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Our DNA cull-de-sac…

November 4, 2013

Man, when I was a young man first reading that great social philosopher Bertrand Russell, and his rants about the sheer enormity of humankinds’ general stupidity, I smiled and was glad that we had come such a long way from his day.

For now, I believed, we lived in a world where everyone had a decent education, rationalism and science had come to bear on our frightful afraid-of-the-dark minds, and we could finally see where we needed to be going, and what needed to be done to get there.

To say that the internet obliterated my naivety would be a colossal understatement.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that we were going backwards. Whenever I do something stupid like look at the comments section of any webpage (low or high brow, it does not matter), I watch as one sincere comment quickly devolves into asinine name calling, or worse. 

I read this weekend that Bill Nye, the ‘science guy’ was recently booed at a presentation in Waco, Texas when he stated that the moon’s brightness came from the fact that it reflected the light of the sun. Apparently this went against what some fundamentalists believed, for according the Book of Genesis, the moon shines from within because God made it that way.

What am I suppose to do with thoughts like that in the 21st century?

Self-professed libertarian (except when it comes to women’s choice, state religion, and voter’s rights) and Tea Party Republican Rand Paul, when called out by journalist Rachel Maddow for plagiarizing two speeches last week, said he wanted to shoot her. Republicans everywhere laughed at the thought of Rand Paul in a duel, and sighed about the loss of the good old days when a woman knew her place.

I heard tonight on CBC Radio that the UN notes that at any given time – 24 hours a day – 365 days a year – there are 750,000 pedophiles trolling the internet, trying to snag children, or hook up with child prostitutes.

Rob Ford gets called out by Toronto’s Chief of Police (and former Ford supporter) for smoking crack in a video, and Ford’s polling numbers in Toronto’s Ford-Nation suburbs go up.

I read that 200 acres of rainforest disappears every hour of the day to loggers, soy bean growers, and hamburger makers.

There were horrible pictures posted last week of Congolese poachers slaughtering gorillas to make way for a fucking palm oil farm. They had the dead gorillas tied to crucifixes made from the freshly cut trees.

The list is endless.

So, my question is this: what is the evolutionary purpose of the nihilists, the pedophiles, the destroyers, and the rest of what Russell (and others) once called the great unwashed?  

And why are there so many of them?

Were we so ingrained in our early DNA programming to hunt and kill, that we turned down some dead-end DNA alley, and now that we have no where else to move to on the planet so as to destroy more, we now turn in on ourselves?

A writer in ancient Greece once noted that with the new axes (it was the bronze age), men could now cut down the trees on Mt. Olympus so quickly that it would not be long before the mountain would wash down on top of their heads. (It did.)

Tomas More wrote 500 years ago (in Utopia) that the deforestation of England was happening at such an astonishing rate that it was changing the English climate. Talk about a prophecy!

Rachel Carson wrote in 1961 that our use of chemicals and plastics was killing us with cancer.

Everyone laughed at Carson. Thomas More was beheaded for treason. The ancient Greek Empire did not survive the destruction of its forests (see Deforestation, Erosion, and Forest Management in Ancient Greece, by J. Donald Hughes and J.V. Thirgood).

And don’t forget, that magical biblical Garden of Eden, was once southern Iraq. Before they cut down all the trees and salinated the shit out of the soil.

Every man – most men – know this deep inner urge to destroy. Even those of us boys who were taught to harness our violent or destructive proclivities can still look back to early periods in our lives where we are not proud of our behaviours. The birds we shot, the weaker ones we bullied, the early bar fights.

We know that it is tied up in our testosterone. That our early existence was prey and predator and we have not grown out of it.

But now we need to evolve quick enough to save ourselves. But I see no evidence of that happening.

It seems that our future reality will be wrapped up in some form of authoritarian global government. What choice will we have? We are obviously too stupid and too lazy to be left in charge of ourselves.

We have created a world where 80% of us are now overweight. Each of carries around in our blood stream – on average – 64 carcinogens. We have cut down 80% of the world’s forests and polluted 100% of the world’s water (there is no water supply now free of trace elements of mercury).

And this, all under the free market, free choice reign of global capitalism.

Gloomy thoughts to be sure. Maybe some of us will be lucky enough to retreat into monastery type habitats. Be the keepers of wisdom during the new dark age. Hide the books, keep the seeds, nourish the ground.

Maybe.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric Weiner permalink
    November 4, 2013 10:56 pm

    on the other hand, this is probably the best time in the history of the world for good beer.

    • S.J. Hines permalink*
      November 5, 2013 10:55 am

      So true – I read in the weekend newspaper that while corporate beer sales are down 15%, micro-brewery sales are up 30%. There are pubs here in Halifax that now contract their own hops, grown right here in Nova Scotia – while others are re-discovering 2-300 year old recipes.

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