[Homestead] Edward Abbey was:ld water
don.bowen at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 6 07:17:11 EST 2008
Edward Abbey was one of my favorite authors. I have never felt the grief
over another author I felt when I learned of his death.
> Abbey was fairly prolific with his essays, etc. He
> also , as I'm sure you realize, has a very mixed reputation out here.
Edward Abbey was born on a farm in Pennsylvania in the late 20s and died in
Tuscon, AZ in 1989. He joined the Army at the end of WWII and spent time as
an MP in Italy after the war coming away with a deep distrust for authority
and disgust for war and its aftermath. He went to school in New Mexico and
was a Stegner Fellow along with the likes of Wendell Berry.
The best way to describe Abbey is through some of his quotes.
"The subject of illegal aliens is a touchy one ... They come to stay and
they stay to multiply. What of it? say the documented liberals; ours is a
rich and generous nation, we have room for all, let them come. And let them
stay, say the conservatives; a large, cheap, frightened, docile, surplus
labor force is exactly what the economy needs. Put some fear into the
unions: tighten discipline, spur productivity, whip up the competition for
jobs. The conservatives love their cheap labor; the liberals love their
"A knowledge of the true age of the earth and of the fossil record makes it
impossible for any balanced intellect to believe in the literal truth of
every part of the Bible in the way that fundamentalists do. And if some of
the Bible is manifestly wrong, why should any of the rest of it be accepted
"Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion."
"Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am
always impressed by the striking moral and aesthetic superiority of the dead
animal to the live one."
"The fat pink slobs who go roaring over the landscape in these over-sized
over-priced over-advertised mechanical mastodons are people too lazy to
walk, too ignorant to saddle a horse, too cheap and clumsy to paddle a
canoe. Like cattle or sheep, they travel in herds, scared to death of going
anywhere alone, and they leave their sign and spoor all over the back
country: Coors beer cans, Styrofoam cups, plastic spoons, balls of Kleenex,
wads of toilet paper, spent cartridge shells, crushed gopher snakes, smashed
sagebrush, broken trees, dead chipmunks, wounded deer, eroded trails,
bullet-riddled petroglyphs, spray-painted signatures, vandalized Indian
ruins, fouled-up waterholes, polluted springs and smoldering campfires piled
with incombustible tinfoil, filter tips, broken bottles. Etc."
"Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts
to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."
"In the Soviet Union, government controls industry. In the United States,
industry controls government. That is the principal structural difference
between the two great oligarchies of our time."
The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by
bulldozers and chain saws."
Don Bowen KI6DIU
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