Ask Alexandra – April 2006
Dear Ms. Paul,
First of all, congratulations on your ACLU award, all the more meaningful as I understand ACLU has been under increasing fire from the right-wing US media.
On to my question, on a subject I don’t recall you discussing: what, if any, are your views on genetically modified food, and GM products in general (not to be conflated, as the teracorps and their mouthpieces deliberately do, with “biotechnology”)?
I am against genetically modified products for several reasons. Firstly, big companies will now own these GM seeds, and it is unlawful for a farmer to use seeds from his current crop for next years crop, unless he pays the big company (Monsanto or the like) for the right to use the seeds. This is absurd and totally against nature! There is a case where a farmer who had fields next to a farm with genetically engineered crops had his soil contaminated with the GM seeds from next door, when wind and birds and bees moved the seeds (as nature is supposed to do) to his property. The big conglomerate sued the farmer for stealing! There are many other reasons to be concerned about genetic engineering in our foods – go to http://www.netlink.de/gen/fagan.html#dangers or http://www.organicconsumers.org/gelink.html for more information.
Even in the case of “Golden Rice” (rice with Vitamin A added, to help combat severe diseases) there are problems (http://www.foe.org/safefood/rice.html) . As in the Green Revolution, when scientists developed grains that were supposed to combat famine because you could grow more food per acre, there were a lot of unanticipated problems: “…The Green Revolution of the 1960s and 70s replaced diverse cropping systems with monocultures of new wheat and rice varieties. These new hybrids required irrigation, fertilizers and herbicides to deliver increased yields. These herbicides killed off many green, leafy vegetables that had been important sources of Vitamin A. They also poisoned rice paddy waters, causing steep declines in fish and shrimp populations in areas such as Bangladesh, where integrated rice-fish farming is practiced. Monoculture in the fields predictably led to less diverse diets. In India, household consumption of vegetables has decreased 12% over the past two decades. In Thailand, 80% of caloric intake now comes from rice, up from less than 50% before the Green Revolution. An impoverished diet that consists of little else but rice (golden or not) will never provide a solution to world hunger or malnutrition” (http://www.foe.org/safefood/rice.html) .
Instead of GM foods, why not concentrate on more organic foods with less chemicals and more nutrients than the produce we get in our supermarkets? Why not make sure everyone on the planet eats pure food, and that everyone gets enough, instead of retreating for answers in a laboratory? With genetic modification, the power over our food supply goes to big corporations, whose number one priority is making money instead of feeding people nourishing, healthy food (to learn about Monsanto’s Terminator seeds, go to http://www.smokylake.com/Christy/concerns/terminator.htm).
Interesting topic, one that more people should know about. Thank you for
My question is… if u had the chance to go back in your life and change anything, what would it be?
By the way… I think you are such a beautiful person and you seem like you have a heart the size of Texas! Good luck with all your work in New Orleans and I hope you help all those cats and give them all the love you possibly can. : ) Also… Stephanie Holden was my favorite character on “Baywatch” b/c somebody who is so real and so pretty and a great actress played her. Thank you for the intertainment. I can’t wait till your new movie “Gosple of Deciet” is out. If I spelt anything wrong… My bad. Lol. : )
Thank you for your supportive email. I appreciate the kind things you wrote.
In terms of something I would do differently: I guess there were a couple relationships with boyfriends that I stayed in too long. I was no longer happy, but they were nice people, I hated confrontation, and I couldn’t think of a really good reason to leave – I didn’t realize that I didn’t need a “good” reason -following my gut would have been enough. A couple days ago, I read that, for big decisions, studies show that it is better to go with your instinct rather than weighing the pros and cons. I wish I had known that in my 20’s!
In my life, it is mostly the things I didn’t do that I regret, rather than the things I did do.
I’m from Croatia, a south European country, near Italy. Which is not that relevant per say, except I feel obliged to inform you you’re popular all over the place. Obviously, being a talented and popular actor puts you in the spotlight with the media, fans, etc. but aside from that… would you say you lead an ordinary life, or do you live extravagantly?
Your biggest fan,
I have worked twice in Croatia, and it is a beautiful country. I shot two movies with Pierce Brosnan there, Death Train and Nightwatch (on DVD as Detonator I and Detonator II). We were there in 1992, as the war was heating up in Croatia, and we were the last film crew there until 1994, when we were the first film crew back in. It was surreal to be shooting a film as a UN peacekeeper when there were real UN peacekeepers staying in the same hotel, and it made me realize how meaningless making movies is in the face of real issues like war and peace.
I live a very ordinary life. The only thing that isn’t ordinary is that strangers recognize me and say hello. If you read some of my Day in the Life essays on this site, you will see: I go to the gym, I watch movies, I do crosswords with Ian, I work, I see my friends. I don’t enjoy going to splashy “Hollywood” functions! I can say that 99% of the actors with whom I have worked have lives that are very normal.
One thing I have learned is that all people have more in common than they have differences. It is always important to remember that.
Thank you for writing. I hope to film again in your wonderful country!