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In the Shadow of the Government’s Blind Eye

In the Shadow of the Government’s Blind Eye


ORGANIZATION & ENVIRONMENT / September 2001Lindholdt / IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BLIND EYE IN THE SHADOW OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BLIND EYE PAUL LINDHOLDT Eastern Washington University Walking between the towns of Tukwila and Kent, I came upon a place where no grass grew, a scorched plat of land in the Kent Valley of the Evergreen State, Washington. Industrial rubbish lay in heaps on that place, and colossal tanks on stilt legs towered. Pheasants cackled from patches of blackberry briars, mallard ducks migrated overhead, and dairy cattle lowed from flood-lush fields. That scar on the landscape rattled me for days. Its blacks and grays collided with clusters of native bunchgrass on its perimeter and clashed with the red of the rose-hips, causing me to object aesthetically, in my teenage way. Not that I could smell anything. As a sight animal trained from youth to hunt and gather--quail and marbles, rail spikes and mushrooms, pheasants, berries, trout--my susceptible vision overwhelmed my companion senses. Most mammals, more sensitive than we are as human beings, tune to the complexities of Earth through a refined capac- ity to detect chemicals. My eyes despised the outsized tanks for storing unstable fluid, the ponds of vola-
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