wars by dropping bombs on civilian populations. nothing in war is pure, however, we maintain a sense of our humanity and be just and avoid as much as we can doing harm while we're there, that's a mission unto itself. that was my mission, bring my ma reaps back alive doing little harm as possible, and i did that. >> "dust to dust" is the book. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me, susan. >> we have an hour and a half left or so, and next is a non-fiction panel on visions of the west, and here's the authors. susan, deeann, and the live coverage begins right now. thank you for being with us.
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm the book editor of the jewish journal, and it's my honor and privileged to moderate today's panel called "vision of the west," and we'll go for one hour, ten minutes before the end, we'll open the microphones on the floor so if a question occurs to you in the program, hold it until the end, and i'll invite you to come up. we are being taped by c-span. it will go out over the waves. after the program is over, the authors will be signing their book at signing area seven and the volunteers will help you find it. let me start by introducing our panel. i'm going to start with susan
who is in the middle, a writer, performer, and feature whose works investigates science, art, and spiritual philosophy engaged in temporary light. she's presented her poetry nationally and internationally and published books of poetry, biography, and translation as well as essays, reviews, and book chapters. he's the founder and director of theater and produced many performances and plays. she has a one woman performance exploring the history and geography of los angeles where she lives. she founded a street theater troupe and co-directer of earth, water, air los angeles, a giant trek connecting and telling the story of endangered open spaces. i'm going to quote briefly from her book. "days are meant to be
seen as bookends between which many events unfold." mythic time is another matter, imagined as a pool where all time is present at once. my hope is that understanding the deep character and cultural beauty of southern california will open our collective eyes and influence the ways we live here. please welcome susan suntree. [applause] >> thank you. >> deanne is a published writer writing about the land, and she's the author of "mustang" which we'll talk about today, and "29 palms," both best sellers. they won silver medals for
non-fiction, and it was an important story by an american writer. a member of the core faculty pom desert creative writing program. the next book, which will be published in july, is "day of reckoning," based on an award winning article. quoting from de anne's work, "with all do respect for official icon, the eagle, he of the broad wingspan and the ability to see across great distances of patience born of the ages and of majestic flight, it's really the wild horse, the 4-legged with the flying mane and tail, the beautiful big-hearted steed who loves freedom so much that when captured he dies of a broken heart. the ever die find mustang that
is our true representative, forcing through our blood who carrying the internal message of america." bleez welcome deanne stillman. >> thank you so much for that lovely introduction. >> daniel arnold is the author of "early days in the range of light: encounters of legendary mountneers," and upcoming book, and he's innative of portland climbing the mountains in adolescence and has climbed high peaks. he's now living and working in southern california. daniel's writing appeared in the mountain gazette. bad water basin, he writes, the
sink in the center of death valley is 232 feet below sea level. due west and north, mount whitney rises 14,005 feet above sea level. what more could one want? the land has personality, renne nans, uncover giving, but a story teller when you listen to it full of beauty, magic, and tragedy. please welcome daniel arnold. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you. i'm going to direct to them the first question, and we'll move down the panel. >> -- daniel, in the current book, you write about the exploits of famous adventurers of earlier eras, and in "salt to summit," you go adventuring yourself.
you observed that you traveled alone and off trail in your trek, but you also write you had the company of a group of local ghosts, that is dreamer, vagabondses, and misfits who tried to make this country home. what do you detect in the desert that attracts the people you describe as inspired lunatics. what did they seek and find there? >> i think the deter effort is for people who don't like roads or walls. they have no other place so they go there to find it's such an enormous space in the sense they can travel anywhere they want. that's why they have big adventures and quests because they can just go.
