Farm and Factory

People today have forgotten where food comes from. We’ve grown accustomed to the grocery store selling us ready-ripe fruit and pre-washed vegetables. It’s as if grown-food underwent a mysterious packaging process, and emerged flawless and identical. Most modern people can’t recognize an ‘agricultural plant’ in the real world, in fact, most modern people know nothing about agriculture/farming.

– By chance, I happen to currently live in an old house that has a lot of fruit trees.  I’ve grown accustomed to the changing seasons, and the fruit that comes along with it.  Each type is only ripe for a few weeks of the year, and then goes dormant for the rest. In January I have citrus, in summer I have plums, in November I have persimmons.  Most fruit takes months to blossom and ripen.  Each one has a brief seasonal peak, a narrow window of edibility. What amazes me about this, is that the grocery store somehow manages to have a wide assortment of fruit year-around. How?
I know that most fruit is imported from various locations. But how is it we never run out? And it’s always ripe? And uniform? Something that gardening has shown me, is that food comes in various sizes, shapes, and quality. One year the fruit would be unusually small, and the next year unusually large.  Some grow ugly, some grow beautiful. I’m wondering what happens to the irregular fruit.  How the stores decided that they didn’t want to sell them, and if they get turned into juice or jam instead.

America used to be all about farming. Then it was all about factories. Now it seems to be all about technology. Meaning that people have stopped valuing agricultural sectors, and don’t care where their food comes from.  We’re not just eating frozen food, we’re eating things that aren’t even food.
Most boxed-foods are made from wheat and sugar. McDonald’s fries don’t mold. Oreos don’t contain any milk/cream/butter. Processed factory-food is standardized. Like how chicken nuggets are made in predetermined shapes.
Standardized things are easier to sell. Marketing and advertising convinces consumers to have a clear idea of what is desirable, a flawless vision of what food should look like. Most farm grown food can’t live up to these unrealistic expectations, but processed food looks the same all the timeThis idea, is why our cattle farming industry has changed so much in the past 50 years. We’re treating food production like a factory, and expecting it to behave the same way.  Our food loses nutritional value due to the harsh industrialized handling, which leads to the consumers becoming sick, while ignorant of the strict conditions that their ‘organic’ food was managed under.
Most grown food is genetically engineered; not to add nutrition, but to make the food more attractive.
Our modernizations are making us sick.
We don’t know what food is anymore.

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Intrinsic Worth of Successful Failures

I frequently wonder what I would do with my time if I never had to worry about money.  Not in a ‘win the lotto’ way, but in a ‘born into privilege’ way.  Attended better schools, lived in a better neighborhood, high-class vacations, more job prospects.
I harbor a level of frustration/hostility for my bosses adult kids. Both appear to have chosen to work at the family company.  The daughter has been working here almost 10 years; first in sales, then in HR.  And the son has been here maybe 3 years, and has wormed his way from sales into a ‘almost CEO’ position. I anticipate that he will eventually inherit the company, despite the fact that his sister has demonstrated more dedication to it.
I initially concluded that IF these two people were capable and smart, THEN they wouldn’t be working at their dad’s company. I figured they were both lazy idiots, and just took these jobs because it was the easiest income they could get.  I have a particular loathing for the son, because he’s in the best possible demographic in the country [white, male, born wealthy, tall, attractive] yet hasn’t done anything noteworthy with his life. He failed to use his affluence and opportunities to undertake anything significant. He didn’t start his own company/charity, or go into politics, or become an intellectual.  What’s the point in being part of high-society if you don’t utilize the perks available to you to diversify the family domain?

Last week, I watched season1 of a foreign dystopian future show, called 3%. In it, a whole population of people live in a slum, and only the best 3% [of 20-year-olds] every year are permitted entrance to the nearby superior highbrow society. The twist in the season finale was that the superior society chooses not to breed, because they believe that you have to earn high-status yourself [instead of being born into it]. Meaning that there are no elite families in their society, and that everyone starts with nothing and makes it on their own merits. No legacy titles, no birthrights.
– My bosses children don’t deserve the jobs they currently have. They were simply born into a privileged life, and were handed secure careers. They were born with the best opportunities, yet they both chose the laziest route, and in doing so, took an opportunity away from someone who would have worked to earn it.   To the untrained eye, they appear to be successful [because they both have white-collar jobs].  But in many ways, they’re failures, simply because they didn’t accomplish anything beyond their original starting position. No contributions, no advancements.

