straight up

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant~(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation~Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side, ~ At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant ~ Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here?
So very round and smooth and sharp? ~ To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant ~ Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands, ~ Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant ~ Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like ~ Is mighty plain," quoth her;
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant ~ Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most; ~ Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant ~ Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail ~ That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant ~ Is very like a rope!

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion ~ Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right ~ And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

- John Godfrey Saxe, The Blind Man and the Elephant

My dad has a saying about opinions, but as he grew up in deepest darkest Heidelberg post WWII it's probably not appropriate to repeat. Needless to say, it's a saying that comes to mind rather frequently.

Having an opinion can be a healthy thing - one might argue that it's the basis of a democratic society.

Facts however, are frequently overlooked in the formulation of these opinions, and frequently I land myself in hot water with a difference in opinion, usually backed up with a fact that was conveniently omitted - I'm such a spoil sport...

1. "organic"

I bear no grudge to organic services and retailers if that is what they truly are. I think they do an amazing job at raising awareness about what we as a society eat. I have some rebuttals to some of the issues that are raised, but by and large I have no beef with them. This is an opinion I hold.

However I do think that a business purporting to be organic, should in fact, be organic.

Here is an example of some information gleaned from the site of an organic grocer in Sydney...

"...we are committed to quality, freshness, service and above all ORGANIC. We believe in Certified Organic agriculture. We only grow and sell 100% Certified Organic Fruit and Vegetables.

We feel it's important to know where your produce came from and how it was grown. With 15 years experience in the Organic Industry we search the markets for the best produce from the best growers, add a little of our own home-grown Certified product and bring it to you!"

and yet...

"You have arrived at Sydney's best place to purchase the freshest and best in produce and groceries. We specialise in home delivery of Organic Food. We sell a full range of Certified Fruit & Veg, Groceries and Meats and now also now offer a range of Essential household goods and Foodstuffs."
In fact, their product range is remarkably similar to mine, and yet I say out and out that I am not an organic grocer! Why market yourself as something you're not?

2. McDonalds

Here we go again!

The topic and company we all love to hate and hate to love; surely they must have done something right somewhere along the line to generate the amount of emotion and one-eyed anti-propaganda they endure.

Whilst at the dog park over the weekend the subject of fast food hamburger "restaurants" came up, and it led to us having a laugh at urban myths that have circulated over the years with regard to Ronald's place.

I knew it was coming. I'd heard it time and time again. And I didn't have to wait long before it was blurted out...

"But one thing I know for sure, as some cattle farmers told me, is that the slogan made from 100% Australian beef, was that the company was called 100% Australian beef..."

And the survey says... DONKDONG!

I know rural types like to have a laugh, heck we all do! However what began as a rather funny look at marketing and sledging way back when, has now embedded itself via urban myth and legend into an apparently undeniable truth.

Years ago at a school camp, the school reverend chimed in on this theory in my sister's presence. When she piped up that it was not actually a fact, as her father worked in the company that supplied all of the burgers (and the logistics and distribution for everything else), to which the school reverend responded that he must have lied to her! (This didn't do a great deal of good for my faith in Christianity, religion, or anything that came out of that man's mouth ever again.)

But why let fact get in the way of a good story?

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