Friday, October 7, 2011
Cement and Glass; Fake Trees and Plastic Grass -- A Perfect World!
"Lord, grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference."
That of course is the familiar prayer that is the mantra of A.A.
I am not an alcoholic, but found myself thinking of that prayer earlier this evening.
I realize I have little or no power to "change" the current, irrational "war" on Canada geese.
The stakes are overwhelmingly against these birds, whether from government, politicians, "wildlife biologists," agencies, hunters, media and perhaps most disturbingly of all, the public.
Yes, there are scores of people who truly appreciate the geese and value them in our parks.
But, as A.G. of the USDA said to me two weeks ago, "I am sure they care more about football games."
I have to concede that is probably true.
I remember a couple of years ago, two swans at Harlem Meer.
Everyone loved the swans. All kinds of people -- men, women and children fed and photographed the beautiful swans constantly.
But, I recall feeling concerned for the female swan when noticing her looking lethargic and depressed on the lake over a couple of days.
Others told me at the time, "Don't worry. She will be fine."
About a week later, she disappeared and I later found out from Park Rangers, they found her dead in the lake one day. "Botulism" was what the autopsy later revealed.
Her mate, the male swan searched for her all over after she died -- even the empty Lasker swimming pool. About two weeks later, he disappeared from the Meer in seeming despair over the loss of his mate. He was never to be seen again.
But, certainly people loved the swans. -- Just apparently not enough to actually save one when she became ill.
It is somewhat like that for the geese.
Many people love them. Just not enough to defend them and work to end their persecution and massacres.
Googling current articles on geese on a daily basis, it is stunning the number of pieces that malign and vilify the geese, sometimes blatantly and sometimes in more subtle manner.
For example today, there is this piece from public radio:
Though actually a short and fairly factual and informative article, there is one sentence that likens the geese to a spreading disease:
"A combination of events led to the spreading of these resident geese."
Regardless of what the rest of the article says, this one sentence conjures up images of the plague.
Normally, I and a couple of other dedicated activists comment to articles that besmirch and demonize geese when possible, but this has become like a full time job, because the articles are so many.
And its not just the articles depicting geese as "pests," but most of the public comments.
Whatever people might actually care about the geese, they are strangely absent from most article comment sites.
But, those who hate geese are seemingly everywhere and extremely vile in their commentaries: "Shoot 'em, cook 'em, gas 'em, send the immigrants back to Canada."
Yes, this cause is quite hopeless and I realize the seeming inability to change it.
Only, I don't feel very "serene" about that at all.
Walking home from Central Park last night after another disappointing experience of "no geese" at Harlem Meer, (though at least the ducks were back to their normal behavior) I thought about the future:
I don't believe the geese will be allowed to go extinct.
When it is finally realized how their population has been decimated, "wildlife biologists" and other "experts" will again arrange to "restore" the Canada goose population for the simple reason they are so prized by hunters and represent hunting revenues.
Short term restrictions will be placed on goose hunting or in worse case scenario, remaining geese will be captured, wings clipped, captively bred and later released to rural areas as hunting targets.
This is of course what was done in the last century when the geese tottered on the brink of extinction due to over-hunting and destruction of habitat.
But, of course wildlife biologists didn't figure on the geese's adaptability to urban areas and public parks, nor did they apparently figure that geese hatched in this country would have no instinct to "migrate" to places far north.
So, a "resident" population of Canada geese was established in this country.
A "resident" population that we now deem "nuisance, pests, invaders and airline terrorists." A resident population that we need to "get rid of."
I believe that all the current harassment, hunting and extermination campaigns on resident Canada geese (i.e "war") will eventually be "successful and victorious" and the birds will ultimately be, like in the last century, tottering on the brink of extinction.
(Our nation has a penchant for easily getting into wars, but not knowing how to get out of or end them.)
We will then return to "plan B" -- but this time with a difference.
In order to discourage geese from "residing" in public parks and golf courses, real grass can be replaced by fake, plastic grass (i.e. astro turf.)
That should go well with the rest of urban society with its cement buildings, concrete pavements and glass structures.
While we are at it, real trees can be replaced by fake, wind-proof and snow-proof trees.
Sometimes real trees kill people or damage homes.
AG of USDA said he "would cut down all the trees" were it his decision to make, so perhaps we are not actually too far from this plan despite our Mayor's desire to "plant a million trees."
(Perhaps the next Mayor of NYC can chop all the trees down following the next human fatality.)
Meanwhile, the geese released to rural areas can be shot and hunted down almost as fast as they can breed.
Ah, such a perfect world!
The only question is, why is everyone then on "anti-depressants" or a myriad of other drugs and "medications" for mostly psychosomatic illnesses? Why is everyone singing like the Ramones; "I Need to be Sedated."?
Ah, back to the special prayer from AA!
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change......"
Perhaps though that is the problem.
We are too "serene."
Take your "serenity" and shove it.
Life was never about "serenity and happiness."
Its about fighting for what you believe is important and what is right.
Hopeless or not, the battles continue....... PCA