March 06, 2008

What's so wonderful about flowers

I saw Adaptation when it came out and I liked it a lot, but that was before I got into my plant crazy phase, and when I saw it again the other week it meant even more. This time around I also liked Donald more than Charlie, in part because Donald made people happy while Charlie upset them at every opportunity. His intelligence brought little direct joy into the world, bar - and it's a big bar - the screenplays that he wrote. And while his had more resonance, the greatest happiness of the greatest number was obviously going to served by Don's movie. But I'm more interested in my happiness than that of the greatest number.

Some context. Meryl Streep is a NY journalist who sees Chris Cooper as a colorful character for an article on orchids. So far in the movie she's looking down on him as a misguided hick, and then out of nowhere he springs this little speech, which is the only time I've seen the key role of plants in life on earth expressed and illustrated in a movie.

Michael Pollan makes the observation that in agriculture / gardening the relationship between plants and humans is little different from that between plants and bees. Of course, hardcore paleoconservatives think that agriculture was when things started going wrong for us, health wise.

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