Epic Quotes III

I love Edward Abbey. He was curmudgeonly, anti-immigrant, irascible, and generally a misanthrope – all things that I am not. However, he revered the outdoors, the quiet places, the land and the sky and the rivers, and the bits and pieces of our planet that have escaped, for the most part, the heavy footprint of human beings. Another reason I love Edward Abbey: he was extraordinarily intelligent, with a sweep of knowledge running from Aristotle all the way to the political economy of twentieth century reproductive rights issues and the complicated nature of post-industrial American society. He is one of my favorite people, not in spite of his cantankerous personality, but because of it, and for his remarkable ability to say ‘fuck you’ to rapacious modern human practices in the most beautiful, elegant ways possible. And the quote:

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

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