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Bee Gone
by Jan Sand
2007-04-27 10:16:31
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T.S.Eliot in his poem "The Hollow Men" predicted that the world would end, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

But humanity is partial to bangs. The immense popularity of violence in films and in current government policies testifies to the love people have for explosions to solve problems. Although a good deal of the world dies quietly, daily, of hunger, old age, and multitudes of horrible debilitating diseases that can be alleviated by important and abrupt reversals of social policies it took the violent dramatic destruction of two buildings in Manhattan and the sudden death of three thousand people (a dismaying event but a small number of people compared to the daily world toll) to open the floodgates of money to swing the USA and much of the rest of the world in a wide angle to a new direction.

We celebrate with loud noises, with music overwhelming enough to destroy hearing, with special attachments to cars and motorcycles to amplify the sounds of their exhausts, with hi-fi equipment in automobiles that makes them sound like hand grenades exploding in the rear seats as they progress down the street, with automobile theft alarms that burst into screams in the early hours of the morning to no use whatsoever except to generate waves of anger from awakened neighborhoods.

A whimpering world end is not particularly appealing. Humans, all the way back to the old tales of the final apocalypse to the coveted atomic weaponry of the modern era seem to hug to their breasts the concept of the final catastrophe with descending meteors and exploding volcanoes. 9/11 was really small potatoes compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fire bombing of other Japanese cities and the cauterization of Dresden and even the primitive handicraft murders in Rwanda by machete.

A good part of humanity believes the entire panorama of the universe was created to nest this insignificant bit violent nonsense we call home and that mankind itself is the only worthwhile creature on the planet deserving whatever legal protections our incompetent governments can bestow. Einstein once complimented human stupidity by noting it was huger than the entire cosmos. Georg Cantor classified various extended orders of infinity and he surely would have placed human arrogance in a higher order of infinity than human stupidity.

Theology, for its own secular purposes, has fabricated a mythical super being that holds mankind as so precious that even after humanity meets its final end, according to its suppositions, it will survive in ghostly form strumming harps and servicing endless virgins. That a sizable portion of humanity finds this comforting says a good deal about the species.

But in reality, humanity is not a stand-alone element of life on Earth. We are all desperately dependent, not only on the obvious radiation from our Sun and the continuous interaction of the elements of the atmosphere and the soil but of innumerable tiny creatures in our gut to help us process our nourishment. Equally, there are uncountable creatures in the soil and within and around our fellow larger creatures that guard our survival. Eliminate even a few and WHOOF! We disappear with perhaps a murmured whimper or two, whatever the considerations of a neglectful Almighty.

All this disaster is theoretical but something is quietly happening and people still calmly butter their morning toast with, perhaps, a bit of honey, and gulp down their initial coffee, other, more important things on their minds.

The bees are disappearing.

Without bees, the flowers that produce much of our diet in their final development into fruit remain infertile, deprived of whatever ecstasy a plant might feel in that exalted moment of fulfilment (Read more here)

It seems cell phones emit radiation that discombobulates bee navigational equipment so they can't find their way home. The airlines can forbid the use of cell phones so that their navigation remains valid but the honeybees have small representation in political bodies. Even black people and women have difficulties finding places in Congress and the acceptance of a bee, even a queen bee, as a valid member seems somewhat distant.

So it is possible that humanity will talk itself to death. The world might end not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a gossip.

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