Villa Incognito - Tom Robbins This has been on my Good Reads shelf for a long time with a two-star rating because I didn't care for the plot or the book as a whole. Today I'm adding a star to my rating because I ran across a whole mess of stuff I'd copied from the book. The story's not that great, but Robbins makes some powerful statements about a lot of issues the planet as a whole is facing, and America specifically."Why would they fell trees but leave men standing? Trees are a damn sight more useful than people, and everything in the world knows that except people...Trees generate oxygen; men just breathe it up, stink it up, and generally misuse it. Trees hold the soil in place, men are constantly displacing it. Trees provide shelter and protection to countless species, men threaten the existence of these species. When in sufficient number, trees regulate atmospheric temperatures, men endanger the planet by knocking those regulations askew. You can't rest in the shade of a human, not even a roly-poly one; isn't it refreshing that trees can undergo periodic change without having a nervous breakdown over it? And which has more dignity--the calmer spiritual presence--a tree or a typical Homo sapiens? Best of all, perhaps, what maple or cypress ever tried to sell you something you didn't want?" "Your country [America] seems to have everything and yet it has almost nothing. It's unbelievable. In that vast, beautiful, powerful land of unprecedented abundance live some of the most unhappy people on earth. Oh, generally speaking they complement all that affluence by being generous and energetic and, except for their ruling class--which is wormy with evil, like ruling classes everywhere--rather decent. But they're chronically depressed and dissatisfied. Chronically." "Oh, I suppose you can find God's fingerprints in a book, even in an incoherent hodgepodge of myth, genealogies, inventories, poetry, sexual fantasy, and politics like the Bible, but there's a whole lot more divinity in that reef down there. If I thought I had to hunt for God, I'd be looking in a place like that."