” Why are we watching the news, reading the news keeping up with the news? Only to enforce our fancy — possibly a necessary lie — that these are crucial times, and we are in on them.” Annie Dillard
I have been digging into Annie Dillard’s book Pilgrim At Tinker Creek. Much nicer to read her work and forget the news. I hope her quote is valid, I will say it is valid for me, matter of fact as I was walking along the path this morning with Peaches, I started to think about the recent experience that Peaches and I had with Monsanto’s very profitable product called Roundup. (Profit from Roundup herbicide will jump as much as 64 percent to $1.4 billion in the fiscal year, Monsanto said.) Feb 2008 Bloomberg.
Where I live here in Charlottesville, there were some volunteers here doing some landscaping yesterday. As I was leaving to go run some errands, the woman who was in charge of this project, stopped to show me their progress, and in passing told me that they had “sprayed Roundup on every corner of the house”. To myself, I gasped, I mean if there is one nemesis that I have in life, it is Roundup and Monsanto. She just as well could have informed me that she spayed nuclear waste about the area. I felt my skin begin to crawl. More, I had been sick all day, it had come on very suddenly; eyes watering, one eye was completely bloodshot, and I never, ever have that happen. I wondered after I woke from the nap, (I was terribly tired, head achy, frightfully incapacitated) what was wrong with me? The mystery had been solved, it was that stuff, and I wondered how she and that man who was assisting her, were even standing. How can you administer that poison and still be alive?
Now back to this walk this morning, I began to think about poor barefoot, Peaches, she walks about town, goodness knows what is sprayed in the city parks, the local cityscape we walk, and really I have no way to know who and how much of that poison they use. But, this is the thought that came to mind, one of the things that Annie speaks about in her book, and watching Michael Pollan last night on Ted.com, I realize how incredibly naive I am when it comes to trusting mother nature. Nature does have a way of sorting this out. For example, one of the issues that Monsanto has to constantly deal with, and profit wise a good thing for this company, is weeds will become resistant to this poison, and soon they Monsanto are faced with developing yet another stronger poison to kill these hearty weeds. When I allow that awareness to enter into the equation, I begin to see how adaptable this evolution process is, and I don’t have to have a degree in science to trust, that no matter how disgusting I may find the poisoning of our planet, that life will go on, it may not resemble what I see today, but it will continue, and be exactly as it should be.
Bottom line, Annie is right, forget the news, the news is depressing, I went a couple of years with no news, I chose to ignore it, even the war. Heck I didn’t even know who we were at war with until a year ago. I knew we were some where, but aren’t we always, I said. I figured my personal involvement would not aide nor hinder their effort. Finally I was feeling so lost in the debates, I began to invest my precious time in gathering some information. Has my effort done anyone any good? I doubt it.
So in conclusion; I take it back, I am no longer following news stories unless they have to do with what I can directly impact. That hopefully means, just food stories. I don’t even care who gets elected president either. I voted. Yet deep down I don’t think we get to choose that either. (maybe, maybe not?)
So hey, hey, ho, ho, its back to bliss I go….