“It's a god-forsaken desert!” … was one individual’s dismissive and all-encompassing comment about Utah’s West Desert. A rallying cry of sorts, in this particular case to dump nuclear waste, but really this is of the extractive/exploitive mindset that really can’t imagine a land that exists for its own sake. I won’t get into a deconstructivist mode that examines how he presumes to know what God (if he/she/it exists) does or does not forsake, nor will I explore the irony behind what was once a horrid barrier to avoid or cross at one’s peril becomes a place of attraction and renewal (think Manly in 1849 struggling to lead a wagon train through a valley now known as Death). Instead, these images – all shot within ~50 miles of the “forsaken” location and hence presumably “forsaken” as well – speak for themselves. In the end, even though as a wise person once opined, “One man’s heavy metal is another woman’s opera,” it is also true that actions – and inactions – have consequences. Let decisions be guided by both maxims.
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