Thursday, January 14, 2016

On audio books and Robert Kennedy on GDP, and even a recipe.

How I love that wonderful invention, audiobooks from the Public Library system! It works especially well for taking in non fiction books that I find quite interesting, yet somehow cannot read without getting restless or falling asleep.

Trying to just listen to audio usually results in a refreshing nap. But I love the combination of doing something with my hands, usually cooking, while listening. It makes the chore effortless and somehow the mind takes it in. Sometimes I have the print or e book AND the audio version, so things can be looked up without scrolling.

Today's offering is Mark Kurlansky's "1968". An interesting year that I remember well. I turned 25. It was my last full year as a European. I had won a scholarship from the Alliance Francaise (Sorry, no accent under the C) to spend the month of August in some school in Menton on the Riviera. Unfortunately in May students in Paris fell in love with playing revolution and the whole thing was cancelled.

Anyway, halfway the book is this AWESOME speech by Robert Kennedy on the madness of worshipping economic growth. I couldn't have said it better myself. Insert emoticon with tongue in cheek. I took the time to transcribe the segment, which is a pain to do but I need to be able to refer to it.
So, without further ado, speaking eloquently from the great beyond, HERE's Robert!

"We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in the mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product, for the Gross National Product includes air pollution and ambulances to clear our highways from carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads. It includes the broadcasting of T.V. programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children. 

And if the Gross National Product includes all this, there is much it does not comprehend.

It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry, or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our debates or the integrity of our public officials. The Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country.

In measures everything in short except that which makes life worthwhile."

AMEN. I just might want to learn this by heart. And meanwhile a double batch of my almost famous super nutritious muffins was made, the red currant and lemon zest variation.  The link goes to the recipe. You're welcome.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great quote. I love it.

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

First let me say you make a really compelling argument for audio books. Do you put them on an MP3 player or download to your tablet?

My MP3 player is loaded with tunes on shuffle and some of those are from the 1960's. In 1969 I went to work for Senator Charles Goodall who replaced the assassinated Senator Robert Kennedy. I was the newbee. Everyone else on the staff had worked for Bobby. Between Jack and Bobby I have a hard time choosing. They were both scholars and I often imagine how different my country would be if both of them had lived. Or just one. The Kennedy's instead of the Bushes or the Clinton's. Definitely instead of the Bushes and all three of those.

I don't remember reading this little gem, but he is right on for sure. And if you have a book in both audio and ebook form can you copy from the ebook to a document? Guess you cannot or you would not have to transcribe. I certainly appreciate your effort. I worked for a company once that was turned over to a financial firm. Even on that level money trumps the spirit of the organization. I quit.

Ien in the Kootenays said...

I am not sure about copying from e book. Maybe only with the ones you buy. These are library books.