Raw, idiom: 14 a. in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.

Listen to what 15 year old Tommy Nguyen has to say about Yosemite:

"I'd rather be at the mall because you can enjoy yourself walking around looking at stuff as opposed to the woods," Nguyen said from the comfort of the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall. In Yosemite and other parks, he said, furrowing his brow to emphasize the absurdly lopsided comparison, "the only thing you look at is the trees, grass and sky."

Oh god. Read it and weep:

"Children Detach From Natural World As They Explore the Virtual One" (SF Chron)

So this is a pretty anecdotal little piece, but one that hits on this whole idea of "Nature Deficit Disorder" which increasingly affects children, who are spending upwards of 6 1/2 hours (HOURS!) a day with electronic media. It also hits on the socio-economic and urban/rural aspects of this deficit. Coming on the heels of seeing Into The Wild, it resonates with me more than ever.

I like what the dude at the end has to say about nature being where we discover a sense of wonder, which is "essential to our humanity." True fucking true. And this is what scares me the most about kids who don't get to grow up in the midst of it; they never develop that sense of breathless transcendent wildness that comes from witnessing nature, and, I tell ya, it's not something you can teach very easily down the road...

Comments

ped said…
Ah, nature deficit disorder. I've met Richard Louv and heard him talk about this. Great talk. In fact, I've heard several talks about this subject. People are intrigued, but nobody is doing anything about it. So they'll continue to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. I wonder if I'll be a curator of a tree museum one day.

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