Saturday, April 17, 2010

Doom and Gloom Chronicles: King Midas (Montsanto & Co.?) is an ass (no insult intended to our four legged friends)

Earth has been rumbling and grumbling and spitting more than usual it seems. Well you know, I do live close to a volcano’s foothills, so I thought it best to check things out. To that end, I went into my yard, laid down (on mud and gravel, ouch!) and put my ear to the ground.

There was an immediate explosion of insults: “You idiot, you moron, you imbecile, you you you how could you!?” I had to jump up because my ear was hurting from those sulfuric insults. But curiosity got the best of me so I put it back on the earth and asked why?

Well it turns out the earth is pissed off because of our (Montsanto etc) invention of the Terminator a.k.a. Suicide seeds. These are self sterilizing seeds so that farmers can’t save seeds from the resulting crops to plant for next harvest. They have to buy new ones each year.... Now there seems to be a pseudo-ban of those seeds, but there are still cases of cross-contamination galore (you know the wind etc) and others are being created and sown around, such as for instance seeds that contain their own pesticide which –surprise surprise– has led to less pollenization and thus less crops...

So said the earth, “your species was stable for at least one million years and enjoyed life and painted beautiful paintings on cave walls and worshiped buxom women, and then what do you do? You invent agriculture around 10,000 years ago --give or take a few millenia-- and look where it got you: famines, inequality between groups of people and also between men and women, and is driving me, Earth, to the brink of destruction. And now as a logical deadly continuation of this nonsense, you’ve invented suicide seeds which have the potential of also contaminating wild plants. Do you thrive on impotence, or what?”

“Of course I would survive your suicidal impulses even if all of you idiots died but I wouldn’t survive you throwing your nukes at each others. I probably turn into a comet that might be visible to other sentient beings for a split second ten millon light years away. So since you morons have invented total suicide weapons it’s perhaps not surprising that you also invented suicide seeds”

“But but I say to the ground, how about the profit motive? Isn’t it a great motivator for human enterprise?” “Ha,” spews Earth into my ringing ear, “don’t you remember what happened to King Midas? He was granted his wish that everything he touched would turn into gold –and soon enough that idiot starved to death... profit motive, my foot! –well if I had a foot ...”

I went off after this conversation and instead of listening to the earth rumblings I put my ears on Google. I found out after all those years that there has been a kindred spirit sharing my long held dim view of agriculture in the person of one Jared Diamond who, among many other books, wrote an article titled “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” –meaning agriculture! (It’s on line like almost everything else!). And then about those impotent seeds, there’s the body of works by Vandana Shiva....

So if I may digress, my impression is that there must be or has been a whole corpus of King Midas stories. But I know only one other and it’s Hungarian. It goes like this: King Midas had donkey ears which he kept hidden under his crown. The only person who knew about it was his barber who had been sworn to secrecy under pain of death. That information was swelling inside the barber’s head and giving him hemorrhoids at the other end. So he decided that he had to relieve himself one way or another. He traveled to the country side, the Hungarian plains in this case, dug a hole in the ground and told it his secret. Then he filled the hole and went back to barbering feeling much better.

Well what do you suppose happened next? The grass grew over the freshly filled hole and soon enough the grass all over the prairie was singing in the wind “King Midas has donkey ears... King Midas has donkey ears....”. I don’t know what happened to that poor barber, you can fill the blanks, but I just realized why Montsanto came up with sterile silent seeds....