This week’s selected media: January 7, 2024: Overstory, Melancholia, Superabundance videos

January 7, 2024 by Joshua
in Tips

This week I read and watched:

The Overstory, by Richard Powers: People recommended this long novel for a while, saying I’d like it for being about nature. I didn’t find it boring, but didn’t get it either for the most part. I found the language distracting. I prefer the grammar and syntax not to call attention to itself, away from the meaning. I don’t find ecoterrorism appealing.

The author did his research on nature. I appreciated the book calling attention to trees’ importance and our taking them for granted. I started seeing how forests can have intelligence, even if different than ours. Could they have consciousness?

I also appreciated the different feeling the book gave for time.

Melancholia, directed by Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten Dunst: I didn’t notice this movie when it came out. I think I heard of it while looking for the movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. I wanted to quote a scene in that movie where a couple brings heroin to a party a day or two before a meteor would hit Earth and destroy us all, since why not? I was illustrating how we have made our culture of hopelessness and helplessness embody “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may die,” capitulating on meaning and purpose.

Back to Melancholia, I consider a sign of art that it evokes emotion. I like when a work evokes emotion other art doesn’t or hasn’t. Well, Melancholia evokes depression, so I applaud its art, though it made me melancholic for half a day.

I didn’t see the point of the planet destroying Earth. It forced including too many details that couldn’t make sense, like it getting caught in Earth’s orbit, so I kept having to suspend disbelief. There seem other ways you could destroy life on Earth after a false alarm instantly without all the distracting questions.

Following up some legal readings on classical liberal approaches to sustainability that referred to a book called Superabundance, since I’m in the middle of other books, I watched a lot of videos with its authors, as well as with the author of False Alarm. I posted all the videos on this post: Videos on Superabundance by Tupy and Pooley and False Alarm by Lomborg.

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1 response to “This week’s selected media: January 7, 2024: Overstory, Melancholia, Superabundance videos

  1. Pingback: This week’s selected media: The Social Life of Forests » Joshua Spodek

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