Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Oh My God, He's Going to Kill Me"

From a desire to "show her mannerisms and allow people to hear her voice," Grays Harbor investigators have released a video of Lindsey Baum playing with a friend. The video was made in November, 2008, and the identity of the young boy is being protected.

Lindsey, now 11, has been missing since June 26, 2009, when she apparently was abducted during a short walk home from visiting a friend in her hometown of McCleary, Washington.

I am sure that other videos of Lindsey exist, so... please tell me that my discomfort at this particular choice is nothing but a personal problem. It sends chills down my spine to hear this child scream "Oh my God, he's going to kill me" over and over -- that she is playing with a friend, that her protests are mock, none of that matters.

The scene is simply chilling and I wonder at the real impetus behind its release.

Browse previous posts on this blog discussing Lindsey and her disappearance, here.

Websites set up by family and friends can be found here and here.

A $25,000 reward has been set up for information leading to Lindsey's recovery.

If you see her or have information regarding her whereabouts, call:

-- 911
-- Grays Harbor County Information tip line 866 915-8299
-- McCleary Police (360) 495-3107


Friday, June 4, 2010


John Robert Wooden
October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010

Coach Wooden on the eve of defeating Kentucky in 1975 to win his record 10th NCAA championship in 12 years. He had announced his retirement after the semi-final victory over Louisville:

The next day:

Kareem with Coach, then:

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, on the occasion of Wooden's 99th birthday:

As a pupil of Coach John Wooden I am thrilled to be able to celebrate his 99th Birthday. It was so long ago, 1965, that I met him that it seems that he has been part of my life forever. Forty-four years is a good deal of time any way you cut it. In those years what I have learned from him has helped make my life significant and meaningful. If I just consider the success I enjoyed as a basketball player at UCLA I could stop there. But there is so much more. Coach Wooden wanted his players to learn life skills in addition to hoop skills and he used basketball to teach them. His major concern was that we got to graduate from UCLA and have the knowledge, skills and discipline to be good husbands, parents and citizens. I feel that any success I have enjoyed as a parent was informed by what I learned as a student of Coach Wooden’s. His ability to challenge us without crushing our precious adolescent dreams was masterful and I really benefited from those lessons. He let us try it our way and then he showed us the correct way. The results are there for all to see. All of the success on the basketball courts was secondary to these goals. The best time I shared with Coach were those moments on road trips when we would have quiet time to talk about whatever was on our minds. Coach would share some of his favorite poems with me and I would talk to him about some of my favorite books. As a former English teacher he was very aware of many of my favorite authors. His taste in poetry included; Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and, much to my surprise, Langston Hughes! I’m a big fan of crime stories and enjoyed talking with Coach about Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John Le Caree and Arthur Conan Doyle. The most important results of our conversations were that he let me know that I should realize my potential as a student and athlete. He felt that approach would be the best for me in the long run. Of course, he was right on the money with that guidance and I have never felt uncomfortable being a scholar in addition to being an athlete. The graduation rate of athletes who played for Coach Wooden is over 65%. You will not find a more successful accomplishment for any NCAA coach who has ran a program as long as Coach Wooden did. It is his most cherished achievement and he feels that his “boys” are the jewels in his crown. I am very proud to be one of his ‘boys’ and I want to wish him and his family thanks and congratulations for what they have accomplished and what they have meant to my life. Happy Birthday Coach. May Allah bless you and yours.

Living All the Ages of Man (btwn 3:48 AM and 5:26 PM)

It's 3:48 in the wee morning.

I am tired of getting up every 40 minutes, so let's pretend rested vigor and proceed with the day. Imagine an exclamation mark, if it helps.

Has anyone ever suggested that you fake it until you make it? Should that helpful advice figure among the chesnuts your friends serve up, I share your pain. It's not like someone telling you that a pinch of sugar will make your marinara sauce *pop* or even that those oversized scrub pants make your butt look... not huge, exactly... more like -- misshapen. No, it is clearly a critique of your very essence, and understand this, if nothing else: you have been found ANNOYING.

