Sunday, March 22, 2009

Make snowpants part of your everyday...

After spending the morning on the Up Here site, I came across this article about big ideas that would change the North...and while I don't agree with some of the ideas proposed, I definitely had to smile when I read this one:

Don’t turn southern
In an increasingly insipid world, the North must resist assimilation and trumpet its compelling quirks.

The Earth is shrinking fast. Big cultures are swallowing small ones. Regional dialects are dying, and local traditions are succumbing to global ones. Our complex planet is getting dulled and blunted. And the North is losing its Northern-ness.

Sure, it’s inevitable. Even in Old Crow and Lutselk’e and Grise Fiord, the Internet and airplanes make a sucking sound that tugs us toward mass culture. But just because we can’t win doesn’t mean we shouldn’t resist.

Put your shoulder against the citification of the North. The Yukon has already collapsed into Whitehorse – three-quarters of that territory live in the capital. The NWT and Nunavut are trending that way, too. Meanwhile, small places are perishing. In the past generation, outposts like Reliance and Tungsten and Elsa and Umingmaktok have basically vanished from the map.
Not only are Northerners moving to Northern cities, but those cities are becoming more city-like. In the capitals, there’s a push to drive up density, by encouraging condos and highrises. Cabin culture is being killed. Doesn’t the world have enough effete urbanites? Does the North, too, need to become metrosexual? Can’t a case be made for the value of living immersed in wilderness?

In summary: Be Northern. Build a house out of town. Wear moosehide and sealskin. Park your car in your yard. Pee by the highway. Take your dog to work. Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em. Say “the Yukon” (What gutless bureaucrat dropped the “the”?). Jaywalk. Commute on your quad. Look people in the eye. Don’t shave – and ladies, that goes for you. Curse. Spit. Enter without knocking. Eat bannock, dry-meat and tea. Build campfires in your yard. Shop at the dump. Call the rest of world “Outside.” Kill your cellphone. Kill your dinner. And stop acting like a goddamn southerner.

Oh sure, I'll look all cockeyed at anyone that wants to be messin' with me internets ( want to make it faster that is...), but regardless, reading this made my morning (or at least my hour).

In other news, I'm heading into Yellowknife for the next week (thank youuuuuuuu Department of Justice!) for courses and meetings, but I'm lugging along my laptop for the ride so I'll likely try and throw in an update or two.

Also...not that I'm saying I'm going to do this...but I will be staying in a hotel for the week...and hotels tend to have beds...big bouncy ones...ones that lend themselves nicely to being jumped on....not that I'm saying I would go and jump on a bed....I mean come on....that's pretty childish....but if I were to....that wouldn't be so bad.....would it?....hmm....


Megan said...

Call me if you have time for lunch while you're in town. Dawn has my number.

jen said...

That is some serious air you've got going. How did you not crack your face off of the wall? lol

Kennie said...

Alex .. you know any one in Ft. Smith or Ft. Resolution? there's a couple of teaching gigs up there that look interesting ... looking for someone to "brain pick" .. or do you know anything about the communities? Like are they sane?