Friday, April 30, 2010

"a powerful, popular, and well-funded lobby"

Via, an article in the Washington Times features a rather peculiar sentence:

"The agriculture industry is under attack from a powerful, popular and well-funded lobby - animal rights groups, which want to see it die completely, said two speakers at the Animal Agriculture Alliance 9th Anual Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Va., Wednesday."

The idea that anything resembling an animal rights position is "powerful, popular, and well-funded" in America is laughable at best.

Powerful? According to the speakers themselves, these groups want to do away with animal agriculture altogether. Abolitionist animal activists are so far away from achieving this goal--so far from even convincing any meaningful number of people that this is a desirable goal--that it is beyond absurd to call them "powerful."

Popular? Vegetarians make up a very small percentage of Americans, vegans an even tinier portion of that. Furthermore, among many Americans, words like "vegetarian," "vegan," "PETA," etc., are treated with open contempt and derision, and consuming meat is either commonplace or celebrated. The claim that animal activists are popular in America is, well, pretty stupid, I think.

Well-funded? Compared to what? Compared to industrial agriculture? Compared to the companies that advertise and sell their food to us? I'd be very surprised.

I don't know if this is paranoia or propaganda, but it doesn't sound even reasonably close to being true.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

They know the score: David Henry Hwang

In M. Butterfly:

"The West thinks of itself as masculine--big guns, big industry, big money--so the East is feminine--weak, delicate, poor...but good at art, and full of inscrutable wisdom--the feminine mystique.
Her mouth says no, but her eyes say yes. The West believes the East, deep down, wants to be dominated--because a woman can't think for herself."

I saw Hwang's M. Butterfly at the Guthrie Theater tonight: it was a superb production, and the central actors took to demanding roles with vigor. The play is one of my favorites--it's stylistically and thematically complicated and fascinating. One of the things the play explores is how a sense of (masculine) power and strength in personal affairs gets wrapped up in perception of power and strength at an international, geopolitical level.