Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why I’m voting NO on 37

I guess it’s my fault.
I’ve stayed silent on these things way too long. I’ve watched with helpless disgust while the politics around me shifted from the deeper social understanding of mass-movements into the isolated politics of drug legalization, spiritualism, and foodie-ism.
At a certain point though, I gotta call some people out, and my firm NO ON 37 stance is a good place to start. You might know that this is the Proposition that aims to require labeling of genetically modified food. The “right-to-know” act. My basic issue is this. We require labeling for things that have a scientifically demonstrated impact on our health. Genetic modification has no proven effect on our health, and the only demonstrations that may show a correlation are problematic studies by people with demonstrated political leanings.
I could stop there. But it goes so much deeper than this for me, it’s a deep annoyance with this “paranoid mother” social milieu that’s pushing this stuff. I’ve been watching the GMO debate for a while. And it’s full of rhetoric. I basically agree with this guy:

Meanwhile, the anti-GMO argument goes more like “it’s icky” as demonstrated by this well-rehearsed 13-year old:

And it doesn’t end there. It’s one kid after another paraded in front of the camera, begging on behalf of their paranoid mothers. And it goes further. It’s one conflation after another. Monsanto opposes it. GMO farming is big agribusiness which is bad for the environment. And a bunch of other reasons I really can’t think of nor care to right now.
Thing is, people aren’t opposed to curbing Monsanto’s power, or making big agribusiness more sensitive to the environment. But none of those things have anything to do with labeling GMOs.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll just say this:
Look, you have a right to know what’s in your food, it’s true. You have a right to buy gluten-free organic non-GMO vegan food produced in ground plowed by unicorns under a full-moon in mid-april and irrigated with Fijian artesian water. Work with the farmers you like to develop some trusted labeling system so you can live your perfect little ultra-food lifestyle.
But none of these things have any demonstrated effect on our health. Food is food. Your body grinds it up, breaks it down, and rebuilds it. It doesn’t matter what the original form was. Everything else is in your head, as far as the rest of the world and I are concerned. Leave the rest of us out of your games, don’t force the rest of us to to deal with your fantastic understanding of food.

The Music Theory of Pac-Man

Pac-Man is the philosophy of the dog-eat-dog, work-a-day world. The constant repetitive struggle to earn one’s keep, that keeps repeating endlessly until the ghosts of the world get the better of you.
That’s all there is to it. And in that, such a simple game becomes so profound as to be a timeless classic.
But let’s get beyond the maddeningly unphilosophical lesson of it all and have fun with some of the music, shall we? The jingle in particular. It’s a staccato rhythm, C5, C#5, C5, ascension to C. That’s the gyst of it. Even the chords are maddening. No chord progressions, no higher chords, just the basic C, and it never gets more than a half-note away. The C5 is the home page of chord theory. The C#, its next of kin that may struggle for something higher, but is still intimately tied with it. And even then, it leads right back to C, its struggle hilariously futile. With a finish-off that all notes lead to C.
And that’s your game of Pac-Man. Your goal isn’t to beat the bad guy, it isn’t to live happily ever after, it’s just to survive. Avoid the myriad of ghosts that can trip you up in this world. Even if they will ultimately pronounce your doom. Occasionally, and it only happens so often, you get on a trump, and that’s where you feel invincible. And just maybe you are. But those moments only happen so often, don’t think you’re naturally invincible, learn to treasure those moments and use them to your advantage, if possible.
Because soon enough, it’s right back to where you were.