Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Rollins On

Henry Rollins made some interesting music with Black Flag.  Now he has a regular column in the LA Weekly, and it's not nearly so interesting. If he wrote about music, it'd be great, but most of the time it's his latest political harangue.  And once you get past the thicket of clichés, there's not much there.

Look at a recent piece, "I Am Basically A Vinyl Cat Lady." He explains his money is spent on essentials and music.  Now that could be a worthwhile theme--the necessity of music, or what it means to him.  But he can't help himself and in no time at all is back to mindless politics. (I was going to say posturing, but he really may believe it.)

Somehow he gets to how we're despoiling the Earth. An oldie, but a goodie. You'd at least think he'd admit we do it so that more people (not just raw numbers, but percentage-wise) are benefitting, but he seems to think only a small group of rich bastards get to enjoy the bounty.

Among the problems--we're "super busy mutating crops and livestock."  Ah, so that's the culprit.  It's true, we do genetically modify our food (and other thing plants and animals provide). We've been doing it since humanity began, and before that animals and plants were doing it.  True, in the last fifty years or so, we've gotten better at it.  Thus the abundance all around us (that allows us to worry about things like harming the planet because we're not busy saying "we need food or we'll die" or "we need to cure this plague or we'll die").

He goes on about the march of folly:

Despite catastrophic famine [...] of millions of Soviets by their own leader, Joseph Stalin, thousand cried [when he died, just as they will with Dick Cheney].

We pine for the "good old days," when people knew their place and things were better.  The Great Famine, aka the Irish Potato Famine, wasn't so bad!

It's good to know Rollins at least acknowledges thing were bad in the days before we started "mutating" our food.  But it takes a lot of nerve to bemoan massive starvation in the past when much of it could have been avoided if they had genetically modified foods then as we have today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rollins oversimplifies but so do you. "Getting good at it" may the very problem (or maybe getting better at one part of it without accounting for other parts is a better way to say it). Mass production of food products based on genetic engineering (and other advances) has uncovered new issues. Have you noticed the proliferation of gluten sensitivities and food allergies among children and other- even controlling for the fakers and lifestyle choice types, the number is staggering and most doctors point to a mid-90s emergence of this explosion.

It is not profitable to find problems with a process that is enhancing yield, increasing production and yes providing a greater food supply (overpopulation is another issue but lets leave that) and that is where a lot of ill-informed back-and -forth is coming from.

Don't know when we are going to get back to a depoliticized science but I assume it will come when we are forced to by circumstance

5:58 AM, November 03, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The opposition to genetically modified foods is anti-science, and the opposition to it at present is either openly dishonest or needs to stretch to make any claim at all.

6:32 AM, November 03, 2015  

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