THE GARDENER RETURNS, A DIALOGUE, PART TWO

Gardener – Mr. Tompkins! What does he have to do with this?
Writer – Absolutely nothing. That’s my point.
Gardener – What is your point?
Writer – Gamow is talking theory.
Gardener – George Gamow, the physicist?
Writer – In fact the original Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland which the Youth read after hearing the Cosmic Evolution lecture series at the San Francisco Exploratorium, was rewritten a little more than a decade ago by Russell Stannard, with many chapters completely altered, since new theory made old theory obsolete. Science depends on a shimmering hypothesis. It’s not dependable. And the data is open to interpretation, like history and fiction, although in these cases a hypothesis might be called a premise. That’s why no one agrees on climate change.
Gardener – I can’t see why anyone denies the possibility that increased fuel emissions from cars during the past century and from factories since the birth of the Industrial Revolution along with the loss of forests world wide causes climate change? The combination has to effect something! Sticking one’s head in the sand isn’t a good prerogative.
Writer – Why does the conclusion have to be negative? The Earth has heated up and cooled off before. It could be a cycle.
Gardener – We are not moles digging blindly through the earth unaware that the ground above could cave in. We can imagine the possible ramifications of our activities. Why not view the data as an opportunity to retool the machine and create a better product. While your political geniuses clamor to cap the debt to ensure our children a debt free future, they claim that regulating fuel emissions hurts business and employment today and should be abandoned. The only immediate gain is financial.
Writer – It’s human nature to preserve one’s own interests. Remember what Adam Smith said!
Gardener – I can’t believe how you’ve changed. You forgot that he also said that one group’s self-interest can be detrimental to another. Therefore it’s important that all participating groups protect their own interest. And this is why the elected representatives of government must mediate through law.
Writer – I recall something like that, but Adam Smith also said that the business person knows what he or she wants, he or she wants to make money. Yes, he said that too! Since then I’ve learned that the only objective mind is the business mind. Making money is practical.
Gardener – And so is working with one’s hands.
Writer – Please, don’t interrupted me with you emotional concerns! All I wanted to say before was that Galt, unlike Gamow, is practical.
Gardener –You’re comparing a real physicist with a character in a novel? Mr. Tompkins would be more appropriate.
Writer – Mr. Tompkins is no more real than Alice in Wonderland. But anyone of us could be Galt. I mean that’s impossible too, for most of us, but we can strive for that ideal.
Gardener – But aren’t we all Mr. Tompkins, the everyday man.
Writer – I don’t want to be a Tompkins pulled hither and thither by the forces of nature. I want to be Galt, two feet placed firmly on terra cognita, an action hero!
Gardener – Earlier you told me he was the most boring character in the book, all talk, no action.
Writer – That’s true. The real action hero in the book turns out to be a philosopher.
Gardener – You’re crazy! And that must make me just as crazy.
Writer – You’re deluded, that’s all. So was I. This philosopher, Ragnar Danneskjold was a student of Professor Hugh Akston, the Hugh Akston of Patrick Henry University. Ragnar puts aside his studies in Aristotle and becomes a renegade who sinks all the cargo ships belonging to the moochers.
Gardener – A terrorist.
Writer – Well, he’d consider big government, the friend of incompetents, the terrorist. But he’s not a renegade like the Robin Hood our Youth knew, the popular hero with his merry band helping the needy. I’ve since learned that he was a bandito for the freeloaders, who were needy because they didn’t want to work. . .
Gardener – Why did I come in?
Writer – They expect the hard working suckers to support them.
Gardener – You mean the Sherriff of Nottingham is protecting the hard working sucker?
Writer – Well, you have to admit, it’s an interesting idea. But we’re wasting time here. The heroine was warned, just the way I‘m warning you. The moochers and the looters will take your hard work in the garden and use it to their own advantage. Don’t you resent that?
Gardener – Resent what?
Writer – Being used!
Gardener – Besides one or two bad apples. . .
Writer – Do you know what a bad apple looks like?
Gardener – Anyone can be a bad apple.
