Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Know Your Scum Bags

As a gay man who came of age during the AIDS crisis when a week didn't go by that someone I knew didn't die a horrible death I understand what urgency feels like. It was with this urgency to save the lives of our loved ones during this dire time that Larry Kramer started ACT UP (AIDS coalition to unleash power). A grass roots community organization to bring awareness to the plight of PWA (people with AIDS) and to focus on government inaction and pharmaceutical companies maleficence. A group called Gran Fury was at the time making posters and doing gorilla postings of them all over the city. These guys were really smart, talented artists who understood the power of a good graphic. They're the ones who created the Silence=Death logo. They did a lot of great work, but one of my favorites was a split screen image with one side being the Pope at the time and the other side being a used, filled condom. The whole poster was done in this shocking yellow, with the head line: Know Your ScumBags. After much searching on line I was unable to find it, but I did find the silence = death poster and thought it was also appropriate for this posting. If there is a talented artist out there I'd love to come up with a version for AG Sec Tom Vilsack although to be honest I am at a loss for what would replace the condom. A jar of Karo High Fructose GM modified Corn Syrup maybe?

Monsanto toady and Secretary of Agriculture Scumbad Tom Vilsack

In an article over at journalist Tom Philpott discusses Mr. Vilsack's showing at the recent G8 meeting, it wasn't good, unless of course your an executive for an agribusiness.

Vilsack said the U.S. experience with such schemes had shown it was better to focus on technical advances in irrigation, seed varieties, machinery and farming methods.

The article in Grist ends with:

Is that really the lesson we want our ag secretary to be drawing from the last 50 years of U.S. food history?

Grist and I agree, bio tech is not the solution for the future, bio tech is a way to make sure there isn't a future. Some real solutions as I see it are to re-introducing traditional farming methods, get rid of commodity based mono-cultures, eat less meat and get rid of corn subsidies, as a start. Oh and I would add for the record that I think GMO products are dangerous and the making of them should be stopped immediately for at least another 20 years until we see what effects they have in the long term. I would also over turn the law that allows companies to patent nature. You can patent a discovery but you can't have the right to own nature. Only bad things will come from a furthering of the GMO agenda, the proof is everywhere that this technology doesn't work, look at the article quote and the subsequent article it quotes in Reuters or google GM foods and ignore all the sites run my the companies who make them. It is very scary and I don't think this is something we can shrug, feel dis empowered by and go out an by a diet Coke to mull it over. At the beginning of this posting I evoked ACT-UP, probably the most successful grass roots movement in the last 50 years. Why? Because you had a group of people who were dying and had nothing to lose taking to the streets and getting their message out there. I believe it's the only way to change the entrenched, super wealthy, corporate structure that is killing our planet and making a future for your children look less and less likely. As long as you read these words and think I'm crazy the clock will only tick closer to what I see as an inevitable reality. We can no long be silent about this, because our silence will indeed result in our illness and our death at the hands of the bio tech chemical boys who really only care about their bottom line. If this isn't something to be really upset about then what is?

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