The Straight Story on Farming

Again, a perfectly wonderful book raised my ire by throwing out a tired trope — the assertion that all our societal woes date to the "inception of agriculture" (which phrase is itself a red flag that raises my blood pressure; there is no such point in time or place). This time the claim that farming… Continue reading The Straight Story on Farming

Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

Sunflowers & morning glories in August This is my favorite time of the year. There is the food, the cooling temperatures, and the lengthening night. But there are also the best flowers! This is the garden I wait for all year long. Sunflowers to asters, these are the flowers that speak to me. They are… Continue reading Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

Further Exegesis of A Man

In the past couple weeks I’ve encountered two new books from people who should know better claiming that our big brains and social systems are rooted in hunting. This is the bad penny of origin stories — Man the Hunter. It is time someone bites down on this one and shows once and for all… Continue reading Further Exegesis of A Man

Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days are upon us. For me, this name evokes childhood afternoons spent with my collie, Toby, reading under the fig tree, swimming in river pot-holes, and generally doing as little as possible. I have never loved summer best. I’ve never liked heat. Nor did Toby. We invented all sorts of escapes. Mind you,… Continue reading Dog Days of Summer

On the Existence of Independence

It is early July. In my country, we set fire to gunpowder and other explosives wrapped in paper — which are produced almost entirely in extremely hazardous conditions outside of this country — to mimic the actual gunpowder explosions that presumably were the background for the signing of a document that declared this small group… Continue reading On the Existence of Independence

Wise Choice

I spent a bit of time with Paul Bunyan for yesterday’s post and realized something: there are quite a large number of appallingly stupid heroes and male deities in EuroWestern traditions. This probably reflects our ideals in ways that maybe we need to analyze. But for now I have a story for you. Imagine if… Continue reading Wise Choice

Immolation

They came for me as I was grinding the last of the roasted spelt. My sisters stood by with downcast eyes. I did not know who of them believed in my innocence. I found that I was troubled by this. I would go to my death willingly, but I was unwilling to let the ravenous… Continue reading Immolation

Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion

In the last few years I’ve seen a wide variety of people arrive at the conclusion that what we need as a society to avert self-destruction — self and everything else, that is — is a new religion. I’ve encountered sociologists (who might be predisposed), economists (who probably are not), celebrity chefs and actors, personal… Continue reading Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion

May Day

the hawthorn queen she waxes full in fertile grace queen of quick and fay, she reigns in mantle green and seemly face quelling fear and mortal pains eternal mother, ever maid undying wisdom in her glance deathless wierd is on her laid to spin th' unceasing wheel of chance again, she comes in crown of… Continue reading May Day