Writer – Absolutely not! You know an incompetent moocher when you see one by their dull, watery eyes.
Gardener – And the heroes by their clear, sharp eyes.
Writer – Yes! So you’ve heard the voices too!
Gardener – Yes, I’ve been hearing them, that’s why I came in!
Writer – I knew it!
Gardener – But I was safer out there.
Writer – Listen to them. As long as there are freeloaders, your hard work is for nothing.
Gardener – The search for Eden is hopeless!
Writer –It hurts at first, but resistance is useless. They exposed my old wounds, wounds I forgot I even had, wounds received back in the early days of the Youth.
Gardener – I’ve been seeking a place in a landscape the Youth once passed through. Sometimes I see it in the light falling through the trees or when a small leaf grows in front of a larger one in contrast. Is it the shadow it throws that kindles some inner reception? Or is it a scent that leads me back in a flash as I ricochet through the creative process. I know I can’t find this childhood place but it’s important I keep trying because this creation will be your garden of Eden as well as mine.
Writer – Give up the work. The freeloaders will sacrifice you to their own ends.
Gardener – I was always under the impression that we were expulsed from the Garden because of our own inadequacies. A vanity on the part of one, a gullibility on the part of the other. Recently after an hour of working in the garden this anger creeps into my hands. They become like stone. I hear someone saying, why bother.
Writer – Yes, why bother!
Gardener – It’s just a voice. I don’t see anyone. I hear it again. This time the voice whispers, who cares.
Writer – No one! That’s just the point.
Gardener – I shrug it off. I go on weeding, pruning, my dream of Eden once more in my hands, but little by little new voices begin clamoring.
Writer – That’s them. They are relentless!
Gardener – They sound like my neighbors, only I know that can’t be true because I’m in the garden all alone. I’m always alone. But I can hear them whispering. We don’t want your arboretum. It’s not mine, I reply. We want a bench! We want to sit and read. That’s reasonable, I reply. I don’t want to read, someone shouts. I want to listen to my radio! Yeah, and I want to use my cell phone! They all start shouting at once. We have our rights! Yeah, we pay maintenance, too! I quite them. I hear the birds again, but then along they come again, words with feet. Why are you cutting down the old Mulberries? Don’t you like trees? They’re old, they will fall, I explain. So what? Let them fall, that’s nature. Yes, kids need trees to climb, the way I did when I was a boy! A little girl cries, don’t hurt the trees, they have rights, too.
Writer – What little girl?
Gardener – I don’t know, it’s all in my head.
Writer – In your head?
Gardener – I want to hide. This time new words fill the air, new faces appear.
Writer – You see faces too?
Gardener – I see them in my head.
Writer – In your head?
Gardener – But they’re people I know, real people.
Writer – John Galt’s enemies!
Gardener – No, not John Galt’s enemies, just shareholders, like you and me, that’s all.
Writer – But they’re crowding around you!
Gardener – Yes. They say I’m planting a forest! A garden needs structure, I tell them, to look as good in winter as in summer. Green shrubs, how boring! I struggle to explain how in winter, the structure remains. Who cares about a garden in winter, they cry! Evergreens help an urban landscape. Yeah? So why did you move the evergreen hedge in front of my building? To break up the symmetry, I reply; symmetry’s hard to maintain. No, they shout, you don’t like flowers. Yeah, we want flowers! Yeah, we know something about gardening too! You’re not the only one! Why do you get the last word? We want perennials! We want annuals! I’m standing there like a fool. Who’ll weed through all the perennials and annuals, I ask. We will, they shout! But I know they won’t. I’m arguing with shadows. Oh now and then, they’ll come out, when the time suits them. They consider gardening a hobby. But it’s an avocation, a calling. That’s when I look up from the earth wondering if I’m talking out loud. That’s when I realize I’ve lost my touch. The earth is remote, distant, I can’t reach this mother of mine. When someone passes by, I see the enemy where once I saw a friend. Why aren’t you helping me I want to ask. Instead I lose my voice. I return here and find you.
Writer – I had no idea you were so angry. You’re always smiling, always cheerful.
