"Identity through Mythology": growlinghand's deviantART

TWATTWEETS @standswithagist

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to get to the end of the End of it...

New Scientist has an article called "Winning the ultimate battle: how humans can end war" in which an academic presumptuously updates the Myth of the Noble Savage by pointing out the lovey-dovey behavior of a few isolated groups of people. I have a better idea...

Bag O'Meat/Space Pioneers
  1. Vacuum-seal every person* on Earth.
  2. Pack us up in a cooler and shoot it into orbit around the planet.
  3. Blow up all the continents into islands.
  4. Defrost/depack/deseal everyone and randomly sprinkle folks onto the islands like some strange snowfall or cosmic spice.
  5. Everybody gets along.
  6. <war> -------< /war>
*screw the animals, let them figure out their own fate; I'll consider sealing em up along with us human folks when they're smart enough to build bridges (and no, beaver dams/ant-body bridges do not count).

But that's my take on it. Experts have other approaches:
Anthropologist Douglas Fry of Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland . . . in his book, Beyond War [identifies] 74 "non-warring cultures" that contradict the idea that war is universal. His list includes nomadic hunter-gatherers such as the !Kung of Africa, Australian Aborigines and Inuit.
Hmmm.... Perhaps these Particular Peoples were nice to each other because there was no one else around and their whole universe was against them (THAT's true persecution, Sarah Palin): they had to make nice to survive and mate. They knew each other and had to co-operate. Put any of them into a city amongst strangers and see if they're not just like the rest of us, see if they don't go the way of Travis Bickle or the scum he tried to clean up. To say any differently smacks of old-fashioned imperialistic paternalism.

And really, do I have to link to an article that talks about monkeywar to bolster my point that it's pretty innate for us to fight on a grand scale? Our Chimp Cuzzins do it, so why is it surprising that we do, too? Of course, the difference between Them and Us is . . . we can choose not to, which is our salvation - and too, our final grace.
The problem with the little bit I read of this NewSci article are the 3 populations chosen to refute the premise of us being warlike, murderous asshole-animals: 
  • Those guys in the "The Gods Must Be Crazy" flick 
  • Crocodile Dundee's bushmates 
  • The People Formerly Known as Eskimos. 
What do they have in common besides a language I have no intention of learning, but that sounds pretty? All 3 are geographically isolated populations. Don't agree? Ever been to the Outback? Ever been to the Great White Far Far North? Ever been to sub-saharan Africa? Not to mention that all 3 environments are uh, harsh and inhospitable, which makes me have to respect them for surviving out there amongst disease, predators, extreme weather, etc while I bitch because it's raining on a perfect beach day...

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"It will be someone blue-collar and unlicensed, though, inevitably - a nurse's aide with quick-bit nails, a hospital security guy, a tired Cuban orderly who addresses me as jou - who will, looking down in the middle of some kind of bustled task, catch what he sees as my eye and ask So yo then man what's your story?"

~David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest