There are few things we enjoy as much as idle musing. After all, when you’re in the business of creating cartoons, you only have two reliable sources of material: (1) idle musing and (2) people-watching. And with very few exceptions, that’s a distinction without a difference.
At any rate, in an interlude of idle musing the other day, we got to thinking about early members of our species. We weren’t so concerned about Cro-Magnons, who didn’t have much to think about except killing mammoths and wondering when their descendants might invent the outhouse so they could have a little privacy.
We were more preoccupied with people who had evolved to more advanced awareness, like Parmenides, who was contemplative enough to deny the reality (or even the possibility) of change; although, he was prone to getting torqued if he didn’t get any money back after a bad haircut. And we particularly wondered about the points at which (a) humans were capable of being aware of, if not recalling, the entirety of their history and (b) humans became completely oblivious to, deliberately ignorant about, and even blithely disdainful toward any of their history.
After hours of deliberation, discussion, and debate, we finally agreed that humans’ mindful disregard for their own history had to have resulted from the first marriage. You remember that one. Adam tied the knot with Eve after they took their leave from the Garden of Eden. Adam had to forget that Eve ate the apple, and Eve had to forget Adam told her it was a good idea to eat it. Otherwise, there would have been no peace in that house at all.
After that, it was all downhill. Each generation became more unmindful than the next. Amnesia became the favorite pastime of the species. And we remain forever bound and increasingly more determined every day to prove George Santayana right.
Disconnect the Dots
Empiricism, common sense, and informed connections to our own lineage — dying arts all. The value we invested in creativity, imagination, ingenuity, and our own capacity for awe has been cheapened by the lip service we pay to fleeting fustian fads like innovation and disruption. In pursuit of bigger, better, stronger, faster, we ignore where we are — right now. And we intentionally disregard — un-regard — why we’re here and how we got here.
If we don’t know what we don’t know, and if we have no desire to know, we’ll never know what we’ve lost and what we continue to lose.
And so, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald, we beat on, boats against the current, determined unwitnesses of our own history.
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