I’m making a second post today to address various comments, trends, suggestions and questions I have received from readers. Maybe I’ve watched too much of Crash Course in world history, but I’m really coming to like the open letter.
First, I have to say, writing this little series on the Silk Route has killed my readership. Yes, I realize most of the tags I get are for sex and dessert. I will try to put more sex in again. I mean, there are really very few people who don’t like sex, but friends, dessert isn’t everything. Eat some veggies.
You may be an occasional reader because you like the mythological aspect of food that I harp on. Thanks. I do too.
Some of you read it for the “buck the system” attitude toward food consumption and “radical” feminist agendas such as cooking, health and living in an equitable society. Wait…is that radical?
Some of you read it for the book recommendations – which I haven’t made many of recently. Sorry. My tag line does say food for thought. I will rectify that at the end of this post.
I suspect some of you read it because it shows up in your in box and you are bored at work. That’s perfectly okay.
Then there is my cool, virtual reality friend in Spain who actually reads it for the recipes. Let me just say – You’re awesome! Although I don’t get to cook much at the moment, I love to collect recipes. Some nights, when I can’t sleep I spend time searching for really good ones. And if I’m unsure, I will go down to the kitchen and start dipping my fingers in the spice jars to see if I will like certain tastes together. It’s very satisfying. Thanks for taking the time to appreciate those recipes.
I also understand that some of you read this for my little discussions about JJ because it’s nice to have someone who empathizes on the topic of love and relationships. Which leads me back to my choice of the topic of the Silk Route. JJ and I had a discussion once about whether India is a third world or second world country. Which was stupid on both our parts. For him, because because it was really time for him to allow some of his youthful ideas to evolve. For me, because I had not yet been to India to see for myself and because I loved to oblige him, thinking it was best to start the discussion at his level. The correct answer is:
- Second World
- Third World
- Why the fuck do you talk about India so much
- neither 1 or 2
- All of the above
The correct answer is number 5. I talk about India a lot because people in India actually read my blog, and, let’s be honest – they are a bigger demographic than just about anybody. Also, because Indian food is good and you should break out of your food rut and be fearless if you haven’t tried it. (Keli) Finally, because it is valuable to understand that the world does not revolve around white people. It revolves around all people. Talking about the world in terms of tired, cold-war labels like “Third World”, that are not longer valid, should just stop. Just like talking about relationships in terms of gain and loss is irrelevant and immature. Let’s leave the stupid stuff to Oprah, shall we?
Book recommendations – as promised:
On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to “proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas.” When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.
Indigenous peoples throughout the world tenaciously defend their lands, cultures, and their lives with resilience and determination. They have done so generation after generation. These are peoples who make up bedrock nations throughout the world in whose territories the United Nations says 80 percent of the world’s life sustaining biodiversity remains. Once thought of as remnants of a human past that would soon disappear in the fog of history, indigenous peoples—as we now refer to them—have in the last generation emerged as new political actors in global, regional and local debates. As countries struggle with economic collapse, terrorism and global warming indigenous peoples demand a place at the table to decide policy about energy, boundaries, traditional knowledge, climate change, intellectual property, land, environment, clean water, education, war, terrorism, health and the role of democracy in society. – amazon.com and cwis.org
Any attempt to identify the thread that runs through the late Erich Fromm’s writings will soon uncover an unequivocally humanistic world view. From the 1930s on, this was Fromm’s guiding principle. It signified Fromm’s break with the Frankfurt School: Marcuse, Adorno and Horkheimer. This posthumous volume includes writings from one of Fromm’s most fertile periods–the 1960s. These writings concentrate on humanistic science, socialism, religion, and psychoanalysis. They are from lectures, works written for specific occasions, and manuscripts intended as books. Of particular interest is an extended essay on two very different thinkers: Meister Eckhart and Karl Marx.