Monday, May 18, 2009

A Descent of Woodpeckers

Before civilization crowded people into colonies and we roamed the land as hunter-gatherers, dogs would circle our little encampments. Gradually they entered into a domestic bargain with us: they would guard our camp in return for food and later, companionship.

Who invented the bowl? What genius created the first tables? Are there such wise and creative people living among us now?

When agriculture was established and storage bins of seed became necessary, so came our relationship with cats. They protected our stores from vermin, but they did not come to depend upon us directly to feed them until later when we adopted cats as household pets.

There now appears to be paleoanthropological evidence that the Neanderthals, who disappeared shortly after modern humans entered Europe 30,000 years ago, were eaten by us. We have not yet seen the end of cannibalism. It is essential to one of the great Abrahamic religions.

I think that the best way to approach otherness from reality is through the various kinds of art, literature, and music. Of course other people have different opinions and preferences; engaging religion, hallucinogenic substances, or even quantum physics in their endeavors to explore that which is not real.

This photo shows the interior of a megalithic structure which sits in a stand of trees outside Woodstock, Vermont. I have been in it myself. Long ago there were people other than "Indians" living in north America. Nearby
this same chamber
there have been found stones inscribed with ancient Irish script.

I tend to think of ancient homo sapiens as being just like us and facing the same problems in the same ways, for they were in all respects modern. How will we eat? What day is today? Where shall we go now? What do we do with the corpses?


Eli Blake said...

And, cannibals still roam the earth. The Australian army pacified certain regions of Papua in the 1950's and one of the conditions they foisted upon villages there was no more cannibalism.

Which they agreed to.

But on occasion there are still reports of outbreaks of diseases that are most readily spread by eating the flesh of an infected person.

Though when I was in high school, I used to waste my time pondering really stupid and worthless questions, such as whether cannibals ignored roasted zits, carefully picked them out and put them off on the side of their plate, or considered them a delicacy.

Eli Blake said...

Although your title reminded me of the funniest cartoon I think I've ever seen.

There was an open birdcage, and Noah was frantically chasing a woodpecker around the ark while Noah's wife and kids had their fingers stuck in holes or had buckets deployed catching water that was squirting through other holes. I still laugh sometimes when I think about that one.

Ruth said...

I swear it is purest coincidence that Thursday's birdblog was on the Hairy Woodpecker. And in OK there is a monument or something that has Norse characters on it.