The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture CornerWhere the Crawdads Sing & Wastelands

Aug 1, 2022

Film: Where the Crawdads Sing, directed by Olivia Newman

This movie was based on the bestseller book of the same name. Both this movie and the book Wastelands are based in North Carolina.

The movie is based in the North Carolina marshlands that ring the ocean’s edge. A family that is plagued with poverty and failure settle on the cheap land in the undesirable marsh. A young 10-year-old girl of the family ends up abandoned, and lives there alone, mostly rejected and ostracized by the more well-to-do city community. In her isolation, she discovers and explores the beauty and brutal force of life and death of the marsh. She becomes a scientist and an artist, recording all she sees. It is a love story, a story of survival, a legal thriller, and a story of the power of nature. A beautiful and haunting story.

Book: Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial by Corban Addison, 2022

You might already have heard about the horrific conditions on the huge hog factory farms. This book takes the narrative a step further. It introduces us in North Carolina to the close-knit small family farms that are neighbors to the Big Ag (big agricultural) factory farms. It was these predominantly black landholders, descendants of slaves and sharecroppers, who were most affected from living next to the farms, and who led the fight for decades against the damage caused by them. Piles of dead pigs left to rot right across the street, feces and urine raining on the farmers and their homes, trucks rumbling down their roads 24 hours a day, etc. The book reads like a fictional thriller but is all true; you meet the women and men who took on the huge corporations and powerful politicians.