GIVING THANKS TO TURKEYS

 

http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-11-22-giving-thanks/N10/#comments

Nature is a puzzling mother. She imbues her children with a strong instinct for survival, but to do so they must prey upon and consume others. We will always fail when we try to embed human morality to the ways of nature. Nature is not human, though humans are a small part of nature.  We are not likely to change the fact that big fish eat small fish. “Eat and be eaten” is nature’s decree.

I think that in the long-term we might understand this better from physics and the idea of fusion. Fusion in the Sun creates the light and warmth that bath the Earth. Fusion is perhaps more than a combination of elements that destroy themselves to create something larger than themselves. Fusion creates the energy needed to make to universe itself work. Fusion must be an evolutionary process of building from the old to create the new. Fusion likely works its way down to predator and victim. From the consumed elements of another, life is born and maintained, then recycled once again.

Seven years ago I responded to this video about being thankful for our Thanksgiving turkey in a manner not unlike the views held by ancient native peoples who blessed their kill and reverently consumed the flesh. The argument turned into vegan vs non-vegan views, but is worth reviewing.  I am KHF333 in the below comments.

COW TO HUMAN

DRAWING BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, GORDON, OHIO

 

KHF333 25 NOV 2010 7:54AM

What no one said but the woman in the video is that the turkey in the video has a purpose. It was raised to be slaughtered and then eaten. That was the purpose of its life. Had that purpose not been there, that turkey would not have lived at all! So is it a blessing for the turkey to experience a life it never would have had? Actually, I think it is.

John Carbonaro 25 NOV 2010 9:03AM @KHF333

That is what slave owners used to say to rationalize their procreation and self-serving ends. “A slave’s life is better than no life at all… I prefer this quote from a commenter:
“You believe that because we are in some sense responsible for the existence of certain animals, we have the right to treat them as a resource to be exploited (in this case, for their flesh).” Vegans believe that since they would not exist if not for our actions, we are ethically obligated to allow them to continue existing since they prefer life over
death. I feel an overwhelming ethical obligation to those individuals that already
exist. I feel no ethical obligation to those who will never exist.

KHF333 25 NOV 2010 3:58PM

Yeah, John, but there is a BIG difference. The commercial turkey is not a born wild bird. It was bred for the food chain. Nor do they have the kind of rationality that humans do, so comparing them with slaves is not a valid comparison. Nature has devised the system of the big fish eating the little fish. I doubt seriously if human compassion can ever turn this around. The vegan will not even eat fish or cheese… out of some incongruous respect for a nature that does not respect them. Nature is out to kill us, you know. It is the way it is. Mammals drink milk when they are infants and eat whatever their generic nature tells them is food.

John Carbonaro 25 NOV 2010 8:04PM @KHF333


Intelligence is not a criteria for making a decision about whether a being lives or dies, or it would be fine to consume infants and people in comas. The slave comparison is valid since you were specifically making the argument that serving a purpose to a group that exploits them gives them the reason for being in the world. Animals have their own purpose and right to fulfill their own meaning, and it isn’t for you to decide their ‘worth’.

There is no ‘food chain’ for humans. We decide what we are going to eat. “chain’ suggests a closed loop system. We are capable of making ethical decisions. That gives us freedom that most animals do not have. If a capacity for having morality makes the human race special or ‘bigger’ we should be using it to defer harm from innocents. We haven’t done a very good job of proving that we are competent to be considered integral to the earth.

You are just using ‘Nature’ to hide/fit in your actions into a convenient rationalization. Nature does a lot of things that we as humans would never do to others.

By your original statement, perhaps kittens and rabbits get a chance to be in the world because they serve a purpose for some humans-crush entertainment.

We don’t need ‘commercial’ animals to continue to be in the world . It would be just fine when the demand for flesh goes, so do those animal’s production

KHF333 @John Carbonaro

Because grazing animals and animal husbandry take so much space and cause such environmental harm, it may be on the way out of fashion in some areas of the world. As the ultimate predator, humans make most of the decisions about what survives and what does not. There is as much life in a carrot and a potato as there is in a cow and a turkey. To blindly hold ourselves up as more righteous than others because we only kill vegetables seems to me to be the ultimate in self-deception.

John Carbonaro 26 NOV 2010 10:31AM @KHF333
If you think there is as much life in a carrot/potato as a cow or turkey, there is no rational conversation to be had here. 
Instead of putting on an animal mask and playing ‘ultimate predator’, grow up and be the ultimate person you are capable of. Humans need not be ‘self-righteous’ when it comes to our behaviors towards the nonhuman animals that we share this planet with. There is no cosmic caste system.

KHF333 @John Carbonaro


I have lived a lot more years that you, John. I guarantee that. However, I think vegetarians are fooling themselves about the quality of life in vegetables and grains. Who are you to decide that one thing is more sacred than another. I, like nature before me, do not believe in the sacred or the profane. They are human values only. And all humans will never have the same values.

LTD_Farm 26 NOV 2010 8:53PM

I wanted to post a response to everyone… we are all life, and we need life to live. Vegan or other. Pick a life force well lived, loved and nourished to sustain yourself, whether it is animal or vegetable. Reverence for life is ultimately the most important thing in all our choices and how we live, but it all comes down to eating, since we must…. to continue living. Hard to sum up a total response to each person, but that is what it is all about it. Life needs life to live. How about that? Choose the best lives you can, and be thankful.

Fake meat is tasty, but can you tell me the resources needed to produce those items are more sustainable for the world than a turkey roaming a pasture? Each turkey (all 23 of them) living their life here is SO much better off than any thanksgiving bird that was served over this supposedly grateful holiday. They aren’t scared out of their minds being hauled away on trucks to a factory slaughterhouse. They die peacefully where they are comfortable at home. Just as many of us would like to die. I think a lot of the fear of facing where meat comes from is based on a fear of our own mortality. So if you could choose a peaceful death at home, you would right? No one will live forever. Our society despises that concept, and markets MANY products to you to keep you thinking that way. Life and Death, it is all one big circle we live in.

What we’re doing at LTD Farm is NOT growing a million animals to try to feed the world, we’re raising a few, for a few, making a small dent in animal consumption overall. We’re doing this because it is a way to do it much better than the factory farm setting. We supply our own, and our appreciative, conscious consumers. We are compassionate, sustainable carnivores. Don’t eat meat all the time. Eat it with gratitude and reverence when you do. Appreciate life in all it’s contexts. Be thoughtful about all the life it takes to sustain your own.

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 6:31AM @LTD_Farm

“pick a life force”?? “reverence for all life”?? “we need life to live”??

“fear of facing where our meat comes from”? “die peacefully at home”??

All platitudes to support a business that is not necessary at all. You don’t have to pick factory farm or small farm. Both profit/prosper on unneeded harm to lives.

