Sep 15, 2005

Chapter 38


I remember the white bear,
With its back-body raised high.

It wanted to be the only male here,
And came towards me at full speed.

Unaya, unaya.

Again and again it threw me down,
But it did not kill me.

Then it quickly went from me.
It had not thought
Of meeting other males here.

And by the edge of an ice floe
It lay calmly.

Unaya, unaya.

(Inuit hunter, 1921. Song poem with drum)

Gentlemen, I have called this meeting to discuss these strange photographs that were sent to us by a travelling refrigerator salesman. Now look at this photo - somebody threw a suitcase at this poor man and it hit him on the head.

Uh, Sir, that’s not what is happening. Nobody threw anything at anybody. He is walking down the street in an Inuit village with a suitcase balanced on his forehead. He is doing this on purpose.

Where is this happening?

In Igloolik, Sir.

Igloolik? Where is that? Is that part of Santa Claus Village in up-state New York?

Ah, no, Sir. Igloolik is an Inuit village about 3,000 km. north of Ottawa. The population is about 1,720, and 96% of them are Inuit.

That’s hundreds of kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. What the hell are they doing there?

Uhh, Sir, They live there; it’s where they have lived for 4,000 years.

Well they must have gotten used to it by now. Why do they carry suitcases on their foreheads?

Sir, it’s part of a circus act. They joined the circus and went to Africa.

They joined the circus and went to Africa? What is this? Who are these people? What is going on here?

Sir, at Igloolik, they are out on the tundra, riding unicycles and tall unicycles on stilts and walking on a big white plastic ball.

We can’t let this spread around. You can’t have Eskimos riding unicycles on the tundra. What would the Toronto Star say?

Sir, they are free people. The new self-government in Nunavut is in place; it is essential that everyone has the right to take a pencil and mark an “X” on a small piece of paper and then stuff the small piece of paper into a box. But their freedom to choose their future goes far deeper than government. And art gets there, faster and more deeply, than politics. A door opened and it cannot be closed again. They are re-inventing themselves, and they are teaching us who they are when they are allowed to be themselves.

And here’s what happened (executive summary):

Discussion in Igloolik, small isolated Arctic village far north of the Arctic Circle:

Hey, you know what we should do? We should join the circus and go to Africa and Europe!
Hey, yeah! That’s a good idea!

And can you imagine what happened next? They did it. Unbelievably magnificent. They went and actually did that.

I remember the white bear,
Again and again it threw me down,
But it did not kill me.

They joined a circus? Well, have you consulted the experts to write reports about this, to cover our asses and make it look like we understand what is going on?

Yes Sir, we commissioned Mr. Dawson’s Parkinson’s consulting group to analyze the situation at Igloolik. So far, they have produced these three different reports:

Long Report (1) Relative to the historical ethno-cultural colonial deconstruction of Inuit ethnic collective memory, the emergence of capitalist hegemony over community based self-making culminates as the historicization of the nation-state as primary mover of cultural meme and symbolic abstract profiling, conducive to anti-historical hegemony of the socio- political dimension of community cohesion and native people in Canada. The ethnically engendered policies force us to choose between cultural neoconceptual theory and postconstructivist textual theory. It is vital to substantiate the colonial system’s semioticist sublimation in the a-cultural stimulated postcapitalist deappropriation paradigm, which clarifies the authentication of the public sphere.

More research is required, at great cost. Send us money for more research. Lots of money. We will then write a longer report saying the same thing as this one, which sounds like it is about something but it’s actually just a bunch of big words strung together at random. Consultants make good money doing that.


Short Report (2):

Short Report (3):

A quote from the Chapter 36 about the white wolf; from an Inuit First Story:

The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance
Might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
And what people wanted to happen could happen
That’s the way it was.

the way it was; the way it is; the way it is meant to be.
the way it could be; the way it should be
the way we could make it be
Every day, when light floods the earth.

Go there
Go the way it is meant to be.

As you would for someone you love.

VIDEO from Igloolik:

And what people wanted to happen could happen

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