Post #829   SQUATTERS: Redux

A few years ago, as was revealed in an earlier essay, we experienced an exasperating loss, but one which, on reflection, later usefully raised our consciousness and enlarged our previous reductive perception, as to a common assumption. The nature of such enlightenment is the theme of this writing.

As related in the prior essay, two, rather precarious, “bare root,” pear tree saplings, generously, but, by inexperience, given to us in October, were miraculously, kept alive until the spring planting season, by their continuous maintenance and nurturance in a second bathroom kept cold by an open window.

Subsequently, good fortune, tantalizingly, shined its capricious light on us. In spring, the pear saplings, which had, by some secular, miracle, survived the entire bare root winter in our cold second bathroom, were very gently scraped at the roots, and, optimistically, planted by us in such a fashion that the wind might enable their cross-pollination and, hopefully, consequent fruit production. After the passage of many anxious weeks and dutiful watering sessions, verdant leaves did appear and we joyfully celebrated the hoped-for, woodland miracle of the trees’ survival.

Sadly, our short-lived, arboreal good fortune seemed to wane. To condense several years into a modest paragraph, we would indicate that rather than, predictably flowering in the coming year or, perhaps, two, it took a full ten years before the two young, leafy trees flowered, and thereafter, two more years to bear noticeable fruit. We purchased a long fruit picker and arrived at our (then) weekend home with high expectations of being, rewarded, finally, with an indisputably, well-deserved bumper crop of pears.

Did we mention that our summer residential property, at the time, was near a pond? Perhaps not, in this retrospective redux, of the event. In any case, when, as previously, stated, we arrived, at our then country residence, with excited anticipation and the intention to harvest a long-awaited (12 yrs.), bumper crop of pears, we discovered to our great dismay, that both young pear trees had been chewed down to pointy stumps, evidently, by the pond’s local beavers. Our initial reaction of shock and disappointment, as stated, did, in time, however, lead to a truly revelatory, enlightenment; one, which we feel, would be useful to again articulate, most especially, to other” landowners.”   

Our shocked discovery of the arboreal tragedy, was, as stated, responded to, with major angst, disappointment, and annoyance, even anger, directed towards the beavers, as the unquestioned, perpetrators of the tragic event. A few days passed, and such anger morphed, in stages, to peaceful resignation, and thereafter, to a more comforting perception and realistic understanding of the normalcy of the incident, and finally, to a more valuable, metaphysical and enlightened understanding.

In common with the  “homeowner,” who expresses righteous anger at the deer who ate “her” planted flowers or the rabbits that ate “her” veggies, our salient error was the unshakeable assumption that such natural acts constituted a theft of (our) private property, “our” flowers, “our” pear trees. It is, rationally, certain that the hungry critters have no knowledge or instructive instincts, regarding Man’s, ethnocentric, conception of property ownership and property lines; they live in nature, and are simply, and existentially, hungry, respecting which, they do, in fact, have existentially instructive instincts.

In the rarified dimension of Planet Earth’s human society, exclusive ownership or transfer, of designated, real property, can be changed by legally approved purchase or sale. However, this writing’s spotlight is not focused upon the acquittal of animal guilt, by their defense of lack of proprietary perceptions; it is instead, focused upon what may be the human singular (ethnocentric or hubristic), arrogated, assumptions of presumptive “ownership” of selective, portions of the Planet.

Among the developed folkways of the human inhabitants of the Planet, is the legal capability to purchase “exclusive ownership” of identified pieces, or, “parcels” of property, from other “owners,”  desirous of selling the same by contract, culminating in an event of actual transfer of ownership (the Closing”). The signature, event, is attended by the seller and purchaser, their respective, attorneys, a representative from a “Title” company (to insure the accuracy of the recited boundaries of the transacted property, etc.), and, possibly, a representative of a Mortgage Company. The event concludes with the “delivery” of a new deed signifying transferred ownership to the purchaser, which is referentially, filed in the local Land Office (County Clerk).

It is a matter of irrefutable fact, that neither, beavers, deer, rabbits, or any other forest critters are customarily, afforded formal notice or invitation, to participate in the ceremony of real estate conveyance. One cogent reason may conceivably, be that the legal and practical effect of this civil dance, as a practical matter, is of interest to, and binding, only on other interested or affected members of the species, Homo sapiens. Thereafter, any unauthorized attempt to exert rights, upon the subject land, by non-owning, Homo sapiens, without permission, such as trespass or harvesting fruit, is a legal wrong, and legally, addressable. 

It may confidently, be said, that the existence of the local fauna and their naturally based, franchise to freely, partake of the local eatables, is millennia’s older than the advent of Man’s recognition of real estate ownership. The latter concept is singular to modern man, who, we gradually came to realize, conveniently, arrogates to himself, self-serving rules of exclusive ownership rights, respecting personally desired, portions of the Planet. “Critters” have existed long prior to evolution’s radical revelation, of a so-called, “sentient” being.

In empirically candid fact, the beavers gnawed down two young pear trees, not “our” two pear trees, the local deer prefer to survive on eating sweet flora, such as flower petals, irrespective of “the legal owner’s” aesthetic arrangements, and rabbits, as ever was their wont, munch away on available lettuce.

In the realistic and rational context applicable to Mother Nature, no money or real estate ceremony can elevate humankind’s essential Planetary, status above recently-arrived, “Squatters.”

-p.   

Post # 828 THE WHISTLESTOP

In common with other mainstream members of society we, continue to lament, the widespread continuance, of reprehensible, selfish human behavior totally, devoid of considerations of empathy and charity.  Should such observation, require contemporary, illustration, we might easily, cite,  Russia’s cruel incursion into Ukraine, the warlike, the saber-rattling actions of North Korea, in its bellicose display of rocket barrages into the Ocean, and on the domestic scene, the egregious, ignorance and racial mindset of Trump and his large swath of cultish devotees.

For some time, we resignedly attributed the regrettable panoply of Man’s inappropriate behavior to the possible, innate, protective persona of Man. Those of us, imbued with the more traditional, positive, perceptions of mainstream America, conceivably, have been devastated, at what appeared to be an existential defect in the extant persona, or ultimate essence, of Homo sapiens, which conceivably, might, portend its ultimate, self-destruction.

We are pleased to declare, to the reader, that we have arrived at an alternate, more promising, and empirically, plausible, theory, which we present to the reader for his thoughtful consideration.

We will posit that every enlightened thinker is in accord with the scientifically confirmed “Darwinian Theory of Evolution.” The entire universe of renowned scholars in the disciplines of, anthropology, sociology, biology, chemistry, geology and medicine, have ratified the empirically, demonstrated, eons-long, steady development of improved and complex function, from simple-cell organisms and primitive flora, to the contemporary stage of capabilities of the sentient human being and the present, aesthetic wonder, of a magnificent chrysanthemum.

Empirical evidence has reliably, acknowledged, that it was evolution’s slow, plodding, journey from ape-like, brachiating biped, to today’s, functional and mental iteration of a sentient, Homo sapiens. In this essay, we have chosen to confess to established academic heresy, by positing that Man’s contemporary iteration might indeed, not be the ultimate one, biologically intended, by a still ongoing process of human evolution. We will elucidate our radical and optimistic theme, in the paragraphs that follow.

Fundamentally, we would dare to pose our thematic question, as to what reductionist or egotistic, basis exists, for man’s fixed and declared assumption that evolution has (already) run its course? On what guiding principle can we not look forward to its future dynamic developments? Evolutionary dynamics, has to date, wondrously, produced a superior functioning, sentient human being; nevertheless, why assume that the present state of his evolution, viz., the nascent capacity for enlightenment and psychic growth (for example, empathy, judgment) has attained its potential zenith? Is it not conceivable, that, at present, that Mankind may only be at a brief “whistle stop,” in a biologically, determined journey, to its ultimate and potential, evolutionary destination?  To be clear, we suggest that humankind’s evolutionary advances to Man’s present physical configuration, do not, necessarily, comprehend its full, potential development, as to the refinement of his inner persona and the sanctity of his moral compass.

As a contextual, illustration, one might imagine, a prehistoric scene, in which, two, growling Neanderthal men, are, hungrily, fighting over a carcass of a killed small animal, as compared to that of two, non-growling contemporary, husky, workman, hungrily, and sociably, eating their lunch at noon break, or perhaps, an elderly, senior citizen being assisted across a busy street, by a younger person, contrasted with the ancient practice, of the Norse culture, to abandon the elderly, on the glacial ice, to die. Picture the well-attended, spectator-blood sport of gladiators, fighting to the death, as compared with today’s non-contact rule in basketball. Consider the recent rise of charitable programs, soup kitchens and public health programs, in historic contrast, to the mandatory incarceration of paupers and debtors, in the days of Victorian England. Think of the speed at which modern medical science, dedicatedly, produced an effective vaccine against covid, contrasted with the hapless chanting of medicine men of the first Americans. These illustrations are emblematic of an inarguable, developing evolution of man’s spiritual recognition of a humanistic, moral responsibility, to help others.

The Dark Ages practices, of cruel and barbaric religious persuasion, have, over time, morphed to that of more peaceable, evangelical propaganda; today, mentally unwell individuals are properly perceived, as “ill,” rather than possessed by demons. These are empirical examples of an improving, humanistic, persona, reflective of a developing, empathic awareness of others, which we maintain, thematically, is properly, ascribed to the dynamics of a still ongoing (psychic) evolution, of humankind.

Notwithstanding contemporary reports of humankind’s acts of cruelty, unrestrained ambition, and absence of moral compass, it is our newly attained, belief, that the present point of evolutionary improvement may be characterized or perceived as reduced speed at an evolutionary, whistle-stop; yet, is eternally, pursuing its way towards its natural destination. The relevant proviso, however, is that pending arrival, at that destination, those thoughtless humanoids who are heedlessly, engaged in their irresponsible and atavistic tendencies, do not, prior thereto, effect the destruction of the Planet, and its naturally, evolving, dynamic processes.

-p.      

Post # 827    REMEMBERING THE WHITMAN SAMPLER

Readers doubtless will recall the classic Whitman Sampler, an item, somewhat in vogue. in the era in which it was still “cool,” for an invited dinner guest to bring one as a gift. The item was, and, it still appears to be, a handsome, boxed assortment of chocolate-covered candies containing, raisin, nut, crème, nougat, coconut and others. The salient feature, unique to of this box of treats was the element of personal choice; our personal favorites, as recalled, were the nut and the coconut.

Manifestly, in direct contrast to the freely selective, Whitman Sampler, many concepts, foundational to the existence and proper functioning of human society, are not subject to nuanced preference, but are mandated, by empirical necessity, and thus, are fixed and immutable. The most fundamental of the latter is the recognition and perpetuation of factual truth. The maintenance of acceptable interpersonal relationships, safety, health, the feasibility of communal enterprise, conduct of commerce, integrity of family and social integrity, learning and advancement, in essence, the dynamics of society itself, is existentially, reliant on the universal assumption of unaltered, truth.

 As a consequence, it is alarming, to note that said ageless and universally, accepted, supporting pillar of organized society, became degraded, and, tactically, forced into a tenuous back seat to personal expediency, under the dystopic term of Donald Trump. The former President, known for his unabashed, serial mendacity, was the irresponsible and bizarre creator of the. “Alice in Wonderland,” artifice of “alternate facts,” (intended to shield his incapacity and ignorance) to subjectively, and tactically, distort reality. In aid of the same, he vociferously impugned the veracity of authentic, reports of the Nation’s institutional and legitimate media. Man’s empirically, existential reliance on the assumption of factual truth, with his atavistic assistance, descended into a new venal franchise, analogous, in its casual and arbitrary significance to the nuanced selection of a bonbon from a Whitman Sampler.

In the present writing, we seek to express our, deliberated, attribution of the etiology of the bizarre phenomenon, in which, Trump’s acolytes choose to disbelieve confirmed facts, yet, accept Trump’s, arbitrary version of “alternate facts” and fabricated distortions of reality, and bizarrely, find a facile credulity in paranoiac, conspiratorial ideations.

It is with great concern and dismay, that we have noted the perverse influence and cult-like reverence, afforded to Donald Trump, evident in the Nation’s under-educated, and atavistically bigoted, population. It is our best estimate that the etiology of this phenomenon is revealed in their perceived, personal identification with Trump’s purported stance against the (non-existent), influential, “intellectual-elite,” and roadblocks to programs seeking the amelioration of inequality and social needs. The foregoing, supplemented, by the presumed, discontent with their limited, personal lives, Trump’s tactical, snake oil, demagoguery, and, most effectively, a perceived and personally redeeming, identification with Trump’s societal irreverence and brash, barroom quality pronouncements. Such large, horde of “underbelly” Americans, in their elective choice of their orange-haired, social avatar, as President, had been financially supported by industrial polluters, who, sociopathically, afford to profits, a higher priority over governmental health regulations; the latter, famously, opposed by Trump.

We, at first, found it, extremely, challenging to comprehend, or at minimum, to derive a conceivable rationale, for the preferred choice of bizarre beliefs and denials of belief, on the part of these devotees of Donald Trump, in contrast to their uniformly persistent denial of verified fact. In their own, irrational and undemocratic, (analogous) iteration of boxed candy samplers,” not one of their presented choices might emulate any reasonable standard of acceptability of the traditional American options, here analogously, represented by those of the venerable, Whitman Sampler.

We would choose to state our deliberated, understanding of the dynamics of the seemingly unfathomable choices by the Trump devotees, with a cursory analysis and attained conclusion.

In aid of understanding, we start with the subject of Evolution, the rejection of man’s rational, acceptance of which, cannot be objectively, based. The World’s acknowledged scientists have determined the age of our Planet, at more than three million years ( not six days before an “omnipotent,” Deity needed to rest), blood studies, anthropological and fossil proofs of fauna and flora, the instructive order, level and contextual setting in which fossils are discovered, decades of geological research and the persistence of archaic, vestigial organs in man, constitute demonstrable proof, of the universal scientific and mainstream accepted, Darwinian theory of evolution.

The irresponsible denial, by Donald Trump, of the existence and danger of Global Warming and its visibly, disastrous effects over the past decades, as well, remains, loyally and persistently, denied, by his followers; this despite the ratification of its potential for planetary destruction, by the World’s great scientists, including oceanographers, meteorologists and relevant scientists. The perturbing off-season weather, unprecedented typhoons, storms, forest fires and, even national boundary erasing, tsunamis, do not seem to attract their acceptability to the factually accurate, impending danger.

At the advent of the covid pandemic, our former, ignorant and irresponsible President, by his public disparaging remarks, was responsible for the cynical disbelief of many of his cult, of the warning of the Nation’s top medical scientists, to the effect that we were in substantial jeopardy from the spread of the potentially, mortal virus. Trump’s false downplaying of the seriousness of the contagious viral infection, led many of his followers to refrain from the prophylactic measures, universally recommended by medical profession to wear facemasks, distance oneself from others, and be vaccinated. The non-wearing of masks and avoidance of vaccination, as a defined partisan show of support for Trump, resulted, in hundreds of thousands of misled citizens, who, predictably, were infected and died.  “Dr.” Trump had initially, “prescribed” bathroom solvent and thereafter, horse warmer, as his, Whitman Sampler, style of preferences.

In singular contrast, to the loyal, unified, non – acceptance of objectively certified, fact, the Trump loyalists, regularly, maintain and defend a wide array of irrational conspiratorial ideations, all of which, we submit, might, appropriately, be pathologically, diagnosed, as paranoid. These include, bizarre ideations, such as:  the U.S. Government was responsible for the 9/11 event, as a false flag operation; that there are conspiracies to take over the country, by, the (non-existent) “intellectual elite”, or, alternatively, the “ bi- coastal liberals;” that the State of Israel launches rockets to the Earth from outer space that horse worm medicine is effective prevention against the covid virus; that an international cabal of Jewish bankers has been secretly, conspiring to take over and dominate the World; that the vaccine against covid contains intrusive, microscopic transmitters, that the communities of color, aspire to replace their fellow white Americans; that abortion, albeit, performed at the earliest stage, is an act of homicide, (since “birth commences at conception”), that same sex marriage is an unnatural abomination; that the previous, (certified as accurate and fair) Presidential election was stolen, despite its multiple certifications as fair and accurate, and with absolutely,  no evidence to the contrary, that America was intended by its founders, to be a white and Christian nation, and, most charmingly, that liberals are child abusers and sex  traffickers.

We have concluded that the bifurcation of mainstream citizens, who accept empirically certified facts, and those who immoderately reject them, yet, give credence to irrational and bizarre ideations, has a tenable rationale.  In our view, the dilemma had its origin in the many citizens who (for various reasons) chose to accept Trump’s all-out war on truth, his exaltation of the concept of “alternate facts” and his pathological approval of a tailored, reality subjectively, deemed more satisfactory.

Such obdurate denial of empirical reality, amounts to, no less than an unforgivable, and ungrateful heresy, against evolution’s sentient (anthropological) accomplishment, and predictably, destructive of any conceivable form of functioning society. The maintenance of “truth,” is the essential epoxy that binds individuals and their society.

No analogous iteration of the dynamics of the Whitman Sampler’s arbitrary, franchise, can exist in the existential human choices, between fact and selective reality, one, completely, unrelated to personal taste or circumstance.

-p.