Thursday, July 21, 2011

Culture Watch: Trouting?

This is a bit of a departure, but I was intrigued to learn via CNN that there is a new internet "meme" called "Owling." I always thought owling was going into the woods to see and hear owls. But that's so fifty years ago. No, "owling" is photographing yourself in an owlish pose in some unlikely location and posting it on the internet. This is now quickly surpassing the vast popularity of "Planking" in which you photograph yourself posing like, yeah, a plank, and which someone said is now "so two months ago."

One person commented, "I hope he isn't about to begin 'pigeoning.'" And another: "This is part of that new, hip trend, 'stupiding.'"

It would be easy to see this as evidence of the decline of civilization as we know it. It would be easy to point out that this practice seems absurd and pointless in a world that is falling apart. But I suspect that's precisely why people are doing it. In my day, when the country was torn apart by the Vietnam War, we had Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, and guerilla theater, using the weapon of absurdity to expose the truth of what was going on.

So I like absurdity. I'm amused by this trend. But, then again, I have to wonder what truth this trend is trying to expose. But, of course, absurdity can't be explained because it's...absurd.

But all this gave me an idea. Now, when challenges to access rights, and oil spills, and Pebble Mines, and a whole long list of ills threaten our sport and the fish we love, how about "trouting?" How about "Steelheading?" When Roderick Haig Brown went snorkeling in his beloved Vancouver Island rivers he didn't know that he was pioneering an internet meme that would sweep cyberspace in 2011.

Send me your pic and I'll post it. You could be the next person to get your picture on CNN.

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