Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TV alert: The Botany of Desire

At first glance this might not be the typical TV alert for a psychology teacher but trust me, PBS' The Botany of Desire is a keeper. Based on the 2001 book by Michael Pollan and featuring interviews with Pollan, TBoD tells the story of how four plants -- potatoes, apples, tulips and marijuana -- emerged as victors in the global race for plant domination. Pollan argues that these plants give us back so much -- control, sweetness, beauty and intoxication, respectively -- that they have trained us to go to amazing lengths to spread them around the world and keep them actively growing.
Obviously for our needs the segment on marijuana will be the focus. I checked out the accompanying website and there's some good visual candy on how several different plants can alter our consciousness. Nothing extraordinary here, but pretty, with some nice quotations on these mind-altering drugs from Freud, Oscar Wilde and Louis Armstrong among others.

It should air nationally on PBS Wednesday night at 9 but as you well know, all PBS stations make their own decisions about when to broadcast what, so check your local listings!

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