aphorisms, miscellaneous, drivel, potentially useful information

…theory of evolution…

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I sometimes think that if Darwin was correct, than all of the world might be explained as simply as this; there are really only two sorts of people in the world, the ones who evolved from the apes that used tools, and those who evolved from the apes that flung feces at each other.

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I went sketching at the zoo today, and somedays I don’t which line of apes I evolved from. It’s not my regular venue for sketching, which is usually at a pub with a beer, tucked away comfortably in some remote corner where I’m not being watched but I’m able to do the watching and recording of the denizens. Studying them in their natural habitat…

I was supposed to meet up with some group of other people who sketch but never actually found them. It was my first time trying this, and it only serves to reinforce that I don’t handle being in groups of any sort very well. I waited at the entry, and never saw another soul with a pencil or a sketch pad so I just set about wandering…

It was fun, if not different. If I laid out the zoo, I’d have more seats, more places to sit and spread out and watch. There are some spectacular animals there and I feel sorry for them being penned up in such a place, with no real space to wander or explore or hunt, like they’re used to doing… Like they’re supposed to do… I watched the silverback gorillas sitting stoically in a line, their backs to the ogling humans, staring out at a staged vista of trees, and could only wonder what they might be imagining. If they could speak, might they have created some grand fiction to quell the boredom and to explain to the younger set why no one ventures beyond the trees so close? Might they have a myth to explain the strands of electric fencing that keeps them from getting too high up on a rock?

Maybe, I think, it’s not just groups that I don’t do so well in – it’s organization of any sort. I don’t like walking on paths that someone has designated for ‘walking’ on, nor even parks so much, when I have the option of meandering around streets and neighborhoods that nobody actually walks in. I like seeing nature and odd things in places where they roam, like coyotes crossing my street, or raccoons wandering around my yard, or an odd weasel, or bald eagles, and ospreys and hummingbirds. I like seeing them because they stop, stare, and look at me. Just like the crows. They’re suspicious of me. I know they do not share in the aesthetic experience I get to have studying them. I’m a guest in their space; they’re not a part of some menagerie composed for my own amusement.

It’s the same thing wandering around neighborhoods, discovering blind cats, chickens, gardens, seeing the way in which other people live, the junk they collect behind fences, their Christmas and halloween decorations, observing the care they may take with their possessions. I like studying things as they are, they way people behave when they’re not suspecting they’re being watched. It’s the only place you see reality, the grand mosaic of life…

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Sometimes I think that culture and society has become a bit too much like a zoo in which we’re supposed to be living. We hold jobs, gain titles, have little distractions that occupy us, like solitaire games, social networks, gossip on the internet and TV stars like Charlie Sheen melting down, but we don’t really live lives anymore. We behave and sit and watch the vista of trees that looks so close but seldom seek to go beyond it.

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