Pleasantville and forestry leadership in America

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Tue Mar 30 20:29:29 EST 1999

I just got through watching the video of the recent hit movie

It's funny story about 2 contemporary teenagers, a brother and sister.
The boy loves to watch an old black and white TV show from the '50s
called "Pleasantville"; where the men are men and the woman are women; a
combination of "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver".

The town of Pleasantville is the vision of paradise of good, white
conservatives, as it has no ethnic types, no naughty sexy teenagers;
everyone is perfectly polite, there are no unknowns, and when the man of
the house arrives home from work, he says "honey I'm home" and of course
his dinner is ready.

The contemporary teenagers however, as a result of something that I
won't tell about here, find themselves magically back in Pleasantville,
in nice black and white.

Pleasantville is the kind of place contemporary forestry leadership in
America still fantasize about as the perfect world; without those
satanic environmentalists; where forestry is all about  making the
forest a better factory to produce ever more logs and "game" for good
wholesome hunters to "bag" for their good clean white families in the
suburbs. No need to be concerned about uneconomic species; heck they
barely know of such critters; after all, they weren't taught about them
in their glorious days in forestry school, so they must not exist.

And no need to worry about things like erosion, or loggers who might
high grade a forest. They didn't learn about that in forestry school
either; so it also must not exist, except in the perverted minds of
those great threats to the '50s American life style, environmentalists
and those few foresters who have busted out of town. <G>

Yes, in the good old days, there was a thing called "civil service"
which ensured the best people got hired for all government jobs. So, in
the Pleasantville mentality of our current forestry leadership, it just
MUST be true that the best people rise to the top; and all is well in
Pleasantville. Our good clean white government foresters and forestry
professors are all wholesome dedicated public servants; working hard and
obviously producing far more value than they get paid; after all; in the
'50s civil servants got paid less than most other people- to make up for
their greater job security- so it MUST still be true. The wonders of

Pleasantville is such a wonderful vision of the golden age of good clean
white folk in the suburbs when men ruled the roost; and nobody dared
challenge the good wholesome wise policies of our glorious, honest, and
dedicated leaders. Presidents never got laid in the white house. Black
people could never have become like Colen Powell, the top military man
in the nation; because everybody knew quite well back in that golden age
that black people were meant to do only menial labor.

Yes, in Pleasantville, it was well understood that our nation's forests
were never so healthy in the past several thousand years- and our nation
was well on the way to eradicating those ugly "old growth" forests with
all those "overmature" trees. Well, of course these ideas and visions
couldn't be proven, but neither could the other myths of that golden age
be proven. Just because they made so much sense, well, darn it all, one
can't let a more sophisticated vision enter into the pleasant myths of

Yup, in Pleasantville, REAL foresters wore suits, just like you see in
the Society of American Foresters Journal. Only dirty factory workers
wore coveralls; and we know that with clothes like those, one can't
possibly be considered a professional; not in Pleasantville.

Pleasantville, the fine myth of the '50s, where so many forestry leaders
had their little brains so finely molded. Let's be careful to not
disturb them in any way; don't rock their boats; because it
Pleasantville it never rains and it's always 72 degrees.
Joe Zorzin

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