Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Tankman Cometh: By Jimmy Petrol

In the beginning, all was sensation. The sun came down on us like the inconceivable hot and terrible thing that it is in the deserts and we hid in caves, cool inside the earth. The wind pressed against us in the mornings and evenings, as the earth warmed and cooled, our hair mussing in interesting ways, the dust and pollens and bugs of the earth finding their way into our eyes and noses, blurring the sunlit earthscape and bringing to our brain the scents of life, death, pheromones and food.

When we lived, we sweated, our odor told the animals and people around us about our mental state (tense people smell different than calm people), our health (twinkies produce a different breath than protein-laden foods do) and our intent (the sex pheromones which the hopeful adult produces are very effective). All things were made to work in the way that worked; which is to say that there was a purpose in everything that was. Then man became aware of good and is a question we don't need to answer....the thing that matters is what people choose to call good and evil. Now, people tend to think that sweating, muscle aches, manual labor and the like are bad.

Where did that idea come from? Sleep, perhaps is the great seducer. We sleep, all warm and cozy, and doing nothing (not even directing our own thoughts); we feel so nice. It is possible that the less intelligent could be satisfied here, with the nothingness that is rest, but the phenomena of laziness, the cult of leisure has extended its tentacles into every strata of human intelligence. Even though it is a clear sign of poor cognition to aspire to leisure with the exclusion of physical work, our culture promotes this above all else. What we know is that when we raise our heart rate and tax our muscular system, our bodies get stronger from the bones outward; without exception, our little machines work better. Including our brains. Cognitive skills are enhanced by strenuous physical activity.

So why not just go to the gym? Pushing weights around that are tethered to a steel frame does nothing to teach about balance, coordination, or the physics of the real world. Someone that has never dug a garden with a shovel has no idea what it takes to actually do much of anything; the physics of working in the world with materials and tools promote a cognitive response to the world that cannot be mimicked with a Wi. Wi tennis is not tennis; when Wi sex comes out, it won't be sex; no matter how good the orgasm, it will always be something less than real sex with another person. But there are so many humans that cannot see this distinction or get a feeling of superiority so satisfying that they argue against it, even though they have no idea about it that comes from experiencing real living.

Where are we going with this? To become satisfied with the world around us is the Holy Grail for the living. On the way to this happy place comes first the actions that indicate signs of life. After we get going, after we get in the soup, there is too little time to be anything but satisfied....because we are doing. Where are we going with this? Where do you want to go? When will the world around us be real enough to get our attention? When will the fact of our short, silly lives become so poignant that we become willing to act? Action; that last thing. To answer a call with a mind and body used to leisure and soft living is pointless; rather throw yourself in front of a bus.

Where are we going with this? Where is our country going? Can hope suffice....or will it take action? When the election is thrown, like the last one, what will we do? Will we all be so fat and happy, so bovine, that there will be nothing we can do? Yes, probably. Gotta go. Have to tote some bales, shuck some corn, do my honey and stand in the rain. And wait. Wait yet, just a little; hope will vanish in due time. In the meantime, work on that Voodoo doll; get used to action, no matter how hopeless, for action in the face of hopelessness is the only kind we have when action is the only hope.

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