MOTHER EARTH

This discussion will look at the politics of music and food as it applies to our planet.

 Discussion on Friday at 3:45 p.m. at the LoFi library booth.

MUSIC READING

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell on writing Big Yellow Taxi in “Both Sides Later,” for the Los Angeles Times, 1996:

“I wrote ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart ... this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song. When it first came out, it was a regional hit in Hawaii because people there realized their paradise was being chewed up. It took 20 years for that song to sink in to people most other places in the country. That is a powerful little song because there have been cases in a couple of cities of parking lots being torn up and turned into parks because of it.”

 


FOOD READING

John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, writes about a different type of “farm.” Also just south of Nashville, The Farm was established in the 1970s as an intentional community where residents quit the cities of California and New York to connect to the land through farming. From his new book The Potlikker Papers:

“Mainstream America adopted the innovations that The Farm introduced to the hippie community...Soy ice cream became a grocery store staple. Sandwiches of wheat bread, sprouts and tempeh became deli counter standards...At a time when farming was vogue among dropout idealists, the hippies who worked The Farm put agrarian principles in practice (with an idea that) ‘culture of the soil is the best and most sensitive of vocations.’

On The Farm, new generation agriculturists made good on the promises of old agricultural ideals. These purposeful Southerners proved that the region so many had recently rejected, the South that so many recognized for poverty and racism, was a place with a future as well as a past.”

 

 


ADDITIONAL READINGS

Music:

Story behind the Protest Song by Hardeep Phull

A look at 50 of the most influential protests songs including pop-culture views on the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, among other topics.

1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation by Charles Kaiser

A historical account of the 1960s through figures like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Lyndon Johnson.

 

Food:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown

 

READ OUR OTHER THEMES: INCLUSION AND REBELLION/REVOLUTION