Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 8 April 2013

Genocide and Extinction: Reflection on "in my dreams" by Mercedes Eng

"Whether this satirical inscription [PERPETUAL PEACE] on a Dutch innkeeper's sign upon which a burial ground was painted had for its object mankind in general, or the rulers of states in particular, who are insatiable of war, or merely the philosophers who dream this sweet dream, it is not for us to decide."  Immanuel Kant, "Perpetual Peace"

When I first read "in my dreams" by Mercedes Eng, on Geist, my heart pounded with the animate high of a synchronous intellect grounded with a feeling of urgency.

This piece illustrates the symbolic intersection of a pipeline as physical obstruction on the body of our Mother, as on our body. And to follow, the incarceration and de-legitimization of those voices and lives whose source of energy derives from a more profound and lasting than those harvested recklessly by government leadership, and the knee-jerk automaton droves of apologists, apathetics, pessimists and belligerent supporters of environmental crime. 

We have traversed the oceans and landscapes with a smothering footprint. In the wake of the wholesale devastation of First Nations communities across the country, it is the entirety of humankind that is next on the list of the entrenched ignorance of those who ignore science, who ignore civil society, and who ignore their own innate sense of empathy for the sake of power politics and saving face. 

When the source of a disease is unknown, for example lung cancer from smoking in the past, the individuals long since die while courts and politicians wade through policies and promotions to effectively prevent further death. Smoking is an especially useful symbol too, because it exhibits a problem with consuming that overrides even the strength of knowledge and law. People still die from smoking, just as we die from ignorance. Besides the individual death of one person, or even the genocide of a specific group, the extinction of our entire species is at hand when we talk about the continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels. 

Ocean acidification is the cause of five major extinctions on planet Earth, and the CO2 levels in our oceans now are rising at an unprecedented rate. See the work of Charlie Veron, the 'godfather' of coral and other scientists. The only way to prevent ocean acidification is to stop burning fossil fuels. Yet this time, we are realizing that we are essentially all one body in this fight to curtail the disease of overconsumption, overexploitation of non-renewable resources, and when it dies, there will be no lawyers or politicians left. In the 20th century, we faced the facts and prepared policies to prevent genocide. In the 21st century, we face the extinction of our species, and we are all at fault. 

Internationally, Canada is now a partisan country, we support other nations on their ventures into say for example, Afghanistan, based on exclusive measures of concern. This reflects within the domestic sphere, where representative leadership in government merely reflects a narrow margin of society. Those who are not aligned to the dominant mode of power are marginalized traumatically.    

We can remember the words of an assassinated democrat echo into the future, "Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.” JFK

To encourage ecocide is to choose extinction. 

Be aware: Oil Man and the Sea, Revolution (Film), Earthship Biotecture
Struggling lone uphill through the barren rifts and scarred desertification of Judea, I look out from an outcrop towards the Sea of Galilee. Scanning feline eyes growl and hiss in the unkind wilderness of the famed Israelite passage to divine promise. Yet, here where the last suicidal stand of Judaic tradition withheld the Roman tide of enslavement, I grapple.

Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee by Emile Rouargue
The rocky earth tumbles with rolling quakes, as an avalanche of boulders careens beyond a nearby patch of scree. The earth teems with deadly fate, as I climb on, and reach the summit of sacred space.

Mount Tabor by Emile Rouargue
Under a cloudless sky, I phone the United States, to hear the short-toned speech of my elderly grandpop, hunched over a sandwich and remote in the old Jewish-American neighborhood of secular tradition. To my increasing surprise, he had been on the phone, yet with a late dignitary of American war, Ike himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the once commander-in-chief of North African forces in WWII, where my old pop first entered active service.

The Bully of the Neighbourhood by John George Brown
Pops welcomes me to cross lines and speak with the former president. Nervously, my voice reaches for sanity and order, with subtle interrogation, I chance a question over the unsettling silence, “What is your favorite book about WWII?” I ask, with An Army At Dawn in mind, as I’m currently in the middle of it. “I don’t much read any book of the kind.” He breathes a deep silent resolve, of little words.
"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" is an experimental narrative that plays off of American colonial history as a body of water, rippling throughout the waves of history. Cultural memory is as fluid as water itself, where consciousness may be revisited with the slightest alteration, leading to an eventual holistic transformation.

"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" utilizes frame drum and shakuhachi together with synth beds to create an ulterior perspective in the retelling of popular history through a gendered and ahistorical mode. This also plays into our ecological history as a species, and how the ability (or inability) to listen to our story, as our voice, is similarly the story of our relationship to ecological knowledge, and how the fluidity of place with regard to land-based settlement is as dramatic in its shape-shifting nature, as the fluidity of place on a sea-based settlement. Simply put, the modern political notion of "settlement" is a myth.

In the era of consumption, we posit a sense of material as objectified by the consumptive attitude: that things are to be consumed, used, manufactured, wasted, eaten, assembled, etc. as opposed to a creative attitude, where all things are in flux. So, with regard to the battered histories of genocide and ecocide, "Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" asserts a revivification of the solemn bliss of knowing where we stand.

As the entire collection "Cyclical Wordplay" from which the chapbook, "Visitations" is derived, centres not only on the cyclical wordplay of language itself, but the travelogue of a cyclical journey, tracing the meaning of traveling abroad to returning through domesticity. The selections in "Visitations" recount the final step in that return, where after "A VIsit to L.A." the cyclical resolution leads to a transmigration of values. The final step homeward from a long season abroad, exhibited in experimental narratives, eventually transforms one's relationship to language, place, and meaning. The conclusion is a prelude to welcoming "other" visitations.

"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth", featured in "Visitations" was published in the Rusty Nail December 2012 Issue. The release of the "Visitations" chapbook on Scribd, goes together with the release of "Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" a spoken word narration on

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