there's a nice story that i include in "salt to summit" about a miner trying to make the last strike to retire on, and he goes to the city and presumably retires in the city, and two months later, he shows back up and they say, what happened? you're supposed to be done with the mining. he said, well, every time a went to a city, there was a house against my eyes, and that's why you go to the desert. there's not that house against your eyes. >> sure. before we move on, your traveling companions in a sense are reading companions, and your books are writers and adventurers. explain what role the figures play in your writing. >> well, mary austin is -- i guess she's little known these days which is sad. she's one of the west's most important writers living from
about, oh, the late 1890s to the middle 1920s, the 1930s. she's really impressive voice for both the west and for feminism, and, you know, when i set up these projects that i'm looking for is people who have thought deeply about the land. thought deeply about the desert and mountains, people that i can play off of as i move into the landscape myself. i'm looking for the souls with interesting add veeptures on the way or some interesting representation of where they are ben. >> you know, one of the things that ties these three very different books together is that although all three are categorized as non-fiction, and they are all researched and reported books, all three of them enter at some level a dream world, a world of magic, which
is really quite enchanting, and this comes up in deanne's book literally in "mustang," and you write, and i'm quoting, "horses have a way of entering dreams and visions, even those of people who do not know exactly what they are dreaming about." you pointed out that montezuma had a dream of a god riding a fierce animal that arrived in his king doll before they ever saw a horse. what did the aztecs make of the horses they saw for the first time when the conquistadors arrived, and how do we associate the horse not with european civilization, but with the native dwelling people of the southwest? >> well, that's a big question or five.
the aztecs thought the conquistadors were together with their horses, they thought it was a fire -- that the unit was a fire breathing dragon or monster. montezuma's dream was about a fair haired god coming into his territory and taking over, and he suspected when these creatures arrived it would be the end of the civilization, and he was write. i mean, i think it does go, in some way, to the power of the horse that, you know, across time and space, he felt something, he felt the thundering hoofs, and he was exactly right. as to how the horse came to be
associated with america, that really is a complicated question, but for now, it just didn't get more american than the horse. we're a country jacked on freedom. you know, we worship freedom. we have a bill of rights. we have a declaration of independence, all of these wonderful documents all about pursuing happiness, and, you know, we all grew up with this montra starting in elementary school that it's a free country, and i can do what i want. that's all true, and that's why people come here, and the one animal that most represents that is the horse, and i think that, you know, the horse and america, we got a thing going on. not that the horse hasn't brought freedom to many other cultures down through time, but more than anything, you know,
america was born with hoofs. paul revere's ride. that tells you a lot. >> let me stay on this for one more moment. i've done my share of trail riding, and i ride on the western saddle, an elaborate construction. at least mythically or stereostipically, we think of the native american riders riding bare back. is that true? did they use any second-degree -- saddle? is it also true they were better horsemen than the westernerrers who brought the horse? >> they were amazing horsemen, and many a cattle general, they didn't know how to deal with native americans on horse back, and they referred to, i think, it was general sheridan, a civil war hero, who served in the indian wars who referred to the
commanche as the greatest horseman on the planet. let me put it this way, in order to deceive native americans, the u.s. government had to wipe out the pony herds, and they carried out massacres of thousands of ponies during the 19th century because that, of course, meant that the natives had no transportation and would have to fight on foot, and that was really what led to their defeat, once the horses were all -- the buffalo were gone, then the horses, and then they couldn't move every on to reservations. >> thank you. moving on to sacred sites, can you read briefly from it rather than posing a question? i'll have questions for you, because of the very unique nature of this book. all of the text in the book is rendered as poetry, and it's
really a book to be spoken aloud or even sung, and i thought i would invite susan to do that, and i want to say for the sake of full disclosure and because i'm proud of it, that if you read the acknowledgements, you'll find i was susan publishing lawyer on this book, and so i take a special pride in affirming that role, too. susan, could you present the material from your book. >> i will, but i have to say one thing. you know -- >> that's the bring between this book and your book. the horse emerged from north america. >> it's our gift to the world. north america's gift to the world. >> thank you for mentioning that. >> yeah. >> this is a portrait of the los angeles river in the midst of the last ice age. 50,000 years ago, the beach is
