometothe90’s

C
T
D

Paul Cutler's picture

Considering my fellow citizens are the people in charge…

pbc

oldnick's picture

Well, Paul—

Theoretically, “your fellow citizens” are in charge; however, practically speaking, no: Money rules, and all but a brave—or foolish—few obey Money's commands.

And, yes: you are crazy. Simply remember that there is such a thing as crazy good…

oldnick's picture

Crazy? No: not probably. Definitely.

And so much Helvetica? Really? Are we all Post-Postmodern now?

Té Rowan's picture

Nope. Meso-Holocene.

Oh, and @oldnick, pray have your home checked for fungal spores, just in case they are driving you lot the wrong kind of crazy. That's too unfunny and uncute to let go unchecked.

quadibloc's picture

@John Hudson:
Really, who in the heck thought that agriculture was a good idea?

I blame women. They just couldn't take it when their babies kept dying as a result of unreliable food supplies.

And, of course, without agriculture, we wouldn't have civilization; without civilization, we wouldn't have written language, and without written language we would not have typography.

Agriculture did indeed lead to our ancestors suffering through millenia of toil and tyranny. But it made the societies that practiced it militarily stronger than those which did not, and so it spread as the result of the way things happen rather than any considered human choice. (cf. The Parable of the Tribes by Andrew Bard Schmookler)

We cannot change the past, but we can make use of the technologies we have now, the upside of agriculture, to bring about a world with a decent life for every human being.

hrant's picture

Hear, hear.

hhp

riccard0's picture

[Agriculture] made the societies that practiced it militarily stronger than those which did not

Go tell it to Gengis Khan.

John Hudson's picture

Russell: anyone can go back to a subsistence hunter-gatherer life at anytime ... The thing is, if you do that, that is all you'll ever have time to do.

Again I have to ask what data you have to back up this assertion, which like your previous one re height is contrary to everything I've read that anthropologists and palaeontologists have concluded about hunter gatherer societies. Even in the relatively harsh climate of the modern Kalahari, hunter gatherers are observed to spend on average three hours per day obtaining food, which is in effect the only 'work' they do.

And it is not the case that 'anyone' can resume a hunter gatherer life today. Agriculture drives population expansion, requires immense amounts of water and land, and when combined with industrialisation encourages the centralisation of distribution in cities. I already mentioned the pressures on hunter gatherer populations from destruction of wetlands, forestry and pasture land appropriation for agriculture. Simply put, we're now bound to farming. [That said, there are different models of farming, including some that preserve wetlands and pasture lands.]

I'm fortunate to live in what is one of the most abundant natural habitats on the planet, a place where native hunter gatherer societies were able to adopt some of the things that we otherwise associate with agricultural civilisation (among them, slavery) simply because there was so much year-round plenty that they enjoyed something like a surplus economy. From July to November, I eat some form of wild berry or another every day, simply by walking out my front door and picking them off the bushes. But wild game is as difficult to come by here as anywhere else with even low modern densities: hunting can only be done on private land and regulations define the distance one must be from a house or other human inhabited structure.

oldnick's picture

@John Hudson—

Agriculture does not drive anything; humans choose to do mischief with excess; cf. Josef Pieper. And, you are, indeed, fortunate, even if you can't kill other living things easily and handily from your back porch. Quel dommage…

Renaissance Man's picture

The USDA last week made a minor non-binding recommendation. In its inter-office newsletter to agency employees, it suggested that those who want to conserve water could simply refrain from eating meat on Mondays.
The idea is part of the worldwide “Meatless Monday” campaign, which the New York Times notes is backed by “thousands of corporate cafeterias, restaurants and schools.” [No doctors!] In the face of a drought, it’s a pragmatic notion. Cornell University researchers estimate that “producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein.”
--David Sirota, Salon, August 3, 2012

Since Chris posted a link to the "Make my logo bigger" song, here's one to "Make my logo bigger" cream.

Chris Dean's picture

That’s so funny I’m in tears and I’m only 2 mins in. Thanks or the morning laugh. Definitely going to share that one.

quadibloc's picture

@riccard0:
Go tell it to Gengis Khan.

