mud is just fine

i don't know anyone who doesn't have a favorite movie from their younger years; that movie which you saw so often, parts of it are permanently ingrained in your memory banks. there are plenty of movies which i can spend an enjoyable bit of time watching again, which i either own on dvd or will stop channel surfing when i come across. but, i'm pretty sure that there are one or two movies which stand out the most. in my case, it has to be a quirky musical, starring the rascal lee marvin and a really good looking, pre-chair incident, clint eastwood. the movie, paint your wagon.

well, as it happens, i picked it up on dvd last week and decided to watch it with some musical loving friends. it's been quite a few years since last viewing; as i had it only on vhs, and like the dinosaurs, technology changes and viewing devices die. it's strange what one gets out of something so familiar. i've become more eco-conscious over the years, and since moving to and away from california these last few months, i saw something new in an old favorite. for the most part, it had to be the song lee marvin sings early on in the film, "the first thing you know". it goes like this:

God made the mountains
God made the sky

God made the people
God knows why

He fixed up the planet
As best as He could
Then in come the people
And gum it up good

The first thing you know

They civilized the foothills
And everywhere He put hills
The mountains and valley below

They come along and take 'em
And civilize and make 'em
A place where no civilized
Person would go

The first thing you know
The first thing you know

They civilize what's pretty
By puttin' up a city
Where nothin' that's
Pretty can grow

They muddy up the winter
And civilize it into 
A place too uncivilized
Even for snow

The first thing you know

They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right

They civilize freedom
Till no one is free
No one except
By coincidence, me

The first thing you know
The boozer's in prison
And the criminally isn't
And only the rascals have dough

When I see a parson
I gotta put my arse in
A wagon that follows the tail of a crow

The first thing you know
I pick up a blow!
The first thing you know

it just speaks to the environmental warrior in me. and makes me wonder about how far we haven't progressed in the years since it was recorded. paint your wagon was made in 1969. 43 years have come and gone, and i could wish for a better understanding of our planet, and our society's acceptance that we need to preserve it. all the things nature does for us can't easily be reinvented by mankind, and the functions that we will be forced to recreate won't work as seamlessly and balanced as the original.


  1. did you move again? where are you now?

  2. ha, yes! california proved too expensive for my paycheck! i'm back in georgia, and am checking out atlanta for the time being. i may try the pacific northwest in the future, but it will be several years at least.

  3. sorry Calf. didn't work out, we were almost neighbors for a bit. The Canadian Pacific NW is the most expensive area in Canada, Vancouver the most expensive city and way up near the top in the world. I'd check it out carefully before making that move. Seattle is a wonderful city but think it is expensive.

  4. yeah, that's what i found out. it will probably be many years in the future before i make that move. but, visiting is still an option!