at baldwin hills. the los angeles river flowing since the mountains first rose up, from streams, goring off the santa mop cay mountains and simi hills. water collected from bell canyon creeks begin the river as we know it slated in cop crete. along the base of the santa monica mountains, and later drier eras sinks into the valley's soft underground lake. swells to the surface and swells and hot springs welling in the oak forest we named incino, spanish oak, wanders through bull weeds thick in the
marshes. swan, geese, ducks, and fowls. spreads out after winter rain to floodplain. green with elderberry, red cedar, walnut, live oak, it's swabbed and softened by wetlands. it grows way on the way joined by large streams from canyons in the san gabriels and from the mountains through sycamores wild white branches and bined and brambled with blackberries, tangle over snakes, toads, and frogs, rainbow trout listening. breaks towards the coast in a narrow gap between the hills, meanders south that we named
downtown los angeles, boyle heights, and song birds, wild turkey, mag pies, and bends west, beckenned towards the sea shifting in wetland eddies, channeling a swath. stops at the rising lull of baldwin and beverley hills, sprawls into wetlands, the swamp boulevard. it cuts the emerging hills, fills with rain water gathered in creeks flowing down the santa monica mountains. waters carried by creeks and springs and streams, lose along the ridge uplifted by the fault. veterans memorial, university high school, and empties into the pacific. santa monica bay, a coastal swamp that softens the river flood into the sea, a life rich, wet greenery sprawled over 2,000 acres, cradled in the valley,
westchester bluff to san monica rise, culver city, del ray, and cleans and nourishes the mid land and lowlands where push spawn and sea otters covort. chicoyotes and antelope, coastal sage graze on native pine and bees hum past the butterflies and thickets of willow and cotton woods and sycamores. they fly in flocks so dense they darken the sky. the wetlands created by a river, a 52-mile long river. >> thank you, susan. [applause] >> she's already called me out
for asking the big question, but i'm about to pitch you another big question, and i'm going to ask each of you in turn to tackle it, if you are up clined to do it. -- inclined to do it. all three of you in your books explained and really exalted the aspect of the western experience that's endangered if it's not already gone. susan writes about the spiritual traditions of the original peoples of southern california, deanne writes about the threat to the wild horses of the west, and daniel shows us how development has imprinted itself on what was once a pristine desert. this was brought home to me very effectively when deanne describes the special vocabulary that the early 19th century adopted to describe the mustangs they roped and corralled. they were technical terms, but poetry, too.
she explapped that did meant a horse dieded of heart break and it meant a horse died of nervous rage. now, susan makes the point in her book, and we heard her describe in beautiful terms what the riverring landscape of southern california looked like a long time ago, but she shows us a photograph of the channelized concrete flood control that is now the los angeles river, and it's really kind of heart breaking too, so as i read these books, all of them fascinating and effecting. the thought occurred to me that really a certain darwinian process is at work, and i wonder what do each of you hope we will continue to recall and celebrate and what survives among the things you find compelling of the western land scape. anyone want to take that? >> i would say that my work is
as much about the environment p as it is about adventure, and the two are intertwined in the way i look at the land. for me, along with sort of the death of certain aspects of our natural environment, there's also a death that the is the spirit of adventure. in the first book, all of the people i where about are pre-1931 meaning they are all pre-vortex, prefancy ari hardware, and i really like that style of mountneering. it's a group of individuals willing to charge up in the mountains with wool jackets, boots, and no ropes. they are fine with that, because that's their way of familiarizing themselves with the environment. when i went to do that book, i thought the only way that i could get into their minds was to do the same thing, so i took
the gear nay would have had in that era from the 1970s to the -- 1870s to the 1930s. that was the process of book to go back where the land was much, much bigger, the armer we use when we go into the wilderness was much, much lighter, and i fowled feel the rocks under me sleeping in the blankets when i have kneeing -- nothing to shelter you from the storm. >> thank you. >> i feel like the purpose of writing these types was to allow me to understand the history of the landscape like how did it come to be the way it is and this expounding 15,000-year-old cultural history we have because when i moved here, it's like nobody knew anything including me, and i wanted to know, and
that awakened in me my activism because i could see the landscape that gives us emotional, spiritual, psych logical sub -- subs nans. we are not separate from nature. nature is right here right now, and if we awaken to that, then we can't help but see ourselves as part of the fabric, and we don't want to destroy the fabric, and so we'll take care and keep varieties of habitat because they serve so many purposes, but they are our own purposes, one in the same. knowledge is, you know, the people have a word for it called amongst the region that means knowledge power. you don't have power unless you have knowledge.
