Discuss: The Fisher King
Nice piece but familiar territory. Yes we are commodifying Mother Earth and in the process destroying her children and ultimately setting ourselves up for a take down. And yes there is a huge desensitation to nature’s ways that goes with the process. I know all this. I use to sail cruise and feel catching fish with an individual line and hook for personal eating purposes is very different from mining and despoiling the ocean to make a profit.
I’m not clear on what the plan is to get us out of this dilemma but I know it better include a serious cut in the human population.
MORE BLUEFIN TUNA, LESS PEOPLE!
The transition from a money economy based on domestic and global exploitation to an economy based on reciprocity and communitarian efforts is slow-going because it is a radical paradigm shift from self-interest to other-awareness and identification. The first step is grieving; the second, acknowledging our own complicity; and the third, trading in new theories of ruin and causation for committed activism in the public AND private spheres.
this is to me a very weird article - I agree that Callum Roberts’s book is important, and a rallying call for all of us (plus it is beautifully written). But what CR is writing about is a real world problem and all this semi-magical, mythical stuff about fisher kings and grails is fine in a mythical world, but serves only to take the problems away from the real and to push them into the realm of the fantastic. I wish mr griffiths could just confront these problems as they are, rather than hide them away behind his own rather indulgent enjoyment of arthurian legends and so on. Will the Green man save the oceans? or the hobbit?
What a poignant and beautifully written piece. Thank you for exposing more of their disgusting arrogance, and for connecting it to that which stirs our souls.
Thank you to Jay Griffiths and to Orion for this excellent article.
I’m grateful to Jay Griffiths for her discussion of The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea by Callum Roberts and her careful summing up of the rapidly deteriorating condition of our oceans.
Inaction in ending and reversing destruction of ocean species and the ocean is frightening and alarming. And human population continues to rise.
I for one appreciated Griffiths’ use of the Fisher King as an organizing idea and way into her piece.
Wonderful perspective. Thank you Jay Griffiths.
Familiar territory? Perhaps so - but as the worsening situation becomes more pressingly urgent by the week, the inaction of western governments, and the active hostility of the Japanese to any positive steps, is even more reprehensible. It’s not merely a question of business or science either; human history is intimately bound up with our cultural heritage, which we also ignore at our peril and without which we may be less intelligent than the fish! Ms Griffiths’ article is just as timely, thought-provoking and deeply felt as her other writings.
Familiar territory for some perhaps. But for me, not a familiar treatment of it and I find it has a different impact.
Sure, I’ve seen the raw stats and read the accounts of trawling and it has indeed impacted me - I’ve scuba dived for scallops and left them on the sea bed because they looked so at home, much to the bewilderment of my fellow diver; I’ve stopped insisting on line caught fish, and simply turned vegetarian.
But bringing in myth and deep history seems to put such behaviour changes onto more solid ground. And as a human I’m driven by more than just data - a good half of my brain needs stories and pictures to make sense of the world.
So I’m grateful to Jay for helping me in that way so artfully.
And David M, in your final uppercase flourish, you seem to have missed the point. A solution is not so much about drastic cuts in human population (and how ever that might be enacted), but about healing a wound. Perhaps a wound that can only be revealed through myth and story because it certainly won’t show up in a CT scan or a barium meal.
Personally, I need stats AND stories - and most of the time find myself drowning in the former and scrabbling around for the latter. Hence I find Jay’s contributions to this territory absolutely vital (and a damn good read too).