starting:: righteous porkchop: finding a life and good food beyond factory farms by nicolette hahn niman
omar picked this up at the bookstore and really got into it. you know he likes a book when there are a bunch of little sticker flags hanging off the sides of pages marking passages he likes. niman chronicles the inner workings of factory farming and also shares what she learned from farmers and ranchers who have chosen to treat animals humanely.
in the middle:: the art of the commonplace: the agrarian essays of wendell berry ed. norman wirzba
i’ve read a few of the essays in this compilation and just finished feminism, the body, and the machine, which is a response to the letters he received in response to an essay of his that was printed in harper’s (got that?). here is a brief passage where berry talks about the condition of modern day marriages/household.
Marriage, in what is evidently its most popular version, is now on the one hand an intimate “relationship” involving (ideally) two successful careerists in the same bed, and on the other hand a sort of private political system in which rights and interests must be constantly asserted and defended. Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things shall be divided. During their understandably temporary association, the “married” couple will typically consume a large quantity of merchandise and a large portion of each other.
The modern household is the place where the consumptive couple do their consuming. Nothing productive is done there. Such work as is done there is done at the expense of the resident couple or family, and to the profit of suppliers of energy and household technology. p67
wow. i’m feeling a bit sheepish that i hadn’t read more of him/about him before now. i can’t recommend reading him enough. during the course of last year i remember thinking over and over that despite all the talk of “change” from both sides, all that was being touted were standard party lines that did not address the true and pressing issues of america. now that i’ve been reading more and more about paul i am intrigued by how his supporters come from across the political spectrum. he is no friend/supporter of the neoconservatives or the mainstream democrats. his stances on the war, federal reserve, non-interventionist foreign policy, and taxes will get you thinking. go check him out on the daily show and colbert report. good, brief, and funny interviews.