Friday, March 25, 2011

There Is So Much Stuff Here

Hello, readers.

I am listening to Antony and the Johnsons. I like them. They sound like a church I wish existed and maybe does, somewhere, in some multi-verse or another. As a friend told me on Facebook, "There is so much STUFF here."

Here is some stuff that, of late, I ran into--or ran into me, as the case may be.

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet. She, along with Phil Kaye, runs a group called Project V.O.I.C.E. It is a group which works with young people, teaching and encouraging them to engage the world and its stuff through spoken word poetry. She recently gave a talk at TED in which she performed two of her works, "B" and "Hiroshima." They were quite good. They made me kind of almost cry.

You can find several of her stuffs online, such as, "Love Letter from the Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire," which is silly and funny and probably not apt to make you kind of almost cry.

An excerpt from David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King,  appeared in The New Yorker recently. It is about a boy trying to connect with all the parts of himself. It is called "Backbone." While not spoken, it is good, too.

Yesterday, a student asked me, "What about plants?"

She was speaking to my vegetarianism. I said, "Well, erm, I've thought about that and though I don't really know if they feel pain, I think maybe they don't---and, from what I've read, organic farming tends to probably not produce quite the same amount of pollution (or resource burden) as animal farming. 

She seemed satisfied with this.

I was not. In my thinking about food, it has never really entered my mind that living did not entail some amount of other stuffs dying.

Brian Cox (scientist, British, knows stuff) has a series of BBC documentaries called, Wonders of the Universe. In the first episode, he discusses Time and Loss and Life. In the second episode, he discusses how all of the everything that exists--including you and me, readers--was born from the heart of dying star.

Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I shouldn't call myself an ethi-tarian, which is a dumb made-up (kind of pretentious sounding) word I just made-up that means someone that tries to eat ethically according to one's one arbitrarily defined sense of ethics--in this particular case, causing the least amount of suffering to, in no particular order: that which you eat, the people who tend that which you eat, the world which gives birth to that which you eat, and also penguins and polar bears because those guys need our help.

Speaking of plants:

Carol Kaesuk Yoon's "No Face, but Plants Like Life, Too" from a week or so ago in The New York Times.

An article from 2009 in Wired about plants having social lives.

Also, this TED talk from the end of last year: "The Roots of Plant Intelligence" (which is not the source of the crush referred to in the tags, though Mr. Mancuso is a fine bit of stuff as far as stuff goes).

I can smell my beans boiling. I should check on them.

Happy stuff, readers.

Everything is alive.



1 comment:

  1. hey! i used to cry at the suffering of my toys, every once in a while, if something bad happened to them... in particular i remember this oddly-shaped thing with handles and wheels and a face and hair, and i called it ollie, and someone kicked ollie one day. and i cried for the browning, dying tree in some ill-advised children's special about the disposal of an old christmas tree. surely it was not about that, but that is how i remember it. and those things are not all traditionally 'alive'. life is full of stuff and life and death and then we come in and give it meaning and feelings and build up ethics and i think that is good. but i think it is also confusing and beautiful.