Friday, December 3, 2010

Arsenic, Evolution and Idiocracy

Folks were getting excited yesterday about the discovery of a bacteria that has substituted arsenic for phosphorus in Mono Lake out in California. Scientific types were saying that the search for life in the universe has now expanded because we can look for life based on other elements besides our own - or something like that. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention because I was wondering if GFAJ-1 is our Replacement.

Plenty of people say we don't need to worry about the impact of humanity on the environment on account of the Earth takes care of itself. Maybe it's taking care of itself now by eliminating the carbon based life forms and introducing something that will stabilize and enhance the environment. The Earth may take care of itself, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it takes care of humans. Could be that Nature has determined we're too stupid to survive and has taken steps to remedy the situation we've created.

If we're currently poisoning the planet so thoroughly that we're as doomed as dinosaurs, then it makes sense that another life form will evolve to take our place on the planet once we're extinct. If it lives on poison, it can clean up our mess and restore Earth to its natural balance.

Looking at the History of Man in general, and specifically at the current socioeconomic dyanmics of America today where we seem to be fighting the Civil War all over again, and the seeds for the Civil War were embedded in the compromises that were made in order to get a few slave states to sign the damn Constitution in the first place: there's no reason to be optimistic about Humanity.

Humanity has potential and everything as we often heard on Star Trek, but if the "anthem" by Kid Rock was the best original song anyone could produce for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear - we're fucked for sure.

I understand that this song brought a tear to the eyes of hundreds of thousands of sincere and earnest individuals who thought they were working to bring about social justice at a corporate sponsored event. I'm sure they are all well intentioned, but it's a sad commentary on the target audience when the basic premise of a song Rolling Stone called one of The 5 Most Memorable Musical Moments of the Rally lists everything we cannot hope to change.  Since there's nothing to be done, let's congratulate ourselves for caring and return to regularly scheduled programming.  Consider the chorus:

I can't stop the war
Shelter homeless, feed the poor
I can't walk on water
I can't save the sons and daughters
Well I can't change the world and make things fair
The least I could do
Is care

We have become a nation where caring about other people is an accomplishment worth celebrating.  Given the popularity of Randy Paul the Aqua Buddha whose supporters stomp the heads of little girls they don't like and a fire department that will watch a house burn to the ground over 75 bucks, I suppose caring about people is, in fact, a quality so rare that it must be meticulously cultivated.  Or maybe caring is the quality Comedy Central wants to attach to their brand to separate themselves from Fox News.  If that's the case, Comedy Central better add Intelligence to their demographic profile.  Glenn Beck's maneuvers in fund raising for the US Chamber of Commerce worked because folks send money to prove how much they care - exactly like thousands of Clueless Christians sent money to Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker at The PTL Club.

If Glenn Beck represents the dominant evolutionary trajectory and that trajectory includes Jim and Tammy Faye, we all might as well start learning to like poison.

This whole thing makes me wonder if I shouldn't forget the plan to move Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters to Austin, Texas and head for Canada instead.  I could get a big piece of land and create a refugee camp for Americans who have fled the Idiocracy. We could have as much fun as they did at Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's compound up in Oregon - except I think we should focus on the teachings of Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947).   We might as well follow a bisexual, recreational drug using social critic whom the popular press called, "the most wicked man in the world."


mbarnato said...

Occasionally it's possible to encourage a person to evolve into a caring individual, but for the most part, peoples' needs are on our radar or they're not. As my husband is fond of saying: "There are people who ARE nice, and people who CAN BE nice." There's a big difference.

Personally, I like the bay area and hope I don't have to move, but I hear Vancouver is nice, just in case.... Austin is supposed to be pretty cool. Maybe we develop "Islands of Sanity" communities within the US...

Susan Erickson said...

yup, it's easy to be cynical....When Bill Maher explained how people were like dogs....they don't understand the issues, they just understand a few words and voice inflection.....then I realized how simple it is to just scritch a little. Keeping our own water bowls full doesn't make me howl at the moon but it seems to work for most

Dr. MVM said...

Sad but true. I used to have a better view of humanity but ever since greed and willful ignorance took over as our national emotion and virtue, my view of us has soured greatly. Except for you and I of course.

Kulkuri said...

I'm beginning to think we need more people laughing at the Reich-WingNuts and the SkyPilots that fleece their flocks. Maybe that way some will see the light. Trying to reason with their followers is like talking to a stump, but with a stump, when you get tired of talking to it, you can sit on it.

Back in the late 80s while working in South Carolina I bought a t-shirt that said, "I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall". It had an smeared face on it like the heavily made up face of Tammy Faye.

Larena said...

If you have to move check out Port Angeles Washington. Cananda is a short ferry ride away.
I see America getting these "small opinion changing doses" of sarah palin.... Insanity seems to reign in places...
Tammy Faye...WOW what a memory ! LOL !
Thanks for always being a Great read !
I like worlwide Hippies !

Linda-Sama said...

great post, one that reminds me why I love this blog!

PENolan said...

mbarnato, I'm hoping to create a home that's like a yoga retreat where ever I land - which will probably be Austin, Texas this coming summer.

You're right about ARE vs CAN BE.
Big difference.

Susan, Bill often makes very good points. I should watch him more often, but I'm busy howling at the moon. Hope you are too

Of Course, Doctor.

Kulkuri, Stumps are much less frustrating. re: Tammy Faye shirt - I'm nearly positive I've seen one somewhere too. Good one

Larena - I really like World Wide Hippies, too. Are you in Washington?

Linda-Sama, It's so nice to see your smiling face there in the avatar. When do you leave for India?

dissed said...

I've threatened to flee to Canada since I was about 11 years old, so it's high time. Count me in.

PENolan said...

dissed - I was about the same age when the guys were all headed up there to escape The Draft. I wanted to go, too.

I still wonder how things would be different if kids were being drafted to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As it happens, the uncle I love has recently bought property in British Columbia near a woman he met who has more property with maybe a farm.

We could have a weed plantation.
That Frank Zappa song, "Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon," just flashed into my head, reminding me that it's Zappadan.

Certainly that is a sign from God.

okjimm said...

I thought of being a caring person, once, but then I had a beer and realized I truly didn't give a shit.

Montana sounds good... lemmee find my zircon encrusted tweezers, saddle up the ol' pygmy pony... the Cult of St. Alphonso dcould be a good alternative to alternatives.

Jaliya said...

Yes! Come to the Great White North!!!

About humanity in general ... what a SNAFU'ed species we are. There are individuals, though, who help me keep my inner lights on ...


P.S. Come to Canada!!

PENolan said...

Girlfriend, I just might. Everyone expects me to be in Texas by June - which mean it's time for me to do something unexpected.

Beach Bum said...

Tammy and Jim at least had the good fortune, for the rest of us, to self-destruct. Can't say we will be that lucky with Beck.

Lisa said...

I look around and think that this is what devolution looks like.

Susan at Phantsythat wrote a couple of days ago about what the world would be like if we operated in cooperation instead of competition.

If only.

PENolan said...

If only, indeed, Lisa
Beach, I think it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I read that article on the bacteria that incorporated arsenic into its DNA. I remember wondering why it would do that and how that was so different from other life forms on the planet. Where did that bacteria come from originally, did it always do that, or was it evolving. It's been a week or so since I read the article, so maybe they covered those questions and I forgot. I tend to forget a lot. Too many things to focus on. As for Kidd Rock, I'll never understand how that guy became rich and famous. As for Tammy Faye Baker, I used to work at Montaldo's (high fashion store) in Charlotte, NC back in the 80s and she and Marilyn McCoo (5th Dimension) would come in there to buy their fancy clothes. Tammy really did plaster on the makeup with a putty knife. It was unbelievable! Okay, back to work for me.

kenne said...

I have been telling people it's a story i'm writing, but i believe that the Old Biota, based on oxygen and water, will yield to the New Biota which will flip the atmosphere to a cloro-flouro life system. As i was 'making up the story' one of the voices in my head asked if i cd wait a hundred years - a starfleet is being constructed by the humans who live on the planet Ocean which is an earth-like planet circling Sirius B. It should arrive near the end of the 21st century. I said i could wait a hundred years - i had taken an immortality potion. This was in '94, and the potion aged me from an apparent too young to drink to an apparent 30ish that i plan on stopping at a mature age suitable for the fulfillment of the plan.

I know this sounds like crazy talk. I could call it channeled, but it didn't feel like anyone but me, child kenne doing children's magick.

It will be subtle at first, the appearance of the New Biota, but then in a blick of an eye in geological terms, and earth will be uninhabitable by humans and the entire oxygen/CO2 Biota. The Starfleet should arrive in time to rescue the remnants of the Old Biota. A planet called Home is being prepared for us. My memories of Home suggest that only dozens of people get settled there. I think that my Home is just one of many refuge planets.

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