Gardener – I want to work and I’m good at it, it’s my specialty. If I gave it up what would I do?
Writer – That’s the hardest part about going on strike!
Gardener – Stop working in paradise? That’s what work is, when you like it, it’s paradise.
Writer – That’s why leaving it is so hard. But listen, most everyone appreciates your work.
Gardener – Yes, yes, most everyone. Only a few complain. I don’t know why I can’t hear those who compliment my work. There are more of them than the others. Maybe I take them for granted and want to be please everyone.
Writer – Galt told me I didn’t have to worry about the feelings of others.
Gardener – I realize some folks can’t come out and weed. They’re busy raising kids, going to work to make a living. But as the afternoon draws on the few grumblers multiply inside my head. Soon everybody’s against me. I lose my resolve. I feel my work’s not appreciated. No one cares. So I flee the garden.
Writer – You disappear.
Gardener – I want to blame you, cooped up in here, crushing rock.
Writer – I told you the rock of this new world is uncrushable. In fact I’m beginning to see it’s more like plastic, instead of breaking, it’s easily shaped.
Gardener – But I can’t blame you for everything. So I blame everyone! It’s easier that way. And then I think about the yellow dahlia.
Writer – What dahlia?
Gardener – The yellow dahlia I planted outside the E building last August. It came back!
Writer – So what?
Gardener – They’re not hardy this far north. We have to dig them from the ground in late Autumn and store them in a cool place for the winter. I wanted to see if it would overwinter in the ground near one of our buildings. It looks nice growing in front of the B building.
Writer – You said it was outside the E building.
Gardener – Well yeah but once it came up I moved it to the B building. In its place I planted Dahlia ‘Mystic Illusion,’ which we bought this June. It also has yellow flowers but the leaves are dark which contrast nicely with the yellow leaves of Cana pretoria. It’s one of the Bishop’s children.
Writer – The Bishop’s children?
Gardener – ‘Bishop of Landaff,’ one of my favorite dahlias. Last January I ordered three tubers.
Writer – I thought you wanted to see if the yellow dahlia survived the winter?
Gardener – That’s right.
Writer – Then what’s all this talk about wanting to see if a dahlia would make it through the winter?
Gardener – After we moved here, I discovered Zantedeschia rehmannii – that’s a calla lily – growing in the narrow bed along the east side of the E building. It came up the following year and every year since. I tried the Canas and they made it. So I knew the Dahlia would return.
Writer – You mean on that assumption you spent co-op funds before you had actual proof? What if it hadn’t come up?
Gardener – I knew it would! We’re growing the three Bishop in the south bed in front of the B building, not far from the nameless yellow and another ‘Mystic Illusion.’ And this year we’re experimenting with bananas!
Writer – Look how easy it is so for you to gateway back to Eden. Once more you are happy. But in spite of your confidence, I still find it difficult understanding how we became lords over the world, it’s more than a matter of planting dahlias.
Gardener – You mean “we” as incompetents or just you and me?
Writer – As in Homo sapiens who seem predominantly incompetent!
Gardener – We didn’t. If anything we just became conscious of the world.
Writer – Do you really believe that we’re conscious of it? The superheroes yes, but. . .
Gardener – Anyway it doesn’t matter. The Hexapoda will always remain ahead of our foolery.
Writer – Hexapoda?
Gardener – No matter how many times we spray them they keep ahead of our strategies by their sheer numbers. And now your geniuses are genetically altering the food we eat so our food kills the insects and the weeds before we take a bite. Doesn’t sound like a good game plan to me!
Writer – Galt said it would get worse! Can’t you see? The dark news keeps piling up year after year like last year’s winter snow.
Gardener – That snow plus the corrosive de-icers used on the sidewalks wreaked havoc on the evergreens!
Writer – What evergreens?
Gardener – The junipers in front of C building. Every time it snowed, the de-icers were thrown down to melt the snow. Then the snow was piled up on the junipers and burned the hell out of them.
Writer – I’m not talking about de-icers! I’m wondering how bad it will get.
Gardener – I recommended Calcium magnesium acetate. We used it successfully at Wave Hill. They use it on airport runways to prevent salt corrosion on the landing gears.
Writer – Where is John Galt?
Gardener – Management said it was too expensive. When you consider the cost of repairing sidewalks and edges and buying new plants you have to wonder how using sodium or calcium chloride saves anything.
Writer – Forget about your garden. I’m talking about spewing deep sea oil wells. . .
Gardener – That was last summer.
Writer – Sucked into the ocean as if swept under the rug! Galt warned me. The infrastructure would fail. Look what happened to the nuclear reactor at Fukushima?
Gardener – Wasn’t it hubris that caused these failures?
Writer – Hubris? Without competent, hands-on, management these failures were assured.
Gardener – What if a top manager acts as if he or she is John Galt?
Writer – The John Galt?
Gardener – It’s possible. Haven’t you been reading about Murkydoc, the newspaper baron, and his son over in London where they hacked the phone of a murdered thirteen year old?
Writer – Who hasn’t?
Gardener – When they testified before parliament they made the distinction between top management and middle management.
Writer – But they didn’t hack her phone, their underlings did. How can the president of a giant corporation and his son know what middle management is doing? Last year the company employed 51,000 people!
Gardener – That’s exactly what Murkydoc told Parliament. But then how can Murkydoc claim in the next breath that he’s the best person to get to the bottom of his own company’s hacking scandal! By his own reasoning he’s too high up to see over his belt the shit on his shoes.
Writer – That proves he’s not John Galt?
Gardener – Well, John Galt or not, top management is competent at something. Whether they’re heads of a news agency or an investment firm they know how to make money, hand over fist at our expense.
Writer – Galt said they had friends in Washington.
Gardener – Murkydoc and son have friends in London and Washington!
Writer – Galt warned me it would get . . .
Gardener – Worse before it got better.
Writer – That’s right. They’re waiting for the lights of New York to go out.
Gardener – The lights of New York have gone out many times. And gone on again!
Writer – This will be different. This time the competents will return to save the world and the $ will reign a thousand years.
Gardener – I’d say money already has reigned thousands of years. But how many will suffer waiting their apocalyptic return?
Writer – It’s not our fault a tsunami took out the ill-conceived Fukushima?
Gardener – Does fault matter when the radioactive fallout effects everyone including the competents toughing it out in Shangri-la?
Writer – You’re right. So how can I, waiting on the margin, stem the tide!
Gardener – It’s not about you!
Writer – Did I say it was about me?
Gardener – You just said you can’t stem the tide. Is that your job? Are you the hero?
Writer – No, John Galt is the hero, not me. I’m just a commoner.
Gardener – I saw people wearing T-shirts that said “I’m John Galt.” Do you think they’re capable of solving all our problems? Do you think we can trust any one man or woman or group, especially somebody who wants the system to completely collapse before they take over!
Writer – Don’t think I haven’t thought about all this! I just heard of another voice,
who. .
Gardener – You read books like a seer reads stars.
Writer – I mean, he’s dead now, but new to me.
Gardener – Another table knocking voice from the grave?
Writer – Very funny. But I’m discouraged! He’s already said it.
Gardener – Said what?
Writer – Everything! There’s nothing left for me to say.
Gardener – Nothing left for you to say? You sound like one of my garden gnomes.
Writer – It’s all been said before!
Gardener – Remember the Dahlia! Gardeners have been growing ‘Bishop of Landaff’ long before I ever heard of it. Does that mean I shouldn’t grow it? Treseder. . .
Writer – I think he’s Brechtian. . .
Gardener – No, he’s British.
Writer – The idea is to remain objective.
Gardener – No, the idea is to be ravished!
Writer – Now I’m confused!
Gardener – ‘Landaff’s’ beauty continues to be the standard!
Writer – Landaff?
Gardener – The ‘Bishop of Landaff.’ Treseder crossed Dahlia coccinea with Dahlia pinnata in 1924. In 1928, it won the Royal Horticulture Society merit award. It’s considered one of the best hybridized plants grown in the last two centuries.
Writer – Who are you talking about?