It has been a long while since I've been permitted to voice complaints around The Manor. A year and a half or so ago, Fred begged for me to suffer in silence. We were spending most of our time in hospitals and doctors' offices, infusion centers and labs. I was out of my mind with pain and infection.

Nothing has changed, except that, now uninsured, my doctors are struggling to keep me going until the advent of the Great Interim High Risk Pool, which will then enable them to toss me back into the operating room to relieve me of my shoulders and any other infected bones/hardware.

I cannot recall whether I was brave enough to set that down in this blog. Did I? I cannot remember. Anyway, that is apparently the final judgment -- since we cannot even identify, much less eradicate, this bleeping infection, the orthopedic surgeon and my internist, both, are lobbying for making me even more of a Depressed Freak.

My internist also won't let up on his contention that my right leg needs to be chopped off.


Ouch, I say!

These thoughts make me cry and sear my brain cells. I smell burning brain. Okay, maybe it is just the fever.

I honor Fred, and understand his need not to have to face what I must face. He will deal with things as if they are surprises sprung upon him by a maverick world. The man has more capacity for denial than anyone I've ever met. It still puzzles him to find me hunched over this laptop, sweat dripping from my matted hair (*ew*!), eyes glazed, so rosy-rosy cheeked. At his incredulous glance, I whisper: "I'm okay. It's just the fever." At my whisper, he reflexively asks: "Why do you have a fever?"

And I imagine tossing him to the Imaginary Monsters in the Real Moat.

[Apologies to Marianne Moore.*** If you love her poem (one version of which is at this post's end), her imaginary gardens with real toads, you should familiarize yourself with the publication history of it -- it's fascinating. And wonderfully instructive.]

So I confess that it is not others who shame me into faking it until I make it, but rather that it is a form of self-flagellation. Why else would I have spent an hour and a half rubbing lemon oil onto a variety of wooden tables while the rest of my country homesteaders snored in peaceful oblivion?

Four end tables, a console table, a coffee table, and a... plain old table. Our Little Idiot, Dobby the Runt, kept me company. He is the SmellMeister and insists on sniffing whatever I am involved in. I fill my HillaryClintonForPresident water bottle and he must sniff the liquid, then taste it from my finger. I do believe that one day he will save me from poison, this furry and personable little tastetesting pink nose of a cat. He smells the clothes both going into the washer and emerging from the dryer. Always well-behaved, he sniffs most everything we cook or bake, and to see him caught in a spasm of rapid eye-blinking is a fair warning that someone ought to have left out that last tablespoon of cayenne pepper.

Even whole suites of rooms away from her, Dobby goes into nose and eye spasm whenever La Bonne et Belle Bianca pops the top of a Diet Coke. There must be microscopic bubbles that travel directly to His Pinkness, as his reaction to the carbonization process borders on the pathological. Whenever flu strikes, we have to shield him from the nefarious effects of Alka-Seltzer Plus.

Anyway, if you've not been advised to stiffen your upper lip and make like tragedy is not your constant companion: Lucky you!

My penance-based life, au contraire, is founded on the mortification of this pesky flesh. I'm paid up through Early Eternity just by the simple virtues of CRPS! Actually, misguided ascetic notions of self-worth are commonly exemplified by flagellantism. I'm not kidding -- keep the thought in mind and go out among The Brethren and The Sistren. You'll see. (The World has become not much more than a Gathering of Frustrated Self-Anointed Life Coaches who, upon realizing that others are not lined up, breath bated, to hear their wisdom, opt to march in the streets, whipping themselves. Remember Perugia -- not for Amanda Knox and murder, but for its cutting-edge medieval flagellants!)

To the right is a bronze, circa 1480,
from the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia.

Another way of foisting pop behaviorism on folks is to sing out, with a smile in your voice: BEHAVE your way to success! It's a favorite among the dOCTOr Phil crowd, but probably not his most quoted, as it sometimes has only a fist-in-the-eye as a reply. My Self-Annointed and Appointed Life Coaches, all of whom have excessive time on their hands, and none of whom are sitting next to me at 4:14* in the wee of the morning, live to employ this dictum (from a distance, though).

[*There has been a brief blogging interruption as I kissed His Fredness off to bed, murmurmurmurmurmuring him into the gentle arms of his fatigue.]

