We're Still Here!

...apocalypse is still around every corner and the afterculture is still being born. It's becoming so prevalent as to hardly be worth reporting. Hopefully you all notice, by now... Hopefully you're all consciously participating. (continued...)

Global Food Prices Hit New Record High

As riots and rebellions are already rocking northern African nations (and parts of the Arabian peninsula) with the intensity to destabilize and topple governments that have maintained power for decades; the marginalized and disenfranchised people of the world will undoubtedly find increasingly more reasons to organize themselves into enraged mobs. As if decades of political corruption, social injustice, and increasing economic stagnation were not enough, the UN's Food & Agriculture Organization has released their latest figures indicating that the price of staple foodstuffs has risen to an all-time high, surpassing (on average) the last period of crisis (in 2008) that sparked food riots in nations around the world, when the price of corn, soy, and sugar all skyrocketed based partly on speculation of a burgeoning market for biofuels in the world's wealthier 'post-industrial' nations. From Algeria, Fanon's "wretched of the earth" are rising in rage against the new (economic) colonialism. And from other nations, A-to-Z, around the world, we're reminded once again of the great prophet Bob Marley's words of wisdom: "a hungry mob is an angry mob." And with droughts plaguing South America's big commodity-crop exporters. flooding in Australia, and a degree of politico-economic polarization in the United States that is unprecedented in living memory; the global food situation is unlikely to improve any time in the foreseeable future... especially considering that only three countries (the three A's -- America, Australia, and Argentina) supply nearly 80% of the world's cereal exports. (continued...)

Are suburbs the new slums?

While this source article doesn't explore the issue very deeply (for instance, it's an article about the problems with suburbs in North America and it doesn't even mention the 'car culture' that plagues Suburbia and will surely worsen any blight and hinder any renewal) it does offer a short list of reference articles than can bring a bit more depth to the really rough synopsis of the data that this article provides. So, it's like... if you're interested then you can read more. And so it begins:

"A new report says more poor people now live in suburbs than in cities. What does that mean for those who live there?"  (continued...)

¿Y2K y 12? -- Mayans INSIST 2012 isn't the end of the world

Mayans may INSIST 2012 isn't the end of the world, but millions of bored neurotic New Agers, conspiracy theorists, and hucksters from the world's post-industrial societies will inevitably refuse to take notice of the opinion of a bunch of silly Mayans... "Mayans? Aren't they extinct??"

This Associated Press article doesn't get too involved in trying to explain the differences between linear and cyclic views of time, or any of the other vast differences between the cosmovisions of the indigenous inhabitants of the New World and the cosmovisions of the Old World conquerors/settlers/occupiers. Still, it's worthy of reading, especially for anyone who has ever had any curiosity about the whole '2012 Mayan prophecy' issue... and ESPECIALLY for anyone who thinks the Earth's magnetic poles are gonna shift and civilization is gonna end and we should all be burying gold bars and canned food.

The article doesn't mention this (for obvious reasons), but Mayans are far more concerned with transgenic corn from Monsanto contaminating the epicenter of biodiversity for the originally domesticated Zea mays, and any of us should be as well. Millenarianism regarding the year 2012 is just one more distraction among many in our global consumer culture. We all need to stay focused on the real structural problems of the real world... so that if a real apocalypse ever does occur then it will be an opportunity for creation of a better world, instead of just a chance to start making the same mistakes. Anyway, enough polemicizing, (dinner is ready, hehe), just click on through to read the article....  (continued...)

The Human Baby -- by James Kimmel, Ph.D.

"Tenderness appeared in man's mammalian ancestors eons before he learned to preserve fire or shape a stone." -- Lewis Mumford, The Conduct of Life

Ninety-nine percent of all humans who have ever lived were hunter-gatherers. Studies of hunter-gatherer societies readily confirm the respect given, and the support provided, by the group to a mother nurturing a baby. Since ancient times, however, continuing until the present, there has been a concerted effort in Western civilization to eliminate the necessity for the natural mother to nurture her newborn. Mothers in many cultures and at various times have been encouraged to suppress their tender feelings toward their babies, discouraged from nurturing them in the biological human way, and to give over their baby's care to others.
The history of childhood in the civilized world reveals that babies have not always been perceived as lovable or needing tenderness. At various times and for varied reasons, they have been seen as evil, harmful, burdensome, worthless, unwanted, and expendable. They have, of course, been treated in accordance with these beliefs about them (deMause, Beekman). Lloyd de Mause, in his book on the history of child care, has stated, "The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused".
DeMause is referring to the societies of civilization, not to societies of people living outside civilization. The story of people who live as hunter-gatherers is quite different as regards children than the one described by him. Studies by anthropologists of hunter-gatherer groups do not describe infant and child care in these groups as a "nightmare." They usually describe the care of the young as "indulgent".
A human baby born today, to any parents anywhere in the world, would have no trouble fitting into a hunter-gatherer society. He evolved to do so. On the other hand, any baby born today in modern society does not fit our world, nor would any baby born in the past fit it either. Babies (and mothers) have not changed in their reproductive biological or genetic structure; it is society and mothers who have changed in their response to, and in their attitude toward, babies. We no longer value and support mothering or the babies' critical need to develop in relation to a tender, nurturing mother.

[ed. Those are some excerpts of a brilliant essay by Dr. James Kimmel that offers a sort of broad anthropological overview of childhood... About what our species has evolved to expect in terms of childrearing... and about what our contemporary culture seeks (and succeeds) to do with its proscribed childrearing practices (which amounts to acculturation; domestication & alienation from nature, including alienation from our natural selves and others like us.).... I really encourage everyone to read the essay in its entirety, even those of you who think reproduction is 'evil' and plan to never have any association with children.]  (continued...)

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