August 4, 2003
Curious apes, aren't we? Interminably manipulating and tool making, ever
fiddling with things that don't concern us...happy we are, probing and
prodding, searching for another frontier.
We like civilizing each other and our surroundings. We busy ourselves in a virtual world while "improving" the natural realm. We fashion concepts of externality, and governments, and wildlife reserves; ever so clever and always in trouble, that's us!
Consider our favorite fruit, the banana.
From jungle green to creamy yellow, and then freckled, then sweet, bananas are such beautiful fruit. The birds and bugs love them, too.
Our banana began, a long time ago, as an inedible, seed-filled pod; we have mutated the lowly banana, through selective breeding and cloning, and now, so refined, it is the king of all fruit. After 10,000 years of careful propagation, it is a staple for many and a treat for the rest, the inspiration of fast-food vendors. It grows its own wrapper, which is biodegradable, so it's frugal and politically correct.
May I ask what exemplifies the ingenuity of our species more than does our beloved banana? Military parades are impressive, especially the rockets and missiles. Skyscrapers and shuttle launches, jet fighters and fireworks are all awesome, too. However, they are not living things and we cannot eat them.
Here in the land of prosperous plenty we eat sweet bananas, while in other places people eat starch bananas, and lots of them. Five hundred million people in Africa and Asia depend on the plantain banana for nourishment. It provides up to half their daily calories; is easily digestible; and is a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, B6 and C.
We harvest about 100 million tons of bananas each year, for banana bread, banana pudding, fried bananas, frozen bananas, banana splits and shakes, banana daiquiris, you name it. Bananas have become a people-friendly part of the culture in which we all swing.
Sing the praises of our esteemed banana, eat as many as you possibly can, while you can, it faces extinction and may not be with us much longer. Not only is it seedless and therefore infertile, its immune system is weak and deficient, defenseless against soil-borne disease.
Curious naked apes with impotent bananas, in constant struggle with Nature's realm; never really possessing it, always second-guessing it, forever anticipating its corrective measures, yet never quite ready to learn all its lessons. Teetering atop this hierarchal order, above all in the "animal kingdom," we grasp for more, something larger, something newer, more convenient, everlasting.
Impetuous naked apes with impotent bananas, scrambling over each other in our quest to possess everything, everywhere, every way we can. Grabbing our inheritance, our heritage, our dominion, confiscating anything of any value to us; we'll take it if it looks good, it was ours to begin with!
On and on, we repeat this old story, based on an idea as impotent as our bananas. We own the story of ownership, at the expense of all life. So predictable and tragic is our concept of reality, so sterile and null: We rest upon the pinnacle of evolution, we are the caretakers of all creation.
Scared naked apes with impotent bananas, unwilling to face our own demise, our own inevitable extinction, we sacrifice others on our altars of righteousness, to prolong our existence and avoid our mortality, to suit our fantasy, virtual world.
Odd naked apes with impotent bananas, mutants like the bananas we love.
· · · · · ·
Resources and Related Internal Links
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
Actions & Ideas to NOT play the Game, on Swans
Michael W. Stowell is a local activist in Northern California.
Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.
Please, feel free to insert a link to this article on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting a few paragraphs or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work on the Web without the expressed written authorization of Swans. This material is copyrighted, © Michael W. Stowell 2003. All rights reserved.
This Week's Internal Links
Freedom and Imagination - by Phil Rockstroh
Hypocrisy And Oxymoron - by Scott Orlovsky
Pumpkin Pine - by Richard Macintosh
The Irrational Fear Of A Violent Death - by Philip Greenspan
Moncada's 50th Anniversary Speech - by Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz
Taboo Questions - by James M. Craven
The Media Gives Bush A Free Ride - by Deck Deckert
Eric Ambler's A Coffin For Dimitrios - Book Review by Louis Proyect
Offensive Prayer - Poem by Sabina C. Becker
Letters to the Editor