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Commentary :: Environment
Open Letter To My Fellow Apes Regarding Civilization
04 May 2008
Are we condemning ourselves to never knowing who we are?
Greetings my ape brethren. As I write, some of you are foraging out in the jungles; some are wandering about starving on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, having been orphaned by the heartless slaughter of your parents by the apes that walk on two legs; and still others are stuck in traffic on the 5 in Los Angeles. I realize that you are all very busy, but I think it may be time to share various insights amongst one another. My breed of ape has nearly succeeded in choking the rest of you out of existence. While we go forth and multiply, polluting our world and consuming your resources (and in some cases, consuming you as well), it has become abundantly clear that our history of destroying our own is quickly coming to conclusion. Soon, we the apes that walk on two legs, will have only ourselves to destroy and consume.


On account of our insatiable lust for self advancement, a longer lifetime, and a fatter belly; we the apes that walk on two legs are sentenced to work most of our waking time in closed spaces with poor lighting and air contaminated with the fumes of paint and sundry other unhealthful chemicals. On our way to our work cells, we drive large metal boxes that spew toxic gases into the air of our shared world risking a violent death no less crushing than that of a fly between two rocks. To power our metal boxes, we force many thousands of our fellow apes (that walk upon two legs) to invade the lands of others and kill their inhabitants, the result of which is greater access to the fuel we need. We grow our food in an organized process we call farming. In the process of farming, we tire the Earth and dump chemicals upon it to keep it conditioned for ceaseless food production. The run-off from growing our foods destroys the rivers and pollutes the oceans. As a consequence of this, and our medical technology, we live longer and we learn lots of things. These things learned are used to control the world and produce more things that we can then use for the sake of using them, that is, of course, when we are not using what we learned to show off to one another or to hurt one another.


I mentioned our medical technology. Some of you have experienced it when we have used you for experimentation. You know, those probes would stick into your brain, the drops we put into your eyes, the cancer causing substances we subject you to – they are all part of our medical technology. While you suffer for our medical technology, we live longer for your suffering. In fact, when we are so old that living itself hurts, we strive very hard to keep one another live so that we can suffer for as long as possible. When death is close, we dump chemicals into our bodies, stick probes into our orifices, tape wires to our bodies, force oxygen into our mouths, and make dying a grueling process. We call that "caring".


Now, unlike the rest of you, our play as children is very limited. The world we have built about us is very dangerous. At any moment a playing child might be crushed by one of the metal boxes I just mentioned, or fall into a deep hole we have dug, or fall off one of the very tall nests we live in, or eat something that we've created for the purpose of killing other creatures that get in our way. Worse yet, all of this artificial living has caused many of us to become insane and we need to protect our little ape children from ourselves. Little apes, in our world, must be supervised at all times. Since living in our world is very unnatural, the little apes must be schooled, en masse, for about 18 years before we let them swing about on their own. It is very important that they receive these 18 years of instruction. Without it, they just might not have the opportunities we, the older ones, have had. Opportunities to work inside of one of the aforementioned work cells, or to drive big metal boxes, or to fly inside of big metal boxes, or to be trusted to control other apes,all require this schooling. Thus, our apes are kept in a state of childhood until well into their adult years. Naturally, this extended childhood frustrates them because while we can control their environment, we cannot control their biological development. The frustration of living an unnatural childhood causes some of them to become crazy, and consequently, adds to the number of crazy apes we need to protect them from.


Occasionally, some groups of our apes (that walk on two legs) seek to separate and live simpler lives. When they do this, we send in police or military apes to burn down their colonies or to steel their children. After all, we must not deny these children the opportunity to work in poisonous cells and drive metal boxes.


We are very proud of the things we create and our ability to control them. We imagine that some day, far into the future, a big rock might fall from the sky and kill us all. Unless we continue to develop our ability to control our universe, we might not be able to stop that big rock from falling. With this in mind, we realize that we are on the right track. Sure, our lives are basically miserable and unnatural, but we just might stop that big rock when it falls one day. Clearly, it is worth it.


Now, we are unbothered by the knowledge that a big rock that fell millions of years ago created the conditions under which we were able to evolve into what we are now. Sure, another big rock falling on our planet might give the same opportunity to a more deserving critter just waiting for the space to evolve, but we couldn't care less. We're in control now and we intend to stay in control, even if it kills us all.


Getting back to the original topic, I'm sure you've heard of the Neanderthal. They were pretty much like us, but a wee bit less social and a wee bit more intelligent. We came to their lands and crowded them out of existence. Yes, we slaughtered many of them and we mated with some of them, and in the end their world was ours. We started with them, because they were potential competitors, but now that they are gone and we have all of the world, I'm afraid you are next. You must think us monsters to blindly and stupidly destroy your world when we really don't need to, but really, we're not monsters. You see, we don't even recognize that you are us. To us, you are, let's say, about as important as snails or rodents. Thinking like that, as we do, you can see that we are not monsters. We're just stuck up.


With greedy and selfish intent, as is the rule amongst we the apes that walk upon two legs, I wish to take advantage of these, your last brief years before extinction, to educate us on just what it is that we may be missing. What is it like to grow freely into what your genes instruct you to be? What is it like to eat the foods that you evolved to eat? What is it like to make love without 18 years of shame and worry heaped upon your spirit? What is it like to spend the day entangled with your loved one, not thinking about your job or worrying about getting fired? What is it like to live in a world without roads or traffic cops? I know these questions might sound silly to you, but soon no ape on this planet will know what it is like to be an ape. Those of us amongst the last remaining kind of ape will merely know what it it like to be a pickle in a jar dreaming of what it is like to be a cucumber, but never really knowing. We call it "progress".
See also:
http://www.anarkhos.org/randomarticles/regardingcivilization.html

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