Gardener – The hybridizer, Stephen Treseder of Cardiff, Wales. My two mentors, Stufano and Nally, first saw the Bishop at Sissinghurst in the early eighties. The gardener there wouldn’t give them cuttings so we had to wait until Cruickshank in Canada carried it. Now it’s readily available.
Writer – I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m talking about David Foster Wallace.
Gardener – Who’s that?
Writer – The writer I was just telling you about!
Gardener – Oh! The voice from the grave?
Writer – He seems like a voice I need to hear.
Gardener – You haven’t read any of his work?
Writer – No, I read the reviews of his new novel, The Pale King.
Gardener – I thought he was dead?
Writer – He was writing it when he committed suicide.
Gardener – Suicide? So he didn’t finish it.
Writer – I don’t know if he finished it. His novel is being published posthumously.
Gardener – So how do you know that you and he have a similar axe to grind.
Writer – That’s what I meant to say, axe to grind, we’re fighting the same demons, he was a warrior against futility.
Gardener – So how do you know since you haven’t read his work?
Writer – I don’t know. I just read the reviews and Wikipedia and other stuff.
Gardener – Secondary bulshit. I thought you advocate primary sources.
Writer – Every day a new primary source is added to my list. Wallace is the latest. The list is getting too long. I can’t keep up.
Gardener – Can fiction be a primary source?
Writer – It’s someone’s view of reality, as opposed to someone’s view of someone’s view of reality. And you don’t need footnotes when writing fiction.
Gardener –Why am I here talking to you? I’ve got weeding to do and pruning!
Writer – You were driven from the garden. Besides, I depend on you.
Gardener – You’re plummeting like a meteor and you’re dragging me down with you. I almost lost it. You have to hang in there like all the rest of us!
Writer – You’re outside, in the sun, the fresh air, our Eden of Inwood, you’ve got the best part of our perfect life!
Gardener – You sound like all the rest!
Writer – Don’t get angry.
Gardener – Don’t take my work for granted!
Writer – I’m sorry. Doesn’t the work get easier now?
Gardener – We’re talking 2 plus acres, dude. We brought in three hundred and twenty yards of mulch and hired a garden crew to spread it near the end of July! But a couple of million weed seeds still made it into the ground by mid July. We spread one batch on the hottest day of the year, 104 degrees! People started complaining about the smell of fermenting woodchips, only they, and I don’t mean my garden gnomes, said we were spreading industrial strength fertilizer, yak – yak!
Writer – No wonder you hear voices. But don’t think sitting on my ass listening to my voices is any easier than you standing on your feet listening to yours!
Writer –We’ll never win.
Writer – You have to admit there’s a difference between the problems of a small garden and those of the world !
Gardener – All winter while you fret over the state of the world, I looked out the window wondering if I’ll make it to spring.
Writer – Am I like Mrs. Pardiggle?
Gardener – I don’t care! Sitting with you my own dreams become too big for me.
Writer – You sound like Daggy Taggart, the most interesting character in the book.
Gardener – My life is not in one of your books!
Writer – But it is! She’s walking along a railroad track in the middle of nowhere trying to reach an emergency phone and realizes, let me see, I have it right here, “what an enormous distance five miles had suddenly become, and that a division point thirty miles away was now unattainable – after an era of railroads built by men who thought in thousands of transcontinental miles.” This happens near the end of Part II.
Gardener – I don’t live your books.
Writer – Books enrich our lives.
Gardener – I want the energy I used to feel in the garden. If I can’t go back, I’ll wither.
Writer – Books are a network that connects us. They nourish us.
Gardener – Can you speak the language of fungi! The fungi live in the mulch. They too connect and their knowledge is without words. When my hands know what to do then my eyes brighten like a child’s.
Writer – Exactly what the uncommoners told me!
Gardener – Your voices wouldn’t recognize the fungi.