Fred, my friends, is pooped. He spent much of the day pretending to be a farmer, picking vegetables and busting up clods of unrepentant clay with the steel-reinforced kevlar toe-guard and toe-cap of his cemented-construction Doctor Martens 7A43TEAK Industrial TrailBlaz safety boots.

Except for those darned boots, he passed the Look-At-Me-I'm-A-Farmer test. Hogwashers and all.

You'd probably be shocked to learn that, in addition to hanging out with the Local Fringe Element -- in our case, a bevy of Existential Feminist Lesbians (I don't care what the ladies screech, you cannot infer one term from the mere presence of another) -- Fred is a Founding Member of the Red and Anarchist Skinheads [RASH]. Another proud New York Native "fighting to win back the subculture from neo-Nazi groups."

It's the quiet druid you have to watch out for. Smile.

Fred said he did some well-timed spitting out at The Farm, and would have gladly climbed a rope suspended from the gymnasium rafters if there had been one. The urge for exertion of masculinity was nearly overwhelming but he stopped short of a chew and a spit.

Thank God. {rolling of the eyes}

So my Macho Darling and the Existential Feminist Lesbians hauled home to The Manor three kinds of beans and some lovely English cucumbers. Turn by unsuspecting turn, three EFLs and Fred sheepishly whispered in my ear that, despite an entire day exposed to manure and burlap, they were unable to identify the bean varieties. He alone, though, thinks the English cucumbers are zucchini.


Oh. Nothing exotic. Yellow wax, French green, and snap pea.

I knew, somehow, when I typed "chew and spit," that it would end up biting me on the ass. A person shouldn't have to look up every dang thing just to avoid some sick unpleasantry.

Chew and spit, in my agrarian world, refers to the gross practice of chewing tobacco and the ensuing spitting out of its nasty juices in a well-controlled stream. Sometimes called chaw rosin, I became familiar with the stuff during a stint at the Gothic Wonderland, a place that owes its existence almost entirely to Mother Tobacco. Don't listen to the revisionist histories which have the Duke Endowment funded by the family's textile and energy ventures... It's all about tobacco.

[My favorite phrase in the bio of James Buchanan Duke describes the Dukes as "[a]rdent Republicans and sympathetic to the downtrodden"!]

I loved the colors and smells of the nasty leaf -- I even visited the fierce and weird auctions that used to be common in local curing barns, trying to decipher the alien poetry spewing from deep within the auctioneer's throat, interspersed with dashes of Christian scripture, and, some say, visitations by the Holy Ghost, as speaking in tongues was not all that uncommon.

Needless to say, I actually do have some understanding and compassion for those raised in the tobacco culture, those who did the actual culturing of the stuff. The reference to chaw rosin, to chew and spit, was a fond and innocent one. [For the record, I stopped smoking around 1994, in fits and starts. Fred? He decided to show me up by quitting... overnight. Smoking is now prohibited in The Manor, though some inviting peppered floral scents waft around on the odd summer evening.]

So would someone please tell me when, exactly, spit and chew became the buzz words for an eating disorder? Like bulimia and anorexia, it is a singular disorder, usually an obsessive compulsion. And lest you be so innocent as to think that C & S might still be a reference to some wholesale grocers or a green engineering design firm, think again. It's much more likely to refer to buccal violence against chocolate-dipped macadamia nuts with a side of whipped cream.

I am further informed that this technique is attributed to Elton John, that its unexpected down side [s:h:o:c:k] includes tooth decay, lots of time demands, and the tendency to shoplift, as it is an expensive eating disorder to maintain.

I dunno. This fake it 'til you make it, behave your way to success movement may be the key to our mutual survival. I will deny the existence of pain, sleeplessness, and disability, and others can deny the existence of calories or God.

What totally sucks? The denial game usually works.

Give it a try -- C'mon! Unless your Gender Rules prohibit, plaster a rigor-inspired grin on your face, smear some raspberry-flavored gloss on those dry lips! Carefully layer concealer under the eye and apply a bit of eyeliner to the lash line. Don't forget mascara, wear something bright to match the vibrant scleral petichiae, and punctuate all utterances with a delighted giggle. (Or, if you are writing, with LOL.)

This is all getting really old -- this emotional gumbo, this lack of sleep, the failure of my environment to pity me. Complaints about my inefficacy are pouring in, despite the make-up, the perky colors, oiled tables, and promises of three bean salads, galore.

Body dysmorphics have taken over my language, and feminist lesbians have stolen away Fred's libido.

Dobby is sniffing my fear with suspicious beady eyes.

I putz away the day, come back to this very blog post, begun after 40 minutes of sleep, 13 hours and 38 minutes ago, in hopes of returning, finally, to bed. A storm rages outside, and three of the four felines are in my clothes closet. Fred slept a proper night's sleep and is now considering a nap. (Farming is hard work.)

The Manor's various Denizens (and Mavens... Never forget the Mavens) are resolute in their message of disdain for my psychic pain. Uncle Kitty Big Balls, the sole cat to brave the storm outside the comfort of my organic cottons and angora leg warmers, announces, in no uncertain terms: *Ack*:*Ack*. I think this means, in MarmySpeak, "Take your pain medication, with a side of muscle relaxant, grab a bowl of lowfat plain yogurt, carefully doctored with aspartame and vanilla extract, put your ass on the mattress, your feet on some pillows, and reread The Once and Future King."

The three frightened cats' tails are all twitching in unison, as they mewl at moi in between syncopated ronronnement.

Yes, something makes me look up mewl. I can't be happy with what I already know, cannot even behave my way to success in the World of Words.

You probably were already familiar with MEWL and PUKE.

My online dictionary cheerfully chatters about it being a well-known "phrase," modified from mewling and puking -- which did finally start the ringing of all sorts of bells inside my poor head.

I know, you are way ahead of me, but cut me some slack, would you? I just got up, sort of, haven't had coffee yet, and eveyone here is mad at me. Mewl! Puke!

Yes, Shakespeare rang those bells, and when Shakespeare sets a bell to clanging, there's no unringing it.

It's the cheery Jaques from As You Like It who intones the well known monologue on the Ages of Man:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

— Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

Shakespeare, I see, has brought me to my untimely [melancolic] end...

Unless I choose to check out what promises to be a new toe-tapping favorite, "Sal, let me chaw your rosin some." It's the child of Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers, and dates from roughly 1930. Tanner's country songs were called "rural drama stories," and I can't think of a more fitting genre to investigate as I go about putting my internal house in order. There's one in particular I want to find -- something about a "corn licker still."

[Spoken: Ah Riley, Lets go down to see old Sal.
See if she wants to give us a cud of
that rosin to chew on this morning.
(Riley:) All right, let's go down to that sweet gum tree and find out.
All right. We'll go down and play her a little tune called
Sal Let Me Chaw Your Rosin Some. Let's go boys.]


Jump up Jinny, jump up Joe,
You never get to heaven till you jump Jim Crow.


Cabbage in the garden, Peas in the gum,
Sal let me chaw your rosin some.


Hogs in the garden sifting sand,
Sal is in love with the hog-eyed man.


Along comes Jinny and along comes Joe,
Along comes Jinny with her apron on.


Cabbage in the garden, peas in the gum,
Sal let me chaw your rosin some.

Hogs in the garden sifting sand,
Sal is in love with the hog-eyed man.


Jump up Jinny and jump up Joe,
You never get to heaven (un)less you jump Jim Crow.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Well, it's been fun, but I've reached my end and will at least go assume the recommended positions for sleep. I've heard good things about them! Enjoy Marianne Moore's poem, and -- if you don't already know -- try to figure what parts she ended up resigning to footnote status, and which she kept as the primary poem. She was a card, was Marianne.


I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician--
nor is it valid
to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books'; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
'literalists of
the imagination'--above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

--Marianne Moore

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Very Disturbing Content: Animal Cruelty at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio (followed by Rx Antidote)

WARNING: This video shows terrible treatment of cows and calves -- it is hard to watch.

Using hidden cameras, the group Mercy for Animals (MFA) filmed this footage at the Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio, over a period of four weeks in April and May 2010. Should the video be pulled from YouTube, it is available on the group's website.

Conklin Dairy workers were documented inflicting the following examples of extreme cruelty and abuse to the cow and calves under their care:

Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears

Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs and stomach

Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck – abuse carried out and encouraged by the farm's owner

Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars – some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head

Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped

Punching cows' udders

Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death

Mercy For Animals submitted their findings to the Marysville, Ohio City Prosecutor's Office in hopes that criminal charges will be filed against these employees involved in "the ongoing pattern of abuse."

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Here's a recent summary of events from L.A. Unleashed: All things animal in Southern California and beyond:

Ohio dairy farmworker charged with animal cruelty after advocacy group releases undercover video
May 27, 2010 1:01 pm
-- Lindsay Barnett, blogger

Following Illinois-based animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals' release of undercover video it says documents numerous instances of animal abuse at an Ohio dairy farm, a farm worker has been charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

Billy Joe Gregg Jr., 25, was fired from his job at Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. on Wednesday and arrested later the same day. He was arraigned Thursday and remains jailed following his court appearance. A judge set his bond at $100,000. He is due back in court in June, at which time he will enter a plea.

An investigation into the alleged cruelty at the Plain City farm, including viewing of about 20 hours of footage provided by Mercy for Animals, is ongoing and may result in additional charges, the local sheriff's department told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Mercy for Animals video (which is available for viewing on the group's website, but is not for the faint of heart) depicts a calf being thrown to the ground before a worker stomps on its head and adult cows being beaten with crowbars, poked sharply with pitchforks and punched in the udders, among other things. The group says the video was shot between April 28 and May 23.

Each animal cruelty charge against Gregg could carry a penalty of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Chief Deputy Tom Morgan told the Associated Press that the video seems to show three to four workers participating in acts of alleged animal cruelty and "we have to identify who all is involved."

In a statement released Wednesday, the Conklin dairy company insisted that it did not condone cruelty to its cows, adding that it has "launched [an] internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interviews with everyone on our farm who works with our animals."

In a further statement Thursday, it again condemned the acts caught on Mercy for Animals' video, but added that the footage is missing context that would demonstrate that its facility is operated in a responsible way, according to the Associated Press.

One of the men shown in the video appears to be farm owner Gary Conklin himself, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The Dispatch also noted that the farm had been inspected three times in the last year. Though the inspections were intended simply to gauge the facility's cleanliness, Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesperson Cindy Kalis said that telltale signs of animal abuse would have been noted during the inspections. None were found, she said.

The farm's statements condemning animal cruelty rang hollow for at least one animal advocate, Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president Gene Baur, who released his own statement Wednesday. In it, he commented that the Conklin company "asserts that its farm operates according to high standards, but the video shows that they operate by a different set of standards than most Americans. The cruelty and violent behavior that is now common on farms where animals are seen as commodities is outside the boundaries of acceptable conduct in our society."

Mercy for Animals released a similarly grisly video depicting unwanted live chicks being thrown into a grinder at an Iowa chicken facility last year. At that time, the group's executive director, Nathan Runkle, argued that laws mandating the humane treatment of farm animals should be addressed on a federal level rather than being regulated by individual states, which it largely is at present.

With the release of the recent dairy farm video footage, Runkle reiterated his support for tougher regulations relating to farm animal treatment, saying in a statement that "stronger and stricter state and federal laws to prevent and discourage farmers from abusing and beating animals" are required.

Even before news broke of the cruelty investigation at the Conklin facility, farm-animal welfare was something of a hot topic in Ohio, where a coalition called Ohioans for Humane Farms is pushing for humane reforms and increased oversight of the state's livestock board. It hopes to place a measure that would address farm animal treatment on the state's ballot in November.

In his statement Wednesday, Farm Sanctuary's Baur called the proposed ballot measure "a positive step in the right direction for Ohioans who feel justifiably outraged by the abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms."

Susan Crowell of Farm and Dairy: The Auction Guide and Rural Marketplace, provides something of an industry response to the Conklin animal abuse video, questioning MFA's intent and methodology. I've certainly no problem with that, as most of us know this video documents an intolerable aberration that is as shocking to insiders as to an urban soul like myself. However, she couldn't resist an emotional appeal there at the very end of her article, where she plaintively wails:

Where is our outrage when abusers target our children?

And... that's where she loses me. I suffer from a severe allergy to underhanded illogical appeals and had to self-medicate with chocolate.

Until then, her points are, for the most part, necessary, if not particularly well-taken (she echoes her industry's jaundiced view of vegans and their seductive ways). I don't think impugning MFA's mission of promoting extreme vegetarianism is a meritorious way to rebut the abuse in the videos, however they were obtained, but casting critical doubt is rarely a bad thing:

“Animal agriculture is incapable of self-regulation,” condemns Mercy For Animals on its blog. MFA was the group behind the undercover footage and its packaging and release on the Web.

But readers need to be aware of the group’s ulterior motive, and that is promoting a vegan diet (vegans try to eliminate the use of animals for food, clothing or any other purposes). Nothing excuses the actions of the dairy farm employee, but you need to know where this group is coming from.

“Compassionate consumers can end their direct financial support of farmed animal abuse by rejecting dairy, and other animal products, and adopting a vegan diet.”

Personally, I have lots of questions before I feel I can comment legitimately on the issue. Not the issue of animal cruelty or mistreatment of farm animals — that I can easily comment upon because it has no place on any farm, and all farmers must care for their livestock in the most humane way possible. But the issue of how this video came to be produced and released is rather murky.

Who was the undercover “investigator” from Mercy For Animals? When was he hired, if he was posing as an employee? Did he know Gregg before he arrived on the farm? When was Gregg hired? What is the farm’s process for checking references? Who were these guys’ references?

How many employees does the farm have working with the cattle? Who supervises and trains employees? Did other employees know this was going on?

Did the Conklin family know this was going on? When did the Conklins find out about the undercover video, and when did they see it? Where were they when this action was taking place?

Did Gregg know he was being filmed (he clearly speaks to the camera angle in several segments)? Did the individual filming also participate in mistreatment to gain Gregg’s trust? How did MFA target Gregg and/or Conklin Dairy Farm?

Why did it take four weeks for MFA to prepare the video — and let the alleged abuse continue, if they proclaim to care so much for animals? Why not work with law officials or the local human society to create the case?

Did MFA “misuse” the animals itself to promote its vegan agenda? Did the individual filming egg or urge Gregg on, to instigate the abuse?

Have investigators checked computers, e-mails, cell phone records to piece together a timeline, or an understanding of who knew who, and who knew what when?

Was Gregg paid by MFA? Is he a supporter?

Why was the video released at the same time Humane Society of the United States’ CEO Wayne Pacelle was making a visit to Ohio to drum up support for the Ohioans for Humane Farms’ ballot initiative? Was HSUS involved with MFA in the making/releasing of this video?

My questions do not give Gregg a green light to do what he did. We have a rule of law in this country, and he has been charged. It’s time for the police and legal system to work — and get answers and facts.

It’s also time for the rest of agriculture to stop being the silent minority, and to speak out on its own behalf, about how you treat your livestock, which is NOT what is portrayed in the video. There’s no question about that.

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**RX ANTIDOTE TO THE HORROR ABOVE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LUCKY DUCK RESCUE AND SANCTUARY. FOR EFFECTIVE, SEMI-PERMANENT RELIEF, WATCH "Harry the Duck and His Kittens" video (below) q 4 minutes, with a warm, soothing beverage, until sour stomach, aching head, and psychic fatigue are relieved. Faith in humanity will not be restored, but faith in the ineffable has been recognized as a suitable generic substitution.

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical, concept of animals....

We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far beIow ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err...

In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifts with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethern, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of earth."

- Henry Beston

Sunday, May 30, 2010

leslie scalapino :: 1944-2010

Leslie Scalapino

Tom White has issued the following statement:
Scalapino makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.
— Philip Whalen

Leslie Scalapino passed away on May 28, 2010 in Berkeley, California. She was born in Santa Barbara in 1944 and raised in Berkeley, California. After Berkeley High School, she attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon and received her B.A. in Literature in 1966. She received her M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, after which she began to focus on writing poetry. Leslie Scalapino lived with Tom White, her husband and friend of 35 years, in Oakland, California.

In childhood, she traveled with her father Robert Scalapino, founder of UC Berkeley’s Institute for Asian Studies, her mother Dee Scalapino, known for her love of music, and her two sisters, Diane and Lynne, throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. She and Tom continued these travels including trips to Tibet, Bhutan, Japan, India, Yemen, Mongolia, Libya and elsewhere. Her writing was intensely influenced by these travels. She published her first book O and Other Poems in 1976, and since then has published thirty books of poetry, prose, inter-genre fiction, plays, essays, and collaborations. Scalapino’s most recent publications include a collaboration with artist Kiki Smith, The Animal is in the World like Water in Water (Granary Books), and Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows (Starcherone Books), and her selected poems It’s go in horizontal / Selected Poems 1974-2006 (UC Press) was published in 2008. In 1988, her long poem way received the Poetry Center Award, the Lawrence Lipton Prize, and the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her plays have been performed in San Francisco at New Langton Arts, The Lab, Venue 9, and Forum; in New York by The Eye and Ear Theater and at Barnard College; and in Los Angeles at Beyond Baroque.

In 1986, Scalapino founded O Books as a publishing outlet for young and emerging poets, as well as prominent, innovative writers, and the list of nearly 100 titles includes authors such as Ted Berrigan, Robert Grenier, Fanny Howe, Tom Raworth, Norma Cole, Will Alexander, Alice Notley, Norman Fischer, Laura Moriarty, Michael McClure, Judith Goldman and many others. Scalapino is also the editor of four editions of O anthologies, as well as the periodicals Enough (with Rick London) and War and Peace (with Judith Goldman).

Scalapino taught writing at various institutions, including 16 years in the MFA program at Bard College, Mills College, the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts in San Francisco, San Francisco State University, UC San Diego, and the Naropa Institute.

Of her own writing, Scalapino says “my sense of a practice of writing and of action, the apprehension itself that ‘one is not oneself for even an instant’ – should not be,’ is to be participation in/is a social act. That is, the nature of this practice that’s to be ‘social act’ is it is without formation or custom.” Her writing, unbound by a single format, her collaborations with artists and other writers, her teaching, and publishing are evidence of this sense of her own practice, social acts that were her practice. Her generosity and fiercely engaged intelligence were everywhere evident to those who had the fortune to know her.

Scalapino has three books forthcoming in 2010. A book of two plays published in one volume, Flow-Winged Crocodile and A Pair / Actions Are Erased / Appear will come out in June 2010 from Chax Press; a new prose work, The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihredals Zoom will be released this summer by Post-Apollo Press; and a revised and expanded collection of her essays and plays, How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (originally published by Potes & Poets) will be published in the fall by Litmus Press.

Her play Flow-Winged Crocodile will be performed in New York at Poets House on June 19th at 7pm and June 20th at 2pm by the performance group The Relationship, directed by Fiona Templeton and with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver, and Julie Troost. Dance by Molissa Fenley, music by Joan Jeanrenaud, and projected drawings by Eve Biddle. This production is co-sponsored by Belladonna* and the Poetry Project.

There will be a memorial event for Scalapino at St. Mark’s Poetry Project on Monday, June 21st.

A Zen Buddhist funeral ceremony will be conducted by Abbott Norman Fisher in about a month with the arrangements in a subsequent announcement. Tom requests that in lieu of flowers, Leslie's friends consider a charitable donation in her memory to: Poets in Need, PO Box 5411, Berkeley, CA 94705; Reed College for the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship, 3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, OR 97202-8199; The AYCO Charitable Foundation, PO Box 15203, Albany, NY 12212-5203 for the Leslie Scalapino-O Books Fund to support innovative works of poetry, prose and art; or to a charitable organization of their choice. Condolence cards may be sent to Tom & Leslie’s home address, 5744 Presley Way, Oakland, California 94618-1633.

to make my mind be actions outside only. which they are. that collapses in

grey-red bars. actions are life per se only without it.

(so) events are minute — even (voluptuous)

––Leslie Scalapino