Friday, May 21, 2010

Sails and Tails

bink took this snap of me in the Milwaukee Art Museum's Pavillion, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

It's like being inside the skeleton of a whale or a sailing ship.

Yesterday I finished the hardest bit of the Frindian war book---the "why?" part.
Hardest, even though the answers are obvious:
dirt, and all the things on it (tobacco, beavers, roads, children);
and glory (whatever that is).

Our hunger for goodies to put in our mouths drives quite a lot of human history, as you know:
tobacco, yes, and sugar (sugar, sugar, sugar), salt and pepper, chocolate, coffee, booze...
I like 'em all ('cept the baccy).

[Nice article by Michael Pollen about Americans and Food:
"Considered in the long sweep of human history, in which getting food dominated not just daily life but economic and political life as well, having to worry about food as little as we do, or did, seems almost a kind of dream..."
You know there's a big "but" coming...]

And the machinery it takes to produce and transport those goodies is responsible for boatloads of human misery ...and human genius (e.g., the astrolabe, right).

A favorite example of human adaptability (a kind of genius), from yesterday's reading:
Colonial militiamen eventually (sometimes) took to lopping off their uniform coats' long tails, so they could move unencumbered through the thick woods.

2 comments:

Margaret said...

O what a cool picture!!
It really does look like some behemoth, cyclops whale! (The shape of the arced window and the light is reflects on the floor makes a giant mono-eye.)

I wonder if the first murder was over food. This is kind of true Biblically: gGod - a carnivore? - fancied Abel's meat offering over Cain's fresh produce. Of course Cain was ticked; the long labor that goes into growing fruits and legumes, and all Abel did was go out and the kill the first thing that moved!

And sugar.
Of all the sweet tasting things to war over. . . .
(Kind of like "War of the Roses" - not about roses a'tall, but it sounds strange, like something from Alice's Wonderland.)

From the article:
"Good food is potentially one of the most democratic pleasures a society can offer, and is one of those subjects, like sports, that people can talk about across lines of class, ethnicity, and race."
True, true. When we aren't fighting over it, food is one of those ultimate commonalities. Reminds me of Sesame Street's "Everybody Eats" clip, (nice, mellow song, actually):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kqOhF-RrFM

(There's also "Everybody Sleeps" - which is just plain sweet - clips of sleeping people while Joe Raposo sings.)

In China, they jump right into talking about food; a common greeting-exchange is:
"Have you eaten lately?"
"Yes, I've eaten. Have you?"
(A lot more straight-forward to answer than "how are you?" - although the answer is basically set - good/pretty good/alright. To say "quite bad" would have the same effect as dividing by zero, I think.)

HOLY I DIGRESS.

I didn't know about the astrolabe - what a thing, what a word!

Interesting stuff, Furesuka.
*the Japanese version of your name in the Roman alphabet.
Have you eaten lately?

Fresca said...

In fact, I haven't---must go have breakfast!

(Thanks for the great comment!)