American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

May 11, 2021

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Author Topic: Protect Your Nature! You only have so much


KitaSDS
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Protect Your Nature! You only have so much
on: November 21, 2015, 15:50

Considering a number of occurrences where nature is in danger due to human excavation and pollution, such as the Florida drought supremely being caused by industrialization, is it possible for current Americans to exercise Ralph Waldo Emerson's need for solitude in nature away from human civilization?
What brought the first settlers to America was the beauty and natural wonder of the land that held possibilities beyond freedom and self-reliance. This beauty has recently come to population concerns to even a constant fear of disappearing, which would wreak havoc not only on America but the world as a whole.
As someone who has spent time in nature for a number of exceptional lengths of time, I understand the importance of solitude and the need of getting away from everyday society. I did not turn into a giant eyeball as Emerson describes, however I did come to realize how I, and every person, is apart of nature and can find peace from existing in its purest form.
With this in mind, I come to the problem at hand; Has nature been removed from America? Thankfully no, not yet as seen with a number of protected parks and reserves across the country to be kept completely human-intervention free. However this does not mean nature is not straining to be kept pure in America, once again relating back to corporal greed seen in Florida with the Nestle company. Many would see nature as a commodity, and Emerson notes this but in a different means; nature as a "service to the soul". Protect your nature, what little is left; there is more to it than what can be taken out.



MoB
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Protect Your Nature! You only have so much
on: December 5, 2015, 01:07

Wow, the question “has nature been removed from America?” is really interesting. I know that when people first came to America they were, as you said, impressed by its beauty and overwhelmed by the potential for its cultivation. Leo Marx discusses the feelings of early settlers in his book “The Machine in the Garden” that they had discovered in America the landscape of pastoral fantasy and literature, which had existed in the Western tradition long before the “discovery” of the Americas. Marx says that many settler accounts were even written in a kind of pastoral mood, describing the land as though it were in fact that imagined landscape. In “Nature” Emerson defines soul as the individual, being one component of a two-part “philosophically considered” universe, the other, nature, containing everything that is not the individual by whom it is considered. Nature services the soul, on this sense, as a purely corporate and capitalist phenomena as well as in a moment of more spiritual nourishment. Emerson might not have had the idea of finitude of resources that we must come to terms with today, but it’s certainly interesting to think about how the kinds of thinking that generated this kind of passion for the natural American landscape play into its treatment as an available human object—as one of art and one of commodity. Like maybe the idea of communion with nature is what makes its exploitation possible, or what effectively "removes" it.



C. M.-
Farrell
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Re: Protect Your Nature! You only have so much
on: December 6, 2015, 14:05

Thanks for your post, Kita. As a fellow nature-lover and someone who has spent considerable time in many of our National Parks, I can relate to your statements about finding peace in the solitude of pure nature. As I read your post, I saw you wrestling with the notion of land preservation and land conservation. These terms may appear synonymous to our 21st century sensibilities, but when they were developed in the 19th century, they conveyed different philosophical and ethical assumptions.

Preservation was the term used by great environmental figures like John Muir (1838-1914) and Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) who saw nature as a good in and of itself, which should be preserved regardless of its utility to man. Seeing man's impact on nature as primarily negative, they advocated the establishment of "wilderness" areas in the American west where there would be little to no signs of human activity (e.g. roads) permitted. (As a sidenote, if you're interested in experiencing this kind of nature, I highly recommend camping in the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming!)

Conservation, on the other hand, conceived of man as a part of nature. This movement focused on developing an ethic where man and nature could co-exist. It resulted in the creation of many of the great National Parks in the U.S., and to this day focuses on both maintaining natural areas for perpetual use/visit by individuals. Teddy Roosevelt is one of the great individuals behind the conservation movement.

I think there's a place for both views. I've personally benefited from backpacking through wilderness areas where there's no trace of human activity (like the Absarokas). On the other hand, I refuse to believe that man is somehow "separate" from nature. Although I believe we as humans have rational and spiritual qualities that make us ontologically different from other animals, we are also animals. As such we belong in nature. Therefore it doesn't make sense to me to say there's somewhere that is "off-limits" to humans and reserved for some separate, other "Nature." Limit access if you like by issuing only a certain number of permits to travel through a given area, but to shut off an area from any human presence seems decidedly unnatural to me.

The question for me remains how do we get more Americans interested in preserving/conserving our natural heritage? I think one big answer is exposure. Bringing people to the outdoors to let them experience the silence and solitude which you and I have found so meaningful. Our world is constantly speeding up, and being constantly plugged in to things like the internet and our cell phones can make it difficult for us to slow down and appreciate the more important things in life. That's why our natural landscapes, in my opinion, are our most precious national treasure.

CMF

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