(Unhealthy) capitalists and slugs

Note: this was posted in 1997 to an early internet experiment.
For more, please see my page The Hyperforum on Sustainability.

a sustainable, global world -- the Earth

Beautifully put!

I think of these insatiable capitalists in the same way I do about the slugs that infest my garden. I will put out a bean seedling, with just its two starter leaves. The slugs will come and eat the two leaves, killing the plant.

What I would like to say to them, if they were rational, is “Look, if you just let the plant grow it would soon have lots of regular leaves, much bigger. Further, I’m not actually interested in the leaves, but in the beans: the leaves are only a means to an end for me. If you would just come back in a month or two, I could give you perhaps 5 large leaves per day, with little detriment to my bean production.”

Unfortunately, they’re not rational. Continue reading

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3-act Structure — Star Wars (original)

This post is part of the Background to the series
Learning from Alfred Hitchcock
— for writers, movie makers, and viewers

Alec Guinness as Obiwan Kenobi in Star Wars

Don’t blame me. The screenwriting books ruined everything. It’s almost impossible now to sell your script to Hollywood without paying lip-service to “3-act structure.”

The thing that gripes me is that it’s such simple-minded stuff. They keep chanting, “Every good screenplay has a beginning, a middle and an end.”

Yeah: like every good donut has a top, a center, and a bottom. Right. Sure. Of course.

Not automatically a useful concept for analytical purposes . . . or, if I make donuts and want to get good at it.

To be practical, the definitions would have to fit an operational reality: “Some donuts have a donut, a filling, and a glaze.” This would tell me that, for that particular type of donut, I’d need to mix my batter, my filling, and my glaze separately. Though I’d need more information, I’d have a start.

But, if you question these people, they just repeat it again, slowly, patronizingly — “Every good screenplay has a beginning, a middle and an end.” — as if I’m the one too dense to understand.

All right. All right. I see that I’m letting my sarcasm run away with me.

I’ll try to be more constructive.

Why is 3-act structure an important concept that needs to be understood?

Three reasons: Continue reading

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Lao Tzu, Chapter 18

Daodejing — The Classic About Ways and Instances

Translated by William P. Coleman

After the great way had been forgotten,
there was benevolence and rectitude.

Intelligence and knowledge appeared,
and there was great falseness.

The six relationships fell out of harmony,
and there was love and filial piety.

Families lost the nation to confusion,
and there were loyal ministers.

Go to Daodejing Table of Contents.

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Li Bai — Longing, in springtime

Longing, in springtime

Li Bai

701-762 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

The northern grasses are just bright green threads;
but on eastern mulberries, green branches hang down.

Days when the lord is first eager to come back —
those are a wife’s heartbreak times. 

The wind of desire and I no longer know each other;
what right has he to enter my silk gauze curtains? 

Continue reading

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Li Bai — In the mountains, a question and an answer

In the mountains, a question and an answer

Li Bai

701-762 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

You ask me what my idea is, staying in the green mountains?
I smile but have no reply, my heart at peace in itself. 

A peach blossom on the flowing water goes into the distance;
there is another heaven and earth, not among people. 

Continue reading

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Li Bai — Amusing myself

Amusing myself

Li Bai

701-762 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

Preoccupied with the wine, I didn’t notice it get dark;
fallen flowers have covered my clothes.

Drunk, I stand up, and I walk to the moon stream;
the birds have gone home — and people are scarce too.

Continue reading

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Remembering Lawrence King

On the national annual Day of Silence, students observe a vow of silence to bring attention to bullying and harassment of LGBT students. This year’s Day of Silence — 25 April, 2008 — will be dedicated to the memory of Lawrence King.

GLSEN -- Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network -- Remember Lawrence King

Click the picture to read the announcement from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): California Middle School Student Murdered in School Because of Sexual Orientation.

Posted in Being gay, Ethics, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment