In a sense, Ken Burns´ new documentary is the photographic negative of the one he delivered in 2009: Instead of swooning full-color shots of azure lakes and soaring mountains, his new film is made of images that could come from the dark side of the moon. In some of them, the parched land tells its own silent story. In others, we see bleached-out shots of people, in overalls, scowling. Or children in gas masks, looking like humanoid visitors from another world.
Comments: To a great extent a government-made disaster.
I read the Timothy Egan book from which Burns drew much of his material: The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. One of the most difficult but compelling books I´ve ever read.
The documentary airs Sunday and Monday on PBS. (I gave up PBS some time ago, but will record this.)
I read that book, too. It spends a lot of time judging the past by today´s standards. Grew up in SW Kansas, my grandparents worked through that. The ones that stuck with farming and learned better methods were very successful. The descriptions and interviews were interesting. I don´t imagine that I´ll spend any money to see this movie.
The Dust Bowl was a man-made disaster. But what environmental nuts fail to tell you, it was a man-made disaster created by the government. Since the Gilded Age, the government lied to the people to promote settlers on land west of the 100th Meridian. The land was marginal for farming, but the government lied about the bounty of the land to sell homesteads.
Moral of the story...GOVERNMENT DOESN´T ALWAYS KNOW BEST!!!
FTA: Burns sees an irony here. "In a land of flinty individuals — at the present moment, and then, as red a bunch of red states as you can find — they are pleading with the government for help. And the government stepped in and saved this land.
So it appears that the film´s message is as one would expect from Ken Burns. The "Red States" really need the government´s help but don´t know it.
Unless I am mistaken, Burns came out with a personal endorsement of Obama right before the election. I will say this much, Burns pairs some of the best music with his documentaries. The Civil War and The War were two of my favorites.
Moral of the story: The idiots ran off to California. The smart ones stuck it out and their children are now feeding America and the world. BTW - this explains why California is now completely populated by idiots. BTW II - if you profess to be ´conservative´ and still live in California - you are also an idiot.
Reply 12 - Posted by:
Country Boy, 11/17/2012 3:58:40 AM (No. 9019937)
I´m with #3. And Woodrow Wilson was a huge proponent of leveraging America´s agriculture, same as Bill Clinton wanted every moron to get a big mortgage. The stock market crash and 1930´s depression was really the result of a de-leveraging farming industry, same as the banking crash of 2008 was the result of de-leveraging of residential mortgages.
Seems likely the financial pressures in the agricultural industry contributed to the destruction of the farmland, "Dustbowl".
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