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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dandelion Whine

   In honor of the first Ray Bradbury novel I ever read [Dandelion Wine, from 1957], I’m going to talk about Taraxacum Officinale, the common Dandelion.  While some forms of Dandelion are native to North America, this species was introduced by European settlers.  It is, was, and will remain an invasive species.

  Poor Ray Bradbury must have felt a little overwhelmed by dandelions, in his later years, as digital technology, one of his pet peeves [see here], became so prevalent and essential to modern life.  How far might we have gotten with the technology we had, if we hadn’t gotten so obsessed with the newfangled devices?  Is “colonizing” the internet the reason we don’t have a Moon colony?

  More importantly, wouldn’t a Moon colony disrupt the natural environment of the Moon, desolate as it is?  Our childhoods, our origins, and everything that becomes familiar is subject to change -- whether it be flowering weeds from across the sea, electronic storage of information, where the brain once entertained itself with objects that actually exist, or strange-looking water-filled skin-sacks that need a strong, metal enclosure filled with gas to even survive.

  For the record, I’m not opposed to the digital age, a moon colony, or even Taraxacum Officinale.  There’s just a certain amount of sadness that comes with clearing away the old to make way for the new.  I often wonder why we’re always in such a rush to do it.

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