About Toby Sells' post, "Zoo Removes Trees From Greensward" ...
The Memphis Zoo has become a national embarassment. I used to brag about our zoo to my clients that live in places with nice zoos (San Diego, St Louis), and now they laugh at us as hicks parking in the yard. Oh, and don't forget the Youtube video of the Zoo director losing his temper. We're look just like a bunch of angry old white men. I'm sorry I ever gave even one penny to the Zoo.
Frank in Midtown
The actions of the Zoo clique continue to demonstrate that organization's inability to work with other interested parties to create a workable solution to the traffic and parking problem created by the lack of forward-looking planning by Zoo and city officials. The Zoo clique wants to expand without regard to the Zoo's neighbors. The decision to cut these trees is characteristic of the disregard for reasonable planning which has characterized the actions of the Zoo for decades.
This was an incredibly sneaky and insensitive and destructive act on the part of the Zoo. I hope they get all the publicity they deserve for this heinous act. They must be stopped, by legal means if necessary.
About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter From the Editor, "Zooey and Bowie" ...
Humans generally think by means of reference to Platonic ideals, and then use binary language to describe how closely the elements of their world hew to those ideals. We delude ourselves with such fictions, because then we can avoid the harsh reality of our own inability to comprehend the randomness and unpredictability of existence. We live in a web of constructed delusion, that places certain people and ideas at the pinnacle of that fictional hierarchy.
But the memory of those flavors is all we have to mark the passage of time. What lives inside are volumes of images, smells, tastes, and emotional reactions of pleasure and pain that are attached to these ephemeral constructs. Part of aging I think, is the realization that those constructs have a finite shelf life, and that as we move through time, our common vernacular derived from them becomes irrelevant.
What replaces it feels phony, because to our sensibilities, it is. But none of it was authentic from the beginning anyway, so we are left with a vague sense of something — dysphoria, nostalgia, cynicism — call it whatever you like. The writer has captured this sensation perfectly.
About "New Year, New You" ...
Although gun violence and traffic accidents remain the leading causes of death among young people, the most dangerous weapon for the rest of us is still our fork. Well over a million of us are killed each year by high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases linked to our meat-based diet.
But times are changing. According to Gallup, 22 percent of Americans are avoiding meat, and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Supermarket chains, along with Target and Walmart, offer a growing selection of delicious and healthy plant-based meats and dairy products. Animal meat consumption has dropped by eight percent in the past decade.
Let's make this New Year's resolution about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrees, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks, as well as the more traditional green and yellow veggies. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.
About the Oregon "Militia" ...
Did you notice the anti-government hypocrites in Oregon were carrying American flags. The American government is why these militia types can protest. They wouldn't get away with their armed, anti-government activities in any other country.
People talk about the terrorists in the Middle East; America has its own terrorists in the guise of white militias. Sheriff David Ward said that militia protesters came to Oregon with the express intent of overthrowing county and federal government,and hoped to spark a movement across the United States. Are these "militia activists" who are trying to force their will on the people any different than terrorists anywhere else?