Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Tuneless Song

"Development concepts are generated at universities, accepted as profound by policy types in Washington, and then declared as gospel. In order to raise money to do the same types of projects you've always done, you have to be sure to include the appropirate current jargon in your project proposal and in subsequent progress reports." --Michael Maren

"The nomadic ethos views farmers as inferior beings forced to live a life of toil. The nomad is a free man." --Michael Maren

Procrastination Blues

Woke up at the crack of noon
But I ain’t quite wide awake yet
Been wishing I was someone else
But I’m afraid this is good as it gets

Been down with the Muppet Show
And forty-four product ads
Been feeling it’s time to create
But my visions all seem like fads

How I wish I was a morning man
Sipping coffee with the rising sun
How I wish I had working hands
Bleeding till my work is done

Here I sit on a garbage can
Tryna tune a broken guitar
Can’t play it anyway
But if I could man I’d go far

Ain’t nothing but work to do
And the list got a mind of its own
If it keeps growing up like this
It’ll be the only thing I own


I know I should get up now
Get going on my dreams
Yeah I coulda been someone
If my body wasn’t so free

If I ever get myself to work
Sleep’ll take me back soon enough
It never wants to let me go
And those dreams like to play rough


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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Neo-Colonial Aid

"When colonialists came ashore, they didn't say, 'We're here to steal your land and take your resources and employ your people to clean our toilets and guard our big houses.' They said, 'We're here to help you.' And then thety went and took their land and resources and hired their people to clean their toilets. And now there come the aid workers, who move into the big colonial houses and ride in high cars above the squalor, all the while insisting they've come to help." --Michael Maren

"Most of the countries in Africa had indigenous methods for dealing with food shortages. Somalia in particular had a well-established system for dealing with regular cycles of drought and famine. Farmers in the river valleys built secure underground vaults where grain was stored during the fat years. When drought threatened the nomads, animals that might die anyway were exchanged for grains. Though nomads showed very little respect for farmers, they were aware that their lives might one day depend on these sedentary clans. They were therefore generous with the bounty of their herds when times were good. The result was a mutual insurance system and a truce of necessity across the land." --Michael Maren

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Sentence I Loved

"It is this enforced brevity that discourages obfuscating digressions and promotes precision."

--Lia Gainger, This Magazine, May 2009


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