PLANTS ARE NOT SENTIENT, so there is much less harm than ‘choosing’ factory over small. You grow less plants directly feeding humans than feeding plants to animals that become food for humans.

The mindset that says that it is OK to eat animals makes animal ‘farming’ possible-factory size or small. THAT is where ‘meat’ comes from. It still amounts to propagating the myth about eating animals and using them ‘nicely”.

You have to make money and you are commodifying ‘love-as-welfare” as much as you are commodifying the lives you needlessly take.

I acknowledge my mortality, that is why I respect a being’s right to live in this world and not have their lives cut short because someone thinks that their flesh is tasty or off on some self-serving, free moral passageway fantasy that we are all ‘one’, that conveniently clouds our ethical responsibility to do no unnecessary harm to others.

Your farm isn’t ‘Living The Dream’… you are exploiting the fantasy.

LTD_Farm 27 NOV 2010 10:19AM @John Carbonaro

Without going through the harvesting experience yourself here on the farm it is impossible to really understand what is going on here. Discussions about this topic are very important but ultimately don’t seem to lead anywhere unless we are all open to having our preconceived notions challenged. A theoretical understanding of this issue is good, but the actual process is an entirely different thing. It’s like the difference between planning to build a house and actually building it.

It is possible to give thanks to something that doesn’t respond back, and it is possible that the animals are giving their lives over. We have the relationships with the animals so we know them best. Again, to actually be a part of the process is to begin to understand it. If you want to abstain from eating meat that is fine, but that doesn’t stop the millions of people on this planet from eating meat. Every customer who chooses to eat one of our our happy and healthy animals as opposed to a terrified, abused, and malnourished factory-farmed animal is making a decision to be part of a beautiful food relationship with the plants and animals of our farm as opposed to participating in the horrors of factory farming. We offer an alternative to “mainstream meat”, thus allowing a small fraction of animals on this planet good lives and a respectful end.

John, you obviously have some deep feelings about this and that is a good thing! But we feel that the “exploiting the fantasy” comment is not respectful at all, so we will limit any further responses to you.

To care for and have empathy for all animals is our goal as well. The difference is that we choose to look at them in practical terms as well as idealistic. It used to be that animals were essential to our survival. As we work toward self-sufficiency on the farm, we can clearly see that animals play a large part in our farm organism, and especially here in these northern climates, animals provide essential food for us over the winter months. If we couldn’t ship tomatoes and lettuce, not to mention olive oil and capers, from California, how would we eat sustainably here in Wisconsin? I can tell you how because we already do, if you are interested.

We continue to give thanks to the animals on our farm, for their beautiful lives and for the nourishment they provide, and we know they understand in some way.

KHF333

As we can see from the discussions above, there is no one morality that can fit all. Humans live in all kinds of conditions and form their viewpoints from a vast array of experiences and individual realities. Many of us would prefer to design a universe and nature with a different set of rules, if it were possible. We cannot all be sustained by light and water alone, as can some botanical entities. We cannot all be carnivores nor vegans. The instinct for survival, the customs we inherit from our culture, and changing economic realities all play a great part in forming our philosophies of coping and our personal ethics for dealing with our individual survival. My personal preference is toward the attitudes exhibited in the farm depicted in the video. Others obviously have differing opinions. The one thing honest thing that I have learned is to beware of those who think they have a monopoly on truth and morality, as truth and morality changes with circumstance.

travtastic 30 NOV 2010 7:33PM @KHF333:

As we can see from the discussions above, people holding different opinions does not imply that they are both right. You are just wrong. No offense, I’m sure you’re a pleasant enough person, but you’re just wrong.

KHF333  1 DEC 2010 9:50AM @travtastic

No one ever said life and nature were fair. I am wrong because I am not a vegan? The vast majority of the people in the world are not vegans, They are also wrong? I understand and even sympathize with the vegan feelings of compassion, but the world is not going to make an about-face because of a few. If people change their eating habits is will be because of economic pressures, not moral pressures, because moral arguments are something a farce. What people would do if they knew they would never get caught would truly surprise you.

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 6:16PM @KHF333

Precisely the same arguments that Hitler used. And by your standards, you cannot judge him.

KHF333

HITLER? Come now. Find those words in Hitler’s writings or speeches. You cannot. You lie for convenience to make your point. I can understand your wanting to be a vegan. It serves you well. Preaching the vegan gospel is not really your forte. You are not balanced enough for honest debate. Example: Personally, I have a very shortened bowel and cannot digest most vegetables. They run right through me undigested. It gives me little sustenance. I could not sustain my body that way. By the same token, many vegans are lacking in necessary nutrients. You have to be very careful when you do not eat meat, as humans have developed a system that relies on animal and fish nutrients.

So nothing is as simple as you seem to want to make it. You are not superior to others because of that you eat, nor is your morality of a higher caliber. You are, however, right that the farming of animals is not good for the earth on the massive scale that presently exists. But then, nature has not exterminated humans in mass yet. A 100,000 years ago humans almost went extinct. If we pull nature out of balance, it surely will happen again

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 10:03PM @KHF333

KHF33 said these gems :

* “..as truth and morality changes with circumstance”.

* “…I, like nature before me, do not believe in the sacred or the profane.”

* “..Nature is out to kill us..”

Here KHF33, read this, see your words from your various posts repeated, and also see how often Hitler comes up, then… ponder.

http://www.scottmsullivan.com/courses/relativism.pdf

KHF333  NOV 2010 9:25AM @John Carbonaro


Actually, that is a good article. I read it. It said nothing about Hitler. It is about moral relativism and makes some good points. However, moral absolutism absolutely has to fail. It cannot be a correct position since it does not allow for change and learning. That only leaves is with relativism. Like existence and spacetime itself, there is an inherent contradiction when all things are relative. Yet, this is the way it is. We must learn to swim in that ocean and still have strong enough beliefs and values to hold a culture together.

Meet James McWilliams, meat-industry defender—and aggrieved vegan?

http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-12-08-james-mcwilliams-meat-industry-defender-and-aggrieved-vegan#c636753

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 10:59AM

The problem with the vegan moralistic argument is that there is no universally standard moral code. People do what they must to survive, including cannibalism if necessary. If the world adopts a vegan diet it will be due to economic necessity and not moral choice. If all life is all sacred, then so are germs and bugs and vegetables and wildlife as well as farmed animals. One cannot even breathe in air without killing and consuming something. The idea that there are levels of killing that are acceptable because these life forms are not capable of reasoning or moral choice is quite laughable. Only humans make these choices, and humans can run up against some pretty hard times when the only thing they have to eat is their own kind.

eriqa 8 DEC 2010 12:29PM @KHF333,

While that’s true, I know few vegans who labor under the illusion that it is possible to cause *no* suffering. Rather, they seek to reduce the suffering they cause to the greatest extent possible. Of course, the degree to which we can avoid causing suffering depends on circumstances (what philosophers call “moral luck”). A starving person has fewer options than the average middle-class Westerner. As you mentioned, there are some circumstances in which cannibalism is morally defensible. That doesn’t mean we should feel free to indulge in it in normal times. Relative morality is not necessarily meaningless.

