The Heart of What Ails American Culture

Written By: Charles - Jul• 24•08

75  bar steady 29.84  0mph NE dew-point 68  Sunrise 5:50  Sunset 8:59pm Summer

Last Quarter of the Thunder Moon

A Deborah Madison recipe I used this noon called for tomatoes, beet greens, oregano, olive oil and garlic.  The beet greens came from the golden beets I picked just before the lunch.  The oregano from Kate’s herb garden.  We had a couple of dried garlic bulbs. I thought they had not differentiated. but I decided to use it as it was.  When I peeled back the white, papery layers over the bulb I found cloves.  This meant  two things.  I had enough garlic for the recipe and the garlic in the bed could be harvested now.  The dish was great, but the cloves excited me.

There is no reason why growing garlic bulbs with cloves should excite me so much, except it entered my head early in the gardening season–last September.  They grew throughout the winter and were ready to harvest in July, just as the cultural recommendations for it said.  Their taste is more intense and more sweet, at least this variety.  I planted three.

In the furnace room, hanging from green gardening twine are four bunches of garlic bulbs.  Set aside from them are the largest 2 bulbs from each variety.  They will go in the ground in late September or early October to produce more garlic for next July.  Kate will take a large head from each bunch out to Jon and Jen so they can have garlic in their garden.  They too will be able to harvest the largest heads and plant from them.  This chain of living things, nurtured and in turn nurturing, is the true great chain of being.

Watched 10,000 BC on the recommendation of a friend.  Well, the anachronisms were many: iron, boats, buildings, captive mammoths and the story line fed on coincidence.  On the other hand the Woolly Mammoths and the Sabre Toothed Tiger were very real.  A mish-mash of times, cultures and continents.  Just what I thought when I was the first ads.  In fairness, the same friend watched There Will Be Blood on my recommendation.  He thought it was too violent and the lead character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, a poor guy with whom to spend a couple of hours.

There Will Be Blood is a mythic movie of great power.  It speaks to the heart of what ails American culture and it speaks the truth.  The truth is neither pretty nor easy and the film knows it.  It is uncomfortable, but that it is different from bad.  10,000 BC is an entertainment and it works sometimes and not others, but it is not mythic, either in truth or in story.

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