EcoPunk #70

Fight like a wolf
    This summer, sometime while the CIA conspired the September 11 "terrorist" attacks, I found myself somewhere a few hundred miles North of the Arctic Circle in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (soon to be changed to Arctic National Welfare Recipients in humble respect for those patriotic oil companies who will so graciously mine and drill and blast the LAST remaining chunks of real Wild for a few trillion bucks worth of crude). Now if you've never been up to that land of eternal space, let's just say in no uncertain terms that it is Wild as Fuck. Wolves everywhere. Lynx as common as squirrels. Grizzlies outnumber humans 4,000 to 1. Caribou herds the size of small Northeastern states. Millions upon millions of acres of untouched, undisturbed primeval life the way it is supposed to be. Although seeing lynx and billion acre areas without a road, 7-11 or fucking church was awesome, it was really the wolves that made my entire trip.
    Wolves are something of a Christ figure to most ecos I know. They're the representative children of the Wild who were unjustly crucified by a rampaging group of Romans called ranchers, hunters and other assorted white people. Though they are "extinct" in all but two states in the West, we wear icons of them on our clothes and sing Earth First! top 40 songs about 'em and howl like 'em at our parties. Of course like ol' hippie Jesus, few of us have ever seen a wolf much less run and frolicked with them on marmot hunts in the tundra. But deep down in our instincts, deep down some place in our bone marrow, we identify wolves as something that was and something that should be; something essential and irreplaceable in a just, natural world. And unlike believing in some ridiculous fairy tale like Jesus or Goddess, I think belief in wolves is right on. In fact, were we to live more like them, I reckon we'd have a far better success ratio in our battles against corporate death culture.
    Wolves don't pick fights they can't win. It's true. You'll never see a wolf try and take down a grizz or a mama moose. Never. Outside the artificial realities of civilization and hobby activism where the stakes are real and consequences bloody and painful, you won't see critters egged on into stupid, vaguely suicidal actions against things that can obviously slaughter them. Anarchists have yet to learn this lesson, although empirical evidence from the last few international days of action is starting to redirect the flow in somewhat wolfy directions. Let's see, between Carlos getting his face shot off in Genoa and hundreds of people getting hurt and arrested in Prague and Washington, the wise little wolf would notice that a bunch of kids with signs, gasmasks and three word chants ain't gonna be able to pick a fight with hundreds of heavily armed papa pigs and win. I sincerely believe that with a lot less ego a lot more well aimed action, we can bring down the entire herd of assholes ruining our lives and our Wild. It's just a matter of ditching all the tired old '60s street demo, vanguard organizing bullshit and '90s faith based belief in ski masks and petty vandalism and getting to work plotting the demise of our adversaries in battles fought on our terms; battles that are winnable.

    Wolves know how to work together. And are willing to do so.  Wolves are smart, perhaps nature's best strategians. I know people who have seen wolves take down caribou and moose, animals vastly larger and more powerful than the overfurred dogs. But in working for their common survival, wolves organize themselves into bands capable of actions far more powerful than they would be capable of alone. Do they march up to caribou chanting and bragging, egging the caribou to trample them down? Do they sit there and bitch at one another because some wolves believe in biting while others prefer to yap? Fuck no. They sneak up from behind and using a careful, well organized attack from all sides, drop these massive animals. For example, half a dozen wolves will attack a caribou and get it away from the herd. Then a couple wolves will make feigned leaps for the neck while another couple bite at the caribou's ass keeping it running. While the caribou tries to fight off the wolves snapping at its throat, other wolves will be jogging alongside it snipping at the tendons in its legs. After not too long, the muscles and tendons are chewed through and give way, toppling the five or six hundred pound animal to the ground where the wolves can finish it off without hassle. In this age of increasing division, I think this is a concept we might do well to embrace. The fact of the matter is that certain people in our movements go out of their way to divide us and get us all squabbling with one another. Some rip on anything that doesn't cling to their ELF fairy tale of sporadic arsons bringing down industrial civilization. Some trash anything that doesn't regurgitate the ineffective '60s style activism they mainlined in their liberal arts college. Some dismiss anything done by men or white people or rich people or anyone who is not them. And the end result is a culture of resistance with no unity, no cohesive vision and to be blunt, no chance of changing a fucking thing in this world. If we thought a bit like wolves we would realize that we are all different, we all come from different places and have experienced different things. From this it is easy to get past the fact that we ain't gonna agree on everything, (probably not on most things) but that we do have a common survival need etched deep in our genetic tablets and get to work figuring out how to coordinate our actions in such a way that we can hunt and kill the multi-gazillion dollar cow armed with nuclear antlers and hooves of heavily armed pigs. And this doesn't even have to be a matter of the whole "movement" sitting down in a meeting. It's more a matter of certain groups of people putting aside their vain appeals for glory through rhetoric, thinking strategically, and acting as audaciously as possible. Think about it. Sierra Clubbers lobbying congress while baby wolves lob firebombs into police stations. People helping destabilize trading partners of the
beast and fomenting chaos and distraction wherever they go while farmers and ex-union steel workers turn on the companies that left them stranded. Rednecks shooting at bankers while ghettos move into the suburbs in search of the greener pastures denied them. Greens and reds and blacks and whites and pinks all snipping and snapping at different legs of the Death Culture? The military-industrial complex that runs this world is big and powerful, but it is also clumsy and not able to defend itself on the multiple fronts we are capable of attacking it on.

    In my eyes, reacquainting ourselves with Wildness, the proverbial wolves deep in each of us, is the only way to achieve anything of consequence in this world. If we could step back from the Christian belief in ideological intangibilities and our old crutches Division, Greed and Malice by thinking like our four-legged forebears, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. To love, dark nights and long wolf howls...

mike antipathy
po box 11703
eugene, oregon 97440