Foto by tgw, New York City, 2009
[Another Jazz Man Has Left Us Benny Powell, 80, American jazz trombonist]
Reading a Book on Animal Behavior
And all this woman, Felicity Huntingford--her book is The Study of Animal Behavior--, is saying in this book is that We, meaning animals (that includes birds, insects, mammals, et al.), are all the same. At least that's what she's saying to me. Everything Felicity gets into in this tome is simply describing human attributes as well as crustacean attributes--including the nuances--and determining all animals are built the same, function the same--like all things DIE--and as such all of us are the same, living for the same reasons, living with the same "natures," and living inspired by the same intentions of those same natures. We've all experienced the same evolutionary accidents that got us all where we are today. One curious thing I feel when I was reading Felicity's book is that though all of us evolved from sea slime, there are some features that we all have in common that haven't been altered at all by the many evolutionary accidents we've all suffered in our existences. For instance: every creature on earth has a face on a head--has a head on a neck--has a trunk part of their bodies, including similar innards, streamling back to a tail end--from whence comes defecation, urination, and at which end most of us have our sexual organs and at which end most of us have sex.
Of course there are eccentric species that break all these similarities to smithereens, though even if they don't have faces or limbs or visible ears or holes where ears usually are or have sex via their faces (cuttlefish, for instance), whatever, even those accidents-gone-wrong still have mostly things that are familiar to all animals--and, if I had the time, I could carry this realization over into plant life, too, which is life (existence is life), isn't it? Trees are living things; yet, like we slaughter cattle, we slaughter trees. Why can't we build our houses out of mud, dirt, adobe, straw (grasses that have died natural seasonal death)? Why wood? Ezra Pound in The ABCs of Economics says that a tree is the perfect economy--man living under a tree has natural shelter; a place to sleep, cook his meals, even a natural source of food if you pick a fruit or nut tree to live under or within--going on to even mention that a tree can provide you with furniture, too, if you're crafty enough. (Something to contemplate: What is craft? Craftsmanship?)
Check out the chimpanzee. Look at his or her head--look at his or her face--look at those ears--they are almost exactly like human ears. Look at those eyes with eyelids. Look at that nose; same as a human nose. Look at those lips. Look at that hand. Look at those fingers.
Check out that fly. He or she has a head. A face. Two eyes (yes, multiple in vision but normal in terms of being two and on each side of the head). The fly has a mouth on his face. The fly has a tongue in his or her mouth. OK, the fly has 6 limbs that we call legs, though why couldn't those middle limbs be arms and those back limbs be legs--what the extra two limbs up front are--perhaps extra arms--they use them as hands if you watch them eat. The fly has a body--a thorax, a midsection, an elimination system--fly specks--and flies have sex dog-style same as all us animal (humans call them insects; I call them living samenesses (as us)).
Same thing with a spider--so he or she has 8 limbs--so what? Check out the octopus. How do we know our ribs aren't unevolved extra limbs?
Do I believe in God as a supernatural human being? No. Do I believe that gods are inventions of humans? Yes. Most of the life we live and think in is the civilized life of which man is the architect. Other animals to us are uncivilized--unhumanized--and therefore "wild"--"untamed"--human beings are great tamers of wild things!
The irony: though I don't believe in God or gods, isn't it odd that we are all made in the same image?
for The Daily Growler