Tag: Dust Bowl

Nov 28

Utopia 17: Whent the Red Wind Blows

“Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

J. Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita as he watched his creation, the first atomic bomb, successfully detonate.

Actual quote from the Bhagavad Gita:

sri-bhagavan uvaca:

kalo ‘smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho

lokan samahartum iha pravrttah /

rte ‘pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve

ye ‘vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah //

The Lord said: “Time  [death]  I am, the destroyer of the worlds, who has come to annihilate everyone.  Even without your taking part all those arrayed in the  [two] opposing ranks  will be slain!”

(Gita vs. 11.32

trans. after Swami Tripurari)

May 25

Utopia 8: CSA

“In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.”  

“You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you”  

Vandana Shiva

Apr 15

Black Sunday

Yesterday was the anniversary of some mammoth multi-state dust storms.  Robert Geiger (AP) wrote on 4/15/35:

Three little words achingly familiar on a Western farmer’s tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent – if it rains.

The name “Dust Bowl” stuck, first coined on today’s date 74 years ago.  The rains didn’t return until four years later.  When the dust settled in April 1935, scenes like this were repeated throughout the high plains region.

Crops were ruined.  Farms produced nothing.  Livestock died en masse.  There was no one to sell to.  People abandoned them in droves, with little more than the clothes on their back to show for many years of hard work building their homesteads.

The 1930s Dust Bowl is often referred to as a natural disaster.  But that’s not quite right.  Human activities, en masse, had everything to do with it.

Nov 11

White Trash: A Family Story

My mother’s family were Okies although they all hate that name.  “We’re Not Okies, we’re from Kansas!” (Yeah–25 miles from the border).  My grandfather was a sharecropper, they didn’t have much, but they liked what they had.  Then the Dust Bowl hit southern Kansas.

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My grandfather took the trunk lid off of his 1932 Plymouth and built a doghouse sticking out the back.   He piled his wife and five daughters into the car.  With their belongings–what little they could could take with them–strapped to the top of the car and a trailer filled with household goods, with the bedding on top, they set off West, looking for work along the way.