Diary 5/30 to 5/31/22: Wittgenstein quote; concentrated animal feeding operations; Emma and Jauja on DVD; Eleanor Goldfield podcast on Roe; “the great resignation”; food warnings.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
Picked up Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and found this in the “Preface”: “The book deals with the problems of philosophy and shows, as I believe, that the method of formulating these problems rests on the misunderstanding of the logic of our language. Its whole meaning could be summed up somewhat as follows: What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent.” p. 3.
This may be something of an overreach, but I like it.
No doubt CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), like feedlots, are a horror of the modern world. Today I watched In These Times, an episode called “CAFO’s in Wisconsin,” and learned some of the details, and it was indeed horrifying. If you’re interested, I saw it on Free Speech TV, and I would guess that it’s available at their website, FSTV.org. In addition to the basic horror of such places, it was claimed that they produce “nutritionally deficient meat.” Much of this meat is shipped to China, and the operations hire few locals, so local communities derive almost no benefit while suffering terrible pollution from animal feces and carcasses. CAFOs are supported by politicians of both parties, because money. The production is from Cameron Grandino. The show doesn’t seem to be available through their website; here’s a link to a related story, of which there are several on the site.
Watched two movies on DVD. First was Jane Austen’s Emma (1996), a worthy version of a much-filmed novel. Emma is ably played by Kate Beckinsale; it’s unfortunate that I spent much of the time trying to decide, finally, whether she has a faint mustache. At times it seemed like most of the women did have mustaches. I can’t explain this oddness. Mark Strong came across as a very harsh Mr. Knightley in his early scenes, though of course by the end he was (forgive the cliché) putty in Emma’s hands. Samantha Morton was charming and effective as Harriet Smith (RT incorrectly shows her as “Mrs. Weston,” and does not list “Harriet Smith,” but Mrs. Weston is played by Samantha Bond, per the movie credits). Morton looked very familiar to me, but I couldn’t place where I had seen her before; she played “Jane Eyre” in 1997, so that’s probably it, though her credits include many movies I’ve seen, not recently (The Libertine, John Carter, and maybe some others). Prunella Scales channels Mrs. Basil Fawlty as the chatterbox “Miss Bates,” making her more bearable than usual Misses Bates. RT scores this one at 89% critics and 73% audiences.
More interesting in some ways is Jauja (2014), a foreign language movie nominally starring Viggo Mortensen, but all eyes are on “Ingeborg,” a beautiful, low-keyed 15-year-old played by Viilbjørk Malling Agger. One critic, Walter V. Addiego, says, “Viewers who can accept a defiantly slow pace, a few loose plot threads and a directorial style that works by intimation, will be rewarded.” The slow pace is in fact glacial, and close-ups are few, while we get very long, seemingly-pointless shots of people walking or riding a horse at great distance across a somewhat beautiful, somewhat bleak setting, or, most infuriatingly, gazing blankly into space while trying to decide what to do (it seems). The director “dares to be boring,” and I was bored; I’ve never had much patience with such metafiction. After I got sick of groaning, cursing in disbelief, and gnashing my teeth, I began fast-forwarding through such scenes, and I don’t regret that at all. The plot seems at first a total cliché, despite some distractions, but it’s not followed through with the expected gross violence. Indeed, the movie trails off rather than ending. As may be obvious at this point, I absolutely hated this movie as being a useless joke. I also don’t find Seinfeld amusing; I absolutely don’t mind being in the minority in my opinions. Perhaps predictably, the critics scored Jauja 88%, with a perhaps more representative 50% from audiences and 6.3/10 (poorer than it looks) at IMDB. I took the above picture of my TV because I couldn’t find online a good picture of Agger.
While writing this I am listening to Eleanor Goldfield’s podcast on Project Censored: “Roe v Wade and the ‘Pro-Choice’ State of California.” She talks frankly about her abortion and interviews Jessica Pickney, “Executive Director of Access Reproductive Justice.” Nothing jaw-dropping here for me, but I think it offers a good basic education on the subject, especially as it relates to California. It runs fifty-eight minutes. I’m generally impatient (what, again?) with podcasts, much preferring transcripts, which can be skimmed or skipped through—I’m always in such a f!cking hurry.
Wrote a page of fiction this morning, drank a smoothie of half a peach, orange juice, and a quarter cup of rolled oats. Neglected the empty cup too long, and so had to wash it with a sponge, which usually isn’t necessary.
I have to see Dr. Hill today, a make-up meeting for the last one, which she had to cancel. I’ll be taking with me a few “get a load of this” items, including the mailing from the VA Clinic that I laughed at, and my “Robby the Robot toy,” both previously mentioned here.
Interesting item from Nature: “A wave of researchers is joining the ‘great resignation’ and quitting academia for good. Many scientists were already unhappy with long hours, crushing workloads, poor salaries and limited job prospects, and now they say the pandemic has sparked a re-evaluation of their careers and lifestyles. Some are announcing their exit to the world with the #leavingacademia hashtag. ‘COVID-19 is the straw that broke the camels’ backs,’ says career coach Karen Kelsky.”
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
Last item, feel free to exit. Food warnings—for details see StopFoodborneIllness.org:
Outbreak Alert: fresh organic strawberries branded as Fresh Kampo and HEB
For: Hepatitis A
Regions: US & Canada
Recalled: Super Asian Chicken Salad containing Peanut Butter
Recalled: Albanese® Mini and Giant Peanut Butter Cups
Regions: US/AL, AZ, CA, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Recalled: Quick Chek Apple and Peanut Butter
Regions: US/NJ (Quick Check retail stores)
Recalled: Giant Eagle Multiple bakery items containing peanut butter
Regions: US/Pennsylvania (Ebensburg, Indiana, North Cambria)