Letterman, Jon & Kate +8, Roman Polanski,

runktrun(z7a MA)October 3, 2009

Sorry I donÂt follow entertainment news other than my opinion that PolanskiÂs Painted Bird was one of the most gripping and intense books I read as a young woman, I donÂt know enough about the details surrounding these peopleÂs lives to comment . So you may be asking yourselves if you donÂt follow the entertainment news how do you know there are issues surrounding their private lives. The answer to that is simple I donÂt live under a rock. Every newspaper, tv news, and radio (yes even npr) seem to believe that the hobby of examining every nuance in the lives of entertainers, professional athletes, and politicians is so hugely popular among Americans that these details should be conveniently available to hyper evaluate, for weeks on end.

We have noted here on more than one occasion that the hobby of gardening never seems to stir much interest in most of our neighbors let alone the mass media (ie put the G back in hgtv). So I am here to ask you what does Letterman, Jon & Kate +8, Roman Polanski, have that gardening does not?

For those interested in the salacious sexual details of LettermanÂs personal life I propose for your entertainment the far more sexual Aristolochia gigantea (Pelican flower).

For those interested in the lives of Jon & Kate and how they produced many babies (eight) then the drama which ensued when they drifted apart from one another, I would suggest that you take a look at any plant growing in a region that has offered it the opportunity to become classified as invasive. Now if you really want to get down and dirty join in on the discussion of bordering states that donÂt agree on a individual plants invasive tendencies.

For those interested in Roman Polanski who had sex with a child (why anyone would ever want a young girl to flower before her time) then fled from being incarcerated. Fortunately for the world of horticulture I am hard pressed to come up with a correlation of equal horror, but I do wonder why no one seems to be watching the hen house in terms of new plant introductions. There does not seem to be a standard set for evaluating the attributes of new plants prior to marketing, the plant Echinacea seems to be a great example. Which raises the question why are plants now being trademarked and what do we expect that means in terms of future introductions?

So what do you think it would take for plants to get a little press?

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spedigrees z4VT

(and the sooner the better.) When the genetically modified corn industry's evil product, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) finally is scientifically proven to be harmful to health the corn plant may make the news, much as the tobacco plant did a decade or so before.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I LOVE your posts - they're always so interesting and thought provoking.

Thank you,

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 1:29PM
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I agree with Bebe!

I honestly think that plants in general aren't of interest to many folks. There was a lot of attention paid last year to a book about children not being exposed to nature . . . I think that the same applies to adults in our current society. We gardeners are something of an exception, along with the hikers, bikers, mountain climbers, farmers, etc. I think that things like cancer cures will get plants into the media, and I recently saw something about a survey being done by a biodiversity organization, asking for input as to folks' experience with naturally based substances in medicines (like the chemical derived from yew that is used in chemo.) I think that the average American needs a concrete benefit like that to have much appreciation of the benefits of biodiversity.

At the same time, I'm currently taking a wetland plants class along with 9 young people. (I'm definitely middle-aged, using my husband's definition that middle age starts at 50 . . . ) I was charmed when on one of our field trips, one young man consistently referred to himself as a plant nerd, and I have one friend who's a farmer and whose two sons are both following in their parents' footsteps. So there is a new generation of farmers, gardeners, and other outdoors-loving folk coming along, despite the constant blitz of media cr@p about things that I personally feel don't deserve any real attention.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Thank goodness somebody invented clickers, so we can get away from this so-called news without exerting too much energy - although generally when you click away from Kate on NBC you just find Roman on CNN. I guess the sponsors know what most people want to see, although it's hard to believe.

Not sure what NPR's excuse is... Actually, I do think the Polanski and Letterman stories have some news value, and have started some interesting debates. Please tell me that those are the ones NPR has covered, not that other soap opera.

I love the Aristolochia, Katy, as well as the thread. Why football gets so much coverage and gardening gets next to none is a real mystery.

Spedigrees, I don't think HFCS is necessarily from GM corn, although I do agree that it's the worst thing since sliced (white) bread. I've been having an argument with my son the nutrition major about just how bad it is - I won't eat it (to the extent that I can avoid it), and he thinks it's no worse than sugar. He's in his 20s so he knows everything about everything.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:35PM
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Agree with Bebe too.

One thing that gets so much press is anything green. Have you noticed how they took the word green away from us? The hort industry has always been the green industry. Now green means anything from recycling soda cans to solar panels. Gardeners get no credit for our green-ness!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 6:22PM
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I can agree with everything you discussed but one. Roman Polanski had nothing to do with The Painted Bird. The author was Jerzy Kosinski. It was my late husband's favorite book.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 6:45AM
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The Painted Bird has quite a story behind it, something like A Million Little Pieces. The author was as ... unusual as Polanski.

Here is a link that might be useful: painted bird on wikipedia

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:03AM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Thanks for all of the overly generous comments. Jant thanks for pointing out that it was Jerzy Kosinski who authored Painted Bird or did he? I suppose we will never know the truth poor man it appears the controversy is believed to have been the driving force in his suicide. Ironic that Polanski and Kosinski were not only friends but lived in the same Polish community during the 1930Âs, went into hiding during WWll, and of course both had and have very dark personalities.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Grea post!

For the horror in the plant world is the genetic manipulations of plants. The hybrid seed in India caused people to take their own lives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monsanto Indian Farmer Suicide

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 4:49PM
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