Monkey Mind Tuesday

I seem to have a case of monkey mind today: my interest has been piqued about a bunch of things that I’ve read and wanted to follow up on, but I just can’t settle into any one train of thought long enough to extract any wisdom. Instead, my mind just flitters on to the next thought or a new idea. Instead of fighting it, I’m going to give into the monkey mind today in the hope that there is something to be learned from my mental wanderings. Let’s see:

With my post about GMOs still fresh, I was quite interested in the surprisingly informative newsletter put out by Seventh Generation (you know, the company that makes the more benign kinds of paper and cleaning products). This edition has a blurb about two new studies showing that GMOs may be as harmful to human health as some have long feared. In the first study, researchers in Russia fed rats flour made from Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready soybeans while the rats were pregnant and nursing. 55% of the rats born to the mothers who were on the GM diet died within three weeks while only 9% of the control group died during the same period. And the surviving baby rats in the test group were stunted. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, upon hearing of these preliminary results, became greatly alarmed. And with good reason! Over 78 million acres are planted with Round-Up Ready soybeans. The second study wasn’t exactly reassuring. But when I started to read about it, the monkey was ready to move on to the next topic…

This interview in Grist made me really pine for a bike. The Xtracycle sport utility bicycle looks cool, and I know that $999 is a bargain compared to the price of cars. Just when I was trying to wrap my head around why that amount of money for a bike seems completely out of reach when most cars are over $30,000 and my own car payment is not exactly cheap, I read this Q&A in the interview with Xtracyle’s president:

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: I think current television is so integral a part of the Wheel of Destruction and breeding the culture of insatiable desire that this question should not be asked in this forum. It’s like asking: What’s your favorite exploitative big-box retailer? Your favorite SUV for short trips? And in so doing, inadvertently using environmental
activists to legitimize the very behavior that we think might not be good for the world.

Hmmm…what is the role of television and mainstream media? Is he right that the question makes some assumptions that tell us something disturbing about the norms in our society? Or does his answer just make us non-cable-subscribers look irrelevant to m

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