Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The word "Clatsop" in the Chinook language means "dried salmon."
So when ever I go somewhere that has "Clatsop" in its name I change its name to Dried Salmon. Example:

I've attended Dried Salmon Community College. I buy my beverages from Dried Salmon Distributors. Coffee? Dried Salmon Coffee Company. He works at the Dried Salmon County Jail. When I get old I want to go to Dried Salmon Care. This is how I add flavor to my experience of living here. I only wish that Astoria meant something cool in another language other than a fur capitalist who has never been here.

Dried Salmon... Dried Salmon!!! Ah, Dried Salmon. Enough With the Goddamn Fish Already!

Yes I know that fish are the regional symbol of all that is Pacific Northwest, but enough is enough. In one day of shopping one must see thousands of examples of symbolism, and it's getting to be as annoying as a Texan's accent.

First there is the fish, the real thing. They get tossed at the Pike Street Market, they are in net pens in the bay, they are at every Bar-B-Que, they are at every wedding and at every event. They are counted, weighed, fin clipped, and many get their eggs or sperm squeezed out of them. If you catch one you will need legal representation to determine if you can actually keep it.

Then they appear in art. There are in paintings, sculpture, photographs, and on pottery. Few things are more annoying than Native American salmon art. Actually, their whale and eagle art is equally annoying, but I'm trying to make a point here. There are pictures of fish painted near storm drains. I was at a party the other day and there were block prints of fish on the siding of the persons' house.

A fisherman once told me that "Fisherman" are a living proof that fish is not brain food. I agree!

They are the names of our streets, towns and counties. Does someone really want to live on Sock-eye Lane in Chinook? Sound a little fishy? Why not just move into the river and become one with the object of your desires.

The Daily Astorian once ran a series of articles on what we can do to save the salmon. My answer was to stop eating them and above all, stop worshiping them.

There are sea lion opposition groups out there who are trying to make it legal to once again kill of a large number of the sea lion population because they eat salmon. However they don't realize that salmon is now their main diet since we eliminated most of the lampray eels. Yes, historically sea lions ate mostly eels, and we screwed around with nature and created an even bigger problem, AGAIN! The sea lions can't go to the Wet Dog for a burger and humans do not have to eat salmon, they just do so because it is a Northwest tradition.

The salmon industry is totally screwed right now. The only thing I can see saving the salmon right now is to leave them alone. Leave the eels alone, leave the river alone. Maybe everything will recover in a decade or so.


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