Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day at the Mount, 1970

Editorial cartoon published in The View on May 6, 1970.
 THE FIRST EARTH DAY was April 22, 1970, and duly observed at the Mount. In the issue of the campus newspaper, The View, two weeks later, the editor looked back on events and its lasting impact on MSMC:
EARTH DAY SHOCKS IT TO US 
It's over with. It's been over with for two weeks now. Whatever Earth Day was or did, we can only look back now and observe in its wake the wonderful effects it has had on our campus. If you look really closely (although they may have been kicked off in corners by now) you can still see the results of the paint-in held the night before Earth Day—fallen or hanging posters and signs, which no one noticed in his or her efforts to "clean up our environment." But the issues go much deeper than just surface rubbish.
We were told about noise pollution. If this campus quieted down any more, it could apply for a license as a rest home. It has already been categorized as "a campus out of the nineteenth century" or "Brentwood's Berchtesgaden" by people who have visited it. Any day now we should be receiving in the mail our good student buttons from our fearless leader in the north who acted his way to fame. Aside from all this, I'm sure that noise pollution has been felt deeply here at the Mount and individual resolutions have been made to combat it. Just the other day I heard someone promise not to yell so loud in the dorm when calling someone down the hall to come to the phone. And all because of Earth Day!
One of the highpoints of the day was the afternoon teach-in. At this point in the program, a woman from Zero-Population Growth, Inc., told the campus community not to have children (or at least to limit its output to two each), and a teacher from Long Beach State College told the community how to do its limiting. I'm sure, as a result of this, we've all pledged our lives to population control, or at least pledged a donation to Zero-Population Growth, Inc., which I'm sure is anxious for all donations and/or new members.
But I mustn't waste time. If you've read this far, you're eagerly awaiting discussion of the San Francisco Mime Troupe which managed to give a performance "300 miles from campus." For the results of this, one needs only to listen to those people still going around striking their breasts and murmuring "My sacred hearing has been violated." As for what the mime troupe had to say, they said what they believed in their own individual way. Maybe it just wasn't what we wanted to hear.
Rather than skimming over any more of the day's events, suffice il to say that if this whole day was a true example of our environment here at the Mount, maybe it does need cleaning up — and you can use whatever definition of environment that comes to your mind. We're stuck in our environment. What are we going to do about it? If we aren't going to do a thing, maybe e. e. cummings wasn't so far off in his entreaty, "Listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go." 
If you would like to check out the digitized version of The View online, go to the Mount's online digital repository at the Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/View1969-1970.