Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert

I think I must say that, although I enjoyed this book, the beginning of it was much more intriguing than the rest of it.  When I started reading, I was so excited to continue and learn more about what this woman had to say, but found that it wasn’t quite as interesting after the first few chapters.  I enjoyed how she spoke about the word erotic in the beginning of the book, as well as towards the middle of the book.  She says that, in America, erotic is now associated with pornography and voyeurism, which I completely agree with.  Even when I simply type in erotic in Google images (even with SafeSearch on), this photo comes up:

She says that we need to reclaim the word erotic for it’s true meaning, “of or pertaining to the passion of love; concerned with or treating of love; amatory.”  I don’t think the people in America associate the word erotic with love at all.  Instead, it is associated with sex and pornographic images.  I think, in a sense, America has become too sexual.  It seems as though I hear a sexual remark, joke, see a sexual image or hear some bro talking about ‘banging’ a girl the night before every single day.  I think Americans have taken the word erotic to an entirely new level of sexuality.  And really, it’s somewhat pathetic.  It seems as though we can’t even see the natural beauty in things anymore because we are too caught up in the sexuality of our society.

Tempest speaks of an idea that I have been talking about this entire year.  “In an Ideal world, a world we might well inhabit one day, we may not need to “designate” wilderness, so evolved will be our collective land ethic, our compassion for all manner of life, so responsive and whole.”  This is absolutely my favorite quote from the book.  I am a person that believes we should have compassion for all life and that we shouldn’t have to designate areas as wilderness. It should just be. 

In the “A Wild Cat” chapter, she talks about how 1.7 million acres of the in Utah were made into a National Monument upon Clintons decision in 1996.  This led to the loss of 900 coal-mining jobs in the town where this ‘National Monument’ had been proclaimed.  The thing I don’t understand about this is why we need a National Monument, especially if the benefits might not outweigh the costs.  This National Monument was created even when the possible hurt to other people was known.  I find this to be ridiculous.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be very interesting.  Although I did enjoy the beginning more than the middle and end, I think I learned a lot about the area and the things going on in this area.

Not quite as rugged as Ed Abbey

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