you don't have knowledge without the devotion to get the knowledge. it means knowledge power, and that's what we need to awaken in ourselves to maintain the balance of life. >> thank you. >> one of the reasons i wrote this because in 1998 i heard that 34 wild horses were gunned down outside reno, and i was horrified. i had grown up around horses. my mother was one of the first women in the country to ride professionally on the racetrack, and i had the sense when i was growing up that someday i wanted to repay this favor that horses had done for my family, which was really provide us with a living, and i didn't know how that would shake out, but, you know, years later after i became a writer and heard about the
incident, it resinated with me for a number of reasons. i wrote about the west before that, and i felt compelled, and i had to look into the story. i didn't know wild horses lived outside reno, and i had no idea they were going to the wilderness and killing them. i had to find out why. as i got into that story, i learned many things. one as we discussed earlier is the horse originated on this continent. i went on a hike in death valley to a place that is referred to as the barnyard. it's deep into death valley. i won't tell you exactly where. it's kind of a secret, but the -- what it is is a number of animal tracks are on a vertical
wall that caved upward over time because of earthquakes, and in particular, there's hundreds and hundreds of horse tracks on this wall, and when i saw it, this was early on in the course of the research, i had to follow the tracks across time to see where they took me, and where they took me was right back here to america, right back to ourselves, and to ones john's question about what's at stake here, i just want to read this excerpt from "mustangs". in the 19th century, some thought the dream of unfettered territory died with the fencing off of the range, yet it endured. as the 20th century approached when native americans and hundreds of thousands of wild animals were personalled from the land, historian frederick jackson turner made it official.
at the chicago world's fair, exhibits remitting the wild west played on stages around him, he announced the frontier was closed. across the way, buffalo bill and his cast galloped on mustangs with spirit unbroken, provoking the american promise even as the end was declared. yet, again, the dream endured. today the west is constrained by more than barbed wire, but paveed over, chopped down, dumped on, and cleared, yet the dream lives on. you can buy a piece of the government's controversial adopt a horse program, which markets mustangs called from the range, living legends auctioned around the country. with too many horses and not enough buyers, they are sent to the slaughter or sent to a corral. as you follow the tracks of the
wild horse, perhaps you agree it deserves a safe haven in the country it helped to build. it deserves the protections it once had and were only recently unraveled. perhaps you may have a greater understanding of the forces that are contriving to wipe out our loyal partner, the one in who took forth this country was born. we may be fighting wars around the world, but in the west, to parphrase the great writer, we're at war with ourselves. to me, there's no greater snapshot of the war than what we've done an continue to do to the wild horse. as it goes, so goes the piece of america. one of these days, our harming, we may all find ourselves moving on down the road. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> dan, i have two questions for you, a very short one. do you know the secret spot in death valley? could you go there? [laughter] >> i'm not privy to the secret. >> okay.
>> okay, having mentioned toilet paper and horseshoes, i'm going back to the cosmic. susan, you write about what you call the plasticity of science, myth and song and hide the quality of foster city reminds you that it's all a live, all changing always. and as we have heard for ourselves, the opening section of your book is titled western sign, but it's really rendered as poetry because, as you write, you want the reader to hear them as though they are listening to storyteller or singer. elsewhere in the book, you acknowledge the archaeologists and historians who encouraged you in your work. so i'm curious, where do you draw the line between the sign
to take study of the first peoples and the role of an artist like yourself come who quite frankly strikes me as more of a shame than a scholar quiet >> i don't think there is online. i think that's the western problem. for millennia, people on a recon and have sung their fundamental view of the world. it is the origin of the epic poetry. the at the one who admits in the nets for people of the most profound take on reality, but they sing them. and so, why wouldn't we want to see our most profound take on reality, just like the indigenous people do. i mean, it's both science and song. they don't exclude one another. we are not used to read using our science in our bodies
because that is when you same in poetry a song. that's where you take an great if the vibration first of all and it's an elevated language because it's listed into vibration and we take into our bodies and straight into our heart and imagination. so that's where science becomes part of that. it's not like if this had been written out flat it would be taken intellectually and we could abandon it very quickly. but if we feel it as is always in the task to feel that we believe to be most true, then we are part of it. we can't allow the separation of western culture is so famous for. so hack, why not. >> at all to me that that is a larger problem in the u.s. that we have that is sort of we are a wise big densities and a wide-open spaces and people in the big tent cities occasionally
go out in the big wide-open spaces, but only as a tourist more than a person who actually lives there and experiences there. so to get to the level where you're actually feeling when cape come through your body, you have to spend an awful lot of time out there looking at competing. and people are mostly compartmentalized in their cities now and that has been in terms of both protected and understanding the west, that's one of our big problems in the things we have to push back against. >> go ahead. >> i think the west rep resents an escape hatch for a lot of people. for her we have numbers people who have set up shop in cities. but there are plenty of people living in the west. i write about some of them in 29 palms and my fourth book, does her beckoning, who have left
cities and don't want to have anything to do with conventional civilization and are living off the grid and checks in case and all men are of housing that we don't see them goodies and many of them right there by choice and some are there because they can't fit in elsewhere. some are on parole and have been dumped there by the prison system. our western -- are wide-open spaces had served from day one as an escape hatch and in the still do. i'm paula stinger has this great line, the american west as an overnight camp in the lives. i mean, if i wanted to walk out of this festival and had out into the desert and live under a rock in five hours, i could. we can still do this.
