Footnotes 1 : As to why all action is political

August 19, 2009

posted by caroline picard

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I met John Huston, an Arctic explorer once. He gave a lecture about an expedition he and a friend conducted where he traveled, primarily on foot, along the Northwest Passage. For decades the Northwest Passage has been sought after. In the 1800’s, Norwegian and British ships set out to discover the passage as one might a city of gold or a golden fleece—it would greatly facilitate shipping routes. It was never found in the 1800’s because it never existed. Those expeditions only ever found ice. Last year, the Northwest Passage came into being for the first time. Climate change has melted enough ice such that a passage opened up, connecting the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Just this summer John Huston walked along its bounds. He suspects that in the years to come, the walking tour he conducted will be impossible. In the years to come there will be no ice upon which to walk. I suggested that his journey was political, that it had the appearance of a quiet protest. In walking so many miles with so much risk he was calling attention to the ways in which we are destroying our environment. He denied the interpretation, saying instead that he was only interested in the application of the human spirit against terrible odds. While I understand that he has his own intentions, I also cannot avoid interpreting those same actions in a different, and in this case, political, light.

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4 Responses to “Footnotes 1 : As to why all action is political”


  1. I agree–Huston may have his intentions–but his actions to the public at large are open to all sorts of interpertation. Melting ice is not a good sign of planet ‘health’–and thereby political because of the economic-social-corporate politics involved in the entire scenario. Now about those indigenous folks whose islands are disappearing to rising water level erosion……not a joke.


  2. btw–regarding: “Documenting America’s Collective Consciousness”–is there really such a thing? How would you define/describe it based upon your documentation so far?

  3. urbesque Says:

    i’d prefer to defer to others on that one


  4. Ahhh, well, okay, how’s about ‘others’ giving it up then…yeah, I am seriously curious–anyone care to respond? I’ve certainly got ‘my’ views on such–but–I hope others’ are less cyncial than mine. Yes, the search for balance continues…


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