On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM, catie faryl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Letter to the Editor regarding SB 633 and related bills:It’s not just that Monsanto, Syngenta and other bullying, foreign profit-takers are contaminating our heirloom and regionally adapted seeds and crops. It is also their chemical mixtures of Round-up to kill everything in the soil, avoid plowing and then plant genetically altered seeds that is so destructive.Media, business and government blame the public for being sick and “out of shape”, because they are worried about how America can afford health care. It’s the omnipresence of GMOs, refined white GMO beet sugar, GM corn, soy, corn syrup and processed and animal feed, plus unhealthy growing and livestock practices foisted upon the farm communities, that are causing harm. The huge rise in obesity, diabetes, cancers and heart attacks is related to these foods, which is what poor, and beleaguered middle class, and unemployed are habituated to buying since its mass production makes it cheap, available and soothing, though of diminished nutritional value.Our air and water are filled with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, killing off animals and insects, polluting streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, giving people asthma and other conditions. We are literally breaking the food chain within nature. The addictive cycle of Chemical, GMO, and Pharmaceutical agriculture must be ended through a massive intervention followed by a period of detoxification and economic reforms. We must undo the patents that allow mega-corporations to own “intellectual property rights” of genetically modified organisms, genes and seeds and find remedies for binding contracts that force farmers to continue paying and using these products.Don’t believe the lies from Chem/AG that their products are safe and their objectives altruistic and that they just want “to feed the world”. If that were true, billions of dollars wouldn’t have been spent perfecting and owning gene code, but instead used to build wells, and support native and sustainable systems. 80% of the world’s food is still grown in small and mid-size operations, the majority of it by women.FREE THE FARMERS AND THE LAND FROM THIS CYCLE OF ABUSE! This tired system in place since WWII is losing its efficacy. It has depleted the soils, bred pesticide-resistant pests and spray resistant plant diseases, and made people lazy, ill and unresponsive. In the 1950s we were told how wonderful DDT was, yet it was finally banned in America in 1972, (when corporations like Monsanto, Dow, and others simply sold those toxins in the third world and polluted THEIR wells and soils.) GMO is being banned all over the world. We need to transition out of it before all our crops are non-exportable and our citizens, animals, and environment deteriorate further.
Folks, these aren’t Mendel’s peas, seeds or crops anymore! This is TRANS-SPECIES TAMPERING, the ultimate arrogance, human folly and act of aggression by putting things where things simply do not belong! How it ever became legal for scientific, moral, and political reasons is highly questionable. Everyone needs to stop and reconsider this dangerous practice. In my book GMO stands for GODDESS MIGHTILY OFFENDED! Catie Faryl Chamber of Commons Champions of the Commons on Facebook www.catiefaryl.net The Law declares him a thief who from the commons steals the goose, but the greater thief the law lets loose who steals the commons from the goose!
– an English Proverb
Two Trains Running
Playwright August Wilson has consistently captured the history of America through his series of plays about the lives of black people. Two Trains Running is set in a small neighborhood restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1969. The place has jukebox which is usually broken and other difficulties that beleaguered, middle-aged owner Memphis must grapple with. The action and additional cast* of six moves and comes alive in this small space, where their personal troubles, hopes and dreams are explored and exposed in the light and darkness of the rough political and economic realities of those times.
The intense view into the lives of Memphis and his waitress Risa, a perennial customer Wolf, who is running numbers using the restaurant as a point of his operation, wise old friend Holloway, disabled Hambone, a funeral parlor owner West is engaging. The setting, music and language all reinforce the intimacy of the black community, as well as accurately portray similar small businesses throughout the country. I grew up in Oakland and spent time in similar neighborhoods in that time period. The play is truly authentic and recreates the vibe and what was going on back then. The songs selected for the play are wonderful reminders of that time. “You’re All I Need to Get By”, “I Fall Apart, Baby” and others sing volumes.
When a stranger named Sterling shows up at the restaurant, the lives of the other characters shift. Sterling is a young and unknown fellow who’s got plenty of game, and maybe not as much sense as Memphis, Wolf and Holloway would like. Risa is annoyed by his attention, but also friendly enough to him since he treats Hambone with good cheer. Risa’s rough life has left her in distain for men, but the childlike Hambone is someone she cares about. Hambone constantly raves about how he’s been cheated out of a ham he was promised years ago by a business owner across the street. Risa takes money from her tip jar to buy Hambone some coffee or beans when Memphis complains.
Each character is having problems, and Holloway recommends visits to “Aunt Esther”, a healer who lives nearby and claims to be 322 years old. Her remedies for personal troubles are wise, and they have a reputation of working, although some are resistant to her “RX” of throwing $20 bills in the river to elicit a “cure”.
I greatly enjoyed this play and so did the rest of the audience who gave a spontaneous and rousing standing ovation at the end. We felt like we knew these people and had struggled along beside them. We can relate because what was happening in the poor black communities back in the 1960s and 1970s is now happening to the middle class. The same issues of Catch-22 bureaucracies where there is a stranglehold on the means of making a living and the political climate where grassroots leaders of the people are ignored, discredited, jailed or killed and the disempowerment of the people through a lack of jobs, resources and multitude of means (not least of which is to utterly exhaust and complicate life) is repeating. There are some things we can envy about their situation; the camaraderie, the kidding, the light heartedness and faith of some of the characters and the boldness and brashness of others who represent their communal ability to cope and enjoy life even with hardship, while hoping, willing and working for change. Their circumstances are bleak enough that they recognize and declare “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, a place and sense of things that the middle class has not yet embraced.
Making do with what’s available and with a thread of the line “Give me some sugar, Risa” continuing throughout the play, we instinctively know “sugar” is another name for love or a kiss. A Reverend must become a Prophet to bypass the system and carry a message. A restaurant owner must fight City Hall to get a fair price for his condemned property. Flowers stolen from a funeral become a romantic gesture from a man to a woman. These friends speculate on whether the Moon is getting closer, and foreshadowing the idea in the movie Melancholia, wonder whether the world will end.
These are the Two Trains Running. One moving forward, one leaving. We hear their plaintive whistles in the distant background. There are Two Trains Running, one is Love, the other is Death and no one escapes these travels and travails.
Catie Faryl, March 1, 2013 www.catiefaryl.net
*Cast and Crew
Memphis – Terry Bellamy
Wolf – Kenajuan Bentley
Risa – Bakesta King
Holloway – Josiah Phillips
Hambone – Tyrone Wilson
Sterling – Kevin Kenerly
West – Jerome Preston Bates