What I'm reading, and more

The Odyssey in the translation by TE Lawrence. I tried to tackle anothr translation when I was still in my teens, but this seems much more readable The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is also a good read.

We all went down to the Brisbane River for Clean-Up Australia Day, which was being run locally by a group that is gradually cleaning up the riverside in our area. There was the usual stuff – styrofoam, syringes etc, but the total amount of rubbish was a lot less than there used to be in all places like this a couple of decades ago. All this raised a couple of thoughts.

First, I’m sick of being a conscript in the War on Drugs. After three or four decades of total failure, I think it’s time to admit defeat and let people take whatever drugs they want, provided they do it somewhere it doesn’t impinge on the rest of us.

Second, it would be interesting to explore the relationship between cleaning up litter and environmentalism. At one time, environmentalists were very suspicious of this kind of thing (and perhaps some still are), seeing it as a plot to avoid corporate responsibility. But on the whole, I think the impact has been to reinforce support for environmentalism. The evolution of Ian Kiernan from yachtie wanting to clean up Sydney Harbour to full-time campaigner to clean up the world is a striking illustration.

Update 4/3 Stentor Danielson (permalink not working) agrees on the positive impact of tying environmentalism to the deeply-held positive associations of cleanliness.