19 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Oil threatens sperm whales in Gulf

Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale

Sperm whales were hunted in the Gulf of Mexico in the 18th and 19th centuries for their oil, but were somewhat spared when petroleum replaced whale oil as an energy source. Now, instead of hunters, the same oil that helped to save the sperm whales from extinction threatens their survival in the Gulf.

Sperm whales, listed as endangered in 1970, are social animals. The young live with their mothers for years in stable groups, and the whales dive deep in search of food. Because they spend so much of their lives undersea, our knowledge of their behavior and community structure is limited. We have a lot to learn before we can say we truly know these animals. […]

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08 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Revenge of the Zombies: Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and the Return of Dark Times

Revenge of the Zombies: Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and the Return of Dark Times

(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: david_shankbone: 1, 2, echobase_2000, wvs: 1, 2, Digital Sextant, pinguino, Aaron R)

He had found the bridge with which to span the abyss that yawns between the ‘no longer and not”‘ yet of history, between the “no longer” of the old laws and “not yet” of the new saving word, between life and death: “Not quite here but yet at hand; that is how it has sounded and how it would sound.” -Hannah Arendt

Armies of the Hyper-Dead

In the world of popular culture, zombies seem to be everywhere as evidenced by the relentless slew of books, movies, video games and comics. From the haunting “Night of the Living Dead” to the comic movie “Zombieland,” the figure of the zombie has captured and touched something unique in the contemporary imagination. But the dark and terrifying image of the zombie with missing body parts, oozing body fluids and an appetite for fresh, living, human brains does more than feed the mass marketing machines that prey on the spectacle of the violent, grotesque and ethically comatose. There is more at work in this wave of fascination with the grotesquely walking hyper-dead than a Hollywood appropriation of the dark recesses and unrestrained urges of the human mind. The zombie phenomenon is now on display nightly on television alongside endless examples of destruction unfolding in real time. Such a cultural fascination with proliferating images of the living hyper-dead and unrelenting human catastrophes that extend from a global economic meltdown to the earthquake in Haiti to the ecological disaster caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico signal a shift away from the hope that accompanies the living to a politics of cynicism and despair. The macabre double movement between the living dead and those alive who are dying and suffering cannot be understood outside of the casino capitalism that now shapes every aspect of society in its own image. A casino capitalist zombie politics views competition as a form of social combat, celebrates war as an extension of politics and legitimates a ruthless social Darwinism in which particular individuals and groups are considered simply redundant, disposable – nothing more than human waste left to stew in their own misfortune – easy prey for the zombies who have a ravenous appetite for chaos and revel in apocalyptic visions filled with destruction, decay, abandoned houses, burned out cars, guttered landscapes and trashed gas stations. […]

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