2010-09-14

Lady GaGa's meat dress

I think people who are put off by Lady GaGa must either really dislike her music, or must be numb in the head. I don't remember a person this original since... ever.

Here's her latest outrage: the meat dress.

You and I might joke around and come up with a crazy idea to wear a dress entirely made of meat to a celebrity show, chuckling and feeling smug about our original and iconoclastic thinking. Then we would go wearing a nice evening suit because we don't have the balls to actually pull that off.

Lady GaGa goes and wears the meat dress.

It's visually disturbing, and at the same time seems to be a waste of meat that could have been served on a dinner plate. But consider our meat industry, which slaughters more animals in a year than there are all humans living. Consider the inefficiency of our food industry in general, combined with our eating habits, which wastes 50% of our food.

What is actually more disturbing: these few pounds of flesh made into a dress, or 10 billion animals raised in horrible conditions and slaughtered for meat every year? And to add insult to injury, a large part of that flesh going wasted?

We, humans, treat animals with utter, complete disrespect. We don't like to own up to it, we like to pretend we're all civilized, cultured, and nice, while eating our dinner steaks and barbecue chicken. Whether GaGa intended it or not, this dress starkly calls attention to our hypocrisy, and for that, I appreciate it.

2010-09-11

Being deaf vs. speaking an unpopular language

Katja Grace makes an interesting argument comparing:
  • intentionally making your kid deaf - like some deaf people want to do, arguing it will help the child experience deaf culture;
  • raising a child in an unpopular language - like most parents speaking unpopular languages do, arguing it will help the child experience that language's culture.
There is a difference between the two, primarily that a child raised in an unpopular culture can still learn a foreign language, whereas a deaf child cannot learn to hear. However, most won't learn a foreign language, and those who do, will be severely handicapped. Katja's arguments are illuminating and compelling.

I've expressed this sentiment in the past: languages with small numbers of speakers, like Slovenian, are poison for the people brought up speaking them. It should be a basic human right that one should be not just taught, but raised in a major world language, one that's e.g. in at least top 10 by total number of speakers. Of those, it should possibly not be a language spoken by a monoculture, but an international language that enables conversation with people from a wide number of countries.

If you raise your kid in a small language, and only make a token effort of teaching an international one, it's as if you are intellectually disabling your kid, preventing or impeding him or her from accessing the vast majority of knowledge and ideas that would otherwise be easily accessible.

The only acceptable way to speak a small language should be to be fully bilingual, maintaining equal fluency in an international language. When a child cannot be raised fluently in two languages, an international language should take precedence over a small one.

2010-09-08

Fidel Castro, peace activist

Wow:
Over the course of a five-hour discussion, Mr Castro "repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism", and criticised Mr Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust.

"The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust," the former president said.

Mr Castro said that Iran could further the cause of peace by "acknowledging the 'unique' history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence", Mr Goldberg wrote.

Mr Castro told Mr Goldberg that he understood Iranian fears of Israeli-American aggression and that he did not believe that sanctions and threat would dissuade Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons.

"The Iranian capacity to inflict damage is not appreciated," Mr Castro said. "Men think they can control themselves but [US President Barack] Obama could overreact and a gradual escalation could become a nuclear war."

Mr Castro has recently made a number of warnings of the danger of a nuclear war between the West and Iran.

Mr Goldberg then questioned Mr Castro about his stance during the Missile Crisis of 1962, asking if he stood by his recommendation that the Soviets bomb the US.

"After I've seen what I've seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn't worth it at all," he said.
That just might redeem the guy. A bit.

2010-09-01

James Jay Lee's demands

James Jay Lee has been solo protesting outside the Discovery Channel's offices for years, demanding a complete overhaul of their programming. He believes that the human race is so bad for the planet that our population should be radically lowered through mass sterilization. He also wants an end to civilization and armed conflict. Because the Discovery Channel's network reaches many people, he believes they can, and should, make this happen.

It seems that no one has been taking him seriously, so now he invaded the Discovery Channel's headquarters waving a gun and with metallic canisters strapped to his chest. It appears that he is currently taking a couple of hostages, awaiting his demands to be met.

Read about his crazy demands before his web site is shut down, which seems likely. :)
1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!

2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.

3. All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. ...