Writer – You might be right there. The narrator is certainly dismissive of soybeans and they’re now, in their genetically modified way, feeding the world
Gardener – Your voices believe in a pyramid where humans preside at the top and the uncommon preside over humans and everything else. But I see all the possibilities in the landscape, because the landscape and I are dancing as one. Everything is attuned to the perfection of an ideal. But it’s my ideal, only it belongs to a large puzzle in which every piece represents someone else’s ideal and all of them must be set in place to create one world where we can all dance, the short and the tall, the fat and the skinny, the common and the uncommon. I have no interest in voices who claim all the answers.
Writer – When I started reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand I was overwhelmed by a tremendous lethargy. . .
Gardener – Is that what you’ve been reading?
Writer – I just finished it.
Gardener – That explains your voices, and mine.
Writer – At first I felt my head was a block of wood. With sweeping dogmatic strokes, the author pounded her idea of good and evil like a nail into my head. You’re right it’s difficult listening to voices who always think they’re right. Galt never questions his own motive power, to use one of his favorite expressions. Actually all the heroes talk a language they’ve learned from Galt’s philosophical mentor, Professor Askston. I seem to be waking up from his spell. If someone is doubt free, would he or she take the time to “check their premises,” another favorite phrase of the uncommon.
Gardener – You look better. Maybe this is why Galt appeals to people, after all, he knows all the answers. In the garden it’s just the opposite with me. I see too many possibilities which confuses me at first.
Writer – You’re right. The only people who know all the answers are politicians in front of a camera. Aristotle’s most famous student, Alexander the Great, never questioned his reasons for conquering the world. I was with the Youth when he trudged though J. B. Bury’s History of Greece. He and his lady were living in San Jose, California. The text was cut and dry through more than 700 pages covering more than a millennium. While his girl worked the PM shift in the trauma ward at O’Connor Hospital, the Youth, after a day of laying sod on freeway mediums, sat in the living room of their apartment struggling through the late afternoon heat to retain the author’s words; that is, until he arrived at the gates of Pella, the capital of Macedon. Then J. B. became a child and waxed lyrical over the great astounding achievements of Philip II’s son. The narrative verged on myth. It became storytelling, which is where Bury begins his Greek History, describing Homer’s Iliad. Was J.B. reborn as he neared the end of his massive effort or in capturing the arrogant spirit of the young Alexander did he throw all of life’s lessons into the air for one last chance to prove the gods wrong?
Gardener – You said you had trouble entering the world of Atlas Shrugged. So how did you finally do it?
Writer – I took a palliative, a self-prescribed antidote.
Gardener – You drank yourself silly.
Writer – No! I reread Nevil Shute’s Trustee of the Toolroom.
Gardener – I remember liking that book.
Writer – I believed I was going to be reading a novel advocating pure greed. After all how many people, most of them having never read the book, told me that. I thought Trustee of the Toolroom will contrast Atlas Shrugged.
Gardener – Like the black leaf Dahlia and the yellow Cana.
Writer – The hero in Trustee, Keith Stuart is a retired tool and die fitter, the antithesis of John Galt. He and his wife live in a working class neighborhood outside London where he designs and builds small scale replicas of large machines which he writes about in a hobby magazine dedicated to miniature machines. With his small pension, and the money he makes from his articles and the supplemental income his wife brings in as a sales clerk nearby, the couple earn just enough to keep them solvent. His sister, who married an upper class man, has traveled the world, and thinks her brother is a failure. But the narrator states emphatically that if Stuart had made more money, – and here I quote from page 5, “he would not have made more happiness than he had now attained.” Keith Stuart is the complete manifestation of Ernst Schumacher’s ideal in Small Is Beautiful.
Gardener – Small Is Beautiful? Does anyone know who Schumacher is?
Writer – You’ll find nothing heroic nor dramatic in Small Is Beautiful! Nor will you find those attributes embodied in the central character of Trustee of the Toolroom. He is completely satisfied with his work. If anything ties him to John Galt and the other super heroes it’s that he is thoroughly competent. Dagny Taggart would admire Stuart’s bravery and thorough planning as he goes about retrieving his niece’s inheritance. It’s this competence that moves the story and draws important people, titans of industry, into orbit around Keith Stuart.
Gardener – Do these titians resemble the super heroes in Atlas Shrugged?
