Jul 22 2009

The Myth of the Noble Green Savage

While growing up in New Zealand I was taught to despise the coming of the European to these pristine southern isles. He hunted the seals to near extinction. He destroyed the ancient forests in his clumsy attempt to harvest the mighty kauri trees. His animals decimated species that lacked a natural defense against predation. In short, the white man was a blight upon the land. By way of contrast, the indigenous Māori lived in peace and harmony with the Earth while respecting the trees and mountains as sacred objects and places.

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Jan 26 2009

Ersatz Religion

As World War I came to an end, returning Allied prisoners brought back stories of ersatz coffee. It looked genuine enough, but the similarities ended there. In reality, the warm brown liquid was concocted out of burnt acorns and barley. With every bitter, unsatisfying sip the soldiers dreamed of the real thing.
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