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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Never in the history of human consumption has so much been owed by so many to tofu...

All right, I get it. Some folks don't want to eat meat, you know, flesh. I can understand that. I can't imagine doing it., but I can understand it. I mean veggies are no doubt better for you. Broccoli, Cauliflower, lettuce, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes, yummy. No problem, I can understand the attraction of vegetables. I love them. Give me a nice side salad any day. Notice I said side salad. Slide that bowl of crisp romaine dripping with yummy Caesar dressing crunchy croutons, salty and zippy Parmesan (especially fresh grated), slide it right in beside a nice lean sirloin, fresh from the brazier with those beautiful char marks, heaven!

So I can understand the attraction of vegetables because I share it. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "You are preaching to the choir." I am already a convert In fact I don't even have a problem with someone not wanting to eat meat. I understand that there are legitimate health reasons for not eating meat. Especially commercially produced meat from modern factory farms. High fat content, possible contamination with e.coli or salmonella, steroid used to increase profits, use of antibiotics in feed, mad cow disease, there are a lot of reasons not to eat meat. Still... crispy bacon, a juicy burger, golden roast turkey, ummmmmmm! Yes I can understand why someone might not want to eat meat.

What I have never figured out is why someone who has forsaken meat would want to eat a veggie burger or a veggie dog? Have you tried them? They are typically appalling. A true debacle of culinary proportions. I mean, if you are a vegetarian, or better yet, a vegan, why on earth would you want to eat pseudo flesh? If you have made the decision to forsake the eating of your fellow animals why make a fake animal patty and then consume it? Why not have a nice veggie stir fry? Perhaps a piping hot serving of broccoli? Some carrot sticks? What is the fascination of mimicking the thing that you have forsaken? Why consume some dry, tasteless mass that only loosely resembles a beef patty in the first place? I remember one comedian who joked "Should Lesbians be allowed to use dildos, I mean they made their choice!" Haven't vegetarians made their choice?
I walked into a fast food restaurant the other day which shall remain Harvey's )I mean nameless). I had placed my order and was waiting for it to arrive. A guy came up behind me and inquired about the Veggie Burger, "Do they cook them on the same grill as the beef burgers?" "NO." replied the cashier, "They are cooked separately." "Fine" he replied "I'll take one." "Would you like bacon on that?" came the reply.

Life is all about choices!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why I Write

I love this Blog. Even if no one reads it, or perhaps because no one reads it. I write to get things out of my head and I write to remind myself of things so I can get them into my head. It is entirely therapeutic. It is similar to those aggression therapies where you shout out the things that frustrate you so you can get them out and deal with them. It is also a way that I can look at my thoughts as if I took my brain in my hands and moved things around a but like files on a laptop or Blackberry.
I had an English teacher tell me once that a book or story is like a room that you can close the door and no one will touch it. No one will move the furniture around. There is a good deal of truth in that. I suppose because we all use so much of our imagination in creating the world described in the writings. The detail cannot be so precise without boring us to tears so we fill in the blanks from our own experience. That is probably why when you see the movie of some novel you have read it is never the same as you imagined it. It is someone Else's interpretation of the blanks.
But the written word stays the same. It does not yellow and get dated and scratchy like film. It is not superseded by some new technological development in the media, it is virtually timeless.
And So I write. I write to get things off my chest and I write to firm things up in my memory, so that I will remember each beloved detail of some person or time that I loved and so I can remember each detail each smell, each color, each sensation, filtered and slanted by my own prejudice and past. As will the reader, if any, will filter it through their own rose colored glasses.
For sometimes I like to return to those rooms, so long gone on the physical sense. The furniture long since sold off or sent to the dump. Gone are the actors who strutted my life`s stage. No amount of my applause will bring them back for a curtain call, though I would so love it. Yet I can write them back to life, and in so doing I can distill what it was about then that made them so special to me. There is a sense that every time of my life, with a few notable exceptions is the best moment of my life. I do not necessarily want to live in the past. I love the present, I just want what none of us can have in any real sense, I want it all! I want the life I have now, with my wonderful Wife and my dog. I also want the others that I have lost, before I even met my Wife. I want my Grandfather`s smile. My Father`s laugh. Clarence and Gertrude`s love. My Aunt Violet`s warm kitchen. I want to have at least part of all of it. So I write...
I write to create a room, that does not exist without the writing. Longfellow or Shakespeare is not going to do it for me, they may have better skill with words, but they would lack the bigger picture, the fodder for the writing, only I with my poor skills of communication can write these things. The white page or the blank computer screen are my empty canvas, my `snowy linen land`yo quote Don Maclean. I must use my meager skills my wordy brushstrokes to paint the canvas and capture a moment in time. But writing is more than a paining, is it not More like a video than a still photo. Better yet because the photo or video is undeveloped, it is up ti the reader to develop it in the darkroom of his own imagination. What a place is the imagination! Perhaps the greatest nation of all, we should all have dual citizenship, in our own nation and in the imagination. I think we should all write, all keep rooms of what was best in our lives, that we can visit any time we want, where old Friends and loved ones never age, never fall sick, never die. We also need rooms that we can fill with the unwanted things in life, ill deeds, ill thoughts, the ill deeds of others, perpetrated upon us. These rooms, filled with the ugly furniture of life we mat lock, we may sweep thereto the dust of our existence before the company comes. These less attractive rooms have there place too. Perhaps in a diary that no one else needs see. For we are not the worst things that we have done, nor are we doomed to be forged in the fire of the worst things others have done to us. But to avoid being warped by these things we must look at them and where they lie in the house that is our lives. What goes in the basement and what goes in the attic
For a writer to let others read his writing is like taking his heart in his hands and saying here have a look. For any flaw in the telling, real or perceived will make the writer vulnerable. Like a heart without its ribcage. So when you read these things that I have written, remember that they are the writings of one such as you, a mere mortal, without the gifts of a Shakespeare or a Longfellow. Just a man with heart in hand, who wants it all, no matter how fleeting, who wants to ramble these old halls and occasionally open one of those old doors...