p15 It’s cool people are exploring what’s already there, however I think the reason people fly out west to explore isn’t because there isn’t nature near them, but because if the “real nature” is far away they can go three times a year and feel good about themselves as naturalists or whatever. But if nature is twenty minutes away and you only go three times a year everyone will know you’re a poser and don’t actually love being in nature that much.
p 30, p 49 There seem to be two kinds of people in the book, the kind who appreciate the meadowlands even though they are sort of gross, and the kind who are afraid of it, like the man who destroyed Snake Hill. I believe the people who hate and fear the meadowlands are afraid because it ruins their safe little bubble of city. It is unfamiliar and unlike parts of the city or even other cities they haven’t been to, nothing in their experience let’s them extrapolate what being in the meadowlands would be like so it scares them.
p 32 I think the narrator is searching for something in the meadowlands. He wouldn’t sink $600 in camping supplies and the time and money and effort spent writing a book about the meadowlands if he didn’t think he would learn something.
p 80-p86 The comparison of cigarette butts to shrimp and an egret to styrofoam as well as many other examples in that section of the reading implies that the animals and trash are part of the same system and are equal. This trash has become so integrated that it has become natural. The part later on about the hill of trash that is given a name like a natural structure (Mount Arlington?) echoes this integration idea too.
p 167 Europeans appreciate the Meadowlands more because unlike Americans they don’t live there. It feels exotic, like ancient ruins, or a national park. People don’t appreciate what’s right in front of them.
p168-p183 There’s something so sad about John Watson wasting away giving tours to random people and wandering around an empty rotting industrial park instead of being in a city doing something productive, but also what would he do? I feel that way about a lot of the people and ideas in this book. The two men who fight over conservation even though they both really want the same thing. The fires that burn for so many years the firemen give up trying to put them out. The man who knows the marsh so well it took him ten minutes to cross an area the author got lost in. The man who rides his bike over the ice. It’s just all so sad but I am also kinda envious that they all have so much nature to explore and so much time to explore it with.
The Trouble with Wilderness
I thought the concept for this paper was great. At first I thought it was kinda slow, but the evolution of the idea of wilderness was a fascinating story.
p 16 The part about advice about wilderness use being about not using the wilderness reminded me of middle school sex ed. Let’s scare the children and hope that they’ll never do what we know they’re probably going to do at some point anyway instead of giving them useful information about it.