Before we get into any of the happy, there is an issue of sad that needs immediate attention.
It seems as if our beloved president has taken a step back into the land of WTF and appointed the former VP of Monsanto, as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at the FDA.
If this doesn’t make your hair fall out due to sheer shock, I’ve brought Curtis in to break it down into easily digestible bites, which I implore you to take the time to read. I promise when we get though this, we’ll get back to blowing stuff up and other fun things;
Monsanto is widely regarded as the worst company in the world. They have taken a multi-pronged approach to fucking the earth, and they are doing it quite well.
To summarize, they sell chemicals and genetically modified seeds. In my line of work as a nursery manager, that really isn’t uncommon, but the way they conduct their business and pursue world domination is the reason why I do not spend one cent on any of their products.
The problem with genetically modified seed (that I have time to talk about) is that it’s not open source. Sometimes the seed is sterile, but most of the time the farmers are simply not allowed to use the seed from their crop for the next one. Here’s a couple reason why that’s especially fucked:
In India, farmers are promised fantastical crop yields with this new magic seed. They buy into the seed and associated chemical controls, which explodes their operating costs, and when the seed doesn’t perform the way it should, they go bankrupt. These people were never making a lot of money to begin with, so its pretty reprehensible to think a world wide company would go after them so wholeheartedly. I have never seen actual statistics, but I’ve read that the most common form of suicide in India for a while was drinking Monsanto pesticide. As a licensed pesticide applicator, I can tell you that’s a mind-numbingly fucked way to go.
In America, they are trying to screw farmers in other ways. In the heartland, they’re suing farmers for seed contamination. This shit is insane. Basically, when a farmer using Monsanto seed is adjacent to one who is not, there is a chance the Monsanto crop’s seed will cross pollinate with the one close by. It’s actually fairly common.
Well, Monsanto owns the rights to its seed, as well as any genetic variant. So they send scientists into that neighbor’s field and take samples, and God help you if that seed has a trace of their genetics, because they will sue you off your fucking farm if they can get away with it. Most of the time, they can.
The end game is everyone using Monsanto or getting destroyed for not jumping on board. Its also a world where seed lines are completely fucked because some huge company pissed in the genetic pool.
That’s just seed. Then there’s round-up, which is the most commonly used pesticide in America. The main chemical normally breaks down pretty quickly in soil, but round-up uses adjuvants which extend its life. This creates more problems for waterways and aquatic life than anything else, but I’m sure you’ve seen some of the bogs in Watsonville and know they don’t need any more trouble than they’re getting from the tons of nitrogen running off the fields.
There’s other reasons they suck, too, I’m just listing the big ones for the sake of brevity.
And the Scotts/Miracle Grow and National Wildlife Federation… Jiminy Cricket, that’s a fucked partnership: A turf chemical company that is partially responsible for a giant dead zone in the gulf of Mexico partnering with an organization known for certifying sustainable landscapes*.
*(One down, one to go).*
You really can’t make this shit up.
Have a good morning,
You got all that?
If that weren’t enough to make you sit up and pay attention, in protest, Hungary recently destroyed 1000 acres of Monsanto corn crops.
What business does any of of this have being on a bicycle and bicycle parts related website you ask?
Because I think we are all compassionate and thoughtful individuals who not only love the bicycle and share that in common, but we also don’t like getting screwed by The Man.
That said, Please sign this petition asking Obama to sever ties with Monsanto.
It’s a small step, but hopefully one in the right direction.
Now then… Moving on. If by some chance any one of the Black Market readership might be interested in sending me on a dream vacation, I’d like to go here;
I told you we’d get back to explosions eventually.
On the bike front, Black Market super homies, Ritte Van Vlanderingham got a recent nod over at Wired;
I keep waiting for Lanolin to cite his relationship with the Black Market as one of his greatest inspirations. It looks like I will continue to do that.
As we continue down this road, I’ve noted a number of times over the course of the last month that the clock is ticking on the latest edition of All Hail The Black Market ride wear.
Febuary sixth is the deadline for getting your order in, and once the door closes, that will be it. I suggest you get on the good foot, and drape yourself in my latest finery. Not that Ms. Demonika needs any assistance in the department of looking good, but the threads certainly don’t hurt;
In closing, and to hopefully take some of the edge off of today’s post, I offer this shot poached from Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?!;
There’s not much about that image that doesn’t make a person happy.
We can learn a lot from this young man, as well as the unsettling nature of today’s post.
As I used to say when captaining the U.S.S. HTATBL, sometimes part of avoiding a bummer life is to face it head on.