Waring’s Warning

Economics has got it down really tight,so that if you’re not talking their language, you’re not talking in their jargon, you’re not part of the argument.–M. Waring (3:43 in clip 3/3)

Marilyn Waring, a feminist economist, is unapologetic when speaking about the undervaluation of women’s work in the global economy. She raises several important questions about patriarchal and oppressive economic policies that, unfortunately, continue to be relevant nearly two decades later.

I am in the process of writing an essay that heavily draws upon Waring’s historically and internationally significant research, and I really feel that we would all do well to revisit and actually consider her arguments within the context of the current economic climate.

Here is a woman who calls our much venerated GDP a “uni-dimensional economic fabrication” and challenges us to disentangle cash-generating capacity from genuine value.

If you’re tempted to call her radical, know that Waring would approve. After all, she says with a smile, the word “radical” originates in the latin for “the root of things.”

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So, this is Earth Day. And what have we done?

contemplation

I, for one, am trying not to get upset. You know, I really could discuss any number of issues–the water shortage, the e-waste we dump into other countries, the food crisis, the desecration of fundamental ecosystems, the threat to honey bees, the disgusting amount of food we simply throw away each and every day–but you’ve heard it all before.

Today would be a good day to actually think about it. But, hey, if you don’t want to…that’s fine. You will definitely have to sometime.

I don’t want to be a cynic, but I don’t have anything overly hopeful to say today. Earth day isn’t even trending on twitter. We go insane on Christmas, Halloween and Valentines day. Even St. Patricks day (which most people just see as an excuse to get loaded on green beer) gets more attention that the one measley day on which we’re supposed to think about the living system that supports and endures us.

Since I don’t know quite know how to express what I’m feeling, I suppose I will just post some quotations by others who have said it better. Feel free to leave some of your favourites in the comments section.

Happy Earth Day, Earthlings.

POINTS TO PONDER ON EARTH DAY

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress. ~John Clapham, A Concise Economic History of Britain, 1957

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. ~Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977

In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops. ~Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness, 1971

I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun’s energy…. If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago. ~Sir George Porter, quoted in The Observer, 26 August 1973

The packaging for a microwavable “microwave” dinner is programmed for a shelf life of maybe six months, a cook time of two minutes and a landfill dead-time of centuries. ~David Wann, Buzzworm, November 1990

The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men’s apples and head their cabbages. ~Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, États et empires de la lune, 1656

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb

It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.  ~W. Edwards Deming

Not for the close-minded

There are two kinds of egotists: Those who admit it, and the rest of us. ~Laurence J. Peter

Although the video above is a case against those who accept the supernatural on faith, I don’t think any of us should walk away from it feeling smug. To our peril, I don’t think we are generally encouraged to self-interrogate, nor are we taught the value of open-minded communication.

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Death of a F*cking Salesman

Williamson keeps cool while Shelly "The Machine" Levene spouts off about the glory days

Williamson keeps cool while Shelly “The Machine” Levene spouts off about the glory days

[FAB RECOMMENDATION]

Soulpepper’s rendition of Glengarry Glen Ross is fierce and fascinating.

Check your political correctness at the door and get ready for the narrative-driven minefield that won David Mamet a Pulitzer.

The play features a cast of struggling salesmen that rant, manipulate, and steal in the hopes of becoming the ultimate “closer.” Although the play is set in Reagan-era America, the ravenous hunger for the sell is as still relevant today. The play is provocative and crass, but the vulgarity creates a dynamism that is absent from more polite offerings.

This is the second play I’ve seen this year at The Young Centre for the Performing Arts — a Victorian-era industrial-building turned theatre — and I’m already spewing accolades. This is actually my second time purchasing a 7-play package with Soulpepper, so I can say with confidence that the cast are as versatile as they are talented.

For students, the package results in $13 tickets (instead of the usual $36-68) and it grants you access to premium seats and special features like post-show talk-backs. Students can also get $28 single tickets or $5-$20 rush tickets.

I warn you though, after watching this play, you may replace the sailor and start swearing like a salesman.