‘The joyprong rose as always’ — Edward Abbey revisited

Remember when ecoterrorism was cool?

It struck me the other day that I haven’t heard boo about ecoterrorism for a decade — probably since 9/11. You can figure out why as well as I can tell you, but regardless of the reason, something crucial has been totally absent from the national debate since then, and it’s too bad. Here in Minnesota, the environmental movement as a whole is practically off the radar screen.

Anyway, I’ve started re-reading “The Monkey Wrench Gang” by Edward Abbey, and I reckon it will lead me into a pleasant reunion with many of his books, old favorites of mine from the late 80s.

It’s everything I hoped it would be. A picaresque romp through the desert southwest, prophetic and darkly funny. It’s the best Hollywood action comedy political satire that’s never been made. Came across this line this morning which is vintage Ed Abbey, via Hayduke: ‘Unsummoned, unwanted, unwelcome, the joyprong rose as always, perpendicular to the imagined field of reference, a mind of its own but no conscience.’

Reading it again also reminds me of an encounter I had with eco-terror in 1991, which I will chronicle in a future blog post.

Till then, Hayduke Lives!


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