Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If wanting to save the Mojave means I am a shill; then I am and PROUD of it.

Ever notice in an argument or a debate, the easiest way to shut someone
up is to throw out an epithet that stops them in their tracks and instantly
they start defending themselves? A perfect example was the republicans
labeling Dukakis a liberal, his campaign took weeks of pounding due to
their fighting or running from the label, polls dropping,etc--- it only turned
around near the end when he finally and proudly accepted what he was,
something he should have done the first time he was called the dreaded
L word. Who knows maybe by admitting the truth, and embracing it, he might
have won.

What does that have to do with this blogger. In the last few days, I have
been called a shill for big coal, and in the pocket of big oil and gas. Me,
little, old, Morongobill, the blogging bus driver.

Well my old granny did have a pot bellied stove and I used to feed it the
coal when I was little. After I got out of the navy, I did work at 2 or 3 gas
stations where I did everything from pumping gas to fixing tires to washing
cars. However, the last time I checked my bank balances, I didn’t see a
penny from big oil or coal.

But this is all beside the point. It’s time for the Morongobill to come clean,
after all, they say that “confession is good for the soul”.

Yes, as the title says, I am a shill and proud of it. I ask for your pardon for
a few moments as I confess before you pass judgment upon me, your

I shill for the following and there are probably more that I may not remember
right this minute, after all, I am about to be judged and there is quite a bit
of pressure on me at this time. Here goes:

mojave ground squirrel
desert tortoise
nelson big horn sheep
gila monster
fringe toed lizards and lizards in general
any creosote bush or ring
all the assortment of cacti and other succulents(sounds so lascivious ;-))
the wild Mojave and other deserts about to be raped by big solar and wind
the Mojave National Preserve
the Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve
the Wildlands Conservancy
the Stop Green Path organization and all the citizens of Morongo Valley who
united managed to save Big Morongo from the fate our deserts are about to suffer.
for my friends at Coyote Crossing and the Mojave Desert Blog and Basin and Range
Watch, who helped this rube try out the blogging business. I thank you Chris, Shaun,
Laura, and Kevin for helping me and for what each of you so tirelessly have done for
the Mojave.
for my good friend Lee Murray over at the Ruminate, Cogitate, Contemplate, and Meditate site for his
sage advice and help with my writing issues.
for all the bloggers and others who have commented on this site.
for those environmental groups that haven’t forgotten that it is about saving the
wild places and wildernesses, not just counting carbon in a spreadsheet.

You know folks, life just isn’t about how much dough you make, or how your newest
quad runs out in Johnson Valley, or that promotion at work- there’s other things as
well. One thing I have learned in 56 years on the planet is that humans, if left unchecked,
will remake every square foot of this earth. We will cover it with houses, and roads, and
yes, solar mirrors and wind turbines and giant electrical power lines. Absolutely. We
will turn nature into a giant parking lot, I am sure of it.

I would like to tell you what I and my little brothers used to do when we were kids and
lived out on an old farm estate way out in the country. We used to go exploring in
the woods, I remember we tried to make a little dam one time and block a trickling stream.
There were no people around, I think it was a perfect place for boys to grow up, in the
country. Maybe that’s why to this day, I love the country which out here in California
is the desert for me. There is something wonderful about looking out for tens of miles to
the horizon, overlooking mountains, basins, dry lake beds, the washes and dry seasonal
stream beds, the cholla gardens—you get my drift.

Philosophers and religious leaders and sages and prophets all have something in common,
in that most went “out in the wilderness” to ponder and think. Nowadays in this increasingly
”twittered” and harried and stressful world, it is hard to imagine that a place with no cell
phone coverage or internet access even exists. Let me be the first to tell you that
such a place does exist, and you can easily find it by heading out to the Mojave

You know one thing that inspired me to start this blog was when I came across “Creek
running north” by Chris Clarke, who has since started the Coyote Crossing blog. I was
interested in the Cima Dome area of the Mojave National Preserve, I googled the term
and his blog came up. I voraciously read every article with the subject on that site, but I am sure I missed a few. His writing is so descriptive, I swear you can smell the smoke of a
campfire as you read it. If only I could write such prose, but we all have our limitations
it seems. The point being that wilderness exists currently, and in my opinion, is a sure
cure for what ails our society, we need more wilderness, to preserve more of it, and
the way to do it, is to get people to venture out and experience it. Leave your iPhone
in the car, and get out and walk!

So it seems inadvertently I overlooked another thing I am shilling for, wilderness.

You are damned right, I am proud to be a shill for things I believe in, proud to say that
I love something, and will do what I can to help out in its’ preservation.

If some readers have a problem with this, so be it. You can call me a shill all you want,
I don’t care.

Now go out and look for a wilderness, sit down under a tree or a bush, and think some
great thoughts, such as how you can help save it.

Morongobill, proud to be a shill for those without a voice.


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