Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just Purchased "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

I interrupted my reading to perform a quick search ,via Google, just to see if a film was ever made based on his book. I have not learned if there ever was a movie made, but I'd like to share with you an odd post I came across during this search which speaks more about the practises then in Chicago, where Sinclairs story takes place.:

Legacy of "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair
GrapeKoolaid posted on Mar 03, 2008 views: 89 Tags: meat, Chicago, life
Over the weekend, I hung out with a friend of mine that works for a environmental consulting firm. He's the staff geologist for the company and basically, whenever a lot is sold, he goes and tests soil samples to see what kind of buildings can be built in the area, measures the toxicity of the sample, and so on. This is something that he told me the other night over a few drinks. "I get to this new job site, right? It's a vacant lot filled with truck trailers. First of all, I didn't even know how to get into this place. There were truck trailers stacked on top of each other, like eight tall, all over the place, forming a maze. I drive around for a while in this maze, and I almost get lost a few times, but I finally find the entrance to this place and I get in there. It's just an empty lot, on the south west side(of Chicago) and it looks pretty grim. A picture of urban desolation, you know? The lot was just recently purchased by this company that's planning to build a row of condos in there. So I'm at this site and we start digging. About twelve feet down, we hit this layer and there's just something not right about this layer, you know? We hit this layer and it just stinks. So I have the foreman of the crew bring me a sample and I take it to the lab. When I look at it, it's got like animal hairs in it, and it smells like death. This girl that I work with almost threw up when she smelled the sample(chuckles) When the analysis from the lab comes back, I realize that what's in the jar is not dirt at all. It's actually animal remains. A whole acre of it, at least three feet deep. Just twelve feet beneath the ground, where people walk and push baby carriages and stuff was the largest mass grave I've ever dug up. It turns out the site was once the dumping grounds of the Chicago stockyards way back in the day. After butchering the cows, they'd just dump the left over parts of the carcass in this huge pit, and that's what we unearthed the other day. Pretty messed up, huh? I can still smell that wretched smell of death even now. It haunts me. What really messes me up is that people have no idea that just twelve feet beneath their home are remains of hundreds of thousands of dead cows. I shudder to think what it sounds like out there when the wind is howling. (laughs) Perhaps the wind moos out there". In our blind march forward towards progress, we somehow forgot our ugly past and pretend that it never existed. However, just twelve feet below the ground, the truth still exists and it stinks to high heaven. With animal hairs and all. Thanks for stopping by...Grape.

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