Wednesday, January 16, 2008



Brishen Hoff is to be congratulated for his courageous attempt in taking on one of Canada's most untouchable sacred cows----the myth of aboriginal superiority in the stewardship of resources. Politically correct reverence toward natives can trace its roots to Jean Jacques Rousseau's "Noble Savage", to the concept that Natives were pure and close to nature until the vile and decadent Europeans corrupted them with their greed and plunder. Then Hollywood came along to show that the white settlers were noble, pure and Christian and the natives were just bloody thirsty savages. My Grade 11 history text had a picture of Indians torturing a French Canadian priest at the stake. Today the talk is all about how the church inflicted psychological torture on natives. The pendulum swings back and forth between two idealized poles of distortion. What Hoff demonstrates is that environmental mismanagement is ALSO an aboriginal trademark, and he suggests that historically humankind of all races have NEVER respected limits. The contemporary Hollywood theme, the Marlon Brando-Kevin Kostner portrait of natives as people who talk to The Great Spirit and never take more than they need and never despoil, is quite simply BULLSHIT. I could just as easily dance around a campfire chanting and waving a copy of Walden Pond to claim that white European Americans have always been in touch with nature. But for every Henry David Thoreau or John Muir there were ten robber barrons who gave a rat's backside for the ecology. All cultures are infected with the growth imperative. It is likely hardwired into our brains. That's why we're likely doomed. Tim

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