Nov

29

ChinaSaturday afternoon here in Wuhan, China during this Thanksgiving Day Weekend. Happy Thanksgiving… Home… Exactly right. Since I arrived in China on March 31, 2006, some of my Chinese friends criticize McDonald’s as it serves fast food, allegedly unhealthy compared to Chinese food. I often hear such a synchronous rancor that reverberates elsewhere throughout the US and in the world at large, yet such appears to me to eventually blend into a harmony of praise and critique… Two years and eight months out of country, I am thankful for the franchise… Victor reminded us of that Odyssean vestment by the Pilgrim farmers. Such is a tale that continues to unfold here in China. The old order, one of contract among equals (which excludes all but 5% of the population), gravitates toward retention via bureaucratic sprawl of government taxation and regulation overlaid with retained state ownership (or negative control) of primary industry sector concerns. Meanwhile, a new order takes form, primarily in China’s “little emperor” generation. They are not bound by contract. These young Chinese want more… more opportunity, more recognition, more of self. Then, alas, there is the farmer. My girlfriend’s family is made up of old farmers struggling in a little village some two hours north of the city. A few weeks past, she returned to our apartment quite sad. The old farmers are suffering. Commodities prices have rather irrationally, erratically depreciated – disproportionate a la the government’s allocation of pain favoring those who broker and buy over those whom have lived with it (sacrifice and contribution) for their culturally topsy-turvy lifetimes – to maintain harmony via CPI modulations.

I grew up on a farm in Falmouth, Maine. A dairy farm is still across the street. A Chicken farm once sat atop one hill of Hurricane Valley Road. A horse racing stables (trotters) commands much of the valley’s juxtaposed mountainside of fields and forest. Between, a river snakes and the Maine Turnpike runs. I remember watching NFO on PBS as a kid. The struggles of the American farmer are well known – and whose fate to corporate structuring appears memorialized. Still, as in your article, seems that the farmers are whom we should be thanking… they feed us. We also may be reminded by the farmers, regardless of nationality, of what Smith’s sightings of “the hand” actually derive from… That would be “process.” Growing food is a process just as life itself. Evolution of an agrarian society to an industrialized state is a process. There is spilt coffee along the way. Some are burned. Regress, the petitioning of grievances… Fairness… Yes, Fairness… with a capital “F” is the concordance for that munificence of which you both cite and that those of us whom are so blessed come to realize – often upon misplacement or being forgotten… For the speculator in any given market as much as for the farmer. I remember a quote: to be a discoverer, one must first become lost. On this day, one to share at home, I hope youall have the opportunity to pause and look back, glance forward, but most of all enjoy where you are at and what you have so far found, giving thanks to what we have as well as have yet to discover… All part of a process, one that the pilgrims endured, often with loss, seemingly so unfair. That said… I now walk to a newly constructed shopping mall (FDI financed, I suspect) for a cheeseburger (extra pickles, onions, and mustard), chicken nuggets, and a chocolate ice cream cone – at MacDonald’s in the courtyard, basement level, whereupon a plethora of newly opened, chic to suave restaurants “look down” from the fourth level.


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