The Republic of Cascadia was the early forebear of the Cascadia Movement. Throughout the late 1990’s and into theearly 2000’s Lyle Zapato was the face of Cascadia, decrying US and Canadian Anglo-Francophic imperialist interests,
heading our brave sasquatch militia elements, and always at the forefront of the fight to save the
perpetually endangered Pacific Northwest tree octopus.
Just as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have shown, satire can be an effective weapon to pinpoint and highlight the
sheer absurdity to which much of the state of politics within the United States and Canada now operate, and are given
a pass through the incredible power of a sheer and helpless status quo. By responding reasonably you are forced into
accepting the state of the world as legitimate. Humor has the incredible power to cut down these processes, highlight
the absurdity and reframe these important issues.
To understand satire, you have to understand the context. You get to remove it from where it’s normally situated and
analyze it, reframe it, and at the end you realize something that may make you smile. Or laugh.
And Lyle Zapato was one of the first. Beginning in 1998, he argued something equally as asburd – the Republic of Cascadia;
He minted stamps:
“Like any sovereign nation, the Republic of Cascadia reserves the right to operate its own postal system and issue its own postage stamps. Stamps of the Republic of Cascadia are educational and fun to collect. Cascadian stamps feature the best of our natural, cultural, and industrial products.”
He created bumperstickers and posters, and of course his most lasting contributions: The Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs (to protect and regulate the Sasquatch Militia of course) and the Bureau of Cephlapod Affairs (of course to protect the Pacific Tree Octopus).
and that idea as it turned out, happened to make a lot more sense to a small and fringe element who saw that idea and
said, yeah, why the hell not? It turned out that it made a lot of sense. And as we entered into a new century of globalization, rapidly shifting global interactions and technology, an idea that has proven to only become more powerful.
and it was his sense of humor and satire which helped craft the Cascadian movement as it exists today, not a political force but something much more powerful – a social one. One that is inspiring a paradigm shift throughout the Pacific Northwest as more individuals realize that they have an incredible sense of pride and love of place, and that there is less and less holding us to systems which are becoming increasingly disconnected and unrepresentative of our needs. An cultural idea that is sifting through businesses, organizations, non-profits, sports teams, beers and restaurants.