Monday, March 23, 2009

What We Leave Behind

Got Derrick Jensen's new book, What We Leave Behind today. Can't wait to read the whole thing. Here's a purely random selection:

Prior to this culture, making the world a better place was dead simple. We only had to be born, live, eat, shit, defer to the land and to the lessons taught to us by our local traditional culture about how to defer to the land (do not kill buffalo when mothers may have young, do not kill too many buffalo, and so on), and eventually die and give our bodies back to the land. This is what the salmon do. This is what hummingbirds do. This is what all wild beings -- including wild humans -- do. And it works.

Now, it is not so easy. Not only because this culture is killing the planet, and we must stop it; and not only because the industrial economy is inherently destructive, meaning every action involving the industrial economy is destructive; but more intimately because the culture has made our bodies as toxic as the culture itself.

Picture found here.


Sia said...

I notice that real men can wear cute raccoon t-shirts.

nanoboy said...

I've never understood the need to embalm people and bury them in impervious coffins. It's never made sense. I suppose some historic cases are interesting. The ancient Egyptians stand out.

But even though we supposedly respect our dead by preserving their visage and form, the case of the ancient Egyptians stands out. We've gone out of our way to desecrate their graves. We display their pharaohs in museums. We used to burn mummies for train fuel. Mark Twain once heard a train worker remark while trying to fuel the train: "Damn these plebeians, they don't burn worth a cent-- pass out a King!"

Yet, for some reason, at least for a while, we have to bury our dead such that they don't decay naturally. I for one want my funeral to be cheap. I want my organs donated, or at least my body to be used for science or medicine. I want to be buried simply with a pine coffin and a blanket at the most. Cremation would do as well. Most of all, I don't want some of the caskets I've seen at funeral homes. They are utterly bizarre.