Mother May I

“Whatever can we do about it”, she asked as if someone might have an answer. Everyone was offering alarm but no one seemed to have a solution to the problem they were displaying.

“The sky is falling,” again, they were saying. “Duck and cover and run for your life. Leave your freedom far behind you because it won’t be of any value once you get to where you are going and be sure to go where you won’t have any enemies but be sure to take a gun in case some bad guys follow.”

They might want your food or toilet paper.

It was a somewhat rhetorical question in that she also was aware that alarm is a tool for herding and asking the question was a method of her own to use as a way of redirecting and an attempt to encourage critical thinking in lieu of flight or fighting.

Watch a herd of yaks respond to the suspicion of human presence and the value of such a tool can be made evident. Some other animals might not be afraid of humans, yet, because they haven’t gotten to know of said’s capacity for destruction and only want to ferret things out and get to know — and maybe have someone to have some fun with and play.

Humans used to be like that, able to enjoin and enjoy simple getting along and gaming.

Mother May I?

Now games are mostly digital and about escaping or running away from a reality that seems too imposing.

The herd of yak found out that running to the desert was where they were the safest because their predators wouldn’t follow that far or to those extremes of living.

She thinks, “Maybe I’ll just stay put in this nice little desert where not very many humans think it a good place for living or trying to secure what they’re eating.”

But that was fearful thinking and another place might be cooler and more conventional kinds of plants for eating could be grown.

“It does look awfully dry there. Don’t you think more ground cover would be advisable? Wouldn’t a few trees help with shading? Why won’t you bring in any outside inputs like wood chips or animal excrement? Do you think you could give up that one small issue?” her friend was asking gently, trying not to ruffle her feathers.

“Trees? Of course they would if they would grow, but I haven’t had much luck with growing them anymore than anything else and besides which, the best advice that I can find says that shade should not be depended on and plants that don’t need it are the ones that are found in the desert mostly and should be the ones that are sought out.”

Of course she was aware of the nursing strategy the desert fully engages and how some plants specifically grow under other ones but for the most part, experts in the field of desert dwelling say that trying to grow foods that otherwise can’t take the heat and dryness need to be left to area that don’t have heat and dryness — cucumbers aren’t the kind of plants that nursing kinds of desert plants are interested in to mother.

She looks out the living room window and sees several birds hopping around finding their food and hopes the stray cat misses seeing them.


The more committed we are to this view of the world, the more we come to see human beings as the problem and technology as the solution. The very essence of what it means to be human is treated less as a feature than bug. No matter their embedded biases, technologies are declared neutral. Any bad behaviors they induce in us are just a reflection of our own corrupted core. It’s as if some innate human savagery is to blame for our troubles. Just as the inefficiency of a local taxi market can be “solved” with an app that bankrupts human drivers, the vexing inconsistencies of the human psyche can be corrected with a digital or genetic upgrade.

Humans do seem to be the problem but more because of how they think and what they think and that they don’t think very much at all it seems and if they do they think in herds.

Everyone seems to want to be rid of bugs but the birdies love to eat them. And the cat’s love to eat the birds and so on. But cats aren’t a native species — they’re another human invasion.

Are humans just bugs in the up and coming new and improved digital downloadable hologram-of-a future? Who really wants to live there and if they are a bug, couldn’t they be looked at like a good bug? As if there are good and bad ones.

“Elon Musk,” she thinks he wants to live there. “And he seems like a kind of bad bug.”

Most non-thinking kinds of people want to spray all bugs with pesticides — every kind of bug, good and bad ones — should Elon Musk be sprayed?

“September 11 is just around the corner and the herd will be throwing out meme after meme about how the herd should be thinking,” she thinks “so maybe I’ll throw this out there as a strategy to distract from conventional kinds of thinking – like trying to grow cucumbers in a desert.”

…and finally the illusion of a caring politician or a voting booth appear to now act as theatrical props like a corporate suggestion box. political actions in every country around the world after 911 attacking human rights and our ability to protect them speak for themselves…

“Mother may I, think another way?”







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