Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cassoulet for everyone...on me

It can be difficult being revisionist, when considering human history over the last 1.3 billion years, but this is my blog and I can do whatever I want. Having said that, let me just add that it is remarkable how little of the big picture we actually see. I'm thinking that the reason for our narrow focus is that we don't really like to dwell on past mistakes.

So, my friend from Alberta posted this excerpt from Ted's, and while I found the whole thing a little narrow in scope, it did convince me that we are actually wired to be empathic. Whoever the speaker was seemed to restrict this talent to our ability to detect distress in others, but methinks its much bigger. But I don't really want to dwell on this. I only brought it up because I found it interesting.

On a far grander scale, I want to address the subject of cooking. Around 1.3 billion years ago, after giving up the simian ridge once and for all, and having discovered that erectus worked for the spine and legs as well, we made an evolutionary departure from the norm; one that would differentiate us from all the other creatures on this earth. Yes, my fellow humans, we learned to cook what we eat. You may have noticed at some point, that we are the only species on this planet that practices this particular artform. Of course, it became far more advanced once Joseph Frigidaire invented the icebox, and despite the fact that we no longer needed salt and the other spices to mask the flavor of rancid meat, we, being creatures of habit, decided we liked all the spicy stuff, and liked washing it down with a nice cold cerveza, or perhaps a nice oaky chardonnay. Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for cooked food, especially since our metabolism and busy work schedules have long since adapted beyond any ability to process raw food. There is simply no longer enough time in our days to consume the vast quantities of raw carrots and spinach needed to maintain the energy required to scheme ponzi-lly, or macro-economize. Hell, we barely have enough time for our trips to Walmart. And god knows, we certainly don't have the time needed for the far more frequent evacuation of our bowels that raw food consumption would necessitate. No, it is obvious that we are far better than all other lifeforms on this planet, and far less likely to discard our cargo shorts and shit where we walk. Thank you, Messieurs Crapper and Charmin.

Which brings me to oil. We diverted, and continue to divert the Mississippi river so that jazz musicians and the finest of corrupt politicians have a place to live, and despite the obvious, self-created drawbacks exposed pre- and post-Katrina, we choose to think that living below sea level is a good idea. I mean, we all need a place to get a good po' boy or hoppin' john. But it does make me wonder if, given the superior geologic knowledge that our higher, empathy-killing education systems have provided us, anyone has asked the question...are all those oil deposits there for any reason except to provide for human ease and comfort. Maybe the earth has some use for a little 10W40 now and again. Maybe the tectonic plates shift a little more smoothly. Maybe the yellowstone super-volcano doesn't erupt next week. Maybe it just helps fuel the planets oven. I don't know, and even those of you who know me well, probably don't see how all these things tie together in this LSD-saturated mind of mine, but they do. And now, I'm going to wrap it all up in a nice little package for you.

It's really quite simple. Everything, if it hasn't already, is going to happen. And we are a fragile species because we refuse to see that...refuse to accept it...refuse to be subjected to the whim of it all. We are better...better I mean...we are smart enough to see the whole picture. Bon apetit!

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