thinking of meat
Monday, October 25 2004
Gretchen drove off to visit her first cousin once removed in Long Island today, leaving me all by myself with the cats and dogs. It was another day spent resurfacing the east slab, and by the end of the day about two thirds of it were finished. This project has been good for me, because its a big one no matter how it is measured. Normally it's difficult to find the motivation to start a project that requires more than a day to arrive at an acceptable "finishing point." Mind you, I'll work for days and days on a single project, but as long as I know I can quit any time and leave things as they are, I'm not overwhelmed. But this slab resurfacing project requires more than a week of work before I can consider it complete in any way. Successfully completing this project will make it easier for me to start and finish other large projects in the future.
From the road Gretchen reported on her plan to gently expose her first cousin once removed to joys of vegetarian cooking. From the way she told it, though, Gretchen has her work cut out for her, particularly with regard to the eating habits of the husband of her first cousin once removed. Evidently he likes to eat a steak each and every night. Now that was a hard nugget of information to tuck into my neural circuitry. Steak? Every night? What kind of coronary arteries would one have after a lifetime of daily beef consumption? Is a day without beef really so miserable that one would want to take the risk of finding out?
This evening while watching teevee I saw some sort of commercial featuring meat and found myself wondering if there were any animals harmed in the making of that ad. Perhaps not. Our culture may be a decidedly meat-eating one, but these days it's frowned upon to harm animals purely for the production of media. This thought lead me to wonder what a mature Nazi culture would be like with respect to one of its fundamental axioms: that all Jews must be destroyed. I imagined Hitler as an aging Fuhrer presiding over a unified German-speaking Europe in, say, the 1970s. World history would have followed a very different trajectory; there probably wouldn't have been a Korean War or a Vietnam War, but there might have eventually been a showdown with Japan over what to do with the rotting Jew-free husk of Siberia. One has to imagine that even a regime as pathological as the Nazis would have mellowed over time. Perhaps in the mid-60s some reforms would have allowed the few remaining Gypsies to go about their business in peace. But what about the Jews? Surely hatred of the Jews would have had to have been maintained even after the last known Jew was extirpated, since that specific hatred is the unifying axiom of Nazism. But perhaps there would be a few Jews in a tiny one room concentration camp somewhere, maintained as a curiosity. They could be hauled out and used as realistic actors in propaganda films and Nazi-style public service announcements. Perhaps the culture would have mellowed enough that it would even be prudent for these films to feature text in their credits claiming that no actual Jews had been harmed in the production.
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