Christmas

The bull-tide carol

People think we’re all great and shit just because we do stuff other animals wouldn’t dream of doing.

But, should we really be so proud of a species that has produced intercontinental ballistic missiles and Justin Bieber?

The problem is evolution and framing. People only live for 70, 80 years. They also tend to hang out together, and ponder their existence, which basically boils down to who has the biggest penis.

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So when people look upon their inherited advantages through the prism of their self-aggrandizement, they can’t help but think how much better they are than all the other animals, put together.

Shit, you don’t see monkeys coming up with 172 uses for corn. Sure, they may stick a cob up their ass after taking a dump. But that’s pretty obvious, don’t you think? The truth is, monkey probably don’t even like corn. Ergo, they must be stupid.

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That’s the current thinking, anyway. It’s like we’re saying, “The day a dolphin can take my order at a restaurant is the day I’ll stop asking for extra Bottlenose in my Tuna Nicoise.”

It’s a fantastic hierarchy that conveniently ignores the demonstrated truth that evolution is adaptive, not progressive. We are the children of organisms that were optimized to the likelihood of passing on their genes. The fact that so many people distort reality to fit their religious preconceptions on these matters, with all that we know to be true now pretty much demonstrates that we’re still just a bunch of hillbillies whose brothers are their uncles, and whose sisters you know are having their period because they’re only wearing one sock.

But it’s understandable. We’re proud of ourselves! And we should be. Wasn’t it just last week that we discovered fire? And didn’t that help us find our way to the computer in the dark room? And where would we be today had we not invented free internet porn yesterday? Yeah, we are pretty clever. Which makes it such a weird coincidence that some of our gods happen to look a lot like us. What are the chances? A universe with billions and billions of ways for a god to be, with so many varieties of environments, inhospitable to fragile man, but suited to an omnipotent entity. And he happens to look like Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard. And he’s a He!

Let me ask a theological question for a moment. What the fuck does an eternal, omnipotent being need with a penis? Can you just clear that up?  I’m getting to the age where I’m wondering why have a penis. But if we’re made in god’s image, and god’s a man, then doesn’t that mean he has some kind of dick? You know what it means that god has a dick? It means it took him at least 13 billion years to get laid. And I thought I was a late bloomer.

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Sorry for that. I do tend to get a little carried away with the holiday spirit.

And that has been difficult this year. A friend of mine has a sister who teaches at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut where the horrible massacre took place last week. It’s not that I’m friends with her, but there’s a personal dimension to this story for me.

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I’ve never really had much of an opinion about gun control, to be honest. I think I had one of those “liberal urban” consciences you can probably buy for $14 at Urban Outfitters. Didn’t like automatic weapons, but if you hunted, that’s cool, if you’re eating the meat.

I still think hunting for food is a worthy adaptation to preserve. I’m now, more than ever, opposed to automatic weapons, high-capacity cartridges, and a wild west mentality, both in attitudes and in the shameful multitudes of channels arms manufacturers now have to markets.

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I do have a solution to the issue, that I think should make everyone happy. I’ll agree to leave your guns alone. You can have as many weapons, in any style, with as many bullets as you can carry. Hell, you can even have your penis replaced with a bazooka. And probably best of all, we’ll makes sure the Stand Your Ground law is interpreted to include as a “threat” anyone who “You don’t like the look of.”

But there are a few conditions.

First, you all have to move to Utah. I’m sorry. That’s not even negotiable.

Second, when traveling to any of the 49 ‘sane’ States, you have to leave your weapons at the door. We may make exceptions for Civil War re-enactors.

And finally, you have to agree to have your testicles snipped, to decrease the chances that you’ll give birth to a mentally ill person with no access to medical care but plenty of access to your guns with which he goes to shoot up an entire classroom of children.

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So, yeah, we’re great and all. But we’re still subject to our primate heritage. But seeing as we’re so great at making AR-15s and high capacity cartridges, we must have the intellectual capacity to create institutions and methods by which to keep this shit from happening again.

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Especially because I’m flying into the States tonight, and I don’t want to get shot.

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What to do when your spouse does something offensive

Jacquie’s mother wanted to get us something for Christmas.

So, Jacquie asked her mom for a set of towels. They decided to meet up later this week to shop for them. So far, so good.

But when she was telling me about this, I couldn’t help getting the feeling that she wanted me to come along.

Why in the hell would I want to go to the mall on a weeknight with Jacquie and my mother-in-law to shop for towels? In what parallel universe does this invitation even make sense? The one where up is down, and down is gazebo?

In fact, the proposed scenario contained several hideous elements.

Malls are a complex of awkward, sometimes social, architectural and culinary experiences, with interconnecting walkways.

I would rather go to the dentist than go to the mall. Well, on second thought, I would rather my dentist go the mall, to see his dentist, than to go to a mall. In New Zealand, sales girls are trained to manifest the thrill of purchasing a pair of socks, at the mall. It is never just their particular sales commission that they love. They are far more excited about the Anthropocene wonder that is a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways.

Is it any wonder that Dawn of the Dead is set in a mall?

But, in addition to that, what in the world would make Jacquie think I didn’t have anything better to do with my time than to go shopping with her and her mum.

“What color do you think we should get?” she asked me.

She really thought I was interested. What have I done to make her think that I gave a shit? How is it that you can live with someone for eight years, and they still just don’t get you, man.

I had to test if it were true, if Jacquie didn’t really know me, or worse, she knew me all to well, and was taking a sadistic pleasure in making such an indecent proposal.

“Were you just inviting me to go shopping with you and your mum?” I said.

“Oh, no of course not,” she said.