“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.”
H1N1 is killing me. No, not literally — and not the virus itself — but all the extended hours I’m having to put in as a result of readying a manufacturing plant for the full-scale filling and packaging operations associated with putting the vaccine on the street. Whether the threat of this virus is real or manufactured I’ll leave to your own personal conclusions (for what it’s worth, I’m passing on the vaccine) — what I do know for a fact, though, is that I’m working my damn ass off as of late. Unfortunately, the only drawback to the Paleo way is its inability to put more actual hours in my day.
Before I move on, though,to the topics at hand, allow me a quick rant. This, my friends, is what American-style, hyper-capitalism business has come to: work the few people you’ve retained till they drop, then reload from the ranks of the over-educated and marginalized, who (and this is the full-circleness of the issue) are inclined (due to a sputtering economy) to accept less-than-adequate wages/working conditions/benefits. Why not carry a little extra fat in the ranks? Wouldn’t that be prudent, from a business (not to mention, humanistic) point of view? Hey, are you friggin kidding me? Have you seen the price-tag associated with a benefits package as of late (I’ll forgo the health care reform rant here)? Not to mention that the fat cats on Wall Street want quarterly results, Jack, and the issue of any additional headcount — over and above the overworked zombies required to produce a satisfactory profit margin — is a non-starter. How’s this for irony: scrambling through the business corridors in your work-induced brain fog, you’re forced to dodge impromptu hallway gatherings of upper-level management, and representatives from the notorious McKinsey Group. A pretty innocuous looking bunch from the looks of their site, eh? Just what the hell do they do, you ask? Slash and burn, my friend. Headcount elimination. The “do more with less” (and we all know what that means) specialists. Ah, but here’s irony x2: isn’t it odd that 90% of the group’s representatives are of Indian decent? Seems as if the group that specializes in outsourcing has taken the notion to heart and outsourced itself. Can’t label them as hypocrites, I suppose. Pure contrived fiction, I tell you, could not be steeped in such irony. Such is life as a member of the American workforce…what’s left of it, anyway.
So, just a couple of things you may not have run across this week:
Common ground with a vegetarian?
Well, if the issue is limited to the protest of the horrid conditions found in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), it would seem so. Now I can certainly appreciate a vegetarian who leads that particular lifestyle purely as a statement against needless animal cruelty. I’m not so sure, though, that Jonathan Foer, has considered the optimization of his own health in this “go veggie” decision — but hey, to each his own. I just wish that the author of Everything is Illuminated would study the virtues of the free-range/grass-fed experience — both from the animal’s point of view, and from that of the consumer (and of the earth, for that matter) — and tweak his stance accordingly. And although I loath the very idea of CAFOs, and how they’ve totally adulterated the mainstream protein supply, I find it hard to believe that they are as heavy a greenhouse gas producer as say, what’s produced from world’s combined coal-fired power plants. Now, I don’t know this for fact — and I’m certainly not defending CAFOs in any way, shape or form — I’m just sayin’… if you’re interested, there’s another quickie-interview with Jonathan, here. He does come across as an intelligent and affable enough fellow. If you’ve read Jonathan’s new book, Eating Animals, drop a comment and let us know what you thought. To be quite honest, I’ve not placed it high enough on my “to read” list to ever realistically get to it — I’m currently engrossed in two Gandhi-related works (here and here) — so if you’ve already read — or plan to read — Jonathan’s work, give us the run-down.
Health Care Reform
Wow, Dr. Kurt G. Harris, of the wonderful blog, PaNu, nails this essay on health care reform — a copy of which ought to be tacked to the doors of congress, Martin Luther style. Make sure you read Dr. Harris’s essay, and while you’re over there, peruse the balance of the PaNu blog as well. Plenty of great Paleo-minded information can be had, there, of the type that I take and integrate into workable, real-life scenarios — putting Theory to Practice, if you will.
I hope that the next two installments of this NOVA presentation are as fascinating as episode #1. What a show; TV at its finest! Part 2 is coming up November 10 (my birthday, by the way). Be sure to catch it.