As for McWilliams, perhaps he is going on some sort of Marxist “let the state destroy itself” crusade? More people are likely to find factory farming repugnant than small farms, so let’s eliminate the small farms so that people turn away from meat altogether?

Nah, too clever by half.

Ian Logsdon 9 DEC 2010 9:31AM @KHF333

I don’t know any vegans who assume the world will magically go vegan, we as a community are focused on outreach, on changing culture, only through this can our goals be achieved. There are schisms within the community itself, just look at vegetarian vs vegan infighting, or vegans sparring over honey, it’s a complicated, multifaceted world we live in, and none of the vegan people I know are naive enough not to acknowledge that.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have a moral responsibility to cease doing things we feel are wrong. My morality isn’t based on anything handed down, it was objectively derived from rational awareness of life, suffering, and the consequences of my actions. I believe all morality can be deduced rationally, and any morals that are not based on rational self-awareness are just fragments of ancient superstition handed down by those who seek to control others. Thus, I reject all morality but that which is most basic, do no harm, take nothing that is not yours.

But hey, I’m a far leftists with a penchant for Ayn Rand, so you’re gonna get some weird philosophy out of me ;).

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 5:35PM @eriqa


“Moral luck.” That’s a good one. I cannot say I have heard that before, but it is exactly what I was talking about. I don’t think most people really like the factory farm process… even those who work them. The small farm is a little better. The hunter is even closer to the kill. I do respect vegetarians, but, unfortunately, I cannot digest too many vegetables. The vegan philosophy, however, seems totally out of sync with the natural way of things to me. I cannot imagine a diet without cheese and fish. Nor do I understand what the objection to milk products could possibly be when we mammals are born to drink milk.

Toodleloo 8 DEC 2010 9:39PM @KHF333

Mammals are born to drink milk—the milk provided by their mother. Is dog milk, pig milk, cat milk, or horse milk a natural part of our diet? Most of us would be a bit disgusted by that prospect and it would be difficult to convince them that drinking it was essential for their health. Not so with cow’s milk. Believe me, for many Asian people not raised to drink cow’s milk, the prospect is just as revolting. In short, drinking another species’ milk is more cultural than it is natural.

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 10:14PM @Toodleloo

Many would find adults drinking human milk disgusting as well. Goat milk is regularly used by humans as well as cow milk. Cultural? Probably, but you have to stretch a point to call it disgusting. And these products make other fine foods and are ingredients in many nutritional products. It might be bad for those with lactose intolerance, but it is quite a stretch to label these products ‘unethical’ or unfit to eat. It has been human nature to keep milk cows or goats for their milk for hundreds of thousands of years. Suddenly, vegans know better? I think not. I prefer cat milk myself.

Toodleloo 8 DEC 2010 11:38PM @KHF333

I don’t wish to enter a long debate with you about the ethics of veganism. You either get it or you don’t.

That being said, I could defend quite a few unsavory acts (like war, rape, oppression, and slavery) by claiming that they have been part of human heritage for hundreds of thousands of years. I could even claim that they have some beneficial utility to the species. However, I don’t let ancient history determine my personal ethics. That seems like it would be an abdication of personal responsibility—and quite frankly, an excuse.

I know that change is unsettling to many people—especially when it involves broadening our definition of who is worthy of “rights.” However, the reality is that many people are living perfectly happy, healthy lives, from birth to death, as vegans and vegetarians. In doing so, they are making the world a more peaceful place.

You’ve attempted to discount veganism because you feel threatened by it. You even seem to be implying that eating meat is a matter of your own survival—likening it to cannibalism in dire scenarios. Killing sentient, intelligent individuals because I like the taste of their flesh isn’t necessary for my survival, so I choose not to.

KHF333 9 DEC 2010 10:49AM @Toodleloo

Good reply. But I am certainly not threatened by vegan ideas, I just do not agree with them. I have never abdicated what I consider my personal responsibility. However, I think burying good human meat could someday be considered a great waste of human resources. I am not about to eat my brother, but I am sure he would taste great if I did. What I do not GET with vegans is the fish and milk and egg taboo. It seems like right-to life-fanatics arguing about being human at the moment of conception and gets in the way of REAL reform of animal husbandry, which we all agree really sucks. Even the term animal husbandry is a sexist idea left over from ownership of the female. Most people have a VERY LONG WAY to go philosophically before they can grapple with such issues.

YB 9 DEC 2010 12:02PM @KHF333


I agree with your assessment about “animal husbandry” and wonder what solutions you, as meat eater, envision. I’m not trying to bait you; I think ANY progress in this arena is a GOOD idea. My point below about people who eat lamb should switch to puppies was intended to provoke discussion about the cultural decisions concerning what gets eaten as well. Just a point of information, though—all vegetarians eschew the eating of all “meat” which includes fish. Think of it as anything with a face. Vegans avoid the eating of animal products, such as eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 7:28AM @YB

I am glad there are vegans. It leaves all the more for me. ; )

I think most people understand vegetarianism. The vegans, though, have turned their diet into a religion. The result is that, as a religion, the vegan message has become like any other traditional religion based on half-truths, legends, and unproven beliefs. Vegans are true believers and their beliefs are no more true than any other set of beliefs. Vegans seem to consider themselves more moral with a higher calling that the rest of the world, which alienates 99.9% of the population immediately. Their spokespersons sound a bit like Scientology recruiters. They have failed to convince because they come across as believing themselves to be superior. Most people do not like that.

To most people, not eating honey, fish and eggs and animal products simply because they believe it to be immoral is truly hilarious and somewhat pitiful. These vegan ideas tend to take man OUT of nature instead of making man a part of nature. It is a separative philosophy instead of an inclusive one.

Humans have destroyed so many predators that it is necessary for our institutions to regulate hunting in order to cull animals and prevent overpopulation. Humans have taken a place at the top of the food chain and thus bears a moral responsibility for the welfare of those life forms that he has displaced. In upsetting the balance of nature, it is our humanistic duty to restore that balance. Most people can agree to o this kind of thought and attitude. Most people can accept the native American model of thankfulness to the tree for its shade and its wood for building and heat. This then becomes thankfulness and additional regulative and more humane spiritual care for those species raised by us for food or whose byproducts are used for human purposes. I think that is as much cooperation as a vegan is going to get from the world any time soon.

Ian Logsdon 10 DEC 2010 7:51AM @KHF333

“These vegan ideas tend to take man OUT of nature instead of making man a part of nature. It is a separative philosophy instead of an inclusive one.”

