Brishen, that was the best hatchet job on Suzuki, the best analysis of the man, his organization, and his lifestyle that I have yet seen. A holistic critique. Not many people are prepared to take iconoclastic approaches, the kind we need to take toward these dangerous figures, these Pied Pipers, these modern Pharisees who lead the innocents astray with their smooth charm and stage presence, and academic civility. Why are we seduced by that rather than looking at the damage that they are doing? Suzuki, Rees et al are like flagmen with the highways department, sending drivers off down the wrong road to no where. They may be engaging, even driven by the right motives initially. But I would rather have no directions at all and use my own counsel than have these so called “environmentalists” direct traffic.
I know, I know. There are people who are going to say. Lets keep on the good side of the icons. Lets prostrate ourselves before them like other supplicants. With enough bootlicking, we might gain some influence. Who then is going to tell the truth to power? Who is going to tell the truth to the people? Don’t the people hear enough hero-worship? The ordinary working class people of Quadra Island, the truckers, the tradesmen, the store clerks, the loggers, the fisherman, hate Suzuki’s guts. It is only the ruling clique, the Sierra-NDP-Greens, the artsy-fartsy people with college degrees who rely on the CBC to form their opinions and then genuflect before Him. They are the people who control the local media and the local community hall. Modifying or softening my pitch to suit them is not to my taste. The working class people are going to be the first to suffer the rebound effect of the boom economy that is soon to go bust. And in Suzuki they spot a hypocrite. One who preaches limits, but doesn’t live within them.
I think it is imperative for someone of Suzuki’s stature to “walk the talk”. I met Ralph Nader as a university student and I remember how impressed students were by his asceticism. As one TVO commentator so crudely put it, Suzuki is a preacher who preaches chastity while discreetly ducking into the whore house. Coast guard sailors and fishermen here are aware that he flies to the Queen Charlotte Islands to meet his native friends on hunting and fishing parties to over-fish and over-hunt, that is fish and hunt beyond the white man’s limits as a guest of the natives. This after appearing on television telling the rest of us to live within our limits. My limit includes having to buy a fishing licence--- what could be more absurd that having to purchase a fishing licence, but not be required to have a licence to breed an excessive amount of children? True, Suzuki can’t undue his past. But why not go on television and apologize for it? The federal government apologized for the internment of Japanese Canadians during the war. Why can’t Suzuki get up and say: “ I am sorry that I was unaware of the damage that so many people would do to the atmosphere and the environment . I regret my irresponsibility, but not my children, whom of course I love etc etc.”