Wednesday, 30 November 2005

An outline of a theory

Basically there is a country over there to the left of the UK (that’s on the map not politically by the way) and it goes by the name of the USA. This Summer myself and some friends, or buddies as they say over there, went for a bit of a walkabout in the countryside over there, there is considerably more countryside in the States than there is over here. Whilst we were there we did some of the typical touristy things including going to Mount Rushmore which is where the faces of American Presidents have been carved out of a mountain. A somewhat impressive undertaking I’m sure you will agree.

A couple of miles from Mount Rushmore there is a far more impressive monument. The Monument is to a Dakota Indian Chief named Crazy Horse and is of him riding his stallion. The Monument is a massive 3D carving being hacked out of a mountain and it dwarfs Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse’s face alone is bigger than all of Mount Rushmore put together!

Now why I’m bringing this up is the story behind how this monument came about. Basically a sculpture by the name of Korczak Ziolkowski (he was of Polish decent) was approached by, amongst others, Chief Henry Standing Bear and asked to make a monument to Crazy Horse in the Black Hills. Korczak accepted and took on the challenge of carving an entire mountain into an image that symbolised Crazy Horse and what he stood for. Korczak started off his task on his own armed with just hand tools, vision and no small measure of determination; he worked for 36 years until his death and accepted no salary for his work. I really wish that I could find the words to describe the magnitude of the task he took on, it is huge. 50 years after the start of the project and there is a massive team of engineers working on the site with all the modern equipment you can shake a stick at and still they are a very very long way from completion. For one man to have had the vision and belief to walk to the top of a mountain every morning with a hammer, chisel, pick, shovel and what little dynamite that he could afford is truly stunning.

I was listening to radio 4 a couple of nights ago and apparently we have 20 to 50 years to take action to prevent catastrophic climate change; some people ignore this and others say that it’s too late to do anything. I look at the example of Korczak and think to myself that if one person can achieve so much surely if a whole bunch of people got together then they could achieve anything. There would probably even be time to make some money and go to a few parties as well.

“My lands are where my dead lie buried.” Crazy Horse.


Pandiotic said...

In other words:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978), American cultural anthropologist.

The Less Deceived said...

I think part of the problem is that a thoughtful minority do believe the risk of catastrophic climate change is large enough to be worth acting upon, but a smaller, shriller minority manages to turn off the unconvinced majority. The result is that we go nowhere. Actually that's not true, I think the 'sustainable development' caucus is making headway, but very slowly. It's going to be tough unless the US adopts a leadership role instead of reducing the argument to "China's not doing anything, so why should we?"


SameOld said...

We can't fix the planet because the planet isn't broke. It just is. Nature will take care of us and I mean that both ways; i.e. it will support us and/or it will dinosaur-us.

Individual action is where it's at. I don't think we can rely on political leaders to solve this one for us. They are weak and ineffective. Sorry to be a downer, man...

Hugh Sawyer said...

Second part of the theory coming soon.

Pandiotic said...

Think globally; act locally.

Besides that, post-modernism sucks.

Hugh Sawyer said...

Most ponderism sucks, take action.

Suggested action to be taken to be suggested later.

jason palmer said...

it would have been quicker to paint the mountain :)

jason palmer said...

reduce pollution via reducing population :)