RochelLeah's RealLife

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mother Jones Guilt

For reasons I don't entirely remember, I subscribed some time ago to Mother Jones magazine. My logic probably was influenced by a desire for vicarious social activism. Since I've been on break from school, I've actually started reading it. I can only do this about an article at a time, though, because every time I read Mother Jones I feel really depressed. And really angry. And really guilty.

The last issue (May/June) featured Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) on eating locally produced food. So I feel guilty about not being as careful about checking the origin of my produce and completely relying on the midwestern Kosher meat and poultry in my local California Trader Joes for Shabbat dinner. Then there was the two-page spread on how the rich get richer. Which, I would swear, raised my blood pressure about twenty points. That spread was followed up in the current issue (July/August) by another two-pager on why the poor get poorer. ("Bush has dedicated $750 million to “healthy marriages” by diverting funds from social services, mostly child care.") The same issue informed me about the ecological harm caused by gold mining (...but I like pretty things... whine, whine) as well as the ways in which infertility doctors are keeping healthy lesbian couples from conceiving (pissing me off entirely) and making decisions regarding accepting patients in order to raise and sustain their success statistics (pissing me off somewhat less).

On the one hand, I feel like I should be an informed person, live a more sustainable lifestyle (althought I really do try...), rail against the government, and volunteer for good causes. On the other hand... it's frankly overwhelming.


  • In grad school, when I was trying much harder than now to be virtuous about the enviroment and my own health, I would often find myself in the local market staring at the shelves, unable to decide between reduced packaging or lower sodium or more humane/ecological harvest practices. Often I would have to leave the market and go back later when I wasn't likely to think so much.

    It's so difficult . Our modern American world is not built around sustainability, and it is difficult to find a balance where you can have that, and not feel like an ascetic.

    By Anonymous quaintance, at 12:06 PM  

  • I too get depressed whenever I read Mother Jones. It makes us feel helpless.. does it not??

    Keep blogging!

    This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News

    By Blogger Ibrahimblogs, at 11:54 PM  

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