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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

"Be a goddess in the planet wars": Would Sun Green, Julia Butterfly or Greta Approve?

Maddie Graham and Sophia Geiger of the D.C. Chapter of Fridays for Future stand for a portrait before the Black Friday Funeral for Future demonstration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

On Neil Young's 2003 album Greendale, he urged young environmental activists to "be a goddess in the planet wars/ tryin' to save the livin' things".

So, we turn to today's article The foot soldiers of the new environmental movement | The Washington Post by Sarah Kaplan.

Interestingly, the digital headline was updated from the print edition of "Warriors in the Climate Movement: Teen Girls".

"Warriors in the Climate Movement: Teen Girls" by Sarah Kaplan
The Washington Post Print Edition: April 21, 2020, Page A3

As we have covered here extensively over the past 17 years, there has been much discussion on the prophecy of Neil Young's landmark album Greendale and it's central character Sun Green. Just recently, with the premiere of "Sun Green" from "Return to Greendale" | Neil Young Archives, we detailed much of the back story of the character "Sun Green" who was inspired by the spirit of environmental activist Julia Butterfly.

Julia "Butterfly" Hill - 1998

Julia Butterfly is best known for having lived in a 180-foot-tall, roughly 1,500-year-old California redwood tree for 738 days between December 10, 1997 and December 18, 1999. Julia received a fair amount of media attention in the 90's for her activist efforts and inspired many to action.

Sun Green in Neil Young's Greendale Concert Tour - 2003

In Neil Young's Greendale song "Sun Green", the lyrics directly reference Julia Butterfly.

"She'd [Sun Green] still like to meet Julia Butterfly
and see what remedy brings
and be a goddess in the planet wars

tryin' to save the livin' things

But that might not be easy
livin' on the run
Mother Earth has many enemies
there's much work to be done"

"Be a goddess in the planet wars"
Greta, Sun Green, Julia Butterfly & Neil Young's "Greendale"

"Greta Thunberg and Neil Young's Prophetic Greendale: Sun Green + Julia Butterfly"

We've had a bit to say about these "Goddesses in the planet wars" for awhile now here, here and here, so we won't really belabor what it is about 17 year old females and their activism, which is to be applauded, encouraged and supported.

'She was welded to the eagle's beak
sun green leaned into that megaphone
and said, "truth is all i seek" '
"Sun Green"
by Neil Young

The Washington Post article covers how Maddie Graham first tried small efforts in her school and neighborhood to try and make a difference. While raising awareness and trying to bring about change, there are huge struggles and challlenges for any eco-warrior, nonetheless for a 17 year old in today's upheaval times.

From comment by shootersix on WaPo:
"Gawd, we've all been to High School, and I wish 17-year-old Maddie the best, but the virtue-signalling emoting which now, apparently, dominates growing up must be suffocating.

Especially, I gather, in the environs of politically woke Washington, D.C. I suggest less Zoom, less Instagram, less Facebook and Twitter, more contemplative reading ... more practical thinking ... maybe a summer in Nebraska, or Idaho or West Virginia - visits to the Real World ... take some books, maybe do some fishing."

Of course, as we waded through the article, we kept waiting for some reference to Julia Butterfly or Sun Green, but no. Alas, only Greta merits coverage for her "landmark achievements".

Greta Thunberg
Rolling Stone April 2020 #1338
Art by Shepard Fairey

BTW, it's been 17 years since Neil conceived Greendale and the characters like Sun Green. At the same time in 2003, Greta was born and now she is 17 years old. The Sun Green character was in High School and about 17. Sarah White who played Sun Green on stage was about ~17 when cast in late 2002. ’Julia Butterfly’ was also about about ~17 when she became activated.

Neil Young & Sun Green
Greendale Tour @ Radio City Music Hall, New York, March 18, 2004

Photo by thrashette

Incidentally, here's our favorite goddess in the planet wars, thrashette in action (over on left)! And thrasher & thrashette met when she was 17 years old.

The Great Falls Group | Virginia Sierran
Spring 2020

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