From the hedonic bubble of cafes, restaurants, and bars, a Portlander might be cozied into not wondering where their piss ends up. But just downstream from Portland is the tidal ebb and flow of a sacrifice zone known as the Lower Columbia River. And there among 21st Century robber barons and Oregon DEQ’s self-report system of accountability is a local monthly rag. In the January 15, 2024 edition is an article in which the author writes about Lewis and Clark’s westward adventures. “Clark, who was 33 years old,” the author writes, “was quite taken by the two girls he saw riding horses on the estate. One girl, Judith “Julia” Hancock, was just 12, while the other girl (her cousin) was 14.” Julia was married off to Clark when she was 16. He managed to breed her five times before her death at the age of 28, after which he married the cousin. Later in the article the author writes, “After the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis in 1806, Clark’s slave, York, asked for his freedom… York believed he had earned his freedom, but Clark disagreed… he asked Clark to sell him to someone in Louisville so he could be closer to his wife, but Clark refused. York was very unhappy, and from that point on Clark treated him harshly.” Yet after all this expose, the article ends with these astonishing words: “William Clark will long be remembered as one of America’s great heroes.” Let us remember Clark not as a hero, but as the piece of shit he really was. He didn’t discover the West Coast any more than Neil Armstrong discovered the moon. He just made it easier to destroy.