A good friend of mine once explained that for the counter culture and ecology movement in the 60’s and 70’s that gave birth to Greenpeace International, Vancouver was the center of the universe. In a spacio-temporal conception of time as cyclic, ultimately nothing has changed in the universe and may never. All is here and now. Central energies are always present for one to engage with – to-be-in-relation to, always.
It’s June 15th and Vancouver is impregnated by the green and blue glow of Canucks fans filling the veins and arteries of this glass, concrete, and metal environment. Tonight the streets will billow with intoxicated, riotous Vancouverites either celebrating the return of the Stanley Cup Canadian soil – or they will be splitting at the proverbial seams in a strange and unusual social wake.
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Her Majesties Royal Postal service has rendered postal workers curbside, leaving hyper communication of blackberries, iPhones, and the World Wide Web taunting the utility of snail mail. But one thing is certain for snail mail. Though easily overlooked, if the small gastropod – a terrestrial mollusk – was to leave our communication ecosystem, what would this indicate about the message of our medium? What type of coalmine would the canary die in? Long live mail.
It seams that the only Canucks instilled in our minds are the ones in jerseys, on rinks, on naked breasts of young women posing for pictures on Georgia and Granville Street in front of a paparazzi of male cameras. A sighting of a breast in public – an indicator of wealth, opportunity, liberty, sex and a rejection of the pejorative patriarchic superego. Or something less profound.
However, the Canucks that occupy the marine environment – the environment most overlooked, ignored, disrespected, exploited – is the reason that I have arrived at Georgia and Granville. Eight stories above the pulsing streets of Vancouver the fate of the Orcinus Orca, Killer Whale’s primary food source is being determined by a phenomenon known to the late genetic brothers of Chimpanzee’s, the Homo sapiens, as Justice.
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The federal inquiry in to the collapse of the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon is chaired by Justice Bruce Cohen. The Cohen inquiry is investigating the ecological, systemic, cultural, industrial, and commercial causes of the collapse of one of the North-Pacific’s strongest and most valuable natural resources: the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon.
Justice, a strange structural animal created and placed at the height of the animal kingdom by another animal within it. And through appendable thumbs a long story occurred (I’ll tell you about that some other time) known as evolution, the development of a pronounced frontal lobe, advancements in communication, technology, history and all-that-jazz – we have arrived at a moment in time where we will decide the fate of a sacred creature.
Salmon has been described as the silver thread sewing the seams between the most supreme liquid, and the most supreme solid: the ocean and the land. It moves nutrients from our oceanic origins up the rivers to the forests of the land. Few creatures occupy two realms of life. And it is for this reason that Salmon stand firmly as one of the most sacred of the sentient creatures, feeding one of the widest spectrum of dependent predators, such as the mythic (endangered) Orca.
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And it is in a banal ivory tower on (a continued) occupied Coast Saalish territories that, what could possibly be the most important natural phenomenon in the North Pacific, will be determined by a European judicial system of inquiry favoring reason above all other forms of knowledge, that the Fraser River Salmon will find justice. (probably an irrelevant concept to salmon who follow a more realistic set of rules – ecology). But often, there is a banality of evil. And good intentions lose themselves in systems of structural violence.
So I ask myself, as horns and shouts rip the air on the streets below, what the fuck are chimps from another land doing when they bring justice to fish here?