WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: IT’S EASY BEING GREEN

Michelle W. says this week is all about color. Specifically green, like my harvest of joy.

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But green isn’t just a color anymore.

 

Published over forty years ago, The Greening of America received a cosmically massive reception.

The New Yorker ran an excerpt in their September issue and it got more letters than any other article. Ever. The book was No.1 on bestsellers lists and sold skadoodles of copies, knocking reality for a loop. Leagues of media types discussed, praised, and criticized it.

 

Have you read The Greening of America?  Confucianist wisdom, it is not.  Charles Reich says his book is very straightforward about what’s the matter with us. He says we’re using up material resources at an unacceptable rate. And so, he advocates a less materialistic way of life.

Authority, schedules, time, accepted customs, are all forms which must be questioned. Accepted patterns of thought must be broken; what is considered ‘rational thought’ must be opposed by ‘nonrational thought’—drug-thought, mysticism, impulses.

The questions he poses ~ What’s happening to the individual in America? Is the individual going the way of the environment, being destroyed? ~ struck a chord with readers. The interesting angle?  Reich was no overgrown hippie, but a former Supreme Court clerk, a forty-two-year-old Ivy League professor, a seemingly serious person.

Annie Leibovitz photo of Charles Reich with Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and Jann Wenner, 1971

Reich was a fan of the hippies and radical students on campus, the dropouts and rock ‘n’ rollers.  He felt they were pointing the way, not only with a refusal to join the power structure, but with their flower power, patchouli, and love beads.

Bell bottoms have to be worn to be understood. They express the body, as jeans do, but they say much more. They give the ankles a special freedom as if to invite dancing right on the street. . . . A touch football game, if the players are wearing bell bottoms, is like a folk dance or a ballet. . . . The new clothes demonstrate a significant new relationship between man and technology.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines greening as “becoming more mature and less naive, esp. in one’s understanding of social and political forces.”  (Entry note: Word origin of ‘greening’
after The Greening of America (1970), book by C. Reich.)

Might Reich’s countercultural (some might say flaky) concepts, like listening to the Grateful Dead and using marijuana, fix what’s the matter with us?

“Green” was a broader term to Reich than it is to us today. It was not just about environmentalism, but the whole package ~ feminism, gay rights, racial equality, military conflict, rampant consumerism, corporate power ~ issues that are still front-page.

It’s not likely that our society will undergo a total about-face of cultural and political institutions.  But we can look at the clouds from both sides, can’t we?

 

 Toni 3/23/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: WISH

Jen H. of WordPress says show us a wish, and let your blog be the ema upon which you share it.

 

Have you seen the sidewalk on Library Way in NYC?

If you haven’t, on your next trip to the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, walk along 41st Street. You’ll have a perfect view of the building (look up) and plenty of inspirational quotes about reading, writing, and literature (look down) along the way.

Garson Kanin’s most famous quote, from his hit play “Born Yesterday,” is there on the sidewalk.

Toni 3/9/17

Garson Kanin, who broke into show business as a saxophone-playing high school dropout and went on to write ”Born Yesterday,” direct ”The Diary of Anne Frank” and become the co-writer of two classic Tracy-Hepburn movies, died at his home in Manhattan in 1999.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: THE ROAD TAKEN

Life is one big road with lots of signs.

Buddha said there are only two mistakes you can make along the road to truth~ not going all the way, and not starting.

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My advice?  Keep going, with a vengeance.

Simon agrees.

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Simon Peter Gruber, Die Hard: With a Vengeance “The road of the truth has many turns.”

Toni 3/4/17