the nikeout, because i want to offer the observation that we can say right here and be in all the wildness of nature that we know about because underneath our feet is a gigantic animal moving to the aleutian trench and we have no control over it. it is likely on the back of this astounding process here and now. in the air, the birds in the trees, the grass the cracks the cement all are expressing the force of the creative process. and if we see the universe is alive and intelligent interconnect it and always changing, then we look at -- i look as having done this research i look at the los angeles basin and it's all happening right here. there's hawks overhead, eagles overhead. there is a whole life going on around us. but our trouble is we don't know the story.
we only know the story of the spaces away from ourselves to be in a sacred place. we've got to go to the four corners, jerusalem or any place but here. we are surrounded in cultural terms sacred -- seven sacred mountains with stories and beans right here, right now. this has been incredible mythic history. so i feel that john burger had it right. you see what you know on what you believe. so if you know or come you were going to see more and carefully works are interlaced differently. so right here, right now it is okay to be in the city if we know where he said he is and who we are as part of it. >> i think that is so true. wild horses with right here before we knew they came to be
known -- susan is right susan is right we have this incredible history of the sacred amount right here. and i cannot possible that people that live around horses. and just relax and not. i hadn't thought to think about it because the oldie but a better found in north america today, found on the santa rosa in the channel islands is 14,000 or so give or take. and people were here when horses were here. >> they were here. that's true. >> any history we have. >> you rate as fragile as the desert may be, it's possible to walk through it without leaving a footprint. but you describe the track at out with as resembling in mid-evil pokers because of the thousands of hikers who show up every summer. at the summit you write people throw their hands in the air and prostrate themselves in agreement. do you feel there is a danger
and maybe each of you would want to comment on this. do you feel there is a danger in celebrating and explaining these wilderness or remote areas that will only encourage more abuse? >> well, yes and no. i think was john mayer was one of the first works as an idea to mention already, this idea that people will protect what they love. get people into the wilderness and they will protected. get the yosemite valley to the road and get as many people in there as you can settle see the wonderful things they are and then the want to protect all of the wilderness. i think that is true. i think yosemite has perked up works. so i sort of feel like if you can sort of make a few iconic spot like yosemite and the amount demetrio, that's a good thing. tickets as many people people into those places to appreciate them in the ms possible and
makes the rest of s-sierra just wide-open. if you don't want to fight thousands of people in the mt. whitney trail, you can go a little bit north or the little bit south and you got it all to yourselves. >> dm, you read about the herds of mustangs that can be found at the white and missile range in new mexico and you describe them as the descendents of deceit that it carried billy the kid and pat garrett and countless lesser-known cowboys and outlaws. but these historic courses were officially targeted for what is today called for zeroing out rather ominously in some horses were actually killed a vigilantes. we might use the term murder. what accounts for the extermination official and unofficial of these mustangs? >> well, a couple things are
playing out here. there are people who go out into the wilderness as i mentioned earlier and asked wildly. it is just because they can. and that goes to this disconnect we have with the secret and was wild. we are at war with ourselves as i was mentioning earlier and if we continue on this trail, it started with the war against native american theater and then it went in a number of directions. but to me we are in -- it is the endgame here. we are down to the wire. and this is what is left and we need to really do what arthur miller said. attention must be paid. yet the way it plays out his
various wildlife management because everything is out of whack here. there is a book called playing god in yellowstone. everything is out of whack and we're constantly having to cut back some honors. they're all gone. we need a couple of rules and not part. in the system is just completely out of whack at the point and not as what is going on. and you know, because the mustangs and natural predators are gone for most of it, the government gets involved to manage third and it's a complicated question and it's what i look at, one of the things i look at in my book, but ultimately we get back to the same question, which is we are cowboy nation and why are we destroying the horse he rode in on? that's what i have in mustang. >> i want to cause on the artful turn of phrase views.