Writer – In that they are competent industrialists, like Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart, who have learned their business from the bottom up. But none of them understand Stuart’s satisfaction. None of them would be satisfied with the scale of Stuart’s life? Keith Stuart, like John Galt, comes from humble beginnings. Stuart possesses all of Galt’s attributes, except one, his resentment.
Gardener – Because he’s satisfied.
Writer – Galt’s yearning for the ever reiterated “profit” and his bitterness over the rule of the incompetent separate him from the self sufficiency and satisfaction of Stuart. Stuart has gone to the ends of the world to help his niece. It’s a completely selfless task and interestingly enough, in spite of his lack of ambition, he benefits personally from it. But he is not driven by gain but by concern. Galt confidently marks the dollar sign in the air with his hand now that the nation and the world have collapsed, but I doubt he will ever be satisfied with the world he envisions either.
Gardener – No more than I can when I look at the garden.
Writer – But you question you success.
Gardener – So what happens when someone, who isn’t successful like Murkydoc, thinks he is John Galt?
Writer – He resents the success of others.
Gardener – I’ve felt that resentment too!
Writer – I’m afraid I feel it all the time. You don’t have to be a genius to resent the moochers.
Gardener – You can feel you’ve worked hard while others benefited. That’s when I tell my garden gnomes I’ll quite. . .
Writer – But who will you hurt?
Gardener – Myself. No one asked me to garden. I volunteered. And I hurt the majority of those who like what I do.
Writer – And what about the garden?
Gardener – Can I stop watering the plants? Can a farmer stop feeding his animals? Can parents abandon their children – just to prove a point? Talk about violence!
Writer – The super heroes in Atlas Shrugged describe their pain after abandoning their businesses to the looters, of watching their life’s work disappear as the country implodes.
Gardener – I think you’re palliative worked.
Writer – Hitler thought the German people failed his vision. He didn’t negotiate an end to the war to save Germany from destruction. He welcomed it thinking that the people deserved punishment.
Gardener – That same resentment lead to the irrational hatred that killed the children on a Norwegian island, and still others in a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona and two thousand more in skyscrapers half way around the world?
Writer – And don’t forget those sitting in Congress on a single point of view watching the country go down – it’s small minded.
Gardener – Like stamping one’s feet and throwing a temper tantrum when you don’t get your way. And isn’t that an emotional expression?
Writer – Yes.
Gardener – And if Atlas Shrugged is about a struggle between the competent and the incompetent, then it’s not just a tantrum against big government.
Writer – The incompetents use the government to do what they can’t do in the business world. It’s the self serving and mindless, the politically savvy, in other words those who would frighten the public when the public becomes aware of their abuses, the shoddy work that caused the Gulf oil spill, the poorly made humvees during war time, the deregulation of corporate farming practices that harm all forms of life.
Gardener – And don’t forget the poor lending practices that caused the recession.
Writer – Yes, the actual lenders of capital who led the nation into darkness and were bailed out.
Gardener – You’re back.
Writer – My old self! But you know when I asked my wife. . .
Gardener – She’s my wife too!
Writer – Yes, I know, when I asked her what she thought of Trustee From The Toolroom. she said it was like a fairy tale because everything works out perfectly.
Gardener – What about Atlas Shrugged?
Writer – She didn’t read that. But I’ll say this, John Galt is the Harry Potter of Unimpeded Capitalism.

Footnotes:

Hexapoda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexapoda

Reuters: Murdoch to Parliament: ‘I’m the Best Man to Clear This Up’
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/19/idUS407970120620110719

Mrs. Pardiggle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleak_House

Schumacher
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._F._Schumacher

Pureline is exclusive, and does not permit other ideals:
“But it’s my ideal, only it belongs to a large puzzle in which every piece represents someone else’s ideal and all of them must be set in place to create one world where we can all dance, the short and the tall, the fat and the skinny, the common and the uncommon. I have no interest in voices who claim all the answers.” 9

The incompetents use the government to do what they can’t do in the business world. It’s the self serving and mindless, the politically savvy, in other words those who would frighten the public when the public becomes aware of their abuses. . . 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *