We Live in Strange Times

"Regarding the plethora of negative attacks against the method of hydraulic fracturing... Considering the mostly slanted news articles, editorials, letters, and via so-called "environmentally responsible " opposition fronts being ramped up and hoisted on the public, it is apparent that the country has been the target of increasingly and intentionally poisoned leftist-inspired propaganda... the major newspapers in Ohio and Pennsylvania... by their actions and spin, appear to be partly under the spell of left-wing manipulation, and sadly, exhibit the depths of their ignorance by continuing to spell the process "fracking." Perhaps a fourth grade schoolteacher might point out that there is no "k" in the word..."

"One wonders if the continued addition of that letter to the word "fracturing" is deviously intentional so as to act subliminally on citizens with a negative, or even crude impact. Would the left ever sink to resorting to such ploys to advance its often anti-American agendas? Does the sun still rise in the east?"

-- Letter to the Editor, Kent-Ravenna (Ohio) Record-Courier May 7, 2012

This same week our President announced that he supports same-sex marriage, enraging those whose lives and fortunes revolve around marriage being between a man and a woman (or those who just dislike their President.)

We live in strange times - from subliminal "k"s to gay marriage, on a background of perpetual war, increased civilian surveillance, targeted assassinations, and a carefully scripted "trial" of a man tortured over 9/11.

(If there really are aliens living behind the moon, they must be doubled over with laughter -- or planning their final assault on Earthlings)

How much of this present madness is attributable to Bad Guys, how much to manipulation of the media by Big Money, and how much to the evolution of individual and social human traits through natural selection? What individual or social traits contribute to our present challenges? Let's explore some other ways of seeing:

Autism, dyslexia and attention deficit disorder may be traits or talents societies need for specialized purposes. Temple Grandin, an articulate autistic, devised livestock-handling techniques that are not only more efficient economically, but more humane. Dyslexics often handle visual, spatial, and non-verbal information better than the rest of us, and ADD people tend to see more options and possibilities, contributing to arts and literature.

Homosexuality. It has been estimated that about 10% of males are born homosexual, perhaps to provide societies with priests and warriors. Consider the long-term success of the Catholic Church, based on a male-dominated hierarchy that scorns women and tolerates pederasty and homosexuality. Historically, armies have been strengthened by homosexual alliances between professional soldiers.

War. War is the ultimate socialism. In war, young soldiers, common goods, public and private wealth, civil rights are all sacrificed in order to defeat or destroy an enemy. Latterly, our enemies are chosen for us by a MIC and a MSM, assisted by powerful political parties.

And war works. The tribe most successful at killing the enemy wins, regardless of how deserving. War also works at commanding natural resources, at promoting religions and at enriching arms merchants.

War and escalating arms races have worked so well that we now have drone warfare.

Evolutionarily, drone warfare is a win-win situation: destroy more enemy at less loss. And who is our enemy? "terrorists", al-Qaeda, Muslims, our neighbors who use the wrong words in their e-mails or say the wrong things in the media; immigrant workers hired by the rich and despised by their neighbors?

Would we have been better off if Trayvon Martin had been targeted by a drone controlled from some distant headquarters? Or should a drone have taken out George Zimmerman after he disobeyed instructions? Would a few carefully targeted drones have prevented the Kent State massacre in 1970?

War also works to select out of the genome individuals and tribes that are generous, compassionate and peaceful. Are we merely straw dogs at the mercy of our acquisitive, territorial, and combative genes cued up by evolution? Will our individual or collective decisions about how to spend our money and resources, and who deserves reward, punishment or death produce outcomes we can live with?

Both Romney and Obama reflect our prejudices and preferences, and our beliefs in war and coercion, our xenophobia and lack of compassion for the poor, and our blind faith in our own cleverness at devising ways to kill and destroy, to extract energy and make money.

So far, both human frailty and natural selection reach the same conclusion: War works - for the winners, for those who kill best, who kill the most with the smallest risk - and is worth every penny it costs.

Will it lead to a future we can live with? Are we harnessing our acquisitive, territorial, and combative genes to the goals of the 1%, leaving the other 99% of us to global catastrophe?

In the mean time, a marriage between a gay man and lesbian woman must be praised, but watch out for those subliminal "k"s.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.