This is flawed logic, either there is morality, or there is not. Everyone can choose their own morals, but if you’re arguing laws of nature then might makes right and there is no right and wrong. Animals don’t trade, most don’t help the weakest amongst themselves, they don’t ask for consent to sexual conduct, they don’t have the foresight to see when they are over-consuming their food sources. Should we so limit ourselves because these behaviors are common?

If, on the other hand, you believe in some form of morality, then you are operating on an inherently judgmental framework. If you believe human lives are worthy of protection and not animals, isn’t it you who thinks you are superior? In my view, I would not treat any creature differently than my own family, as you cannot make suffering relative. Does that mean I have no impact? Of course not, the world is a chaotic place, as a Christian would say, no man is free from sin, but that doesn’t make the moral framework invalid.

You are creating a strawman of veganism, particularly since most of the vegans I know object to the fact that buying milk and eggs contributes to the suffering and death of animals, because our food system now is cruel to even those creatures who aren’t being consumed for meat. In reality, there isn’t much of a difference between the life of a chicken raised for meat and a chicken who lays eggs in a factory farm. The cows who provide much of the milk in America are just as mistreated as the ones that go to the slaughter. The only way to stop these practices is to stop funding them, if you pay someone for a product that was created unethically, the unethical behavior is your behavior.

I was a vegetarian for a long time before I became a vegan, and the only reason I was able to maintain that behavior, was I was lying to myself about the conditions animals are kept in.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 8:38AM @Ian Logsdon

I understand and somewhat sympathize with that you say above. But you are still spouting the religion of veganism. Your beliefs and lifestyle are only made possible because you live in a time of plenty and a country blessed with enough to eat. You assume ALL animals suffer and are mistreated, which is not really the case. Do you really think the wild bird has an easier and happier time than the well treated domestics? Granted, there are bad farmers, but proper regulations and better technology could solve that problem.

You say either there is morality or there is not. This is not so. There are gradual levels in anything in nature. If this were true, then my answer would be that there is no morality, as it is a but a frail human conception and humans are real newcomers in the universe. But there are layers and levels in anything natural. There is at least the rudiments of human morality in the porpoise that brings people to shore and the whale and the elephant.

Instead of not eating eggs and honey you could have chosen to be a humane beekeeper or raise your own chickens in a ‘moral’ manner.

But that is not what you are actually objecting to, is it. You believe that keeping any animal is enslavement, yet their natural life in the wild and untamed world is so much harder and brutal that your values make very little real sense.

Ian Logsdon 10 DEC 2010 9:02AM @KHF333

You’re actually wrong, I am in the process of founding a community garden and one of the first things I want to do is establish an apiary. I am completely in favor of beekeeping (I eat honey, there is much disagreement about this in the vegan community), and when I move out of an apartment, I plan to have a chicken coop. I may not be able to call myself a vegan after that (I guess? Maybe I still will), the issue is that regulation right now is controlled by agencies dominated by industry insiders who care more about protecting the status quo. That is why I took myself out of participating in the industry. Even the term free range has a legalistic definition that has a huge range of implementations. The lack of transparency is a huge problem. As well, chicken waste in my state has caused massive environmental problems in the Chesapeake Bay, so participating has other externalities I don’t agree with as well.

Veganism isn’t black and white, and I have a “religion” or at least a belief system that is related to, but external from my dietary habits. I certainly agree that animals exhibit remarkable traits that include compassion, but that doesn’t make the law of nature argument more valid, animals engage in behavior humans would not, we should judge ourselves based on human standards. Morality is by nature, a human created concept, but I don’t think everyone has to follow my moral system. I certainly don’t think its my business to tell you what to do.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 9:57AM @Ian Logsdon

Actually, I agree with much of that, Ian.

I especially agree that our system has gone off the rails, but I think there are better ways to get it back on track than denying yourself the foods that nature fully intended for you to eat. This self-denial works for some, I am sure, like Gandhi’s tactics worked for India.

After the big egg recall, California is developing much more humane and sanitary egg production. I will believe these animals raised especially for human purposes and use would not have existed without human carnivores and could easily live better lives that their wild counterparts with humane regulation and control.

I have very much enjoyed talking to vegans about their ideas, but I have a MAJOR suggestion. What has been described here is a strong moral repulsion to the way animals are raised and treated, enough to change their diets to express their non-support of that system. What this really amounts to is something we have already been through as a society. Vegans are following, perhaps unknowingly, the hippie age “TUNE IN, TURN ON, DROP OUT” ideas.

Those techniques did not really work then and they will not work now.

That hippie generation actually did effect world change, but only after they dropped the anti-society game and began to change the world from the inside. That is what needs to be done now. On local, state and federal levels we have to regulate and change the corporate food production system. We have to demand humane treatment for animals and have inspectors with some teeth. We need better laws. We have to buy and produce food locally.

We can start very locally and get interest in humane conditions brewing in our cities and counties and states. Changing the diet ONLY is the equivalent of ‘dropping out’. One can never effect injustice by dropping out of the game. Go ahead, be a vegan if you really believe that is the way to go, but you will not effect change for those animals you seek to protect by ignoring them completely as you are doing now. The change will come as a result of getting rid of the inhumane conditions that feed the majority of the world, whether or not one eats meat or eggs.

Remember, not enough people will ever change their diet to effect real world change, so vegans, unless they are especially active politically, will not improve these condition because they will never have the numbers to do so. They are simply contributing to the problem by dropping out of the race.

 

 

 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

The Hoosier Poet

 

 

 

 

VIDEO AUDIO
FALSE COVER OF POEMS OF CHILDHOOD  COVER OF POEMS OF CHILDHOOD
FALSE Pictures of Riley
FALSE TOMB STATUE
FALSE ILLUSTRATION OF STORY TELLING. An’  the Gobble-uns ‘ill git you. ef you don’t watch out.
FALSE These words from his famous poem about LIttle Orpant Annie framed the entire career of this famous Hoosier poet)
FALSE Pictures of Riley NARRATOR
FALSE
FALSE Log cabin and Greenfield footage James Whitcomb Riley, like Abe Lincoln,  was born in a log cabin. He was born in the heartland of the Indiana farmland near the town of Greenfield eleven years before the American Civil War began.
FALSE James was born on Oct 7, 1849, which was, by coincidence, the same day that Edgar Allan Poe died.
FALSE Video of Main Street today
FALSE
FALSE old Main street Main Street  in Greenfield was the National Road that wound through farms and forested lands on its way to California and points West
FALSE Reuben pix Riley’s father, Reuben, was a lawyer and politician.
FALSE RILEY PHOTOS
FALSE CAPITOL Greenfield was but a day’s ride from the capital city in Indianapolis.
FALSE
FALSE national road In 1848, the year before James was born, his father Reuben was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana House of Representatives. Reuben became good friends with James Whitcomb, the 8th governor of Indiana, so he named his second son after him.
FALSE
FALSE Pic of  Liz or gravestone and kitchen footage from house. His mother, Elizabeth, was a story teller who wrote poetry as well. She baked in a hearth oven and sometimes wrote her poetry at the kitchen table while and raising her growing bevy of children.
FALSE HOUSE IN GREENFIELD
FALSE When Riley was still quite young, his father began building another home for the family in Greenfield. This is the home where James grew up.
FALSE
FALSE GWEN BETOR SHOWING LIVING AREA It is now open as a museum and manned by historical society volunteers who take thousands of visitors on tours every year.
FALSE
FALSE James schooling was sporadic. He did not graduate the eighth grade  until he was twenty-one in 1869.

His mother taught him to read and write at home, but he eventually went to a local schoolhouse.

Riley was the first to admit that his schooling had suffered. He did not know much about mathematics, or science, as he was not interested in these things.

FALSE
FALSE His parents began to worry that James would never amount to much. He   simply would not learn history, science or mathematics.
FALSE
FALSE A teacher once asked him where Columbus sailed on his second voyage and Riley replied that he did not even know where he sailed on his first voyage,

Riley was fond of saying, “I don’t take no credit fer my ignorance – jest born that-a-way,.”

FALSE
FALSE LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE WAS ONE OF RILEY’S FAMOUS CHILDREN POEMS. IT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A HIRED GIRL NAMED MARY ALICE SMITH THAT CAME TO WORK FOR HIS PARENTS WHEN HE WAS YOUNG. WE HAVE AN OLD RECORDING OF RILEY READING THIS POEM:
FALSE CLIP OF FURNISHINGS … NO CHILDREN ALLOWED TO MESS IT UP
FALSE JAMES WAS FEARFUL OF THE SPACE IN THE ATTIC WHERE TWO EYES OF LIGHT SHOWED THROUGH FROM HOLES IN THE ROOFING.
FALSE
FALSE CLIP OF TOUR GUIDE TALKING ABOUT RILEY’S SCHOOLING GUIDE: James tried to please his father and study the law books but his mind just kept wandering.   Those poems just kept jumping in this head, and when he grew up Reuben couldn’t understand why he did not grow out of this phase. Poetry was a thing back then. Both His Mother and Dad did it, but then they grew up and they stopped.  James  didn’t like to work, he was a daydreamer, he liked to go outside and wander around. When James became big, what did those people see he him?  He’s a lazy guy.
FALSE
FALSE RILEY PHOTO AND PICTURES OF BOOKS FOR A LAZY GUY, JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY SURELY KEPT HIMSELF BUSY WRITING BOOKS AND COLLECTIONS OF POETRY.
TRUE  
TRUE When Riley was ten the first library was opened in Greenfield. He developed a real love for literature.
TRUE James and his friends  became friends with the librarian who told them stories and read them poems. One of James’ favorite authors was Charles Dickens . Some of his poems were inspired by Dickens, such as “CHRISTMAS SEASON’  and GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE.
TRUE MISC STILLS Poetry was not just an exotic taste in literature in Riley’s day.  It was read by the common men and women of the nation. Poetry offered the reader a form of self-reflection, an expression of  their personal hopes and aspirations. It was printed in of newspapers and read by public speakers.  Poetry served as entertainment for the masses. In Riley’s time, reading poetry was as common as watching television or clicking on Internet websites.
FALSE Fairbanks Tea Party photo Riley was known as a humorist and a prankster. One of his pranks may have had the effect of electing William Howard Taft to be President of the United States. President Roosevelt was a friend of Riley’s. A t a famous tea party in Indianapolis, Riley reportedly spiked the punch. The Hoosier Vice President, Charles Warren Fairbanks got tipsy at the party and gained the reputation of being a ‘lush’ during a time of prohibition sentiment. As a result, Fairbanks was passed over as Teddy Roosevelt’s pick for vice president and Taft was picked instead. Taft later succeeded Roosevelt to the Presidency.
FALSE Mark Twain ) said James Whitcomb Riley’s “Old Soldier’s Story”  was the funniest story he ever listened to and considered Riley America’s number one humorist.
FALSE “I heerd an awful funny thing the other day – Ha! Ha! I don’t know whether I kin git it off or not, but, anyhow, I’ll tell it to you. Well! – let’s see now how the fool thing goes.
FALSE Oh, yes! Why, there was a feller one time – it was during the army and this feller that I started in to tell you about was in the war and – Ha! Ha! – there was a big fight agoin’ one, and this feller was in the fight, and it was a big battle and bullets aflyin’ ever’ which way, and bombshells abustin’ and cannon balls aflyin’ ‘round promiscuous; and this feller right in the midst of it, you know, and all excited and heated up, and chargin’’ away; and the first thing you know along comes a cannon-ball and shot his head off – Ha! Ha! Ha!
FALSE Hold on here a minute! No, sir! I’m agettin’ ahead of my story.
FALSE No No! It didn’t shoot his head off. I’m gettin’ ahead of my story.
FALSE Shot his leg off. That was the way. Shot his leg off.
FALSE And down the poor feller dropped and of course in that condition was perfectly helpless, you know. But he did have the presence of mind enough to know that he was in a dangerous condition if something wasn’t done for him right away.

So he seen a comrade achargin’ by that he knowed, and he hollers to him and called him by name – I don’t remember now what the feller’s name was… Well, that’s got nothin’ to do with the story anyway.

FALSE He hollers at him, he did, and says, “Hello, there,” he says to him; “Here! I want you to come here and give me a lift. I got my leg shot off and I want you to pack me back to the rear of the battle.” That’s where the doctors is during a fight you know.
FALSE And he says, “I need attention or I’m a dead man for I got my leg shot off,” he says, “and I want you to pack me back there so’s the surgeons can take care of me.”

Well – the feller, as luck would have it, recognized him and run to him and throwed down his own musket so’s he could pick him up.

FALSE And he stooped down and picked him up and kind of half-way shouldered him and half-way held him between his arms like, and then he turned and started back with him – Ha! Ha!
FALSE Now, mind, the fight was still agoin’ on – and right at the hot of the fight, and the feller all excited you know like he was, and the soldier that had his leg shot off getting kinda fainty like, and his head kinda stuck back over the feller’s shoulder that was carryin’ him.
FALSE  
FALSE And the most curious thing about it was – Ha! Ha! – that the feller was apackin’ him didn’t know that he had been hit again at all, and back he went – still carryin’ the deceased back – Ha! Ha! Ha! – to where the doctors could take care of him – as he thought.
FALSE Well, his captain happened to see him, and he thought it was a rather curious proceedings – a solder carryin’ a dead body out of the fight – don’t you see?
And so the captain hollers at him, and he says to the soldier the captain did. He says, “Hello there. Where you goin’ with that thing?” That is what the captain said to the solder who was acarryin’ away the feller that had his leg shot off. Well, his head too, by that time.
FALSE “So he says, “Where you going with that thing?”
FALSE Well the soldier he stopped – kinda halted – you know like a private soldier will when his presidin’ officer speaks to him – and he says to him, “Why,” he says, “Cap. It’s a comrade of mine and the poor feller has got his leg shot off, and I’m a packin’ him back to where the doctors is . And there was nobody to help him, and the feller would have died in his tracks – or track rather – if it hadn’t been for me. I’m packin’ him back where the surgeons can take care of him, where he can get medical attendance or else his wife’s a widow for sure,” he says.
FALSE Then captain says, “You blame fool you. He’s got his head shot off.”

