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Mary Reynolds Thompson's Comments

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The Last Taboo on Television

Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 11:44:10 in Media

“I've been thinking along these lines for quite a while, Duane. I used to be in marketing and spent the first half of my working life fanning the flames of consumer desires. A few years ago I learned of Victor Lebow, the retail analyst. Shortly after World War II he declared: "Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption….” I was horrified when I first read this--now I think of the opportunity it affords us. If our spiritual and ego satisfaction has been callously manipulated to make of us consumers rather than citizens, we can, as you suggest in your article, retrain it toward a way of living that truly sustains our spirits and all of Earth's inhabitants.”

hp blogger Duane Elgin on Jun 3, 2011 at 13:03:13

“Thanks for this powerful quote that illustrates how television--in collaboration with the advertising industry--has transformed us into a nation of consumers to be entertained and deliberately diminished our role as citizens who want to be informed and engaged in choosing a promising future. If we reclaim our rightful role as citizens, we can hold TV broadcasters accountable for programming that fosters a future of sustainable prosperity.”
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A Maple for all Seasons: Making Leaf Piles, Memories, and Magic

Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 15:45:21 in Healthy Living

“Julie, love this description of turning leaves. Just beautiful. Here in Northern California, the changes are more subtle. I still can't pass a leaf pile without wanting to dive in.”
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Isn't It Time To Stop Griping And Start Doing?

Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 17:32:18 in Healthy Living

“Right around the corner, on 10/10, in fact, we each have an amazing opportunity to do something to make a difference. 350.0rg -- -- is organizing another global event to bring attention to the importance of reducing carbons and getting climate change under control. Bill McKibbon uses 350 to show us the parts of carbon per million in our atmosphere that will allow earth to remain inhabitable for humans. In October of 2009, coordinated 5200 simultaneous rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries, what CNN called the 'most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.' This October 10th he's poised the create an even bigger event--worldwide. Check out his website, you're bound to find a work party near you. It's one day that could send one big message to the powers that be.”
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Are You Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 11:55:07 in Healthy Living

“I was one of those 370 authors attending the conference at which you and Arianna spoke. I was deeply inspired by both of you. I've always believed that it's not just the earth that's been smothered in concrete, but our own wild souls have been suffocated, too. We forget that we're creatures who emerged out of the Earth and carry 4 billion years of earth wisdom in our cells. We've become too tame. The movie "Network News" comes to mind: "We're just not going to take it anymore." And we shouldn't. We should be the ones on fire, not our poor planet. I don't want to hear myself, or anyone else saying, "but that's just the way it is." "Just the way it is..." is what got us into this mess. Thoreau wrote, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." It's time we became a little less obedient, a little less tame.”

polidoc on Sep 29, 2010 at 16:29:21

“Mary, thanks for your poetic response.

I spent the weekend in Washington D.C., with a few thousand activists gathered to protest the barbaric practice of mountaintop removal. These people are ready to fight for their human rights and their environment.

Being from California myself, I had never heard, nor could I have conceived of the notion of mountaintop removal. No, you must leave that kind of thinking to people who can easily put money before profit. There are slightly more expensive ways to extract coal, but the rewriting of the Clean Water Act by the Bush administration allowed extensive mutilation of these virgin mountains while eliminating jobs. Even more bewildering, much of this coal is being shipped overseas. All the while, the people waters and land of the Appalachia faces rape and plunder.

You can find out more about the Appalachia Rising event here: