Friday, June 15, 2012

THE FIRST PLACE TEAM, and you're on it!

I eat you,
you eat me,
we're an effed up fam-il-y

We all took it, kids.  We’re all winners.  And I don’t mean that in a coddling motherly kind of way.  (Who am I, Paula Abdul?)  I mean it in a scientific way.  You don’t have to be a geneticist to realize we won the friggin’ lottery.  Being human gets the bronze, silver, and gold in the genetics Olympics.  Even the North Korean judge wouldn’t argue.
For all the downsides of being human (awareness of our own mortality, jealousy, greed, ‘reality’ tv, erectile dysfunction… ) we stand head and chromosomes over every other contender.  Really, what would you rather be?
A bird?  A bird’s life sucks.  It begins by having to share a cramped nest with several other screeching birdbrains waiting for highlight of the day in which your mother finally comes home and vomits in your mouth.  It doesn’t get much better after that.  You might get to fly a little, true, but I doubt it’s fun if you have to do it all the time just to eek out a living.  A living eating worms or bugs.  And sooner or later you’ll either wind up in a bucket of ‘original recipe’ or somebody will clip your wings so Dick Cheney can blow your head off.  Yay, birds.
A dolphin?  You’d either be jumping through hoops in an aquatic slave circus, taken by an Orca for breakfast, or caught in some fishing net and wind up as the ‘surprise’ in the tuna melt I had for lunch.
A horse?  That’s what my dog had for lunch.  (We buy discount dog food imported from Korea.)
A dog?  That’s what Koreans have for lunch!
But this isn’t just about the downer of having to share your wake on a plate with fries and a coke, it’s about the quality of life before your ignominious death.
People love to whine about how nobody cares about each other.  Balderdash.  Balderdash I say!  (Say it with me, it’s fun!)  There’s hundreds of entire industries built upon caring for our every need; manicurists, waiters, cabbies, stewardesses, lawyers, accountants, doctors, plumbers, herbalists, and hookers -and that’s just the people I passed on the way to the bus today.
And we do take care of our own.  If any of us gets hurt others of us will rush in, carefully put them in a vehicle specifically designed just for the aid of others, and take them to a building also specifically designed to heal the sick or wounded. And if they can’t pay for all that life saving?  The rest of us share the cost.
You know who doesn’t care for each other?  Every other species.  Oh, they might get a little mothering for a little while -if you’re not the runt that gets eaten right in front of the others.  But after that they’re on their own.  Do you know what happens when a herd animal gets sick, injured or even old?  They get left behind.  And there’s no shortage of lions, wolves, or jackals following the herd to make short work of the abandoned. 
And if a lion, wolf, or jackals gets hurt, sick or old?  They retire on the old predator’s retirement plan; left behind and denied a share of the next kill.  They’ll get chased out with growls and bites if they show the appalling manners to try to come back. 
And that’s how it is across the spectrum of tens of thousands of animal species aside from one; ours.  No matter how dim a view you might hold of human society with its degree of apathy and disconnect, it’s a Utopian paradise of love and brotherhood compared to the forest primeval.  Being on the team that came in first is a lucky fate.  Would your prefer being with the rest and winding up on somebody’s plate?

This treatise of homo sapien pride was posted as part of the 30 days of indispensable research.


  1. This is brilliant! That's all I need say.

  2. I would want to be a dog if I didn't live in Korea.


    Very thoughtful and passionate post. Well done!

  3. While I don't think you're completely wrong, there are aspects of humanity that make me feel like we're not quite first place yet. Things like Snooki.

  4. In my house it is a well known fact that if you are reincarnated you should be reincarnated as a dog in our family ;)
    We live in the good ole USA!