So then the feller slacked his grip on the body and let it slide down to the ground, and looked at it a minute, all puzzled, you know, and says, “Why he told me it was his leg!””

FALSE
FALSE One of the poems attributed to James Whitcomb Riley was never included in his published works.  It was called “The Passing of the Outhouse.”
FALSE      The older generations know what an outhouse is but perhaps the younger do not.  It is an outdoor toilet.  Every country home had an outhouse.
FALSE THE PASSING OF THE OUTHOUSE
FALSE James Whitcomb Riley
FALSE  
FALSE out house We had our posey garden
FALSE That the women loved so well.
FALSE I loved it too but better still
FALSE I loved the stronger smell
FALSE That filled the evening breezes
FALSE So full of homely cheer
FALSE And told the night-o’ertaken tramp
FALSE That human life was near.
FALSE On lazy August afternoons:
FALSE It made a little bower
FALSE passing 2 Delightful, where my grandsire sat
FALSE And whiled away an hour.
FALSE For there the summer morning
FALSE Its very cares entwined.
And berry bushes reddened
FALSE In the teeming soil behind.
FALSE All day fat spiders spun their webs
FALSE To catch the buzzing flies.
FALSE That flitted to and from the house
FALSE Where Ma was baking pies.
FALSE And once a swarm of hornets bold
FALSE Had built a palace there.
FALSE And stung my unsuspecting aunt –
FALSE I must not tell you where.
FALSE Then father took a flaming pole
FALSE That was a happy day –
FALSE He nearly burned the building up
FALSE But the hornets left to stay.
FALSE When summer bloom began to fade
FALSE And winter to carouse,
FALSE We banked the little building
FALSE With a heap of hemlock boughs.
FALSE But when the crust was on the snow
FALSE And the sullen skies were gray,
FALSE In sooth the building was no place
FALSE Where one could wish to stay.
FALSE We did our duties promptly;
FALSE There one purpose swayed the mind.
FALSE outhouse We tarried not nor lingered long
FALSE On what we left behind.
FALSE The torture of that icy seat
FALSE Would made a Spartan sob,
FALSE For needs must scrape the gooseflesh
FALSE With a lacerating cob.
FALSE That from a frost-encrusted nail
FALSE Was suspended by a string –
FALSE My father was a frugal man
FALSE And wasted not a thing.
FALSE When grandpa had to “go out back”
FALSE And make his morning call,
FALSE We’d bundled up the dear old man
FALSE With a muffler and a shawl.
FALSE I knew the hole on which he sat
FALSE Twas padded all around,
FALSE And once I dared to sit there;
FALSE Twas all too wide, I found.
FALSE passing 3 My loins were all too little
FALSE And I jack-knifed there to stay;
FALSE They had to come and get me out
FALSE Or I’d have passed away.
FALSE Then father said ambition
FALSE Was a thing small boys should shun,
FALSE And I must use the children’s hole
FALSE Till childhood days were done.
FALSE But still I marvel at the craft
FALSE That cut those holes so true;
FALSE The baby hole and the slender hole
FALSE That fitted Sister Sue.
FALSE That dear old country landmark!
FALSE I’ve tramped around a not
FALSE And in the lap of luxury
FALSE My lot has been to sit,
FALSE But ere I die I‘ll eat the fruit
FALSE Of trees I robbed of yore,
FALSE Then seek the shanty where my name
FALSE Is carved upon the door.
FALSE I ween the old familiar smell
FALSE Will soothe my jaded soul;
FALSE I’m now a man, but none the less
FALSE I’ll try the children’s hole.
FALSE The Old Swimmin’ Hole was a poem written by James Whitcomb Riley. H wrote it under the pen name “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone County“. The poem was first published in 1883 as part of a book entitled The Old Swimmin’ Hole and ‘Leven More Poems. The poem is one of Riley’s most famous and perhaps the most  memorable. Riley reminisces about the Brandywine Creek where played with his friends during his boyhood. The poem has sold millions of copies.
FALSE Oh! the old swimmin’-hole! When I last saw the place,
FALSE The scenes was all changed, like the change in my face;
FALSE The bridge of the railroad now crosses the spot
FALSE Whare the old divin’-log lays sunk and fergot.
FALSE And I stray down the banks whare the trees ust to be—
FALSE But never again will theyr shade shelter me!
FALSE And I wish in my sorrow I could strip to the soul,
FALSE And dive off in my grave like the old swimmin’-hole.
FALSE James Whitcomb Riley loved children. Every year on Riley Day, the children from the Greenfield area have a parade and bring fresh cut flowers to the Riley statue, where they hand them to adults who decorate the statue with these cut flowers. So far as I know, this is a unique event.  What poet anywhere is revered and celebrated  with such enthusiasm and appreciation?

The Virginia Hillbillies

 

In memory of Zane Michelson, who drowned March 19, 2010. Starring Zane and Tasha, this funny skit was completely improvised on the spot and shot in one take without a script or a director. Shot in December 1998 on location in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

It is worth watching on YouTube just for the reading the comments this evoked.

O CHRISTMAS TREE

 

christmas-tree

 

 

O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

YOU  SMELL SO  FRESH AND SCENTED.

YOUR LOVELY LIMBS AND BRANCHES GREW

AND  YOU SEEMED SO CONTENTED.

 

I TRULY WISH THEY’D  LET YOU STAY

AS  YOU WERE IN SEPTEMBER DAYS,

A SHADY GREEN AND LIVING TREE

THAT WE COULD ALL REMEMBER.

 

O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

YOUR TIME IS IN DECEMBER

FOR AFTER THAT, O CHRISTMAS TREE

YOU’LL SURE TO BE DISMEMBERED.

 

YOU TAKE AWAY OUR CO2

OUR ATMOSPHERE YOU DID RENEW

O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

I WISH YOU’D MISSED NOVEMBER

 

THE TRAGIC STORY OF NOWHERE MAN AND WHISKEY GIRL

 

[Several years ago I came upon this story of a married duo on Facebook. It seems that Amy had died from a blood infection and her partner, Derrick, killed himself a few days later. The entire drama of their demise took place in social media.

The story still haunts me. Their Facebook page still exists at  https://www.facebook.com/Nowhere-Man-and-a-Whiskey-Girl-32839047843/ -KHF]


 

It began with a post from Amy Ross on  FACEBOOK.

