Ideology is an Invasive Weed (Part Two)
In cold post-glacial lakes there are no weeds. The weeds grow in wetlands draining into the shore. In Canada’s version of the Okanagan Valley, it’s not quite like that, as I showed two days ago (Click.) Why, one would think that Canada is trying to turn this lake into an image of the famous muskeg of the Boreal Forest (Perhaps around the tar sands of Northern Alberta?), or maybe just the algal bloom and general over-fertilized muck of Lake Erie (tobacco field petroleum-based fertilizer runoff). I dunno. The geese do, though.
Florida 1. Okanagan 0. Third inning.
Poor things. They’re grossed out at the hell that human mis-reading of grassland lake systems as summer boating and swimming paradises have made out of the lake (see yesterday’s post) and are hanging out at the children’s playground instead of dipsy-doodling down on the lake shore, which isn’t really a shore anymore.
Playgrounds are Designed to Teach Children the Skills Required to Do the Work of Adults in Society
Complete with wheelchair ramp. Note that these training devices for domesticating the wild human body don’t reference the natural habitat of such creatures (the earth). This playground is a visual representation of contemporary ideology. It should be a warning. Shouldn’t children be playing in the lake? Na, they’re probably grossed out by it too. They’re also smart enough to pick up that it has certain approved roles in adult society, and not others. No point wasting their time, eh.
The geese don’t know a thing about the niceties of economic triage, which is a cozy term to describe the ideology that holds (with trumpets) that all things in the world are subject to the practical demands of reducing public expenses to allow for increased corporate profit. The political class of the city in which I live (Vernon, British Columbia) holds that it is the business of the government to reduce costs above all other things, and to create opportunities for private investment and profit. This ideology holds that it is the role of government to provide services that have only costs (roads, sewers, and so on), but no potential for profit. Did you get the irony in that? The government’s role is to reduce the costs that it’s responsibility is to provide? Kind of like this, I think.
Adventure Playground Ideology by Another Name
In the terms of contemporary society, this is called “reality” and “practical thinking” and even “good government.” It is only good, however, if viewed from within its own ideology. When looked at from the world of the geese, maybe the world looks like this?
Sometimes the Worst Picture from a Human Perspective is the Best
Ah, but these are publicly-kept non-migratory geese that have their eggs destroyed every spring so that they don’t have more geese, which will mar the expensive trucked-in sand choking out the lake’s natural boundary with goose poop and making it useless to the ideology of summer. (Without cheap petroleum, no one would have thought of trucking sand across entire mountain ranges to make a place for half-naked humans to lie and soak up the sun and dream they were in florida.) Sure, go ahead.
Like the geese, I’m grossed out, too. This is like an oil spill.
Would you play there? No. The problem with that is that, by extension, the question could be asked: Would you play on the earth? The answer is, sadly, God no.
The whole playground that has been made out of the earth because of the cheapness of petroleum and the ability it gives to create ideologies without connection to the living earth is based around the principles of a) the earth can be discarded because we all outgrow our childhood fantasies and b) wildness will always heal what we do once we have done that. In ideological terms, this is called, “growing up”, and “it’s just business,” and “we need balanced development.” It’s even called “responsible.” Sure.
Impromptu Curling Rink on Okanagan Lake
It’s not just the shore that gets eroded.
For some reason, nonmigratory geese, which choose not to migrate (and to self-domesticate instead), and which are further domesticated by human intervention, are called wild. I think these images show that the humans have become domesticated, too. I’d say what has been done to the lake and these geese has also been done to us. You won’t read it in water management reports or civic government public information session promotional brochures or proselytizing Ministry of Environment apologies for goose egg coddling initiatives, but you sure can read it in the lake. Like the playground, it is our mirror.