Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmental and eco-terrorist groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire.
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Whether in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the barrios of Caracas, the ghettos of Newark, the mining towns of West Virginia, or the tarpaper villages of Gallup, Flagstaff, and Shiprock, it's the same the world over — one big wretched family sequestered in sullen desperation, pawed over by social workers, kicked around by the cops, and prayed over by the missionaries.
Such things . . . as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or a lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind — what else is there? What else do we need?
Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our anti-materialistic, otherworldly, New Age spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and seaweed slime.