Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Sickening. I can’t watch.

First, an official announcement: tonight’s BBC broadcast will be on twenty minutes earlier than normal to make way for the tennis. Like we don’t have enough problems in this world, without complicating everything with tennis.

Ben & JerryAnd while we’re at it: a second announcement. More of a press release really. I don’t eat dairy, so I never buy Ben & Jerry’s, but today, for once, I’m tempted. They’ve introduced a new flavor (or rather, renamed an old one), Hubby Hubby, in support of gay marriage in Vermont. Yay. That’s so wonderful. In fact, even though they’re owned by corporate leviathan Unilever, I feel so warm towards them right now, I could melt their entire product line. Check it out HERE.

Having said that, d’you want to see something truly ghastly? Something I myself cannot watch?

It’s tricky. I’m in the unusual position of posting a video on my blog that I am completely unable to sit through and never will. It shows thousands of chickchicks being fed into a grinder. Apparently, the footage was shot undercover and is being spread around the internet by Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group campaigning for, if not an end to this brutality, at least a warning message on egg-boxes informing customers that “Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry.”

Oh sure, that’s going to happen.

In the video, if you can bear to watch it – and I repeat, I’ve not seen this – I’m told there are examples of what’s called “spontaneous euthanasia.” Which is billed as the most instantaneous way to kill chicks. And that’s all matters, of course: killing things instantaneously. I’m appalled.    

Today is Day 57 of my raw food diet. Back in early July I converted from risottoeating dead, unnutritious food to a diet of only living food packed with enzymes. Bar one or two necessary lapses and a couple of adjustments to make sure the entire world didn’t drop out of my bottom – which seemed like it might happen at one point – it’s turned out to be a magnificent way of going about things. Not only healthy, but thoroughly humane. And that’s why I’m posting this video.

Last week I had lunch with a producer who worked on my TV show. She ordered a burger and fries and I chose a salad. We got talking about the raw food diet and she, in defense of her lifestyle, launched into a rhapsody about how succulent white meat chicken is, cooing, “I know it’s cruel, but it’s so tasty!”

I could see by her expression that she didn’t get what she’d just said.

Caring for animals, being kind to them, and respecting other lifeforms on the planet rather than killing them en masse simply for our pleasure simply didn’t compute. Not when compared to the scrumptious yumminess of white meat chicken cooked in a marinade.

On the way back to the parking lot, she also, by the way, merrily launched into a neat justification of why it’s okay for TV executives to steal a writer’s program idea and not pay him for it. “Otherwise the network doesn’t make as much money. If they take an original idea and adapt it as their own, changing it just enough so that it becomes different and the writer can’t sue, then that saves them a lot of money down the line.”

“Er….sure,” I argued, speaking as one who’s had several great ideas pilfered by networks over the years, “but they wouldn’t be making any money in the first place without the writer, would they? So why can’t they just be fair about it? Then everyone gets rich.”

Well, I swear, she didn’t see this at all. Why should “everyone get rich”, was her response, delivered in an incredulous voice, when there was a chance that, by stealing material, the rich could become even richer? Wasn’t that what business was all about? And she promptly took an idea for a panel game I tossed at her over lunch and told me, “I’ll develop this.”

I’ve never heard from her since.

With a similar baffling lack of logic, critics of my diet have said to me, “But surely veganism is cruel too. If your food is alive, the way you say it is, then you’re killing cucumbers and carrots. It’s vegetable cruelty.”

I’m serious. I’ve been told this more than once. Which only goes to show that, as surveys suggest, there really are some very stupid people in the world. 

Anyhow, here’s the video. BE WARNED: It shows chicks in pain and being ground up alive in a factory. Only watch it if you need a lesson on why you should at the very least be vegetarian.

Background material to this appears HERE on the Huffington Post.

www.cashpeters.com

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The worst jingle ever? So how come I’m still whistling it?

If ever you wake up feeling that life is futile, that your contribution to it has been minimal, that mediocrity has been your bedmate for too long, that you wish you’d formed a better plan when you were younger; that you’d formed this better, grander, more ambitious plan and stuck with it instead of getting diverted onto less productive pursuits along the way; that when you die nobody’s going to remember you or even care; that you could go back, start again, rework the formula, MAKE A BETTER PLAN this time, and be a more productive, more involved, evolved human being….

Well, if you do, don’t despair. Meet songwriter Jonathan Mann. He’ll make you feel better about yourself.

Not because he’s a good songwriter, or anything like that, but precisely because, on the basis of all the evidence available to me right now, he’s not.

For some reason understood only by himself, Jonathan’s writing a song a day and making a video to go with it. He has a couple of hundred under his belt, or stuck in a drawer, so far. This one would be a good example. A public service announcement for washing your hands.

Unbelievably, Jonathan has just won an award, and a $500 prize, for a jingle he wrote called Bing Goes the Internet. Again, the reason behind the judges’ decision is unfathomable, unless they wanted a tune that’s infuriating and sticks to the inside walls of your brain like half-chewed gum.

Bing Bing Bing Bing Bing goes the Internet.

Genius.

Microsoft has no plans to use it in any advertisements, you’ll be relieved to hear. Good move. Why risk losing millions of subscribers really?

Jonathan was featured on the Rachel Maddow Show and other TV programs, so his popularity is growing, evidently, and his big, grand ambitious life-plan is working, for which he should be congratulated. In that respect alone, he’s streets ahead of the rest of us – the ones without a plan, who screwed up somewhere along the line and can’t now figure out how to fix it.

His success, however, is not, I would suggest, because he has vast reserves of talent necessarily (although he may), but more because he had the smarts to swim with the current of the times. That’s his genius.

We’re bumbling, as a society, through a murky cultural wasteland right now, in which quality in all corners of the popular arts is snubbed by the masses in favor of lame, cheap, half-baked dross in all its many glorious hues. These days in America, the less intrinsically valuable something is, the more we seem to prize it and the better it does.

At the risk of sounding disgustingly superior and haughty, I have a theory about this.

Somewhere along the line, perhaps about twenty years ago, I believe that some visionary, bright-spark politician had a spectacular idea. “We’re going to pull money from education,” he said.

Doesn’t seem that spectacular at first, right? In fact, it seems like the very reverse of spectacular. But wait. Hear me out.

“We won’t actually say we’re pulling money from education, of course,” the bright spark told his close political allies. “As a matter of fact, we’ll say the opposite. We’ll say there’s nothing more important than nurturing our kids and funding their education, and we’ll keep on saying that. That’ll be our mantra. But at the same time, we’ll continually underfund it so that they don’t really get an education that’s worth anything.”

And that’s what they’ve done. Why?

Because, in the years following this, our schools were able to turn out millions upon millions of undereducated, undisciplined, spoilt teenagers.

Brilliant!

Teenagers…

  • barely bright enough to spell or think, or speak in complete sentences without punctuating them with, “like” or “y’know what I’m saying?” or “awesome, dude.”
  • without passion for causes and unmoved by corruption in high places;
  • dumb enough to buy any product that Big Business threw at them, including terrible, loud, badly-written, unfathomably awful movies, and music without tunes that virtually anyone could have written, and expensive but pointless items of  junk technology that become outmoded and outdated almost as soon as they hit stores.

According to the spectacular plan, these undereducated masses would eventually become adults. Clueless adults, barely able to grasp the world around them; who couldn’t find America on a map or name the constellations or tell you how an engine works, although they would believe in Jesus, and know the name of Paris Hilton’s dog, as well as the characters in an absurd, badly-animated Japanese cartoon.

Being uneducated, they’d have no context for understanding politics or economics, no manners, no verbal, intellectual, or social skills, and barely a grasp on the way the world works, thereby leaving them wide open and vulnerable to largescale manipulation by marketers, advertisers, and PR people. In short, the space in their minds that would otherwise have been occupied by education and original thought and inventive ideas, would be handed over wholesale to big corporations.

It’s like the worst, cheesiest kind of science fiction story ever, and yet it’s actually happening, we’re seeing it every day.

The minds of millions of Americans are now like blank billboards, available for rent. Need someone to watch your awful derivative TV cop show full of violence and explosions and generic rock music? No problem. Untapped millions in every demographic are ready to oblige.

Need someone to listen to the right-wing propaganda and trivial distractions spewed out by lunatics on cable “news” and actually believe unquestioningly what they’re saying? Step right this way. We have the masses you’re looking for.

Need a mob of ignorati to:

  • vote for an Alaskan governor who barely understands the world beyond her own state and make her vice-president;
  • eat plastic food full of pesticides and other chemicals, food that’s killing them;
  • buy drugs advertised on the television that will do them more harm than good;
  • support a war waged for oil under the guise that we’re fighting terrorists;
  • oppose a new healthcare plan that will actually help millions of people and make their lives better;
  • believe that the president was born abroad and doesn’t have a legitimate US birth certificate;
  • cower under make-believe accusations that the country’s becoming socialist;
  • stand in the way of gay marriage?

Well, fear not. We have millions of uneducated, empty-headed fools who’ll buy every word. Why? Because it was planned that way.

In short, America is now in the grip of these people, the Ignorati. They’re taking over. They’re in every office, every store, every mall, every college, every workplace right across America.