Yes, there was one notable exception in history. But it wasn't just the Victorian Era colonial empires, or Spain, France, and England in the new world that ran roughshod over indigenous people.

Ancient Egypt and Babylon grew by conquering neighboring indigenous people. Ancient Rome conquered many barbarians in addition to other civilized societies.

dezcom's picture

And the Egyptians and Babylonians had made fine use of Agriculture.
I guess I am having great trouble with John's insistence of Hunter-gatherer tribes as the only way to go. It is a bit My-way-or-the-highway thinking. Those who lived by a friendly sea fished;those who had little access to enough wildlife farmed; most had a mixed bag of "Eat whatever you have available at the time".

riccard0's picture

Ancient Rome conquered many barbarians

And then was conquered back by barbarians ;-)
One pattern I see is that usually the less civilised conquer the more civilised, then absorb/adopt the conquered culture. Dorics and Ionics, Romans and Greeks, Mongolians and Chinese, etc.

JamesM's picture

> The USDA last week made a minor non-binding
> recommendation... refrain from eating meat on Mondays.

The USDA retracted the recommendation after protests from livestock producers and at least one member of congress. “U.S.D.A. does not endorse Meatless Monday,” a spokeswoman said in a statement, and she said the recommendation “was posted without proper clearance.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/us/usda-newsletter-retracts-a-meatless...

hrant's picture

If only the human livestock had a powerful lobby behind it.

hhp

russellm's picture

For Gengis Khan it was pasture land for their herds of horses, cattle and sheep they were after.... The old ranchers VS farmers fight. At least to start with.

@ Hrant

Likewise :o)

@ quadibloc ,

Agriculture spread because people who practice it multiply faster. They have food to support larger families and (collectively if not individually) food to put away for lean times, food to trade for cool stuff and time to spend thinking about and doing things other than farming.

russellm's picture

@ John. The world is full of data and it's often just a click away. Data multiplies like farmers in a good crop year. But time does not. You can accept or reject what every you like.

Talk of the wholesome life of our hunter and gather ancestors is often overly sentimental and, I'd suggest a some what fanciful interpretation of what little is known. People have always been people, both good and bad. In any event, that was then. This is now. we aren't going back there any time soon - unless we screw things up very, very badly.

The conversation about a sustainable food supply today with today's population is a different one.

Renaissance Man's picture

>The USDA retracted the recommendation after protests from livestock producers and at least one member of congress. [Thanks for the heads-up.]

The recommendation was based on sound reason. The retraction was based on politics.

dezcom's picture

"The retraction was based on politics."

as usual for Washington.

Paul Cutler's picture

Mid is far too timid a descriptor for this crisis.

This is fun, visiting other existential disaster areas.

pbc

jabez's picture

Who would've thought that I would someday read an article about diets and think of Typophile? Ha.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/opinion/sunday/the-optimal-diet.html

russellm's picture

National food inspection agencies like the USDA and the CFIA (the Canadian equivalent) are effectively branches of the food industry and are more concerned with keeping regulations from hurting the profits of Cargil, Monsanto, General Mills... and the rest of them than with actual food safety.

Chris Dean's picture

How’s this for a fad diet? “The Helvetica Diet.” Only eat food that has labels set in Helvetica. There’s got to be enough stupid North Americans out there to jump on that bandwagon…

Paul Cutler's picture

I don't know if you visited a Safeway during the 80s but all the packaging for their generic items was the same. Yellow with black type. There was one on Vine and Melrose that had an entire aisle of generic products like dog food, baked beans, beer, you name it. All yellow and black. One of many aesthetic crises.

pbc

Chris Dean's picture

Note the 3rd ingredient. I took these shots ~2 years ago.

russellm's picture

… And Just like that, Paul and Christopher bring it all back to Type.

:o)

@ Paul… Thanks to the Don Watt Group, No Name branding for Lawblaws & Weston Foods house brands… In the eighties they virtually owned yellow and black. (not to mention Helvetica set way too tight)

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