Friday, February 29, 2008

Upon Closer Examination of 'The Gates'

[Image: Aerial view of Cortez's Pipeline mine in Crescent Valley. | Photo credit: GBMW, via Great Basin Mine Watch.]

Not only did Pruned save Subtopia’s proverbial ass last night, Alex also “tagged” us with the intent of continuing an ongoing relay that compiles random book passages from blog to blog to blog, grafting little swaths of worded real estate from our favorite authors and posting them here. Who knows what scattered narrative that will yield but I like the idea of sampling our respective reading lists this way, towards some loosely trackable sequence of storied body parts.

This is only all too crazy when you think about what happened to us last night, which was essentially the opposite of this meme; that is, Subtopia was literally censored with ALL (not just a few sentences) of our text being stripped from this blog entirely. Who knows, maybe we were the victim of some other meme in the works that doesn’t just stealthily borrow but literally steals the text from its source, who knows what happens to it from there.

Nevertheless, we are moving ahead. The deal I guess is this:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

So, for the most part I have been very recently perusing the lovely long-winded and rambling writings of Rebecca Solnit, easily one of my favorite writers. In her book Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics, we find on page 123 in a section entitled Trouble Below, (Mining, Water, and Nuclear Waste), and within the chapter The Price of Gold, the Value of Water, the following extract:

For thousands of years in this area there had been nothing but sagebrush grassland open space, through which any creature might move freely; and even a few years back, when I worked as a land rights activist with the Western Shoshone, it was open space threatened by nothing worse than a few cows. Now its expanse is dominated by steep slopes of waste rock piles and fenced-off cyanide leach heaps, thousands of feet long and hundreds high, mounds that mean an equally large hole exists nearby. Black pipes lead into the distance, where a grid of rectangular recharge ponds gleams—the mine pumps about 13,000 gallons per minute to get under the water table., there you have it—a slivered archeology of a Subtopian landscape through the eye of Solnit.

Next up, I tag The Monterrey Experience, archive:s0metim3s, a456, Squatter City, and City of Sound.


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