Sunday – Two Stark Contrasts

[date Sun, May 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM]

PN:

My favorite Joseph Conrad is “Heart of Darkness”. Never mind my colonial mindset and disrespect for “cultural equivalence”. It is a great book by a brilliant writer for many reasons. One of these reasons is the author’s portrayal of the nature of conflict.

There are only three conflicts in (human) life – man vs man, man vs the elements (“nature”), man vs himself (ladies included i.e. “hu-man vs hu-manself).

Here is a link with pictures of the man vs elements struggle taking place along the Mississippi, specifically Vicksburg. The pictures are mostly of Herculean efforts to protect against a cyclic, inevitable (if history is any measure), natural occurrence. It ain’t even a “phenomenon”, because it has happened before and has been more extreme. There is also the imposition of the State – the Feds are sacrificing these lands and owners for the “common good” of larger communities and cities. Take a look at the photos:

Continue reading Sunday – Two Stark Contrasts

Thursday – I Been Workin’ on da RR

[date Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:56 AM]

PN:

Has anyone seen “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery channel?

Mike Rowe is the prime motivator behind the program and the figurehead / participant / host in each episode.

Mr. Rowe recently gave testimony to a US Senate Committee. Here’s a short quote from his prepared presentation (at discovery.com):

……………………….Dirty Jobs is first and foremost an entertainment program. It does however, have a mission statement, and every episode begins the same way. “My name is Mike Rowe, and this is my job. I explore the country looking for people who aren’t afraid to get dirty. Hard-working men and women who do the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.”………………………..

……………………….So I referred him to the mission statement of the show and added, “once upon a time, our country was filled with people who weren’t afraid to get dirty. Times have changed. The definition of a ‘good job’ has changed.”I went on to suggest that the skills gap might not be a “problem,” but rather a symptom of something much more fundamental; a societal disconnect with work, brought about by the rapid transformation of a manufacturing-based economy into one dominated by financial services and technology.

A well thought out lucid analysis of where the culture has taken us in the last 40 years. Here is a link to the complete submitted testimony:

http://impact.discovery.com/press/testimony-mike-rowe-us-senate-committee-commerce-s/

However, Mike’s actual presentation is different, and more powerful:

Continue reading Thursday – I Been Workin’ on da RR