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  1. #1
    Lewis's Avatar
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    300,000 suicides?

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    I wasn't even thinking about the issues that come up here -- just looking at a wood-turner's blog that I don't take the RSS feed from and rarely check. And here's what he says:

    The UK public tend to oppose GM through fear of the unknown. I oppose GM because it has catastrophic effects on the worlds peasant farmers. Since 1995 when GM cotton was heavily marketed in India 300,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide to escape the huge burden of dept that this farming typically creates in third world communities. This short film shows how that process happens.
    Well, while GM crops do worry me, I don't want to make more of the potential problems than may be warranted or judge thing in advance, and I don't know whether he's right or not, but I guess even the suggestion that getting on for a third of a million people may have committed suicide on account of something behoves us to pay attention to what's being said.

    Here's the link:

    Robin Wood: Food minister Owen Paterson backs GM crops

  2. #2
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Well, I looked at the film he posted. I don't know whether his figures are accurate. I thought the woman said 13,000.

    But numbers aside I think the film made the case.

    Does anyone read Spenser still these days? One of the greatest poets in the language and commonly described as "the poets' poet". He was a favourite from his own time down to about the time of the Great War (1914-1918). Nowadays people lack the patience to read someone who doesn't write short diamond-like offerings but develops effects over hundreds of lines.

    Mammon emmoued was with inward wrath;
    Yet forcing it to faine, him forth thence led
    Through griesly shadowes by a beaten path,
    Into a gardin goodly garnished
    With hearbs and fruits, whose kinds mote not be red:
    Not such, as earth out of her fruitfull woomb
    Throwes forth to men, sweet and well sauoured,
    But direfull deadly blacke both leafe and bloom,
    Fit to adorne the dead, and decke the drery toombe.
    Spenser's Faerie Queen

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    I dont read gobbledygook like that cause I dont take the kind of drugs one needs to even imagine understanding it. It seems a long stream of dribble.
    Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one http://www.utilikilts.com/company/pr...ilts/workmans/ actually.

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    Hey Lewis!

    Thanks! I hate to admit it as it doesn't speak well of my education, but this guy was totally off my map - the kids and I will shortly be checking out books from the library of the Faerie Queen. Happy to say I actually did peg it as being 1500's... reminded me of Shakespeare, so all is not lost with me!

    If you have any other gems like this, just pop over to my journal any time and leave a note!

    As to the suicides in India, I haven't checked your link yet - that older English caught my eye first.

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    As I recall the fairies had a king.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warmbear View Post
    I dont read gobbledygook like that cause I dont take the kind of drugs one needs to even imagine understanding it. It seems a long stream of dribble.
    It doesn't require drugs. Just a familiarity with an older form of English speech.

    It's about a guy going to a garden that wasn't made of beautiful, colorful food plants - but rather plants that were all black leaves & black fruits, as if made for the dead. I think the poster is drawing a comparison, that GM foods are like this, not made for us, but a black, foul invention.

    I liked it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WendyLady View Post
    It doesn't require drugs. Just a familiarity with an older form of English speech.

    It's about a guy going to a garden that wasn't made of beautiful, colorful food plants - but rather plants that were all black leaves & black fruits, as if made for the dead. I think the poster is drawing a comparison, that GM foods are like this, not made for us, but a black, foul invention.

    I liked it.
    Indeed! I study English literature. It takes a tea and starting reading to get me "into" it but, being a languages person, my mind quickly "switches into" Middle English, or Chaucer English, or Jacobean English, and I can carry on reading as though it were simple, everyday literature. Takes a few paragraphs/stanzas, mind.

    It's amazing how much beauty there is in older English texts. "Astrophil and Stella" is a gorgeous example of a true masterpiece, carefully pieced together out of 101 sonnets and 7 songs, each concise, each a "pure" sonnet, the whole story repeating words an exact number of times... A work of love.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WendyLady View Post
    It doesn't require drugs. Just a familiarity with an older form of English speech.

    It's about a guy going to a garden that wasn't made of beautiful, colorful food plants - but rather plants that were all black leaves & black fruits, as if made for the dead. I think the poster is drawing a comparison, that GM foods are like this, not made for us, but a black, foul invention.

    I liked it.
    Thank you.

    And, of course, it was Mammon's garden.

    I do agree withe the earlier poster that Spenser's difficult, though. It's just that Mammon seemed so apt here.

    I think it's not just the language; it's the sheer size of the poem. You could probably offer most people a short lyric even from an earlier period and charm them, but we don't read book-length works written in verse now. I think there's the additional problem that the poem's allegorical. And not in an easy way either. The symbols move and shift, and don't always stand for the same thing, and the point is not to "work them out", as you would a crossword, to see what the poet is saying, but to experience what he's doing with the symbols -- using them to give a sensuous form to the concepts, so that you can almost see, in a very direct form, what it would mean, for example, to give yourself over to Mammon.



    I looked for more on Indian suicides over GM costs to small farmers.

    I don't know what this site is but it was the top hit for the search terms I tried:

    Farmer suicides continue… | The Langar Hall


    London's Daily Mail also had something back in 2008:

    When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farmers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it's even WORSE than he feared. ...
    The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops | Mail Online

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