Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dig up the clams.

Many generations ago there was a Native American tribe living off the coast of San Francisco. They periodically went to a clam bed that was there and dug up the biggest clams, it was a tradition passed on from generation to generation. At some point conservationists came by and saw what they were doing, and realizing that there were almost no other clam beds along the pacific coast the wanted to conserve this one. They encouraged the Native American tribe to stop digging the clams so that they might be saved. The tribe ensured the scientists that the clams were there because they were being dug up. The clams were there because the humans were there, as was told by their elders. This idea was completely illogical to the scientists and they quickly made laws forbidding people to dig up the clams. The tribe moved away, having had their main livelihood taken from them and within two years the clam bed was gone, there is no trace of it. 
It turns out, once science caught up, that the tribe was right. The clams' survival depended on humans taking away the bigger ones and having their bed dug up and re-molded every so often. Without human intervention the California coast was not inhabitable for them. 
I started thinking about the use of the word clam as another word for money and realized that this story works for that kind of clam too. Money is a human construct, we believe that it is valuable because we have assigned value to it. It (very literally) is here because we are here. All of the conservationists want to make sure that it continues to be here, and in order to insure that it is encourage the humans not to use it. We are supposed to "save for a rainy day", "invest in our future" understand that "a penny saved is a penny earned", the list could go on forever.  Meanwhile we are not supposed to have a lovely clam dinner, because we want our children to see the clam beds. I say; Dig up the clams, there will be more as long as we need them. They are here because we are here.

In other news I went to the liquor store yesterday to acquire beer for my day of fishing. Which, by the way was a little less traumatic than the last fishing trip as the boyfriend caught two fish that had a death wish and therefore died on scene. At the liquor store there was an overly helpful woman working there. She was white, about 40, tall, gaunt and dressed in a sweatshirt and tight jeans with her hair a high ponytail. She took my credit card and looked at it twice and said "Your name isn't really Tucker is it?" (legal name still on all legal documents) to which I responded with my classic "Yeah, Tucker Jackson Davis, I'm pretty sure my parents were expecting a boy." She laughed and pointed to her name tag. It said Natica. "I'm pretty sure my parents expected me to be black, imagine their surprise".  

A nice little picture of the boyfriend fishing, at Inks Lake Texas.


Until next time, I am back on the open road, spending the weekend in Marble Falls Texas, en route westward.

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