isn't literally true the wild horse population with ugandan horses that billy the kid are men like him? >> in that range, yes. the sources are things were cool, spiritual and some cases direct descendents. the worst are gone from the range. but for sure. >> in about five minutes am going to open this microphone. if you have a question you can get ready to ask it. susan, a gifted archaeologist and writer of my acquaintance is david whitley and he's one of your sources. he once wrote that it's really impossible to speak of the native american culture and he wrote in the way that captured my imagination. the culture changed in ways great and small from valley to valley throughout california. your book touches on any native american peoples.
what did they have in common and what was different about them? >> it's so true. the indigenous cultures in north america. tremendous leap from one another. in california, which may be one of the oldest sites inhabitation north america had i think 130 languages and many, many different cultures. across north america there is, i feel, a very deep case upon which extraordinary cultural differentiation takes place and differences really important because that is what so interesting. but it's basically a shamanic view you might want to say, that the world is alive and intelligent in the forms of the world are the expression of this living universe. and so, that i think is something in common. here in southern california we have two fundamental language groups. even the largest language group
to come the bulk southern california divided up in several dialogue some of which have been here for so long they have to set each other's language like romance languages. you have to study them to really be able to speak with one another, even as they are so close which are because the languages than an hour. and it's very important in studying the mythology came to realize this reflection of that but there is not one holy tax as we are used to thinking. and i envision it as is. no. they welcome diversity because you'll ideological position and diversity is civility. and so that is why in the buckeye of time to follow the plot structure of the indigenous narratives that i was able to discover and talk to about. there is a branching plot
structure. so i would start one in say in the valleys they say it this way. on the coast i say it that way because there is a fundamental world view, but it's inflicted to the place. conflict it to the region and the place. inflected to the needs of the people in the environment and the necessities that they face. so variety is the condition. and yet it is so stable. the >> i'm curious, how is your book been received by native american readers click >> very well. i say that with huge humility. i worked on for 20 some years in concert with native people. and i am really happy that after 20 years i was welcomed to tell the story. >> i'm going to invite members of the audience if you have questions come to my and will
allow you to have the questioning. does anyone have a question? please come on down. >> hello, this person is for susan, but most only want to go into in great. i'm thinking of urban communities that surround the surrey campus. how would you engage curbing you tapping to god that is a wildness and making them aware of the nature that they are surrounded by an engaging in a sense of environmental awareness of nature in general? >> well, i just read about a wonderful program that i think is a model and that is sunday school and the l.a. unified school district, but they have not just a vegetable garden, but they planted native plan. it was in the times and this is like why it is so important that we look at restoration theory, very cautiously, slowly and carefully. by planting native plants they attract native and text.
by attracting native insects they attract birds and lizards and snakes. just on this little plot it would be just a month it is like is waiting and it just arrived in the good of the redknapp in the times. it's written a very sent you. that native plan in take up the concrete. >> and stop calling coyote ferments. if i may save out. people need to understand that if they are living at the edge of the mountain range committee might come into contact with other creatures who live there, too. >> and so, when they make those contacts where welcome to study those lies and make them recognize that these are our neighbors and the sorrow living companions in life and they sent them to teach as. and you know, i have cat and dogs and i don't want any. they bring them in, you know
because that is what it means for me to be a good neighbor in the neighborhood of life and i want a rich life. i don't want a monocultural life of justin b. because that is not what this plan is about. >> thank you. >> my next question to that with e. in particular curbing youth, how is your browse the sense of responsibility towards a wildness of mountains that he may not have a direct experience with, how do you arouse that rocker environmental response abilities? >> well, i would say from a unix. working with -- working virtues, when his knowledge, the second is experience. you've got to start where you are always. it's right here right now. it's not over there. you just go outside and
hopefully you can start seeing exactly what is around you. and then of course there is always field trips and all those other kinds of services that we need to really find because you've got to start where you are. and then the hard awaken in the mind awakens in the body awakens and then you can go and you want to go. that's most important part. >> thank you you go ahead. >> i know they closed the next 1890s, that you believe that the idea of the frontier like still exist now, like what it represents? >> why don't you love a crack at it. >> i think in many ways the frontier is the state of nine so you can go back into different tears just by stepping out of your car and walking out into the desert.
