15.8.07

Creature's of the Malibu Lagoon



"We are the mutants of our chemical civilization," writes Gerald Vizenor in "The Tragic Wisdom of Salamanders", and we are the creatures of the Malibu Lagoon. Birdman lives atop the ruins of a nuclear meltdown in the Santa Monica Mountains.
And just like the few remaining mountain lions of the Sanata Monica mountain range the Birdman and his tribe nomadically surf this sacred land.
Up and down this Chumash Coast, from one perfect pollutted point to another.
In Vizenor's essay about the need for our language to regenerate a new respect for our earth he points out Emily Yoffe's New York Times Magazine article 'The Silence of the Frogs' where she wrote, that "scientists say amphibians represent the global equivalent of the proverbial canary in the coal mine." Vizenor writes "that Yoffe pointed out that herpetologists, those who study reptiles and amphibians, or frogs, toads, and salamanders, 'with perhaps not the greatest objectivity, say frogs are the ideal creature to reflect the health of the environment. In their view, frogs are living environmental assayers, moving over their life cycles from water to land...covered only by a permeable skin that offers little sheild from the outside world."
Recently frogs and salmanders have been mutating, producing black and sterile eggs, and altogether vanishing in certain parts of the world. Could surfers be the next victims of drainpipe doom? Us "surfers" are the human equivelent of the living environmental assayers, and yet we can speak and do something, unlike the frogs. As we spend our life going from land to water covered only by our thin skin we are in no doubt exposed to all kinds of werid chemical mixtures that over long, or short, periods of time can effect our health. We are all creatures of this modern world, no matter where you live or what you do, you are effected in some way by our "chemical civilization."