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Sunday, July 08, 2007


Live Earth - the counterpoint

Yesterday, on "Live Earth" day, I spent the day communing with the planet, running through the Santa Cruz Mountains. At one point, I came to a sandstone formation, known as a "tafoni" (Italian for "cavern," according to the sign), which was one of the highlights of the preserve (El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve) I was running through at the time. There was a viewing platform to allow optimal viewing of the (naturally) sculpted sandstone, with signs noting the fragility of the sandstone, and asking people to stay off. And naturally, just as I got there, there was a father taking pictures of his young son who had climbed onto the sandstone. Honestly, that would have been ok, were it not for the fact that the boy was busy grinding his foot against the sandstone, obviously trying to see how much of it he could rub off. And immediately, what sprung to mind was this lyric from Lou Reed's "Last Great American Whale" (from his 1989 album, "New York"):
Well Americans don't care for much of anything
Land and water the least
And animal life is low on the totem pole
With human life not worth more than infected yeast

Americans don't care too much for beauty
They'll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
They'll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
And complain if they can't swim

They say things are done for the majority
Don't believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear
It's like what my painter friend Donald said to me
"Stick a fork in their ass and turn 'em over, they're done"
And on that down (but all too realistic) note, enjoy the song:


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