And that, my dears, I would contend, is why Jonathan Mann’s jingle Bing Goes the Internet is not rubbish. Far from it. It’s an important sign of the times. And why it’s featured on the front page of the Huffington Post today, and why he won an award for writing it.

That, or he’s a major talent and I’m missing something. It’s possible.

You be the judge. Here’s another song he wrote. And if you know of a way to get this tune out of my mind for the rest of the day, please let me know. Which after all is the secret to a good jingle, right?

There’s also a recent rant from Craig Ferguson about youthful stupidity that I heartily recommend. You’ll find that HERE

www.cashpeters.com On Twitter @cashpeters. Plus Facebook….blah blah blah.

See Cash’s video HERE

Read Cash’s book HERE.

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How much more drivel can we take?

Today I’m handing over this blog to a review of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, by Sam Mendelson of the Huffington Post.

I do this because I loathed the first Transformers movie, whose effects were meant to inspire awe, but in fact the only awe I felt was at how stupid, ignorant, gullible, and undereducated younger audiences must be nowadays to allow Hollywood PR people and marketing guys to manipulate them regularly into paying to see such garbage. 

Well, here we are for round two. The sequel’s arrived, kids will flock to it – natch – and once again a whole generation, already reeling from the insipid, one-note nothingness that is the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, will be dumbed down another notch. And because they’re now so numb to what’s going on, they won’t realize how they’ve been duped. 

The review is here. Read and enjoy.

www.cashpeters.com

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Why food companies are out to kill you. And how they’re succeeding.

A couple of years ago, comedian Bill Maher explained to his audience why there was such a high incidence of disease, including cancer, in modern society. He blamed only one thing. “It’s in the food, people!” he said, and he’s bang on.

I dealt with this myself in an early post that’s proved to be one of the most popular on here:  Why Doctors Will Never Find a Cure for Cancer.

And the evidence keeps on coming.

51AZ77UjcqLFirst there was the excellent Fast Food Nation, a book that shocked me 90% of the way towards being a vegetarian. Some sections were so brutal that I found myself turning away, or hurriedly flicking through the pages to get past them. I’ve cut down my meat consumption to almost zero since then. Then there’s the movie Our Daily Bread about the disturbing, inhuman development of slick factory farming.

And now comes Food Inc. Another movie about what happens to food up to the point where you put put it in your mouth. Below is the trailer. Then, below that, is an excerpt from a blog by health expert Janice Taylor on today’s Huffington Post.

This a truly fascinating and frightening subject. Those sci-fi movies about grim, sprawling corporations taking over the world and being the enemy of the people – well, they all came true. The future’s arrived. We’re being poisoned every day, and most of us are just too lazy, bewildered, or trusting – or all three – so we don’t do anything to protect ourselves. Hopefully, Food Inc will help change that.

Here’s Janice’s blog.

Filmmaker Robert Kenner “lifts the veil” on our nation’s food industry. Our food supply is now controlled by a handful of for-big-profit corporations who seem to be far more concerned about making money than our health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of their workers or our environment.

This film contains more than horrifying scenes of overcrowded slaughterhouses, where animals are forced to graze in pools of their own manure. This movie, for me, is about our most basic rights. We are being just as manipulated by the largest corporations as the food we are being sold. Wake up!

The manipulation of foods and the feeding of livestock have manifested bigger-breasted chickens. 50 years ago it took 70 days to raise a chicken to slaughter. Today it takes 48. It’s unnatural.

The country’s top four meatpackers control 80 percent of the beef market. One single fast-food burger might have come from 400 different cows.

The gut of a cow fed on corn breeds the deadliest strains of E. coli, a harmful bacteria that makes an estimated 73,000 Americans sick annually; including the tragic death of Barbara Kowalcyk’s young son Kevin, who died from e coli earlier this decade from an outwardly harmless fast food burger.

Farmers are subsidized to overproduce corn, which then goes into Coke, Sweet & Low, diapers, Motrin and cattle feed.

Obesity is at epidemic proportions, and diabetes is on the rise among children and adults alike.

You will be shocked to learn about what you eat, how it is produced and who we, as a nation, have become.

Our freedoms are being taken away from us. Open your eyes.

10 things YOU CAN do! (source: foodincmovie.com)

1 . Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages. You can lose 25 lbs in a year by replacing one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water).

2. Eat at home instead of eating out. Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home.

3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Half of the leading chain restaurants provide no nutritional information to their customers.

4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks. Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.

5. Meatless Mondays–Go without meat one day a week. An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.

6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides. According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.

7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.

8. Make a point to know where your food comes from–READ LABELS. The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.

9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you. Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S.

10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections. Poverty among farm workers is more than twice that of all wage and salary employees.

Spread the word … NOT the icing,

I don’t think Janice’s slogan “Spread the word, not the icing” will catch on, principally because it’s nonsense, but she’s right to advocate seeing this film.

Of course, in a toss-up between Transformers 2 and Food Inc., most people will go see the one about giant robots. And that’s why they’re getting sick and dying. Added to which, Transformers 2 will kill their brains too. 

TV Swami – he say YES to Food Inc. 

www.cashpeters.com 

Don’t miss Cash’s latest book, a stunning and fascinating chronicle of his 12-day journey to Brazil to undergo spiritual surgery from famed healer John of God. It’s a total page-turner. Called a little book about believing, the ideas it contains will blow – your – mind, as well as change your life.

Now available on Amazon – Kindle or paperback.  

REVIEWS: “Gripping. I couldn’t put it down. A book even skeptics can believe in.” – Len Richmond, director of What If Cannabis Cured Cancer?

”This book is wonderful, surprising, challenging, eye-opening, sensitive, touching…I’m running out of words. Just get it and read it.” – Caroline Lehman, author of Through the Moongate.

“An extraordinary book with a life-changing message.” – Andreas Moritz, author of Cancer Is Not a Disease.

And a reader: “Started reading the book last night at eleven. Read til 4am, passed out. Finished it today less than an hour ago. It’s hard to convey at how perfect a point in my life it came. I have you and your exquisite little book to thank for changing my life forever, intimately and positively.”

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I swear, this man’s a modern-day prophet

My God, two posts in the same day. What is happening to me?

But as we emerge from the Greed is Good Era that has held us in its devilish grip for too long, evidenced by a string of bank failures, a stock market crash, and now General Motors going bankrupt, as bleak as it all looks, I rejoice in the changes that are taking place, which will ultimately lead to a bright new dawn, if we’re patient. 

Below is part of a piece by Michael Moore from today’s Huffington Post, that echoes exactly what I and many others have been saying about big, greedy, conniving, crush-and-exploit-the-little-guy corporations for years. We have been duped for too long. Now, karma has stepped in. Or, in GM’s case, car-ma.

“It is with sad irony that the company which invented “planned obsolescence” — the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one — has now made itself obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly comfortable to drive. Oh — and that wouldn’t start falling apart after two years.

“GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its executives arrogantly ignored the “inferior” Japanese and German cars, cars which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to “improve” the short-term bottom line of the corporation.

“Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.”

Rarely do I become excited by failure, but this is one time. Nobody wants 21,000 people to be laid off, nobody enjoys watching decent, hard-working human beings go to waste. What I love, though, is seeing rotten-at-the-core, near-sighted, exploitative corporations fail and fall. After a short period of pain, out of this will come something magnificent. A new kind of democracy. And a better life than we ever could have hoped for.

The full post is here.

 

TV Swami – he giddy with excitement.

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A Casual Friday treat. To you with love.

It’s Casual Friday here on TV Swami.  Where I come from, that means you quit work early – in my case before you’ve written anything – and do something more fun instead. And because we live in a world where everything’s take take take, I thought I’d buck the trend by giving for a change.

TV viewers in Britain are backward, we all know that. After a hit show has been broadcast in America, they don’t get to see it for ages. The tape has to be unspooled off the machine in New York, packed in a box, and mailed to London, where it can sit for days waiting for someone from the BBC or ITV  to pop down the post office, pick it up, cycle back to the studio with it, unwrap it, watch it for rude bits just in case, then spool it onto a machine, cue it up, and on and on and on….honestly, it’s a whole rigmarole. 

As a result, they don’t get to see fresh new 30 Rock episodes when we do. In fact, I believe NBC has fixed it so that foreigners can’t watch their rerun website Hulu.com either, preserving the sanctity of copyright so that shows don’t blow their load in foreign markets too soon.

That’s why, if you’re foreign, you’ll be glad you stopped by TV Swami today.

Last night was the finale of the third season of 30 Rock. Jack Donaghy has finally tracked down his biological dad and found to his surprise that it’s Alan Alda. Not only that, but Milton Green, the character Alda plays, has been looking for his biological son too, not out of love but because he needs a kidney. So Jack does what any truly self-serving  TV executive with love in his heart and a full Rolodex would do – he ropes in Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, the Beastie Boys, and a bunch of others for a charity video.

Therefore, as your Casual Friday treat, especially for people overseas not fortunate enough to live  between these great shores and see TV shows when they’re made rather than years later after we’re done with them, here is the Give a Kidney Now song, courtesy of the Huffington Post, from last night’s season finale of 30 Rock.

Enjoy.

 

The 30 Rock third season has been spectacular and gets five magic carpets out of five.

TV Swami – he say YES.

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