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Out there is a different world
October 15, 2012 8:40 PM   Subscribe

"I Loved it...I Loved it All" An eight minute film essay that Ned Judge co-produced and directed with Edward Abbey in 1985. At the time Judge was working for a network magazine show. The executive producer took him to lunch one day. He told him that he was having trouble with his son who was 18. The son thought his dad was a corporate whore. He had told his father if he had any balls at all he’d put Edward Abbey on his show. That’s why the EP was talking to him. Would Judge see if it was possible? Judge had an acquaintance who knew Ed and he passed the request along. Ed responded that he’d give it a try. He signed the contract and wrote a script. Judge and Abbey met in Moab and went out to Arches National Park to shoot some practice sessions with a home video camera. They would review them at the motel in the evening. After a day or two, Ed was feeling pretty comfortable on camera so they scheduled the shoot. They were all happy with the way it went. But then they ran head-on into network reality. Roger Mudd, the show’s host, was extremely negative about putting an “eco-terrorist” on the show. The executive producer caved (his son was right about him apparently). So this Abbey essay was put on the shelf and never aired. Abbey died 3 years later in March 1989.

Edward Paul Abbey was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.

This is a transcript of an interview Eric Temple did with Edward Abbey in December of 1982 in the cabin behind his Tucson home. Temple had just gotten a job as the environmental reporter with the public tv station KAET in Phoenix, so he figured he'd go for broke and try for an interview with Abbey. He returned Temple's phone call within a day or two and they arranged to meet at Abbey's home.

Temple edited the interview into a half hour program called Edward Abbey's Road that was aired in Arizona and later on many PBS stations around the country. Abbey/Temple Interview — Part1, Part2, Part3

Abbey speaking at the University of Utah in 1988 — Part1, Part2, Part3
posted by netbros (17 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
They don't make "eco-terrorists" like they used to.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:01 PM on October 15, 2012


You'll never believe me, but I've held a copy of, "Hayduke Lives!" the film script in my hands. I doubt that's ever going to find the light of day.
posted by alex_skazat at 9:07 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." Helluva writer, helluva thinker. That is quite the blessing.
posted by Chipmazing at 9:10 PM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


So Abbey wasn't buried under the pile of gravel. He was buried where "you'll never find it."
posted by unliteral at 9:27 PM on October 15, 2012


I am very much a city mouse, and some days I believe the earth will support trillions of people.

Still, I was a city mouse in a funk, and this made me feel much better.

Good post. Thanks.
posted by poe at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2012


I remember once being way out in northeastern Arizona once a long time ago, near where they dammed up the Green River Abbey wrote about. Stopped into a small festering rest stop to pee and saw someone had scrawled "Hayduke Lives!" on the wall. It made me smile, and glad I'd read a couple of his books.
posted by Catblack at 10:30 PM on October 15, 2012


One of my few prized possessions is a postcard from Edward Abbey (a City Lights Bookstore postcard) suggesting I contact the NBC executives in New York to find out what happened to the Arches segment.

The very funny script was included in a later essay collection, I think Beyond the Wall, and I wanted to see Ed Abbey on the teevee. So I sent a postcard to his Arizona P.O. box sometime around 1988, figuring an agent or assistant might eventually answer, and was delighted to have a handwritten postcard from the man himself a few weeks later. Abbey died the next year.

Never did see the video, until just now. Thanks, netbros ... that was 25 years in coming.
posted by kenlayne at 10:33 PM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Great little film. I still can't help but really like his Buick Wildcat, though.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:45 PM on October 15, 2012


I remember once being way out in northeastern Arizona once a long time ago, near where they dammed up the Green River Abbey wrote about. Stopped into a small festering rest stop to pee and saw someone had scrawled "Hayduke Lives!" on the wall. It made me smile, and glad I'd read a couple of his books.

If that dam you're thinking about is Glen Canyon, that's the dam that the Monkey Wrench Gang were plotting to blow up. It's really quite interesting how bad of an idea building it is now seen as being.
posted by alex_skazat at 11:26 PM on October 15, 2012


That was amazing, thanks so much for posting. I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of the (extremely) few people who know where Abbey is buried. He had some good stories.
posted by alpinist at 12:04 AM on October 16, 2012


Thank you.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:18 AM on October 16, 2012


These names cannot possibly be real. They're almost as uncanny as the names of half the partners of all real-life lawfirms.
posted by AugieAugustus at 3:31 AM on October 16, 2012


I've always had a soft spot for the guy, goofy as he was. He was incredibly fortunate to live when he did; if he was alive now he would almost certainly be locked up in a federal supermax prison as a national security threat on trumped up charges.
posted by Forktine at 5:27 AM on October 16, 2012


Caroll Ballard, who directed a lot of nature-oriented movies (the Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Fly Away Home), was evidently interested in making a film adaptation of The Monkey-Wrench Gang or something else by Edward Abbey, but he said it would have been so radical in a Hollywood context that it would be easier for him to make a film about Maoism than Abbey's brand of ecology.
posted by jonp72 at 8:49 AM on October 16, 2012


Thanks for posting. I'm going to go for a walk somewhere without handrails.
posted by jade east at 8:53 AM on October 16, 2012


Arches National Park near Moab Utah is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Don't go in July or August, though!

The Glen Canyon Dam should never have been built. Those crazy bastards wanted do the same thing to the Grand Canyon at one point.
posted by bukvich at 1:19 PM on October 16, 2012


...if he was alive now he would almost certainly be locked up in a federal supermax prison as a national security threat on trumped up charges.

This for truth, sadly.

I pulled a book off the shelf the other day, and a brittle, yellow paperback fell out at the same time and splayed pages all over the floor--Desert Solitaire. I'd had that book since high school. Made me feel old.


“I'd like to see North America become a dry, sunny, sandy region inhabited mainly by lizards, buzzards and a modest human population - about 25 million would be plenty - of pastoralists and prospectors (prospecting for truth), gathering once a year in the ruins of ancient, mysterious cities for great ceremonies of music, art, dance, poetry, joy, faith and renewal. That's my dream of the American future. Like most such dreams, it will probably come true. That is why I'm still an optimist.”
― Edward Abbey
posted by BlueHorse at 11:54 PM on October 16, 2012


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