Tuesday, July 10, 2018


That our political catastrophe should coincide with my own struggle with aging/diabetes and massive wildfires sweeping our climate-changed world seems so poetic as to be melodrama.  Merging and enlarging human emotional states -- limited but powerful -- by describing much larger weather phenomena that are maybe continent-wide or even planetary (seasons, atmosphere and current change) is a basic metaphor of our existence.  

A red smoky dawn (happening now) fits well with my heat malaise and awareness of action needed.  Vivid descriptions of wind heighten certain emotions into tragic realities.  Sadness can fit with rain in a fittingness that's almost satisfying.

In the past -- the DEEP past of the planet rather than human testimony -- the planet has transformed itself.  All life arises from the earth and water, but immediately it begins long slow changes to something else.  Creatures do not come as huge monsters, but as little dot-sized bags of code that keeps to itself.  Mostly.  

Consult this blog below for a description of the Great Oxygenation, caused by zillions of little microbes that created the elementary molecule that sustains our living cells but is poisonous to others.  When it saturated the air, there was a great extinction event, much more devastating than anything we know now.  https://origins.asu.edu/blog/oxygenation-catastrophe.

As waves of hot and cold, wet and dry, calm and tumultuous have swept across the continents, everything that was animal or vegetable either found a way to adapt or simply winked out.  Now that we know how many (probably a hundred or more) proto-humans there have been (homonins),  we can't really claim to be the last, the best, the only -- the way that Christian doctrine distilled from the opinion of Middle Eastern thinkers thousands of years ago (tilting the scales to favor themselves) and working its way through families to tribes to nations to modern institutions bent on control.

They were in a diminishing world as erosion, partly caused by themselves, made life difficult.  Then the Romans came.  It took nerve to go on.  Hundreds were crucified, not just one man whose name began with J, as the stories told.  But they persisted, they changed, they changed some more, and so did everyone else, and now what we have is theological scrambled eggs.

Back to the land.  Hunting and gathering -- now it's about commodity futures on one hand and about dumpster diving on the other.  After reading about the millennia of continental drift, mini-winters, volcanic devastation, and ocean level rising and falling, the idea that agriculture began only ten thousand years ago, maybe primitive proto-print about the same time, and then the sequence of agricultural development:  setting a fire to make a clearing; acquiring animals that either attached to human groups or were herded; plowing; preserving; and the pelletized mana of grain that could be hoarded.  Hoarding immediately prompted invasion, so the walls of granaries had to become battlements.

But along the seas and rivers, which were highways, there was always enough to eat and places with less competition. Villages formed from trading spots.  Artisans formed in villages.  Some people declared themselves superior and invented a mythical person-like force who guaranteed them.
The ag places became territories and the banditry became wars.

It's all still there in Rand McNally -- the concrete highways between the villages.  Some people imagine they are real, even as the yellow lines disintegrate under their tires.  We recognize today's politicians, remnants of the 19th century, doing things the industrial way, blind to the Internet and the Genome.  Those who will survive the politicians will pass laws that say no lawyers may run for office or make more than $100,000. 

Genomic suggestions indicate that our aggressive, hoarding,  number/money greed comes to us as a heritage from the Eurasian high plateau culture of horse-riding pastoral people, war-like, fast-moving, arrogant -- Hey you, you up there on that big horse, are you a cowboy?  Are you a knight?  Is your horse a motorcycle?  Are you Janjaweed?

My computer is my horse.  My writing is . . . a spear?  Or a little round house made of grass?  No one gets out of this alive, so -- you know -- do the best you can and love what you find that's worth keeping.  But keeping doesn't mean a whole lot.  Laughter.

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