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Il faut cultiver notre jardin


knotweed Amplifying a gardening thread into a parable:

I once had a garden in Somerville, MA ("the compost heap behind Harvard Yard") that was infested with what we called Japanese Bamboo (or knotweed).

Japenese Bamboo is the most invasive species you can ever imagine--I swear I once turned my back on it, and heard this crackling noise, and turned back to look at it, and it had grown several inches.

So there was a massive stand of this spectacularly invasive stuff growing high overhead, and I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it (except flamethrowers). I started out by chopping it all down, and then pouring the local hardware store's version of Agent Orange all over the roots. That worked for a few hours, until I saw little green bamboo shoots poking up through the soil again. So I went back to work, and systematically ripped all the new shoots up by the roots, went to bed, and didn't get up until the next morning, when--

There were more shoots then ever before.

See those horrible lumpish gnarled hairy roots in the illustration? Those are rhizomes (farmer instructs us) and it's the rhizomes that made Japanese bamboo the Alien Overlord of my garden--because an entire Japanese Bamboo plant can--nay, will--grow from a single chunk of rhizome! So, when I was ripping up the bamboo shoots by the roots, all I was doing was creating more rhizome chunks, and so the more bamboo I tore up, the more bamboo that grew! It was like sowing dragon's teeth....

Ultimately, I defeated the Japanese Bamboo by pitting it against a plant even more determined and ruthless that it was: Beefsteak tomatoes. I planted tomatoes everywhere, and they grew so fast, and had such dense shade cover, that the Japanese Bamboo plants could get no light, and withered.

Now for the parable part:

Republicans, and Republican memes, are like the rhizome-driven Japanese bamboo--An incredibly invasive pest that, left to itself, will take over an entire garden and destroy everything.

And we, in the blogosphere, have been chopping and weeding and poisoning and flamethrowing the Republicans, and their memes--and they're still infesting our garden, aren't they?

We need to start growing tomatoes. Anybody know any good varieties?

NOTE Metaphorial tomatoes that deny the Republican rhizomes light.

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