Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The other day I had quite an angry, though perfectly polite e-mail from someone who complained that me blogging on political issues (Ken Salazar refusing to overturn the rulings put in place by the Bush administration re. polar bears) had no place in a cryptozoological forum, and if I were to use the words `Capitalist` and `Scum` again in the same sentance would I kindly remove him from my mailing list. On the same day I received an abusive e-mail from someone claiming that I was `trying to destroy the American way of lif [sic]` and a `Commie`, neither of which are true.
However, at the risk of alienating some of my readers, and I sincerely hope that I do nothing of the sort, I have no intention of stopping blogging on political concerns. Because the world in which we find ourselves living at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century is a partiucularly disturbing one.
George Monbiot writes in today's Guardian:
"Why is the Medical Research Council run by an arms manufacturer? Why is the Natural Environment Research Council run by the head of a construction company? Why is the chairman of a real estate firm in charge of higher education funding for England?

Because our universities are being turned by the government into corporate research departments. No longer may they pursue knowledge for its own sake: now the highest ambition to which they must aspire is finding better ways to make money."
And that is basically what I have been saying for years. And that is why I believe that the CFZ is so important. Because of what we do we are particularly popular with young people, and over the past decade I have found that the quest for monsters is actually a great way of encouraging an interest in the long lost arcane arts of Natural History. And in many cases the CFZ is the first model thatb they have become acquainted with of an organisation who's only reason for existing is to push back the boundaries of human knowledge. Pro Bona Causa Facimus as I believe Cicero said.
So am I going to continue to attack greed, stupidity, and unbridled capitalism without a trace of morals and /or ethics?
Hell Yeah.
And am I going to continue to use the words `Capitalist Scum` when appropriate.
Probably. Sorry guys.


Retrieverman said...

As an American, I can say that I am not offended in the least about what you say about my country and its economic system. I have said far worse. My ancestors have been here since the Dutch capitalists took advantage of German protestant refugees from the Thirty Years War, taking a great many of them to work as "indentured labor" on their plantations along the Hudson. At least they didn't have to worry about the Swedish and Hapsburg Empires, but they did have to worry about living in a wilderness and not being able to purchase any land along the Hudson after their period of indenture was over. Further, the Dutch couldn't spell their last name correctly, not could the English who eventually took control of the territory. I believe that I have some right to complain about things here.

America is supposed to be a free society that can tolerate criticism. Too often it is not.

markey23 said...

keep on keeping on Jon looks like some people cant handle the truth if they are complaining your doing something right!!

Richie said...

Jon, I would think as a professed anarchist that you would prefer capitalism over more socialistic type governments in that capitalism calls for the least amount of governmental control.

If your real issue is greed (an adjective I equally ascribe to more socialistic forms of government and economies), then perhaps appealing to the heart of man rather than the system would be the best vehicle for change.

As an avowed “capitalist” (free and fair trading of items and/or service), I welcome healthy criticism and debate as to what can be done to improve our government/economy/policies. Keep it flowing bro!

As to materialism, we Americans are currently stunned by the recession. As individuals, many have privately gone bankrupt by overextending themselves. What do we do corporately then? Within only the first three months of Obama’s administration, we have quadrupled the national debt incurred during 8 years of the Bush administration. Obama’s debt alone is more than the US has incurred since our revolution.
What we did privately, we now are doing corporately? It makes no sense. How has Obama done it? By using our greed; telling Americans they can get something for nothing (print money, use plastic).

This iteration of American debt is not spawned from the love for money although it "capitalizes" on it. It is even more evil. Its pedigree is firmly rooted in the greed for power, something we know corrupts absolutely.