Tag Archives: books

Swept Away

 A corner-dwelling spider,
Content to stay put.
What crawls through books, 
Nourishment enough.
Hidden in the cobwebs,
Poor housewifery exposed.

Pitchforks Anyone?

So far I have not gotten hold of a copy of Michael Wigglesworth’s “Meat Out of the Eater.” But I have searched for it at libraries and internet bookstores.

As a Calvinist preacher in 1600’s America, Wigglesworth wrote this tract as a Christian-based justification of slavery.

A few months ago on the internet, a man was called out for reading a politically questionable book. I wish I could remember the book, person and accuser, but things fly by so fast on the internet.

Anyway, the article said that the reading man should be punished for the crime of reading the wrong literature. I was shocked at first and then began to see clearly that this is the future.

So here I am, obviously a horrible person that wants to read a book that justifies slavery. My search history condemns me. Given the current political climate, this book should be collected and burned instead of read. Maybe some would throw me into that fire as well.

One problem exists in my story: the reason I sought out this book.

Years ago I started reading books from all over the world because I found I could get closer to different cultures this way. I’m certain my reading gave me a better understanding than a vacation on a luxury cruise ship ever could.

I’m not even sure that a stint as a privileged-white-person temporarily doing good in some third-world country experience would bring me closer. Lots of criticism exists on those people as well.

I asked my African Studies professor if he could recommend some books written by or about people in Africa. Last year I uncovered this list and “Meat Out of the Eater” was on it.

My professor was a black man from Kenya. I hope he has changed his ways.

Stay Home

“You better travel to Alaska while you can still see the glaciers. Climate Change is destroying them.”

That is what I heard from someone after she returned from an Alaskan excursion.

Air travel, with its voracious appetite for fossil fuel, contributes  to climate change. I prefer the term People/Machine/Stuff (PMS) Disaster.

Am I missing the point? Why see the glaciers when the act of seeing them begins to destroy them? Dramatic increases in the human population, the machine population, and the overproduction of stuff in general got us into this environmental mess. Perhaps only dramatic decreases will stop the glaciers from melting.

But imagine the misery inflicted by a systematic decrease in people, machines, and stuff?

Do nothing = pain. Do something = pain. We are living “Catch-22.”