Thursday, February 21, 2002, 8:36 am, Vancouver, BC
Reviewed prose pieces; still unclear on objectives.
The two of us cycled to the head of False Creek, for the day was fine, and the light beautiful upon the waters. After lunch, walked the Quadrangle, at a pleasant pace, stopping here and there for groceries.
After dinner, concluded reading the score of Matthäus-Passion. The concluding double choir, with its intricate antiphonal effects, is truly remarkable.
Too tired, then, to do anything else sensible, turned on the tv to watch a bit of George Carlin, but I now find his scatological humour often infantile and offensive, and it entirely lacks wit.
*** 11:14 am
The fur traders had come to sojourn in the land, the miners in their turn came to enrich themselves and then pass on, but the settlers who quickly followed them [in 1858] came to live on and off the land, to own it and to exploit it; they would transform human habitat into a commodity…. The Indians found themselves facing white men who … had no sense of the land as the home of its native population or the domicile of its wild life…. (pp. 129-130)
But the final stage of subordination, when all Indian claims to the land could be safely disregarded, was that of total dependence. The traders had already started that process; it was to be continued in a different way by the missionaries and to be completed after 1871 by the federal bureaucrats, who finally set out to turn the native peoples into wards of the state as helpless, rightless, voiceless and voteless as lunatics or convicts. (p. 136)