Time to Quiet down
First thing to do on the cabin's doorstep is the necessary look around: how does Pentti Linkola, the most insisting of the insisting, live?
He doesn't live high. There is electricity in the house of two rooms but it won't warm the climate. One bulb illuminates a tiny kitchen corner and another old typewriter which is still in hard use. Now the ink doesn't go for a book but 1950s' bird notes.
The whole floor is covered in ornithology. Small shreds on sightings of Vanajavesi's winged beings, every line hand-written. Linkola thinks he will be finished within 150 years.
"A clean house is cheerless place to live," reads in the closet door.
Before we get to sit down, the fisherman starts placing 10cm pike pieces in the baking tin. He sprinkles fairly much salt on it. Pike is Linkola's favourite fish. It's even better than pike perch which is too tender.
Besides fish also potatoes, full milk, butter and naturally berries, the best nature has to offer, belong to diabetic's diet.
Linkola avoids eye contact and speaks with quiet voice.
In the wall of the old ladies' man reads: "Fishermen have bigger rods."
The bedroom has walls full of books. Next to the bed is open Eero Paloheimo's Tämä on Afrikka ["This is Africa"]. Linkola thinks it's witless that African "nappy heads" are allowed entrance in Finland. Even the foreign aid should be limited to contraception education.
The Esteemed Ornithologist
The doomsday prophet. That's as what Linkola has always been remembered. The world's most pessimistic man. He thinks that in hundred years there has been only one useful invention. The rubber-boots.
Even that the people have woken up to take the climate warming seriously isn't positive according to Linkola. Now the people live as if it was their final day and spend twice as worse. SUVs and ATVs are bought and the humbug has no upper limit.
Linkola has preached on the climate warming for ages. He has felt it in his skin during his career as fisherman. Linkola fishes only in wintertime using nets beneath the ice but winters are getting shorter and shorter. In summer he bicycles and gathers bird sightings.
As bird taxonomist Linkola is Finland's elite. He has made remarkable sightings, for example, from the peregrine's population thinning.
The ornithologist who hates laziness in his sighting expeditions has almost called the day over if it took more than ten minutes to get on his bike after waking.
We put on the inventions of the century and go to turn Linkola's boat onto winter stocks.
In the mean time we chat about thinker's most radical views from half a century. The last time he was in country's publicity in spring when he wrote a Nazi symphatizing article for Aikalainen ["The Contemporary"] magazine.
"Hitler-Jugend's youth that travelled in national costumes in the mountains with their blond Arayan hair flaring while playing accordion condences what I think is brilliant in Nazism. -- You can't but wonder how the Northern women were fascinated with tall, handsome, cheerful and polite mountain jaegers, in contrast to their own bow-legged, shabby, flattened caricatures of men," Linkola wrote.
The text wasn't published and Linkola was forbidden from entrance to speak in the Great Philosophy Event in Tampere Hall. Linkola wouldn't be Linkola if he began to take back his words.
If nature appreciating Germans had won the war, the environment would be much better off according to Linkola. So would have also been if Soviet Union had conquered Finland. Linkola criticized our country's forest industry with a cap of Stora Enso in his head.
Linkola's Foundation Saves Ancient Forests
We turn the wooden boat over and Linkola's instrument's shape is revealed. The bottom won't last long.
The same thing is with philosophizing. The books are now written.
Linkola says he never sought publicity because it never brought anything useful. He thinks everything has gone only worse.
Even though he will be remembered from his eco-thoughts, the man himself won't consider high of his texts.
Linkola thinks everyone can write books but getting them published takes talent. The same thing is with fishing. Any man can get a fish up but selling them is hard.
When Linkola looks back at his life, he thinks his best eco-bidding was the founding of Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. The Foundation buys endangered forests from private owners and preserves them permanently by the nature conservation law. There are 15 areas now, mostly in the Southern Finland. The newest is in Kustavi.
For the honour of Linkola's memorable day, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation decided in October to donate from a testament 8000 euros to the Natural Heritage Foundation for the protection of ancient forests.
Linkola doesn't think high of the ordinary people. He thinks the best system of government is dictatorship. However, if there were to be any elections, one should be able to show his competence. The test arranged by the Ministry of Education would ask about the output of Nietzsche, among many others. According to Linkola the same test would measure who would be allowed to breed.
The outspoken Linkola has always admired straightforward action. He participated, for example, in the damming of Koijärvi's outlet in 1979 and the chaining of logging machinery in Kessi in 1991 but actual terrorist strikes he didn't commit. That he considers as his weakness.
We leave Linkola to feast upon the oven pike and drive from Valkeakoski towards the editorial office.
The radio tells about the school shooting in Tuusula. The atmosphere turns as gray as the late autumn sky.
We hear later that the killer had cited his great idol in his web video. Linkola's books may have been written but his visions live their own life. In good as in bad.
Thoughts about Linkola
Linkola wanted to leave the interview relating to the story above unpublished because he thought it was too focused in societal matters. Anyhow these are what he will be remembered from.
I admire Linkola's manner of behaving like the classic philosophers. The ideal world, utopia, painting in empty canvas without the limitations of modern world.
Nevertheless Linkola acts wrong when he comments great tragedies to the press. When he doesn't condemn the school shootings, he should remain quiet of them. Every time when people are killed senslessly Linkola has to throw more gas in the flames.
In the same time glares my respect for Linkola. Soon all that remains is nothing but black ashes.
- Juha Konkkonen
Originally published in Finnish Luonto ["Nature"] magazine 12/07.
Selected Linkola Quotes:
1971 "Don't you see that man isn't ant or bee - as much as connections to other people he needs solitude and peace, darkness and silence to be able to live a balanced life." (Toisinajattelijan päiväkirjasta)
2004 "Every act which disrupts the progress of Earth's life destroying Western culture is positive." (On Madrid bombing in Persona non grata -show)
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