What the Greens should do, but cannot, because it is so undermining, is say to each of us directly:
You are not a hero. Your acts are not righteous. Neither are ours, individually. Our individual illusions of heroic righteousness are catastrophic.
What they should say, but cannot, because it would alienate almost everyone, is what needs most of all to be said:
You are not a sympathetic central character because exactly what centre are we talking about? There are either seven billion equally important centres, in which case if they all behave like you we’re screwed, or there are no centres, in which case we might just stand a chance.
~ Toby Litt
~ Maija Luutonen & Nene Tsuboi @ Papertastebuds
Even as I write now, back in the unheroic safety of my English study, a photograph above my desk reminds me of the living hazards and perils that bothered me — though clearly not any of my American companions — every time I stepped into the Texan boonies. I am pictured next to a Lion Warning sign at the foot of the Chisos Mountains in the Big Bend National Park. (DON’T FLINCH OR SHOW ANY FEAR if you are threatened by “the aggressive lion that has been frequenting this area,” I am advised. APPEAR LARGE. And — the most testing instruction — ENJOY THE ENCOUNTER.) In my right hand, I am holding a sturdy and defensive stick; in my left, I’m clutching a snake bite kit with its “easy-to-use lymph constrictor”; there are rattlers and copperheads about. Just out of shot, a ranger is telling me about the black bear he’d had to “find, immobilize, and relocate” the day before. The bear had separated a German hiker from his rucksack and its stash of apples. Tracking that animal was “as easy as fried pie,” he said. Its dung was full of Gore-Tex. Its droppings were waterproof and breathable!
Now that I am back in a country where the poet’s phrase, “nature, red in tooth and claw,” has little human relevance, I cannot help but wish that my local countryside could be as dangerous and mischievous as the wilds of Texas. Here the landscape is allocated and assigned — each last damp inch of it.I cannot help but wish that my local countryside could be as dangerous and mischievous as the wilds of Texas. Here the landscape is allocated and assigned — each last damp inch of it. Every ditch and hedgerow is named and spoken for and has been for a thousand years at least. There’s not a patch of clod or turf where someone has not already planted their boot. Even at the top of Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak which I was climbing recently, there’s no escape from the din of distant traffic or the vapor trails (and uproar) of military jets. You are surrounded there by stone walls and cairns first built over 500 years ago. You’re never out of sight of farms and cottages. And there are crowds of fellow hikers. Nowhere is remote for people here. And no one’s Gore-Tex is in any danger from a bear.
~ Jim Crace