(Host) Commentator Bill Schubart
offers a brief and satiric summary of the history of mankind on earth
to perhaps better explain how we’ve become the arrogant species he
believes us to be.
(Schubart) Sometimes I worry that we’re
at risk of succumbing to our own arrogance as a species. A quick
In primitive times, just after we lost
our prehensile tails, our humility was ensured by our constant flight
from marauding carnivores, droughts, floods, and rampaging cannibals.
A recent article in The Guardian claims that it was in this
period of our development that mankind achieved its pinnacle of
intelligence, which may also explain our subsequent decline as a
Then barricades and armor were invented
but, alas, so was tyranny and we became serfs, peons, slaves, and
crew members. Then the arrogant French hoi polloi invented human
rights and the guillotine, and tyrannies began to fall like heads.
Later capitalism was invented – along
with exploitation. In response, we invented unions and got uppity
Over the course of history, our
pernicious liberalizing tendency bloomed like blue-green algae in a
As the idea of educating the masses
took hold, somebody read somewhere that when Greeks weren’t
prancing around naked in a pretense of athleticism and other things they were busy
inventing democracy, making everyone seem to be equal, even though
Religious zealots seeking relief from
other religious zealots in their homelands sailed to America and
resurrected the idea of democracy and America was born.
Early on, we Americans were kept humble
by playground bullies, corporal punishment, schoolmarms,
fire-breathing ministers, and bankers. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, we
began to feel our oats and declared our right to say and smoke
whatever we wanted, wear bad clothing and have bad hair days.
Today, we’ve expanded our rights to
include corporations, apparently thinking they have the same
physiology as humans. They can now speak like us and buy whatever
they want, including politicians, scientists, and journalists.
Business is finally "free to be me" as the annoying kid’s song
This new freedom has made us
invincible, we think, and when things run contrary to plan, someone
must be blamed. Hurricanes, floods, epidemics, and accidents are now
commonly answered by a law suit.
Predicting end times has grown popular
and we have grown arrogant – denying science and even exit-polls. Our
new parity with corporations makes us feel invincible, however, and
we will have to retire the legal term "act of God," because God
can’t be sued.
For millennia, nature ensured our
humility, but we’re beyond that now. So I quite understand the
outcries of blame generated by hurricane Sandy … the lawsuits of
those unhappy with their health care outcomes … and the newly
invented psychological disorders and drugs prescribed for students
failing in our educational systems.
But who will we blame for death?
Less advanced cultures always seem
amused by our shock and anger when we are told we are going to die.
Surely there is a pill or procedure! Surely the Pharma gods can find
But perhaps our survivors will invent a
way to sue for an "act of nature."