Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Quiet spring – with nothing in the news

In the Spring of ’08, when all the world was quietly waiting for their rulers to awaken to their own incompetence and the impossibility of continuing without vast change, and on-one would discuss this waiting from fear, ignorance or intentional oblivion, people began to prefer their cars to their TVs, knowing they weren’t going to last. There wasn’t really anything worth watching on anyway, but there hadn’t been for years, while they’d gone on watching anyway. But soon, even it there was gas to buy, there wouldn’t be a job to help pay for it. Even for business owners, credit was maxed, just the way things had been encouraged to be, and there was no real prospect for repayment. Even wars were toned down, they’d become so difficult to afford.
Clean water came in bottles, about which now we were now told to beware – the minerals we needed were gone! As were the fish, and the frogs, salamanders, bees and bananas were doing their thing elsewhere, if still around at all. The bananas hadn’t reproduced sexually for half a century; it was bamboos 70-year-itch time to flower, which would bring a plague of rats, and already there wasn’t enough rice. Or corn, where it had been grown for thousands of years – gone now due to the technological advances of Monsanto Corp.
A corporation, by law – the only law applicable to corporations, it seemed, had to make a profit, or something like that. Had to try to make a profit? Anyway, they weren’t allowed by law to be reasonable about pay, or the environment, our future or quality of life. But they could make bad decisions, could accept bail-out charity from over-taxed tax-payers (which they no longer were)… And we all kept quiet too, that they now were the masters of nations, with no known masters themselves.

Well, I kind of like quiet, but…

Almost 9 years ago, the corporate mouthpieces we call media bemoaned the Seattle anti-globalization protestors’ lack of cohesive, coherent policy complaint. They had no focus, their agenda was only disruption, they simply hadn’t thought things out.
Pot calling the kettle black, or worse, for its others who bear more culpability for not thinking things out (think-tanks they pay for notwithstanding). A little late, maybe, but here’s a top 20 list:

Problems of Globalization:
20. Bland uniformity, conformity, boring homogenization
19. wasteful over-packaging
18. increased social rigidity
17. immediate gratification orientation
16. too much potential for widespread subliminal manipulation
15. loss of small business entrepreneurship
14. too much business overhead
13. wasteful shipping costs
12. imagination and local decision-making stifling
11. lack of life-quality improvement hope for the poor
10. lack of real trade equity
9. 3rd world debt enslavement
8. dangerous technological orientation: genetic modification, product “cycles” and too much disposable, low-quality planned obsolescence
7. inherent corruptibility in a system too far removed from individual reach
6. too little local decision-making input
5. inevitably increasing income disparity
4. disruption to potential for local self-sustenance
3. excessive potential for extensive media censorship
2. corporate unaccountability except to profits
1. unarguable tendency to law – and morality – bending, something hardly mitigated by pointing to local corruption.



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