Comic Strip Revolution
But my goodness! The contrast between the gravity of the problem — the power of private owners, backed by armed forces, governments, media, etc — and the triviality of the course for action suggested in the cartoon: that contrast is as great as that between the world’s rich and the world’s poor.
An evil as serious and of such magnitude as world poverty and hunger requires, like the problem of nuclear weapons or any other world problem, no less than the overthrow of private property on a world scale.
On top of the world
Putting the powerful North on top, and North America in the top left-hand corner, which is culturally dominant in a majority of the scripts in use in different cultures, may be symbolically true to the major axes of world oppression. But it hardly helps us to see the possibility of a different planet, which must surely be part of what any radically truthful new image of the world has to be about. After several years of searching in vain for a map of ’The World Turned Upside Down’, it was disappointing to miss out again on what was probably my best chance so far.
Most people do not go to work for ‘transcendence’: most people’s work is even more trivial than being a housewife. The modern housewife is not destined to triviality, and never was. The man at work certainly is in our society.
Weeds and wetters
Further studies are underway. and we reserve judgement.
Bottling it up
In November of 1982, Wyeth International promulgated revisions to its policy with respect to the WHO Infant Formula Code. One of those revisions prohibited any contact concerning infant formula with pregnant women or mothers by such personnel and this prohibition has been in effect in Singapore since December of 1982.
E Steven Bauer,
Girls and boys
Back in their jackets
When I read the story ‘Un-jacket your potatoes’ in your May edition (NI 123) regarding unsafe levels of the pesticide ‘Tecnazene’ on potato skins I took action and wrote to the UK Potato Marketing Board — as it is one of their jobs to make sure the public gets good potatoes.
Apparently the figure you quoted of up to 218 times the recommended safety level was an extreme figure from a sample of potatoes in an experimental trial, The potatoes in question had been deliberately nurtured to see what levels of tecnazene a potato could hold under certain conditions. This sample had been kept in sealed polythene containers (to prevent the pesticide evaporating) and underwent minimal handling (to prevent soil and residue being shaken off). These potatoes would never have reached the dinner table!
As for potatoes sold across Britain’s shop counters —once they are washed and cooked they contain around half of the international maximum level.
The Daily Mail newspaper (the source of your information) was informed of these facts by the Board but chose not to publish them. How’s that as a good example of press freedom?
Fifteen to twenty years ago, the Consumers’ Association could claim with some justice that they represented a genuine social need to keep producers on their toes by comparative testing of products and publication of the results. Today, when other consumers’ champions like Ralph Nader have moved on to the vital struggles over pollution and the environment, the Consumers’ Association rests upon its fat laurels. The implicit message of Which magazine exhorts all its Social Class A & B subscribers to buy, buy, buy whatever is new on to the market. The Consumers’ Association no longer challenges producers, or anyone else; it helps to sell to the better-off and already over-consuming citizens of a rich country.
But I believe that not only Western women should play a part by raising the issue, but Western men as well. I totally oppose female circumcision, as does the organization I belong to — the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom.
Whilst there is some truth to Sue Armstrong’s contention that ‘the initiative for abolition must come from within the practising countries themselves’, we in the West can ensure that our own countries’ legislation prohibits this barbaric practice, particularly as many Western countries are now host countries to ethnic minority groups who have decided to establish new homes in the West.
James P Smith FRCN,
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