Saturday, November 04, 2006

Parkh and Phorrest

Some deep thinker at a meeting got upset with me for spoiling his presentation about, I guess, personality types or some damned thing, when he proposed a scenario of a half dozen people as the last survivors on Earth, only some of whom could get in a space ship and go to a survivable planet. Who should go, he asked: the homosexual, the armed policeman, the retarded girl, the ancient genius, and so on. His exercize was painful to endure. I wrecked it for him, it seems, by pointing out the obvious, that those one chooses tells about the person choosing rather than anything about who should go somewhere or what they should do. When it comes to this kind of exercise I prefer the painting of the gladiator standing over the one fallen, both looking to the crowd for judgement. Who would you want to be? Most people say they'd want to be the one on top. I'd rather be the painter. Regardless, it's a game that tells us how we see our world and people in it. Today I think about park people and forest people.

Foris is the Latin word meaning outside. Not surpring is that parc is a French word for enclosed.

Many of the worst sissies I've ever encountered are so-called and self-proclaimed "environmentalists." They are too often those who won't set foot outside the Range Rover unless their Gortex clothing is color co-ordinated with the titanium-frame mountain bike. Mention to one of them one of my favorite authors, a man who by far outstrips Hemingway, Roderick Haig-Brown, trout-fishing hero, and the sissies go livid. Want to see one go apoplectic, which is kind of fun, then recommend donating money to Ducks Unlimited, true wildlife conservationists and decent people who not only care about but fight for the preservation of wet-lands. Yes, duck hunters. But the environmentalists are worse than simply being sissies: they are anti-Humanist at the core, selfish and evil people who should, if I may be so bold, be hanged from lamp posts. That doesn't need an explanation but I'll explain anyway.

People who go on about saving the whales or preserving the rainforests are not saying anything sensible about whales or rainforests; they speak only about their own view of the meaning of life. It's a cheap parlor game that shows us who people are and what they value, but it says not a thing about global warming itself, nothing about spotted owls or evn nature itself as a whole. Mother Earth is a metaphor for crypto-fascists who can't quite figure out just how deeply ugly they are and who don't want to expose themselves in public by examining their postions openly. So one looks at them obliquely to see who and what they are, and the positon of environmentalism is a give-way that tells all, sees all, knows all.

When environmentalists speak of nature they say nothing about nature itself; they speak of power, they speak of control, they speak of Will.

Nature is power, and one must confront ones relationship with it, either accepting it as supreme or challenging it and overcoming it, harnassing it and controlling it as well as we may. How we decide our relationship to nature tells much about us aws individuals and even as cultures. Man began in some remote places about 5,000 years ago to defy nature as a supreme force in his life. Man revolted against nature and began the Agricultural Revolution. To this day, most people still don't get it. No longer was Man a scavenger relying solely on what he could find in a day and forced to find more the next day simply to survive if he could. With the Agricultural Revolution Mother Nature got ripped and poked and raped. All that is to the good. Man took control for himself. Until roughly 250 years ago Man practiced irrational subsistence agriculture, the slight surpluses going to the ruling classes who squandered most of it on wars and luxuries. Then Man began to take control of irrational agriculture and turned it into scientific agriculture, into industry, into technologies, into high science; and all of this gives rise to individual freedom from the ruling classes of privileged nobodies. Guess who doesn't like the way things stand now in our beautiful modern world? It has nothing to do with spotted owls or melting icebergs. It's not about allocation of scare resources. It's about the concept of the legitimacy of control: should Man control his own destiny or should that be left to those who commune with the spirits of Nature?

The Phorest people see control as being legitimately outside the realm of Man, power being in the forest and in the weather and in the spirit of Nature itself, they being its mediators. Parkh people see control as something each and every individual has some of, and rightly so. Control within some limited space of ones life is inside, inside ones abilities. Those who claim to care about nature are telling us they hate the idea of Man in control of his own life, as owner of his own life. The nature mystics hate privacy and love publicity, of which they are arbiters-- in their own minds, hence the exagerated moralisms of their postions.

I being a person who favors privacy over publicity am one who favors hanging environmentalists from lamp posts. It's just the kind of guy I am. I seek counselling sometimes but often I skip it for a day of fishing instead. I'm very much in favor of saving trout and the lakes and rivers they live in, partly because if everything is wrecked I won't be able to go fishing anymore, but perhaps moreso because I like my relationship with trout, something one must experience personally to make sense of. Not all us are parkh people, some prefering to be triumphant gladiators. Me, I'm a parkh person who paints my own reality within the bounds of the possible.


truepeers said...

RH-B! Right on, it seems you're not so not at home in these parts. But check the front page of Saturday's Sun, if you want to have a fit!

dag said...

I got as far as the headline in the local paper from yesterday: "Eco-rage." Now I understand what prompted the unsolicited rant from a clerk in an antique store yesterday, a rant that prompted me to write as I did above. It's getting harder to talk to people about tropical hardwood furniture these days because they go on about the rainforests and the marvelous utility of veneer. People in the business of quality and beauty are lost in a dense fog of ugly deceptions and willful blindness to the falsities they shuffle.

A hand-split cane fly rod and hand-tied trout flies are unnatural and deceptive and the death of too many fish for one man to count. I have wept bitter tears over the death of fish only when they got away to die some lesser way than by my skill at reeling them in. I don't love trout. I don't romanticise or idealise or sentimentalise trout. They are fish. My relationship with trout is one of admiration and respect for trout as trout, and that is something no "environmentalist" is ever going to grasp. Roderick Haig-Brown gets it, and he is a master of the spirit of trout fishing, a master as wonderful in his mastery as is a master cabinet maker whose touch and skill can make wood into lasting beauty in forms good for Man and Life itself.

Beauty and quality and skilled imagination escape the tiny minds of our philistine minders. They wreck everything they involve themselves with. Roderick Haig-Brown knows the spirit of trout fishing. Saving the world from global warming is for evil-minded fools; trout fishing is transcendent.

Death to trout! Long live trout!

Stogie said...

Great post, filled with that great Dag insight that I have missed. So glad you are blogging again.

Kinderling said...

I'm enjoying your humour and look forward to more.

dag said...

Hi Stogie, good to be back and at it again.

Kinderling, I had some hilarious commnets as I sat here wiating for the comment box to open, and then when it finally did the big jokes got away. Trust me, though, they were really funny-- and big!