Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Botany of Desire Tonight on PBS

See what Michael Pollan says about how plants use us for their own purpose in a two-hour-long documentary based on Michael Pollan's excellent book The Botany of Desire Weds, Oct. 28, 8PM . Weds, Oct. 28, 8PM.

PBS promises that this special will take you on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world — seen from the plants' point of view. The program shows how four familiar species (the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato) evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.

The four "great winners in the dance of domestication" are: 1) The tulip, by gratifying our desire for a certain kind of beauty, has gotten us to take it from its origins in Central Asia and disperse it around the world. 2) Marijuana, by gratifying our desire to change consciousness, has gotten people to risk their lives, their freedom, in order to grow more of it and plant more of it. 3) The potato, by gratifying our desire for control, control over nature so that we can feed ourselves has gotten itself out of South America and expanded its range far beyond where it was 500 years ago. 4) And the apple, by gratifying our desire for sweetness begins in the forests of Kazakhstan and is now the universal fruit.

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