It’s … Like … A Very, Very … Uh … Nice Thing, Believe Me

This piece is enlightening and relates to the pernicious effect that the machines have had on our ability to interact with one another.  It also relates to why Orwell’s novel 1984 had a huge surge in sales immediately following Donnie’s election.

“Jacobson blames much of the current political madness on the decline of language. ‘Words hold the key to imagination and the ability to describe the world around us. Words get you out of your worst thoughts, take away bigotry, and when needed, provide an escape route.’ In his eyes, Trump’s narrow vocabulary, his apparent antipathy to reading anything longer than a single-page summary, is key to his character.”

I had the great misfortune once to work for someone who resembled Donnie* in many ways, including a privileged background and a tendency to lie about everything. I was working with him on a presentation he was to give, and one of the last things he ever said to me was, “You really stimulate my thinking.” Almost immediately after I left his office he told my boss to send him another writer.  What he really meant was, “You are smarter than I am, and I hate you for it.” I pushed him out of his word comfort zone, which was rote and limited. This left him feeling naked and afraid.

*I will not refer to the 45th President as President Trump or even Trump or even Drumpf. He does not deserve any kind of respect given his “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco” and “Crooked Hillary” and nasty comments about women and the disabled. He’s also getting really fat and has a spray tan, a bizarre and ridiculous hair style, a fish mouth and beady eyes, yet he makes fun of other peoples’ appearance. He’s a spoiled brat bully boy who deserves only the diminutive “Donnie.”

© 2017 Joseph Galligan


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove: how ospreys built nests before people put up all those platforms along the Deschutes River that resulted in eight apex predators per river mile in one stretch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove: what a cutthroat trout looks like from the air.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove: natural sculpture (Henry Moore-ish) on the North Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove: “Base Camp” on Deschutes River on longest day of the year. Good time to be out here.

© 2017 Joseph Galligan

OK, Eagle, I Got My Mate with Me This Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove: View from “Base Camp” on Deschutes River. Continuing thanks to Larry and Joyce Caramella for this spot. My cataraft I have named Pequod is tied up on the bank. 

A year ago on a different part of the Deschutes River, I saw an osprey fly overhead with a fish in its talons. A bald eagle was right behind it. Eventually, the eagle got above the osprey and swooped down on it, at which point the osprey let go of the fish. As soon as it did  that, the eagle folded its wings and shot down toward the ground. It picked off that fish in mid-air.

That osprey had to be thinking, “I do all the work, and you just take it away from me like a schoolyard bully stealing kids’ lunch money. Fucking eagles!”

This week, from the spot pictured above, I saw a bald eagle flying across the river, but this time, there were two ospreys harassing it (the pair from the nest on the railroad messaging-wire pole right near camp). I assumed they were protecting young still in the nest. When one of the ospreys would come close, the eagle would flip over onto its back in a flash so as to expose its talons. It did this four or five times before it finally flew off to the east. The female osprey came right back to the nest. The male might have chased that eagle to Pendleton because he didn’t come back to the nest for quite awhile. This proves one more time that females are far wiser than males.

As amazing as the aeronautics of that eagle were, they were nothing compared to the nighthawks I saw the first night out on this trip. Those birds can change direction almost faster than the human eye can see. You don’t see nighthawks when the wind is blowing hard because there are no bugs in the air. The evening wind also means no dry-fly fishing, an unfortunately common occurrence on this river. First evening, great dry-fly fishing, five nighthawks. Last night, heavy wind, no dry flies, no nighthawks.

© 2017 Joseph Galligan