A Mini Lesson

The summer of 2020 was not just a fluke. We can expect summers to get a lot worse from year to year. I say this because I believe what scientists tell us about climate change. When we reject this information, it’s because people are too vain and selfish to accept the truth of modern science. We don’t want to believe that we belong to the animal kingdom and that Darwin was absolutely right. It may take forever for people to be disabused of their religious ideas and the fluff built into their languages. This stubbornness partly explains why some people still support the president in denial and delusion. Our policy on the ecology has always been that of the ostrich.

During Victorian times, Tennyson wrote a poem that grapples with the problem of being “descended from the brutes.” He had a hard time countenancing the implications of Darwin’s ideas. Unfortunately, we in the 21st Century are not much closer to acceptance than he was. We’ll never feel the full force of the ecology and our participation in it until we acknowledge what Darwin had to say a century and a half ago. And since his time, there’s been the whole field of biological anthropology and paleo anthropology, which deals with our hominid ancestors and the lines of the hominids that became extinct. But first we have to accept evolution for a fact in this country, and not just an idle theory. And yes, human beings are subject to evolution as well as every other species on earth. It’s time to stop exempting ourselves from nature and the biosphere on the pretext of flattering old traditions. 

An Observation

What was the last movie I saw? St Vincent, last fall. It was okay. Otherwise I’ve been isolated from pop culture, what everyone else is doing. I’ve been like the vampire in Anne Rice, hibernating underground and listening to life above for a few centuries. Will I ever watch tv again? See a movie in the theater? How contrary do I want to be? My assumption is that I am wiser than pop culture. Current political trends can dig up stuff from old philosophers and I won’t be snowed. It sounds terribly vain of me, considering myself a know it all. But it may be okay to be an antiquarian, for my memory is very good. My attitude is like Ecclesiastes: there is no new thing under the sun. Show me any new thing and I’ll show you a precedent. Still, part of me feels that I’m being pretentious, especially when I earned my degree twenty five years ago. The last new book I read was The Sun and Her Flowers. I disliked it because the woman was too self sufficient… which on second thought reminds me of my own self sufficiency. Maybe there really is something wrong with that attitude? A woman recently asked me if I could bear children. I said not by myself. She admitted that she couldn’t either. But the current thinking tends toward introversion, for lack of a better term. I see the potential for that to be taken to an extreme. The feeling I got from Kaur’s book was a freezing cold shoulder. Is it only women who are going this way? But that book was two years ago already. Time flies.