Survival of the species is everyone's business
Krakatau erupted in 1883, in one of the largest eruptions in recent times. A little known fact is when everyone on the island of Rakata was fleeing to the ocean for their survival, a vast quantity of natives stopped to have sex on the beach before the lava engulfed them.
I've often thought about this. Did the happy island people want one last quickie before their doom? What was the impulse to drive men and women to have sex on the beach as the lava flow was almost on top of them? Surely, their chance of survival would be much greater in the ocean but certain death was on the beach. Just what in the hell was the drive that made such an impact to force these natives to get laid on the beach and quell all chances of survival?
almost 120 years later...
On a wonderful spring day, I was cheerfully mowing my lawn with a garden tractor, wearing my headphones and listening to Strauss. I noticed the carpet of dandelions before me and wondered why these noxious plants would prefer to grow and multiply on MY lawn instead of the meadow. The meadow has far more open space, but these yellow flower heads were only on the parts that I mow. The whole lawn, as well as the paths through the meadow, were filled with these weeds, and I couldn't help but wonder what they were thinking. Didn't they realize I was going to cut them all down with my mower?
Maybe they did.
A theory was taking shape...
Is it possible these dandelions were multiplying because they KNEW death was imminent, and the impulse to multiply was greater in the lawn than the meadow? If it was a genetic memory from past dandelion ancestry, then why didn't the dandelions in the meadow also multiply, since they were most likely from the same plant or plants as the dandelions in my yard? There were dandelions in the meadow, but they obviously weren't in any rush to multiply. Only in my yard was the need to propagate so extreme.
Of mice and men
A friend once gave me a pair of mice, male and female. As is the case with mice, they breed like rabbits, so I decided to conduct a study on the maximum amount of mice in a closed system. The idea was to compare it with living conditions in concentrated populations of humans. In thirty days there were a dozen mice. In sixty days there were a dozen more. Soon the population tapered off to forty-two mice to accommodate the ten-gallon aquarium they called their home.
I studied these rodents as they ran the treadmill, played with the paper tubes and just acted like mice. The food was balanced so there was no need for cannibalism, and their population remained stable. There was just enough space to accommodate all these mice. All was right in mice world.
Then it happened...
I was taking pictures of these mice and, without thinking, used the flash. Bob, the original male mouse, freaked. He began to bury the little mouse house full of baby mice with bedding and had sex with everything. In thirty days there was a mouse population explosion. Nearly every sex-age female was spitting out progeny from Bob himself. In time, total chaos ensued. Food hoarding and cannibalism became commonplace, no matter how much food they had. The second law of thermodynamics was correct. "Entropy always increases in a closed system."
Was the photo flash an end-of-the-world signal to Bob? Was it something like seeing a nuclear fireball from a distance?
I wonder if we humans had enough time to tuck our heads between our legs after the first flash if we'd kiss someone else's ass goodbye... We may never know.
Krakatau... dandelions... mice... What is the connection? Is it possible the drive to keep the species going was so strong as to attempt propagation on a Rakata beach before a lava flow, just as weeds multiplying on a lawn before the lawnmower strikes? And what about Bob?
On 9/11/01, two planes were hijacked and flown directly into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. Both buildings collapsed, blanketing lower Manhattan with debris.
Jennifer Culiss and her husband Brian were expecting their first child in early September 2002. "I'm not sure we were consciously thinking about 9/11 when we decided to really try for a baby, but the events of that day did put things into perspective for us," she said.
Historically, there is a clear connection between crisis, war and babies. The original "baby boom" occurred as the nation dealt with the conclusion of World War II. The History Channel aired a program called "The XY Factor" which suggested the sexual revolution actually started with World War 1, and not in the "free love" era of the 1960's. Although times have changed dramatically, sentiment remains the same. "What is important in life has really become more clear," said Culiss.
I wonder if this western rationale was present in the natives of Rakata or the dandelions in my yard. Was "what is important in life" the prime directive that possessed the natives to stop running and assume a coital embrace moments before they died? It makes me wonder if there was a rash of sexual hysteria in the towers shortly after the planes hit. One could only imagine buildings full of people running for their lives when suddenly the urge to copulate real savage overrides all senses, and every floor has cleaning women, secretaries and investment bankers fucking each other in a licentious overdrive of sexual frenzy for the sake of "what is important in life" after putting things into perspective.
Sunday, December 26, 2004. A tsunami triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean killed tens of thousands of people in Sri Lanka, India and Africa but almost no animals were harmed.
Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found.
It appears animals have a different plan on "what is important in life" rather than to have sex and die.
Is it our rational thinking that keeps us from seeing "what is important in life"?
Importance in life
What IS important in life? Progeny? Survival? The pursuit of enlightenment? Sex? If you ask Jennifer and Brian Culiss, it's definitely to replace themselves with their own kind. To the animals of Sri Lanka it was basic survival to increase their odds of genetic survival.
But what about Sri Lanka? 20,000 years ago, what is now Sri Lanka was the center of spirituality on this planet and it's carried that trait with them to this day. Only today their main industry is tourism for visitors from western cultures. Could it be the western influence has contaminated their spirituality?
Western culture can be described as the glorification of acquisition and material gain. It can also be described as embracing opposite philosophies such as religion and government, right and wrong, left and right, liberal and conservative, living and dead, heaven and hell, God and devil with such righteous indignation and surety that an outsider can only consider such behavior as schizophrenic. Virtually every war in the last 2,000 years was based on the acquisition of either land, money, power or genetics. World War II, the granddaddy of recent wars, was based on acquisition with the philosophical twist of "not enough to go around", first devised by American economists in the mid-1800's. The concept was, if there is not enough to go around, then who should have enough but the elite? The rest of humanity was doomed to little more than bare spartanism to provide the top 2% with more possession. Statistically, 99% of the world's wealth is owned by 1% of the world's population. That means 99% of the world's population is scrambling for the leftover 1% in a bogus system we call "free enterprise".
In the case of the mice, acquisition, through hording of food supplies, began shortly after the flash that started the mouse baby boom. Even though the cage had abundant food supplies, individual food hoarding became the norm with frequent raids to acquire more food from the other mice. Smaller, less dominant mice were cannibalized as were alpha male wannabe's. The concept of "not enough to go around" was firmly entrenched and Bob was the 1% alpha male.
I wonder what traumatic incident created population explosions, individual and tribal hoarding and corporate structure in humans.
Hey! I'm just trying to get my miniscule slice of the leftover 1%.
Thanks to capitalism and the free market system I, too, can share in the illusion of an abundant lifestyle complete with cars, babes, McMansions and dressed in the heighth
of modern consumer fashion. Food, clothing and shelter have been replaced by Tavern on the Green, Yves St. Lauren and Beverly Hills and I know it's a push, push, push business... dog eat dog. Climb that ladder to success and be nice to the people you meet on the way up cause you'll meet the same people on your way down.
Pack your bags, baby. We'll meet the Jefferson's in Sri Lanka for the trip of a lifetime!
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