AMY: Hey kids! Bad news! I died this morning and Derrick didn’t know how to tell you. I love you all and hope you go out and be nice to someone. Funerals are a bore so hopefully I don’t have one. Give Derrick some space… He stinks at this stuff so leave him be for now. Thanks for all the kindness… Please spread it around. -Whiskey

Juliya Pogrebinsky Listening to you was one of my absolute favorite things about Bisbee. It’s been a great privilege and a joy to have known you even a little bit. Much love and condolences to Derrick and the family.
October 14 at 7:25pm · 3

  1. Sorry to bring more bad news but Derrick decided to join me at some point in the night last night. I thought it best you heard it from me. Enjoy every sandwich. We love and will miss you all. Go be nice to someone for us.
    1. Charlene Mitchell No! This cannot be true. Please stop!
      22 hours ago
    1. Juliette Beaumont Oh dear God. Although somehow I am not surprised by this. They were inseparable in both life and now death. Rock on lovers!
      22 hours ago · 4
    2. Bill Higgins This is not funny. Was the page hijacked?
      22 hours ago · 1
    1. Bill Higgins According to Joel Carp
    2. This is not a hoax or hijacking. The police and ambulance showed up at their place about 45 minutes ago.
      22 hours ago
  1. Olivia Herman What!!???? Who’s posting for Amy Ross on FB? There are going to be a lot of VERY relieved but VERY pissed off people, if it comes out that this is a terrible prank.
    1. Rebecca Higgins Oh my lord, this cannot be happening! So so sad.
      21 hours ago via mobile

Nowhere Man and Whiskey Girl had ceased to be. Amy had an ongoing battle with Lupus and had to undergo frequent dialysis. She died from a blood infection. Derrick took his own life later that night. She was 40, he was 39.


Amy and Derrick Ross

Amy and Derrick Ross, “Nowhere Man and Whiskey Girl” Amy and Derrick Ross, the Bisbee couple behind popular folk/Americana duo Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, have died.

Amy Ross, 40, died Monday. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the vocalist and keyboard player, who performed as “Whiskey Girl,” passed away at Tuscon Medical Center from a “blood infection brought on by ongoing dialysis.” She also suffered from Lupus. Derrick Ross, 39, who was “Nowhere Man” in the act and played acoustic guitar, reportedly committed suicide sometime Monday.

News of both of their deaths came via social media, albeit in a peculiar fashion, wherein Amy Ross seemingly announced the couple’s deaths from beyond the grave.

An update to Amy’s Facebook page on Monday evening stated the following:

Hey kids! Bad news! I died this morning and Derrick didn’t know how to tell you. I love you all and hope you go out and be nice to someone. Funerals are a bore so hopefully I don’t have one. Give Derrick some space… He stinks at this stuff so leave him be for now. Thanks for all the kindness… Please spread it around.

Whiskey

Reaction to the post was a combination of shock, surprise, and disbelief from her nearest and dearest. One person claiming to be a family member stated it was a hoax and that she was alive.

 

See Also: Comedian Doug Stanhope on the Death of His Friends, Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl

Earlier today, a second update was made to Amy Ross’ page that suggested her husband had taken his own life.

Sorry to bring more bad news but Derrick decided to join me at some point in the night last night. I thought it best you heard it from me. Enjoy every sandwich. We love and will miss you all. Go be nice to someone for us.

Stand-up comic Doug Stanhope, who lived next door to the couple in Bisbee and was both their landlord and close friend (as well as featuring them at some of his gigs), confirmed via Twitter within minutes of the second Facebook post that Derrick Ross had taken his own life.

UPDATE: It’s been reported by Tucson media outlets that Stanhope had access to Amy’s page and was the one who made the updates.

Amy and Derrick Ross

Amy and Derrick Ross

 

World Class Thugs and Psycho Square Dance performed many gigs with “Nowhere Man and  Whiskey Girl”. Their guitarist and vocalist, Jim Dustan,  posted the following on Facebook:

I remember the early days and the Bisbee days. We shared some treasured moments growing up. I will always cherish the way your music made me smile and how it inspired me. RIP Amy (whiskey girl) and Derrick (nowhere man), may you both find peace. Until we meet again someday.

Without a doubt, they were one of Arizona’s best acts in the Americana vein, offering a sometimes joyful, sometimes poignant pastiche of down-home lonesome, rootsy touches, and indie quirk that was made even more emotional by Amy’s meanderingly dulcet vocals.

The husband-and-wife duo, who were married for more than a decade, were self-described as a “couple of wanderers” who previously resided in Oregon and Tennessee. They formed the act in 2003, drawing its name from the Gillian Welch country song “Whiskey Girl.”

Although based in Bisbee (where they were regulars at the Copper Queen Hotel’s lounge), Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl were musical vagabonds who exhaustively traveled throughout Arizona for performances in Tucson, Flagstaff, and Phoenix. In 2009, they even participated in an episode of our now-defunct Sun Session series.

Singer-songwriter Brodie Foster Hubbard, a former Valley resident who shared the bill with Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl on several occasions, says that he hopes that the couple’s fans will “honor the spirit of what Derrick and Amy shared and the joy they put into their music,” instead of just focusing on the weird circumstances involving their deaths.

“The whole situation is surreal. With Amy, it’s not so shocking, because she has had health issues for a long time. It’s still very saddening, of course. But with Derrick, that’s shocking,” Hubbard says. “You can follow the logic, anyone in a deeply committed relationship would probably say they couldn’t go on without their partner. And other folks who have experienced that loss, I’m sure that option has crossed their mind. So it’s not unthinkable. It’s no less horrible, though.”

He also hopes the couple’s friends and fans will able to cope with their loss.

“The best-case scenario in these situations is that we bond and listen to our favorite songs, and cry and laugh over our memories, and we make pacts to stay in better touch and be there for each other,” Hubbard says. I’d really like to see us all see that through.”

 

 

Here’s how the duo’s website, no longer active, describes how the name was derived:

When Derrick and Amy Ross began performing as Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl in early 2003, their intentions were simple enough: Select a name that hinted at their roots in the American West and established their identity as a determinedly two-person operation.

The name also cast them as a couple of wanderers, too intoxicated with the possibilities of someplace else to settle down. In that sense, the name would prove prophetic as it charted the course of the next five years of their lives.

Unable to locate a satisfactory permanent home, they accumulated more than their fair share of temporary addresses. When it wasnt the pony-trail towns of Bisbee, Tucson, and Willcox in the Arizona Territory, it was cooler locales like Corvallis and Nashville. Upon the release of their debut album, they hit the road for weeks at a time, bypassing the metropolitan centers in favor of the oft-neglected smaller towns in between.

Wherever they went, they brought a simple musical proposition: Her piano and voice, his acoustic guitar, a love of lifes little details, and a sense of humor. Although they traversed a landscape of bleached-husk desolation, they arrived none the worse for wear. Their longing for home unfulfilled, they found something of greater value along the way. They found a legion of like-minded hopeful searchers who believed in what they had to say and how they said it…

THE DARKTOWN STRUTTER’S BALL

ARCHIVED MUSICAL CLASSICS

Words and Music by Shelton Brooks (1917)

I’ve got some good news, honey
An invitation to the Darktown Ball
It’s a very swell affair
All the “high-browns” will be there
I’ll wear my high silk hat and frock tail coat
You wear your Paris gown and your new silk shawl
There ain’t no doubt about it babe
We’ll be the best dressed in the hall

I’ll be down to get you in a taxi, honey
You better be ready about half past eight
Now dearie, don’t be late
I want to be there when the band starts playing
Remember when we get there, honey
The two-steps I’m goin’ to have ’em all
Goin’ to dance out both my shoes
When they play the “Jelly Roll Blues”
Tomorrow night, at the Darktown Strutter’s Ball

We’ll meet our hightoned neighbors
An exhibition of the “Baby Dolls”
And each one will do their best
Just to outclass the rest
And there’ll be dancers from ev’ry foreign land
The classic, buck and wing, and the wooden clog
We’ll win that fifty dollar prize
When we step out and “Walk The Dog”


Darktown Strutters’ Ball” is a popular song by Shelton Brooks, published in 1917. The song has been recorded many times and is both a popular and jazz standard.

The landmark 1917 recording by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was recorded on May 30, 1917, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2297. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006. There are many variations of the title, including “At the Darktown Strutters’ Ball”, “The Darktown Strutters’ Ball”, and just “Strutters’ Ball”.

By false politically correct standards, some consider the term ‘dark town’ offensive because it refers to an area inhabited primarily by blacks. ‘Strutter’ is a term for a type of strutting dance that seems to have been lost in time. To strut is to move with pride and dignity.

NATURE’S FLIGHT PATHS

bees flight path

Time lapse of bees in flight.

CAPTURING THE RHYTHM  OF BIRD AND INSECT FLIGHT

 Source:

Dennis Hlynsky is a professor at Rhode Island School of Design. He began filming birds in 2005 on a Flip video camera. What began as a hobby turned into a remarkable study in bird behavior. Hlynsky’s videos capture the raw rhythm of life. They are filled with graceful geometric patterns.

BLACK VULTURES

By using a unique process known as extruded time, or layering frame sequences atop one another until the darkest pixels become “tracers”, we are able to see the birds careening across the sky, leaving a discernible trail behind them like ice skates do on ice. Hlynsky uses a Lumix GH2 to capture footage of the birds in flight before turning that into time lapses that are several minutes longer. Once he’s uploaded the footage to his computer, he uses the magic of After Effects to stack the sequence of shots closer together and after hours of editing, the flight paths are finally unveiled. Source:

STARLINGS AT SUNSET

CROWS

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by Bob Dylan

  • The likely influence on this song was Dylan’s 1967 motorcycle accident, which severely limited his mobility. The song was recorded in the basement of a house where members of The Band lived, and played with Dylan while he experimented with new sounds. The Basement Tapes album was not officially released until 1975, but the songs were circulated and this one drew the attention of The Byrds, who released it on their 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. (thanks, Tom – Marble Falls, AR)
  • The Byrds released “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” as the first single off the album peaking at #45 in the US and #74 in the UK.

 

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

-Bob Dylan

Clouds so swift
Rain won’t lift
Gate won’t close
Railings froze
Get your mind of wintertime
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !I don’t care
How many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates some substitutes
Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We’ll climb that hill no matter how steep
When we come up to it
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !

“My Back Pages” – Bob Dylan

 

My Back Pages” is a song written by Bob Dylan and included on his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. It is stylistically similar to his earlier folk protest songs and features Dylan’s voice with an acoustic guitaraccompaniment. However, its lyrics—in particular the refrain “Ah, but I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now”—have been interpreted as a rejection of Dylan’s earlier personal and political idealism, illustrating his growing disillusionment with the 1960’s folk protest movement with which he was associated, and his desire to move in a new direction. Although Dylan wrote the song in 1964, he did not perform it live until 1978.

 

Bob Dylan wrote “My Back Pages” in 1964 as one of the last songs—perhaps the last song—composed for his Another Side of Bob Dylan album.[1] He recorded it on June 9, 1964 under the working title of “Ancient Memories”, the last song committed to tape for the album.[1] The song was partly based on the traditional folk song “Young But Growing[1] and has a mournful melody similar to that of “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” from Dylan’s previous album, The Times They Are a-Changin’.[2] As with the other songs on Another Side, Dylan is the sole musician on “My Back Pages” and plays in a style similar to his previous protest songs, with a sneering, rough-edged voice and a hard-strumming acoustic guitar accompaniment.[3][4]

In the song’s lyrics, Dylan criticizes himself for having been certain that he knew everything and apologizes for his previous political preaching, noting that he has become his own enemy “in the instant that I preach.”[2][5][6] Dylan questions whether one can really distinguish between right and wrong, and even questions the desirability of the principle of equality.[7] The lyrics also signal Dylan’s disillusionment with the 1960s protest movement and his intention to abandon protest songwriting.[5][6][8] The song effectively analogizes the protest movement to the establishment it is trying to overturn,[4] concluding with the refrain:

Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

MOTHER NATURE

NATURE'S ENTRY

“Aristotle believed the universe was always here and did not come into existence. Nature always existed, nor will it go out of being. Nature, or the entire system of existence, exists independently of us and is a given. Human beings have a hard time assimilating that things exist apart from themselves and insist that a superhuman or a deity be given credit for everything that ever was. Some people believe that the universe must be without a beginning in time, owing no credit and acting with spontaneity, as can be seen when volcanoes erupt or floods wipe out entire towns.” – Moya K. Mason, Is There Any Chance Involved in the Evolutionary Process? A Look at Aristotle’s Physics II.

For Aristotle, the universe is eternal. He also believed that the universe emerged from a  natural creative intelligence, a natural thought or desire because nothing happens even by chance without an essential cause. An essential cause is necessary for a chance event to take place. For example: you go to a grocery store to purchase some food items and by chance happen to meet a friend you had been meaning to talk with. That is a chance meeting. Before that chance meeting could take place, there has to be a reason to be in the same place by both parties. The desire to go shopping is the reason that preceded this chance meeting.

Taking that thought to universal scale, it is clear that Nature existed before us, does well with or without us. Nature wrote the laws and principles. Matter evolves around these designs.

The earliest references to Mother Nature made by Greek philosophers who lived before Socrates. The term Mother Gaia was written in a Mycenaean text on a clay tablet in the 13th to 14th centuries BC. Many other cultures, such as Native American Indians, embrace some form of the idea that the either the earth or the universe is symbolized by the form of Mother Nature.

WATCH AS JULIA ROBERTS NARRATES THE NATURE IS SPEAKING VIDEO: