10.05.2004

For Love of Monkey

I envy the monkey lifestyle. Maybe because we toil in cubicles the majority of our lives so that we might have a chance to go on a brief vacation and live like monkeys for a little while. I think they secretly laugh at our artificial banana flavorings and anthropomorphic arrogance. Like Adam Smith's "invisible hand" the remnants of our ancient poo hurling justice system are still reflected in modern movements like tort reform and the constitutionally protected mud slinging of modern political campaigning.

Two strange things have recently happened, life expectancy is dropping for the first time and birth rates are declining in first world nations. From http://www.taipeitimes.com "Twenty years ago, the US, the richest nation on the planet, led the world's longevity league. Today, American women rank only 19th, while males can manage only 28th place, alongside men from Brunei.

These startling figures are blamed by researchers on two key factors: obesity, and inequality of health care. A man born in a poor area of Washington can have a life expectancy that is 40 years less than a woman in a prosperous neighborhood only a few blocks away, for example."

People are dying young because of our ability to make cheap unhealthy food. People aren't having kids because we're smart enough to use contraception and question the logic of bringing a kid into a world comprised of corrupt politicians, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, pollution, WMD, etc. Who the hell can afford to have a kid anyway? You need a two income family to survive these days which means there is the inevitable lifelong guilt associated with not being there for the kid.

Hairy backs used to be what kids would cling to when we wandered the forrests eating nuts and berries. Now people with back hair are condescendingly referred to as bears. Reverse anthropomorphism as criticism proves my earlier point. I refuse to shave my hairy chest, it's a silent tribute to our furry brethren of the forrest.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this is a debate! Candidates aren't supposed to like each other. They should attack each other fully because its important. This debate makes the first Pres debate look like the 7th grade. Why can't Kerry and Bush articulate and have actual substance. These two men have facts and they made a point and then they give you the reasoning behind that point EVERY time. Its amazing.......I want Cheney to be my dad.


Brendan

6:40 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

I think Cheyney is going to run for Prez in 08. He's going to need to resurrect Spiro Agnew though to complete the deleterious duo.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually its quite obviously that he isn't by the way he handles himself as vp. He is the first vp who actually seeks out anonymity. He isn't concerned with his image and that is the number one thing a vp who wants to be pres must be concerned with. Plus if you had watched the debate you would have heard him explain that he and bush work so well together because unlike most vps he does not want to be Pres. I dont blame him. I totally aspire to be vp but not pres.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Lmnope said...

It is a natural progression of evolution to have a population reduce its birthrate as it becomes wealthier. People become more interested in having stuff. With tv urging us to buy, buy, buy 24/7 we (many Americans) THINK that it takes two people working to survive. Take away the big house, cars, designer clothes, entertainment tickets, etc. and life can still be lived well with one income in America. Hell, people live simpler lives happily all over the world because they don't have the choice. We choose our environment and we choose our happiness. The trick is to only choose games that you can win. If the gradient is right on every game you choose to engage in you can spend your whole life winning.

The moral decision to have a kid simply means that one must engage in changing the corrupt politicians, terrorism, religious fundamentalism... that you mention. If you can't do it alone find or create a group that will help you.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

Lmnope, good points. I was thinking about that yesterday and I'm going to write about it when I find a second. I look at what makes me happy, an Internet connection, food, water, electricity and wonder if I could erect a windmill/generator next to a creek in a remote forrest somewhere where rent is cheap and become self sustaining so I can pursue my real interests.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Lmnope said...

Mmmm, that sounds like a step up from the monkey lifestyle. I wonder if there is something between living an isolated existence and being the American Consumer model that would make one part of the world at a level that keeps one interested without disconnecting from the rat race completely. In a smaller community the quality of local inhabitants would be important - I've seen small town people be pretty nuts, but they have power by virtue of being a big fish in a small pond. The internet allows one to keep growing intellectually while living in a small community - perhaps the best of all worlds can be created.

I read a story about a community on the west coast of Australia that is very remote from the rest of the world. The writer, an American, said that when a young local man was lost at sea the entire town came down to the shore and kept a vigil until local men in boats found him and helped him back to land. It impressed me as a statement about the value of the individual in a society that is challenged in its contact with outside help and influence. And it inspired me to create that importance of individuals in whatever environment I'm existing.

12:12 PM  
Blogger christina said...

"I refuse to shave my hairy chest, it's a silent tribute to our furry brethren of the forrest."
I tolerate my boyfriend's refusal to remove any body hair not attached to his face by rubbing the furry patch and calling him monkey.
Maybe this monkey style thing has merit. I want to say screw my cubicle and go live monkey style! Throwing away the razor blade is an added bonus. That's it, on Monday instead of driving to work I'm walking to Balboa park and hanging out monkey style. Tuesday I can kick it monkey style at the beach. I'm sure people will give me awesome fruit to eat if I ask nice, right?
Wait, is this monkey style or homeless style?

4:20 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

If living like a monkey is wrong, I don't want to be right.

8:17 PM  
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