So, given my circumstance of being in "vulnerable, information overload," upon walking away from the BRTF meeting twice into the wee hours of the night, I started crafting a poem/song/ditty "to make sense of it all" that expresses the fisheries perspective I have come to appreciate and embody during this entire biopolitical ordeal... which is of course called "Part of the Process."
When enduring through the BRTF meeting, a few songs came to mind, one invented by someone else, two invented by me, and the third song is above, in the process of being crafted. During the protests out in front of the Long Beach Hilton (off of Ocean Blvd.), I was surprised that the protest was rather "silent," besides some cheers and boos and car honks. There was no song, no tune that was being chanted by the myriads of protestors (totalling 100?) to embody their thoughts, their experiences with the MLPA process. And so I decided to take a stab at it, though I am not sure whether I was successful.
The first song that came to mind was "Oh, I think I smell a Raaaaat... Aow! I think I smell a RRRAT!!!" By the White Stripes. Most appropriately.
The second song that was playing in my head was one of my own invention. "Who's gonna know anything anymore?" which I documented on Blog 406. Basically, the song's about how no one has all the pieces of the puzzle, and when trying to put all the pieces together, a few "clowns oversee the black catch of my juggle"--individuals in power try to make the best possible decisions based on their relative knowledge level... or relative ignorance level. It's a short ditty.
The third song that came to mind was "Roll Over Me," as written in Blog 444, which is a song about how journeys out on the ocean have "healing qualities" that "roll over" complex, paradoxical thoughts and states of existence in one's mind. Healing qualities: always changing, multi-variate adaptation to reading the conditions, bringing home fish of fruition, washing over inna-rifting fissions, trying to not drown in oneself, having shared company with the ocean, running away from stupidity of human problems and artificial boundaries-imprisonments.
The fourth ditty-song is the one above, entitled "Part of the Process." First off, I will say writing poetry is powerful such that (1) it can summarize overwhelming experiences (2) it allows me to be metaphorically vague when bitterly referring to certain people, behaviors, or organizations. A few major factors that made me craft this song: (1) I was overhwhelmed by the scale of the MLPA operation, so many people, so many stakeholders involved, that I felt that the weight of any particular voice could be easily drowned out (2) the paradoxical value systems of fishermen "kind-hearted hunter" who is willing to "compromise, take some, set aside" "all in moderation, including moderation itself," trade-offs "conservation" and "socioeconomics" can exist within the hearts and minds of one individual (3) fishermen have deep-rooted mind-body and human-environment connectedness through the pursuit of hunting and being regional naturalists (4) acknowledgment of the sickness of the land, cumulative activites leads to declines in fisheries and ocean health (5) who are the puppets and strings in the process of setting aside waters as MPAs? "greens" are people motivated by monetary strings, "blues" are people motivated by internal passions "streaks of optimisms and wells of pessimism" and loss of jobs and identities (6) "organisms on maps" or the marine protected areas started taking shape, but we had to cut out a few sets of lungs and legs to do it, the process of short-term loss, withdrawal (like stop cigarette smoking) for the risk of supposed long-term gain (7) despite this elaborate process, the people in power lay "final stamps" and to what degree of control do we have in predicting the final outcome? (8) and being a part of this biopolitical process (corporate hotel room conferences with masses of people), have we become removed from the process--the process of being in tune with ourselves and the land around us? Contradictory, eh? I'm sure, as I continue to write about my experiences at this conference, the FIC/FIN meetings, and the MLPA south coast process, I am sure I will find other themes to incorporate into this ditty/poem. At least I think this is a good start for now.