Friday, January 27, 2017

1750 The Golden Apples of the Sun

I.
Sci Fi fans will immediately recognize the title of Ray Bradbury’s short story collection of the early 1950s.  Bradbury was open about “borrowing” the phrase from Yeats’ poem, “The Song of Wandering Angeus.”

Yeats wrote in the late 1890s. But earlier yet, Angeus or Angus is based on Irish myth about a winged guy searching for his true love.

Forget the sun for now. Fast forward a bit and consider the Golden Delicious Apple of the orchard.  Coming to a grocer near you in a month or so, genetically modified version.

This miracle of modern science has a huge advantage over its obviously inferior predecessor, the all natural Golden Delicious.  What would that be? Well, for one thing it doesn’t turn brown.

Goodness gracious! Apples turn brown quickly when cut and exposed to the air, don’t they?  Well, not any more.

Leaving a sliced apple on a kitchen counter and coming back to it hours later to see it hasn’t turned brown probably isn’t one of the big dreams of your life.  But it is a curiosity.

GMO foods are today where climate change was 20 years ago.  No one was sure what was happening or why.   Over time, we found some problems -- or worse -- and by now, most reasonable people realize (a) something is happening, (b) there are many reasons, (c ) we are at least partly responsible, though there’s disagreement about how responsible and (d) Futile as it may be, we should do our best to not make it worse.

At the moment, there’s little evidence that GMO apples or other foods will harm you and there might even be advantages.  But while we’re waiting for answers, there is one simple little thing the growers, wholesalers and merchants could do: label GMO foods.  That way you can decide for yourself whether you want to put that stuff in your mouth.

II.
If you live long enough, you can lose track of some people. That’s harder to do in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Skype and their cousins. But with a little effort, you can safely ignore people.

Even those who leave you behind or you have left behind come back and often it’s from the grave.  In contact with an old co-worker; he mentions oh, by the way did you know so-and-so died?

No. When?

Almost three years ago.

Seventy three.  That’s young these days. Congestive heart failure, they say.

So and so and I were sparring partners.  Worked together at a newspaper, a wire service and a radio station.  Good reporter.  A decent editor. A good marksman when it came to using the secret weapon of the American South: Death by Sugar Coating. Matched my Doberman/Rottweiler of the North pretty evenly.  But underneath the scrappiness was a deep mutual respect.  That’s how the second of us to go remembers the guy who went first.

And that’s as it should be.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2017

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