By Maya Weeks
- A RELATIONSHIP IS AN ATTEMPT AT PROTECTING PROPERTY
I drive past the Seafarers International Union on 7th Street (1121 7th St., Oakland, California, 94607) on my way back from the port. I think about stopping, or, more precisely, about returning to visit, with questions, to interview the people who pass through there. Back at my computer, a cursory search of their website discloses that on October 1, 2015, seventeen SIU crew members’ lives were lost to Hurricane Joaquin.
Seventeen people gone forever in the service of global capital. Seventeen more families missing, mourning. Seventeen more clusters processing, cleaning, caring, doing the work of replenishing labor power that should never have been more labor power than any other social role in the first place.
- DEATH-POWER IS AS IMPORTANT AS BIO-POWER
Plastic fibers have been found in about 30% of herring and whiting caught in the waters of Denmark alone; in at least 693 marine species worldwide, plastic fragments have been documented. “Are you finding the fibers in the gut contents or in the tissues of the fish? Are the fibers assimilated into the muscle that people eat?” asks someone on the listserv. They point out the differences between practices of consuming shellfish (you eat them whole, guts and all, resulting in greater plastic consumption by humans) and regular fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (http://www.seafoodwatch.org/) helps “people make better choices for healthy oceans.” But if fishing continues at today’s rates, the seas will be depleted by 2048 anyway.
“Open up any dead bird, and most are likely to contain plastic fragments.”
Catch me in your cabin full of books yelling IF YOU WANT A WOMAN WHO IS COMFORTING AND DOCILE THAT IS NOT ME. Of course there is an easier nature. Of course there is an easier backdrop or a way to leave here. Milk slough dredge pond. All plastic gates all false jetty. All quagmire rodents / usurped the backdrop / toothpaste cigarette butts / scuttlebutt malfunction. Of course there is an easier meltdown than plastic. Of course there is an easier way to reject things: a trashcan in the sand, a loose caboose — missed the mark and took a picture instead. Plastic homeland. Another trash pile. Another bag. Another cute zombie. Another question of what to be for Halloween, what am I gonna throw away, how am I gonna keep it, where am I gonna buy it, what do I wanna show people— Fritos. Flavor Twists. Another seagull, another singing crane, another delay to make, another way to get paid, another way to inch out, another thing to worm out of. More plastic, more straws, more Doritos, more plastic bags, more dead marine life, more algae, more moss, another lump bedframe.
I took a square. I took a square and I went out of there. I took a square and I went out of there; I went home to Califronia. I took a square and I made a mattress of it. I didn’t want to keep looking at jellyfish. I walked around in circles like a stupid anteater. Another dumb way back. Another inch out. Another person to drag me out of the house. Another dumb tincture.
- PRIMARY PRODUCTION AT THE SURFACE OF THE OCEAN SETS THE LIMITS FOR THE REST OF THE FOOD WEB
While weathering and disintegration can lead to slow decreases in the sizes of plastic particles, plastic, because of its high molecular weight and the nature of its chemical bonds, can never be digested. “Fragmentation can result in the plastic no longer being visible in the environment,” although it is taken up, in micro- and nano-particles, by plankton at the base of the marine food web. Even if mealworms can digest Styrofoam, residual Styrofoam fragments, lower molecular weight fragments of polymers, and other intermediaries remain, and there is no evidence that the mealworms’ excreta are totally natural. Increasingly, plastics are being found in lakes, rivers, and ice cores as well as every part of the world’s oceans. Bioderegulation and biodegradation, the “ultimate goal” of which is to “totally break down the molecular structure of the polymer” and return “the carbon in the plastic to the normal geological carbon cycle,” or lack thereof, go hand in hand.
- MID-LATITUDE JET STREAM GOES HAYWIRE
Velella velalla sailing around the ocean.
Sunfish is one of the few species who eats velella velella.
Continent-sized “garbage patches” as the surplus of global capital.
Reports of plastics in the marine environment began to appear as early as the early 1970s, when climate scientists were increasingly predicting global warming. In 2015, according to Richard at Lakeside Recycling in Oakland, 99% of metals are shipped to China. As the Chinese housing bubble bursts, however, demand is decreasing, and now Lakeside only ships out one container of materials per day, down from eight a few years ago.
An attic is not perfect.
I want to be unobservable.
I want to be impenetrable.
To be female is to be penetrable.
“When the biggest sea star die-offs were occurring (late 2013-mid 2014), there were no detectable levels of Fukushima radiation in the areas where die-offs were happening. There is a lot that we don’t yet understand about Sea Star Wasting Syndrome.”
That which can be seen can also be queried.
Motion. Is visible.
“It still takes about eight days to cross the Atlantic and about twelve to cross the Pacific.” — Allan Sekula
“[T]he inability of the Syrian government to tackle the rampant steppe’s ecological crisis, steadily unfolded over the course of 50 years of sustained mismanagement, has been one of the key triggers of the armed conflict in the country.”
If — remembering there having been — nature, motivation, behavior, jealousy, and abandonment — overall ocean documentation experience
I DIDN’T MEAN TO TURN GARBAGE INTO MY LIFE’S WORK
“In the 1960s, the New York Times typically ran a page of shipping and transport industry news, alongside the weather, which was charted far into the Atlantic. Cargo and passenger ship departures and arrivals were reported daily. By 1970, the “Shipping/Mails” section was restricted to passenger and mail ships only, excluding cargo vessels. By 1980, the “Shipping/Mails” listing had migrated to a small corner of the “Stock Options” pages of the newspaper’s business section. The weather maps, placed elsewhere, were more likely to hug the Eastern seaboard. By the end of 1985, in the middle of the Reagan-era decade of speculative accumulation, the everyday shipping news sank entirely from sight.”
-Allan Sekula, Fish Story
“Capitalism and nation-state denote the most institutionalized dominant male.”-Abdullah Öcalan via Dilar Dirik
WE’RE NOT JUST KILLING BIODIVERSITY, WE’RE JUST PLAIN KILLING
Deep state, deep heat, Arctic methane release, energy transportation system, port state control confusion. 33,000+ offshore drilling sites. “[A] network of interrelated human behaviors, including overfishing, aquafarming, island- and ocean-based tourism, pollution, climate change, and offshore drilling in the oceans, which accounts for around a third of all oil and gas extracted worldwide. Copper prices fallen to 2.37 USD/lb. Bales of metals that stand for weeks and months.
ALL OF THIS VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION APPEARS NOT TO BE WORKING
“I just feel like yr politics should be the tightest part of you.
Keep the pussy loose and the politics tight” — Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta
“Solidarity with Kobanê’s women means to actually care about their politics. It means to challenge the UN, NATO, unjust wars, patriarchy, capitalism, political religion, global arms trade, nationalism, sectarianism, the state-paradigm, environmental destruction – the pillars of the system that caused this situation to begin with. Do not allow those who created the dark, violent shadows over the Middle East, which led up to the rise of ISIS, pretend to be the good guys. Supporting the women in Kobanê means getting up and spreading the revolution.”