Archive | June, 2015

A Discrete Patch on the Tush

16 Jun

The discrete patch of bare skin that covers a chimpanzee or a bonobo’s butt has, in humans, morphed to cover us almost totally.  Of course our bare-all-over, not just the tush reality, does have decidedly positive aspects. Being hairless was an enormous leg-up in mastering fire and then with fire we dominated all the fierce beasts, the dark and the cold.  Therein lies a problem. All that erotic display and our tactile epidermal playground helped greatly with increasing our numbers early on but lately the numbers seem threatening to our survival as a species.
Mix in roughly six thousand years of progressively worsening behavior on the part of our people and the prospects seem bleak.  Our tribe is blessed with special intelligence, an erotic playground to frolic in and dominance over most of the beastly competition but despite all the advantages, we have become lethal!
 Our behavior is reprehensible. Every passing century is worse than the last in human carnage and destruction.  Each generation develops more sophisticated means of killing each other and an accompanying catechism of why it must be so.  Race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, economic proclivities and geography dominate the liturgy justifying the slaughter.
The human cultures that are the most favored by nature and geography are invariably the ones who prey on the others who have less.  There seems to be a gene for this perversity that is dominant in groups that have the most of life’s goodies.  Having a lot seems to preclude sharing and prompt an itch for a lot more.
Seven billion of any large demanding animals might give nature reason to consider her future welfare but our seven billion naked apes with big machines, bigger appetites and little regard for her precious bounty might cause nature to deem us expendable.
As this phenomenon continues I suspect we will repeat, as the nation continues to fail, the atrocities committed as it grew.  A country as uniquely founded on genocide as ours was starting off, can be expected to repeat this going down.  Ditto chattel slavery again in some yet to be determined form, sectional strife leading to mass murder again and probable armed conflict with our closest neighbors north and south, again. We don’t have a good track record.
Most higher species demonstrate a sort of partnership between the sexes. Odds are mankind once possessed this trait. It’s difficult to imagine a million years of successful evolution without benign sharing of some sort.  Something happened about six millennium ago and the partnership model was abandoned.
Perhaps the success of agricultural in providing surplus food and an easier life was a factor. Perhaps two or three warlike tribes tipped the scale towards violence and we are living(sic) with the consequences. A one gender dominant, monolithic approach to life and the future of our kind dominates the entire planet. Are we certain this singular, seemingly short-sighted, very aggressive world vision is even life affirming? Do we risk everything in permitting one gender to be dominant? Will we continue with this perilous course to the end of days? Or…
  We have carefully selected jingoes in high places who direct us in the glorious ways of “manufactured consent”. This has been so effective for so many years it is difficult to find any American free of the taint. ” We jes’ cain’t think so good, no more.”  The best among us are rapidly dying off or lurk on the web unable to give voice in major media which is fully corporate and establishment friendly.
 As positive energy erodes from our American way of life, the horror show unfolds. The excesses we are currently dealing with such as NSA intrusions designed to spy on us, loss of jobs leading to serfdom for millions and the bloodshed we exact on others abroad and at home, could prove fatal to our existence if they continue.

Dollar Store is Not For You

7 Jun
If more proof is needed that everything is stacked against the poor and under classes in this country consider:

 Dollar stores, the real kind where everything sells for ONE DOLLAR, not the others with Dollar on the sign but prices like Walmart, are never located within reach of lower class neighborhoods! That is a sorry fact in all the areas I’m familiar with.

Check around where you live and see if this is not so.  Remember, we’re talking about stores where every item is one dollar or less.
Why is this, do you suppose? Well, maybe it’s because the poor don’t have many dollars to spend? But, aha,  the middle classes still have a few so that’s where the stores are. The poor use food stamps at much higher priced outlets, so in effect the government is subsidizing Kroger and Walmart and over-priced neighborhood shops. That’s not the sort of economy shopping the poor desperately need.
The irony of this is apparent.  A system that in a real sense prevents the underprivileged from being in close proximity to possible remedy of their status is devastatingly cynical.
Unfortunately, far from being a wilful design this situation is simply the norm.  The investments go where the possibilities are greatest.
I live on the West Coast of Florida. Shopping in an actual ONE DOLLAR, dollar store near me, I recently purchased the following:
1. Electric Toothbrush. Battery operated. Equal to one I own which cost about twenty dollars.
2. Stainless Steel two blade pocket knife w/ corkscrew, nail file and bottle opener. Elsewhere:
    Seven to twelve dollars.
3. Two foot extension device for picking up objects remotely. Elsewhere: four to fifteen dollars.
I gleefully parted with a buck for each of those treasures.
All of these items originated in Asia. They were transported somehow to a port in British Columbia, Canada. Thence by some, unfathomable to me route, made their way to sunny Florida. In all these thousands of miles of freighted travel they gained not one cent in price! Still a buck.
Customers I’ve observed in these stores don’t appear to be shopping there as a last resort. All those I’ve seen appear to be folks who one would not be surprised to accost in any major shopping mall. The demographic of the store locations is heavily tilted to the middle part of the economic spectrum and away from the needy lower part. This results in mostly middle income patronage of these shops for the bargain prices.
I’m reminded of this quote by historian Brooks Adams:
 “All civilization is centralization. All centralization is economy. Under economical centralization, Asia is cheaper than Europe. The world tends toward economic centralization. Therefore Asia tends to survive and Europe to fail.”
and this too,
“Ultimately, that is why we were in Vietnam”
Gore Vidal
Again, the irony.  Even with Asia cranking out goods that could improve the lives of the poorest among us, our system works to keep them from the very assistance this affordable largesse could provide. If Brooks Adams were writing that quote today, America would likely be cited for tending towards failure along with Europe. The die is cast?