Sunday, September 05, 2010

Teaching a Man to Fish

"Give a man a fish and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." - Anonymous

In order to teach a man to fish, you must first arrange for him to forget how.

Start early. Burn his great-grandparents' village. Cut off his great-grandfather's hand. Rape his great-grandmother in front of her children before taking her to work in your estate house and them in your fields.

The man's great-grandfather will not teach him to fish. His great-grandfather died on the rubber plantation that replaced the family's hometown before the man was born. (Our great-grandfathers put new tires on their cars and went fishing with their sons.) Nor will the man be taught to fish by his grandfather, who, fatherless, mined diamonds at gunpoint and did not live see his own daughter marry. (Our grandmothers and their daughters wear diamond engagement rings.) The man's father will not teach him to fish. The man was only a toddler when he lost both parents to a war ridding mineral territory of its occupation by inefficient and unproductive humans. (Coltan, cassiterite, and tungsten are spontaneously generated, infinitely abundant miracles to which we owe the wonders of technology and the foundations of our way of life--digital communcation, laptop computers, military fleets and arsenals, and the 'vibrate' function on our mobile phones.)

The man will be raised by strangers. He will beg for food and flee for his life. Or he will steal for food and fight for his life. Or he will work to feed others and beg for his life. (We will think it his fault that he kills and inevitable that he die.)

Perhaps it is just as well that he has forgotten how to fish. The plants and animals that his great-grandfather used to make fishing tackle can no longer be found. The lakes and streams where his great-grandfather fished have been drained to feed factories and poisoned by runoff from plantations and mines. The fish his great-grandfather caught have been decimated to keep first-world plates and bank accounts full. Were he to eat any fish that remain, he may develop cancer from the petroleum-based pesticides concentrated in its flesh. Were he to bring fish home to his wife (were he to have a home and a wife), their children might suffer cognitive impairment and birth defects from the heavy metals in the water from the runoff from the mines in which his father and grandfather died. And perhaps it is just as well--at least this man's children will not suffer knowledge as well as hunger and pain.

The man whom we intend to teach to fish was never a boy who carried a fishing pole. He never went to the lake with his father. This man was born to carry a gun. Our poor fathers manufacture guns, our middle-class fathers design them, and our rich fathers sell them for profit. Cheap lives for costly dust and ether as long as trade is free.

Ah, but we, we with our lines and our hooks, we with our miles of factory-wound lines and our buckets of machine-stamped identical hooks--we are feeding the world.

Friday, April 30, 2010



make units of labor of all nations
every child a refugee
all God's creatures great and small
extinct, endangered--or soon will be

clear the forest--leave a desert
wear the soil out to sea
mountains leveled, oceans burning
this is Progress, can't you see?

red and yellow, black and white
killed, exploited, put to flight
load the trains and feed the furnace

it's yours if you can take and sell it
if it's shiny, they will pay
more Unfood to stuff us empty
more Ungoods to throw away

Monday, January 04, 2010

Standard American Christian Response to the Ecological Crisis

1) What ecological crisis?

2) Nothing that bad will ever happen to us.

3) We are the world's benefactors, remember? We ARE the good guys. Period. The Bible tells me so. If anyone has a story in which we are not the good guys, the story must not be true.

4) We have everything under control. We will be more than happy and prepared to respond to any crises that might arise . . . once WE have decided that the crisis is actually happening. If anyone has a story in which we do not have everything under control, the story must not be true.

5) See #2.

6) See #1.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Revelation 12/26

Everything is made by elves
and delivered by reindeer.

Everything comes from the North Pole.
Every day.
Of course.

As long as we behave and do as we're told
the stuff will keep coming.
Our stockings are full,
so we must have been good.
We deserve it. (Santa knows.)

(Santa knows.) We still believe.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bumper Stickers


What if the Hokey Pokey
IS what it's all about?

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons . . .
for you are Crunchy and good with Ketchup.

Where are we going and
why are we in this handbasket?


Saturday, September 26, 2009


To experience the full brilliance of this comic, visit the 'xkcd' website here, drag the mouse over the picture, and rest it there for a second.

: ) !

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Too many Rainier cherries
the woman said
Come on over--
my neighbor's orchard--
the perfect crop--

Too many?
is an orchard.
And more.

(Muchas gracias, Rosalio Moreno. El "producto de Dios" es bueno.)