there's still plenty of room for there to be a frontier in the west and so it's all in how you perceive the land. >> i agree with that. and i think the frontier is a point of view. but also in the last for east coast cities in megacities los angeles. there's really actually a lot of space. and so, with knowledge, we can begin to see how the landscape is influencing our mind and it is here in los angeles, the earthquakes, the worry about water, air, it all influences are mine. if we feed him larger context to realize how spacious, which is
really the penetration is by the land. the land is not a race. it is here. that is the frontier that frederick, what he was talking about in colonial turns. but we can live it in terms of -- well in terms of being connected and call it a critic you want to. >> i think we americans live in the frontier every day, every hour all the time wherever we are living before actually in a wide-open space and most likely we are in the frontier depending on your mind that and maybe feel trapped and you would be able to come in which case to god come you don't appreciate what you have. but you know, this whole don't tread on me as a free country i can do what i want, all these
things i was mentioning earlier, the idea of freedom that we've all grown up with is a mythical frontier will americans live in a daze in one way or another and i think you play us out all of this time and not our conversation. >> thank you. i want to ask a question and i'm circling back on some thing -- two things you actually already mentioned. you read about the intimate connection between the horses and entertainment is very, which starts with moving forward with what is arguably the central american art form which is the western movie, but you talk about one movie in particular which is unique, which is the misfits because it focuses on the mustangs. how did such cost apollo 10 curbing figures like arthur miller and marilyn monroe ended up in the nevada desert to make
that movie? and what he described a happy of the movie, you write the true west, the true west trumps the movies every time. in what way? be not well first of all, the movies mss is based on a short story that arthur miller wrote and appeared in "esquire" called the next day. emma to nevada to get a divorce suit on another marilyn monroe and went there to get a divorce from his then wife and all that there were wild horses living there and came face-to-face with mustang, cowboys rounding up wildhorse is for a living and shipping them off to the slaughterhouse. and he was horrified by. and i think it was walter houston who came to him and some in hollywood said that the days
into a movie. and he wanted to provide marilynn with a significant part in the film said the character that she plays in the movie is in the story at all as i recall, so we added a part for an a nestorius turned into this classic movie about this war against worthwhile. at the end of the movie, the horses are set free, which of course as i explore in my book is that really what happened then and pretty much know what's going on right now and that was the antithesis, the short story was the opposite. the short story told the truth. i think what is really interesting about that omits the episode in contemporary history is that its three main stars
come and marilyn monroe, clark gable and montgomery clift died shortly after with dominus ich is finished them off and it was just way to much been there and participating in this reenactment of the rounding up about horses and having to live with it, act it out and come through it in minutes and did. >> i'm going to ask you the closing question of the panel. you describe in the book of the river is today seek clues and a trench to go back to the toilet paper theme. and you conjure will you know on and freddie can you take water from the owens valley and sending it to los angeles or if you write to imagine for a moment that the farmer said kate eaton out-of-town. los angeles would have never grown beyond $200. this is what historians call the counterfactual proposition . didn't happen, but does it
describe an alternate ending that she would've preferred? out from what we be sitting here today talking about your book is los angeles was a little time of 200,000? >> i don't think it's an alternate ending i would prefer, but i think it's really interesting because at the time william mulholland calculated there was about enough water in the immediate l.a. basin for 200,000 people give or take. so he took essentially all of the water coming up, piped all of it into outlet and presto you have a city 2,200,000. so the thought is what happens if she doesn't get away a trickle of that water in l.a. never gets to tap into that source? to me what is almost more interesting is what happens to the old valley if that is what