My Relationship with My Mother

I know that I am a disappointment to my parents in many ways.  I also know that there is nothing wrong with me. The problem is (and has always been) my parent’s expectations failing to align with me. Failing to meet their expectation for perfection means that they are perpetually displeased with who I am, and what I choose to do with my time.  So while I know that they love me, I am constantly being bombarded with passive aggressive retorts about how unsatisfactory I am (measured against their own ideas of excellence).
I know this is a thing that parent do, believing that the criticism motivates children to try harder, and I also think parents fail to realize how destructive this is to a child’s developing psyche.
My mom spent all my childhood specifically telling me what I was permitted to do with every minute of every day, because she believed that her children needed her guidance. But she never eased up, and she continued to command us well-into our 20s. She still bosses everyone around when she visits, and continuously berates us for not doing things exactly how she wants them.

My mom has no idea who I currently am, because I have stopped taking her seriously. In reaction, she is extremely hostile toward me, because she believes that she has done a good job parenting, and it’s all my fault that I turned out so different from what she desired. Yet she still has the audacity to publicly declare how #blessed she is to have us.
My brother and I are approaching 30, and our mother is still unrelentingly trying to control our lives. She spent months trying to talk my brother out of his engagement.
My brother has somehow managed to become immune to her criticisms, and has forged an adequate life for himself. Yet our parents still tell people that he’s a massive disappointment, despite the truth: that he’s average, and living a conventional life.
But I am committed to the game, and have slowly buried myself in layers of secrets and feigned ignorance. I believe that my mother wants to have a relationship with me, despite decades of pushing me away. So, because she has narcissistic rage and unreasonable expectations, and I am quietly sadistic, I want to deny her the satisfaction of ‘knowing’ me.
For the last few years, I’ve suppressed myself. I keep my personal details hidden, and present a bland faux identity to her and her acquaintances.      Maybe I’ll get tired of these mind games. Maybe not. But this is the relationship I currently have with my mother.

Passing the Time

For years, there has been an unsightly mass of human hair on the ground near my desk trash can, and for years, I have denied that it was mine. I justified its existence by saying that when the janitor sweeps the room, all the hair from the whole room gets pushed there, and it just always gets left behind. But I know it’s mine.
It’s existence reminds me of how long I’ve been here. Each one of those hairs was shaken off of my head and landed on my desk, then onto the floor, then into a dusty heap by the trash.   Slowly over the course of years, a little every day, until I finally noticed it. It’s symbolic of everything else  that I’ve been neglecting.
This dust pile of hair reminds me that problems are made in small increments. Bit by bit, one fiber at a time.

There are better methods for passing the time than commenting on the slow accumulation of filth.  Usually time management is a repetitive schedule of conformist behaviors. We are all creatures of habit. Laundry, trash, gas station, dishes, bills, groceries, repeat.
People usually pass the time with a routine. Sticking to the routine makes everyday chores easier to handle. You won’t forget, if you make a habit of doing it every week.      On a long enough timeline, the chores become a continuous low-impact activity. No matter where you live or what you do for a living, there will be chores.  The hair pile caught me off guard because I had never considered that the cleanliness of the  office floor was one of my chores. Unlike groceries, or gasoline, or taking out the trash, work is an ongoing effort. Not a weekly activity, but a ‘everyday all day’ action.
I’m at work 5-days a week. And at work, I spend a lot of time idly desk-bound. So its fair to say that I spend a lot of time being a lump. In fact, I spend more time in this chair, than I do on anything else in the world. More than sleep, or hobbies, or leisure. Work is called ‘work’ because it all involves a  similar level of repetitive boredom. The un-stimulating  atmosphere dulls your senses until a decade passes, and the only thing that has changed about your office is the clump of hair by the trash can.