dinsdag 21 augustus 2018

When Ryan Zinke was a child he burned a copy of THE GIVING TREE.


When Ryan Zinke, the current Secertary of the Interior for the United States government was a young boy he was given a copy of Shel Silverstein’s classic childrens book, The Giving Tree.  Now for those who are unfamiliar with “the classic children's book, The Giving Tree, it was written and illustrated by poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein, one of the coolest bearded and bald Jews ever to have lived. (For those who do not know, Johnny Cash’s hit A Boy Named Sue, was written by Shel).  Anyway, The Giving Tree is about the relationship of a boy and a tree. When he was young, the boy would come and visit the tree every day. He wound swing on her branches, eat her apples, and as long as he did this, the tree was happy.”  The story progresses as the child grows older and has different needs in his life which the tree helps him fulfill till old age.  It is a beautiful and heartwarming book that every child as well as adult should read.  When Ryan Zinke was 11 years old he burned his copy of it. 
            It was while Ryan and his father were on a father and son bonding weekend in Kootenai National Forest, that Ryan really first took notice of the environment.  Ryan’s father lead him on a hike to the top of Kootenai National Forests most majestic veiwpoints and said to his son, “son, this is God’s country.  Look at how beautiful this all is.  Only God could have created such beauty.”  And little Ryan Zinke looked up at his dad and said “it sure is Pa.” “Now Ryan, you got to understand that it is one thing to appreciate the beauty and power of nature but to let that get in the way of commerce, well that just makes you a fool.”  “But Pa, what is commerce?” asked little Ryan.  “Son, commerce is how America has become the strongest country in the world.  By recognizing what we have and then selling the lot of it at inflated prices, regardless of the costs to ourselves or the rest of the world, we become stronger.  It is really pretty simple.  You see all these trees, if we were to cut them down and have them used as lumber for millions of practical usages, countless jobs would be created and a course of supply and demand would insue.  And tree’s well they grown back.  It is all relatively simple.  One day, son you will understand.  Who knows Ryan, maybe one day you will be in a position to help influence this all.  Ryan stood there looking out over the rolling valleys’ and hillsides covered in lush pine trees.  He looked up at his Pa and smiled.   
            After the weekend was over and Ryan and his father had returned home; Ryan had gone directly to his room and grabbed the copy of the Giving Tree that his strange Aunt who lived in Billings had given to him for his birthday last year.  Ryan had only read the book once and not really liked it.  He never understood why the boy loved a tree and how in the world could a tree love a boy.  So Ryan took his copy off of his bookshelf and went out to the shed.  After grabbing what he needed in the shed, Ryan took the book around the back of the shed and put it in a metal bucket.  Dosing the book with gasoline used for his fathers chainsaw, he flicked open the Bic lighter that he had stolen from his uncle and lit the book on fire.  As Ryan ZInke watched the book burn he said out loud to himself “fuck this hippy shit.”

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