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Sunday, April 3, 2016

=3 Questions I Have=

1. Why can't modern science eliminate the need for the bowel movement? Isn't there a more efficient way to process food than the job done by the current gastrointestinal system? Can't the waste element in food be removed altogether? What about genetically engineering food to remove right from the start the elements that will only end up in our toilets? Imagine the water saved, just for starters. But the saving of water is the least of my concerns. More to the point: Is it really necessary to have to be subjected to the whole tiresome, yucky process of cramp and stench that our current dependence on an intestinal track obliges us to endure? Surely you can't tell me that what I'm asking for isn't possible. I can't even imagine our best scientific minds would be necessary. I'll bet a handful of mediocre researchers making a half-ass effort with minimum funding could accomplish the task in short order. What's holding progress up in this quarter? Surely the toilet paper industry can't be that all-powerful, can it? Have elite, well-placed coprophiliacs in finance and government short-circuited and sabotaged efforts toward this end? Looking at the shit-eating grins on the faces of our most recent corporate and political leaders—George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and now, on the horizon, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump—lend chilling credence to such a coprocratic conspiracy theory. How else can we explain this unacceptable, positively prehistoric enslavement to our disgusting digestive sausage and all its many indignities? Will this shit never end? Unless there is an entire flushing out of the system, a revolutionary colonic, I fear the answer may be "Never!" We'll be buried in shit. My god, we're already up to our chins in it. And the best they can do is to tell us to hold our noses and vote! 

2. Why do we still have body hair? Our scientists have for nearly a century been able split the atom thereby creating weapons of mass destruction that can vaporize entire cities and all their inhabitants in virtually the blink of an eye. You're telling me that in all this time they can't reliably destroy underarm hair once and for all, except by the most laborious, time-consuming, and painful process of needle electrolysis one goddamn follicle at a time?  It's positively medieval and I don't believe it for a second. Conversely, and I hate to resort to a tired cliche here, but really: they can plant a man on the moon along with a flag glorifying all the stupidities of nationalism but growing a hair on the barren landscape of a bald human head without the most crudely conceived surgical butchery is beyond the scope of scientific acumen? It's absurd! This is the 21st century, as if anyone needs reminding. Is there any reason we should be wrestling with the same stupid cosmetic problems as did Julius Caesar in 40 B.C.? Again, I remind you, this is the 21st century. The best they can come up with is the indignity of re-turfing one's scalp with hair transplanted from one's ass? I refuse to lend this notion credence. It defies common sense. But what is the purpose of keeping a good percentage of the population bald? Is it economic? Is it psychological? I confess myself flummoxed by the motivation. Even I cannot think as deviously as it is necessary to think while divining the nefarious machinations of our overlords.

3. Finally, why aren't we each supplied with an automatic kill-switch—a neural trigger that would enable each and every one of us to put ourselves out of our own misery when that misery becomes unbearable? It doesn't seem to me to be anything beyond the capacity of present-day science. Okay, let's restrict the enabling of the switch to those who've come of age if the fear is that moody teenagers will overreact to every minor blip early in life's path and off-themselves en masse, though this would certainly cut down on several pressing social problems and the expense accrued therefrom, as political conservatives never tire of reminding us, such as unwed mothers, unemployment,  and graffiti. But certainly an individual of forty should be mature enough to decide whether his or her life is worth living. If not, isn't it arguably better if they remove themselves from the gene pool anyway? Do we really need a bunch of immature forty year olds running loose in the world? Aren't the lines at the grocery store already unpleasant enough? Wouldn't the freeways be safer without them? Isn't there a point at which individuals should reasonably be expected to have reached the age of maturity—or at least to act their age?  Isn't forty such an age? At forty, half your life is already over; if you haven't grown up by then, when? 

Surely a person of sixty should be able to decide if the inevitable indignities that accompany the act of aging are for him or her. Why do we persist in this ridiculous Puritanical thinking that everyone must suffer to the bitter end whatever circumstances throw at them? Must we all be required to lose our teeth, the ability to walk without pain, relying on plastic hips and knees, to have our eyesight dim, our hands tremble, our memories fail? Must we all concede to the loss of bladder-control, to watch our skin freckle and wrinkle and inch by inch give up the lifetime struggle with gravity, finally sliding down our faces like worn-out rubber masks of our former selves? Must we all lose lungs, ovaries, prostates, breasts, and whatever else we can manage to survive the absence or partial loss of just to keep limping and wincing through the last hours of a diminished, pain-fraught life? Must we all be reduced to analogues of that faceless, melting figure in Munch's The Scream? For whose benefit? Would it not be better to avoid all that? To insert a special biological "key" into a "lock" concealed at the base of our skull, for instance, that would flood our brains with orgasmic pleasure at the very moment that it shuts down instantaneously all our life processes? Our life begins with an orgasm why not end it the same way? Why the symmetry alone argues for such a final solution. Who—except for the most dyed-in-the-wool sadists, masochists and religious zealots among us—would not prefer to go in this manner—in a blinding moment of sexual bliss—than twisting on the Calvary of a sick-bed enduring months, even years, of savage suffering brought to bear on our failing bodies by the very latest medical torture the human (?) mind can devise, keeping us going so long as we can pay? 

Perhaps, with this last point, I've answered my own question. So long as we can pay. It's possible that this is the answer, in one form or another, for each of the questions I've posed here. Or perhaps there is a race of beings, or a kind of human so different than the ordinary as to constitute "another race of being" (I refer here again to our corporate and political leaders) who grow empowered feeding off the pain, anxiety, and discomfort of the rest of us. I don't know. I just know that something doesn't add up; there's something not quite reasonable about the world and the way it functions.

If I knew where the error lay, if I could answer the questions that I posed, I wouldn't have asked them in the first place. My questions then would have been nothing more than cheap rhetorical devices, a groundwork laid for manipulation and propaganda. The only way to honestly ask a question is if you don't know the answer. I take some comfort in the old bromide that the only stupid question is the one unasked. This latter is patently untrue, of course, as any elementary school teacher, politician, advertising executive, or television newscaster can tell you: there are as many stupid questions as there are lazy people. They just can't be bothered making the effort to look up the well-documented answers for themselves. My questions, however, I feel reasonably certain have not been satisfactorily answered anywhere, not anywhere that I've looked, and I can assure you that I have looked extensively. I have inquired widely of people in all walks of life. I have received in reply only blank stares. I beg to be proven wrong.

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