2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
From his book.
"Don't you ever wake up in the middle of the night craving bacon?" I asked.
"No. Never," replied every single one of them. "I've never felt so healthy in my life."
It was difficult for me to be polite (though I was outnumbered). I'd recently returned from Cambodia, where a chicken can be the difference between life and death. These people in their comfortable suburban digs were carping about cruelty to animals but suggesting that everyone in the world, from suburban Yuppie to starving Cambodian cyclo driver, start buying organic vegetables and expensive soy substitutes. To look down on entire cultures that've based everything on the gathering of fish and rice seemed arrogant in the extreme. (I've heard of vegans feeding their dogs vegetarian meals. Now that's cruelty to animals.) And the hypocrisy of it all pissed me off. Just being able to talk about this issue in a reasonably grammatical language is a privilege, subsidized in a yin/yang sort of a way, somewhere by somebody taking it in the neck. Being able to read these words, no matter how stupid, offensive, or wrongheaded, is a privilege, your reading skills the end product of a level of education ost of the world will never enjoy. Our whole lives - our homes, the shoes we wear, the cars we drive, the food we eat - are all built on a mountain of skulls. Meat, say the PETA folks, is "murder." And yes, the wide world of meat eating can seem like a panorama of cruelty at times. But is meat "murder"? f*** no.
Murder, as one of my Khmer pals might tell you, is what his next-door neighbor did to his whole family back in the seventies. Murder is what happens in Cambodia, in parts of Africa, Central and South America, and in former Soviet republics when the police chief's idiot son decides he wants to turn your daughter into a whore and you don't like the idea. Murder is what Hutus do to Tutsis, Serbs to Croats, Russians to Uzbeks, Crips to Bloods. And vice versa. It's black Chevy Suburbans (which, more than likely, US taxpayers paid for) pulling up outside your house at three in the morning and dragging your suspiciously unpatriotic and overopinionated son. Murder is what that man sitting across from you in Phnom Penh does for a living - so he can afford a satellite dish for his roof, so he can watch our Airwolf reruns, MTV Asia, and Pam Anderson running in slow motion down a Southern California beach.
Hide in your fine homes and eat vegetables, I was thinking. Put a Greenpeace or NAACP bumper sticker on your Beemer if it makes you feel better (so you can drive your kids to their all white schools). Save the rainforest - by all means - so maybe you can visit it someday, on an ecotour, wearing comfortable shoes made by some twelve-year-olds in forced labor. Save a whale while millions are still sold into slavery, starved, f***ed to death, shot, tortured, forgotten. When you see cute little kids crying in rubble next to Sally Struthers somewhere, be sure to send a few dollars.